EFCA Statement of Faith, Article 4: What I Believe

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JESUS CHRIST

We believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, fully God and fully man, one Person in two natures. Jesus—Israel’s promised Messiah—was conceived through the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father as our High Priest and Advocate.

 

God the Father sent His Son Jesus Christ to be Immanuel, “God with us” (Is. 7:14; Matt. 1:23; Jn. 3:16). In other words, Jesus took on human flesh and dwelt amongst men (Jn. 1:14; Phil. 2:6-7). The incarnation of Jesus displays that He is both fully God (Jn. 1:14; 8:58; Col. 2:9), and fully man (Rom. 1:3; Gal. 4:4; Phil. 2:7-8; Heb. 2:14). That is to say that Jesus Christ is one person with two natures, both human and divine. The incarnation of Jesus was the fulfillment of the promised Messiah to the nation of Israel—and ultimately all of mankind (Gen. 3:15; Is. 11:1-5; Jn. 4:25-26). As the Messiah, Jesus served as God’s anointed one to bring salvation to all who believe (Jn. 1:12-13; Acts 16:31).  jesus glass

The birth of Jesus Christ was miraculous in itself. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:18, 20; Lk. 1:35), and born of a virgin (Is. 7:14; Lk. 1:35-38). This truth shows that Jesus was born not of the will of man, but of the will of God the Father. Moreover, Mary’s virgin birth to Jesus in Bethlehem fulfilled Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah (Is. 7:14; Mic. 5:2).

Jesus lived a perfect life. When faced with temptation, Jesus never gave in to the enticing offers of Satan (Matt. 4:1-11; Heb. 4:14-15). When faced with submitting to the Father’s will, Jesus was always obedient (Matt. 26:39; Jn. 5:30; 6: 38; Phil. 2:8). When faced with the fleeting pleasures of sin, Jesus remained steadfast and sinless (Jn. 8:29; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15). Jesus’ perfect obedience led Him to the cross where He satisfied the wrath of God against sin (Phil. 2:8; Heb. 12:2). Under the governance of Pontius Pilate, Jesus Christ was tortured, beaten, and ultimately murdered by crucifixion (Mk. 15:15; Jn. 19:1). Jesus’ suffering under Pontius Pilate gives weight to the historicity of Jesus Christ. However, Jesus’ death does not signify the end of His life.

The beauty of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that He was resurrected from the dead (Matt. 28:6-7; Mk. 16:6; Lk. 24:6; 2 Tim. 2:8). In rising from the dead, Jesus conquered death and the power of sin (1 Cor. 15:19-28; 15:55-56; 2 Tim. 1:10). Jesus’ resurrection was physical and bodily (Lk. 24:39; Jn. 20:20, 27; 1 Jn. 1:1), disputing the notion that He only “appeared” to be raised from the dead. Furthermore, Jesus ascended into heaven to be seated at the right hand of the Father (Lk. 24:51; Jn. 20:17). There, Jesus intercedes for believers before the Father (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25; 9:24). In doing this, Jesus becomes both the High Priest that no man could be (Heb. 8:1-7), and an Advocate that brings grace and forgiveness to unworthy sinners (Jn. 1:17; Acts 2:38; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14).

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