Jesus Christ and Salvation

God's plan of salvation for sinful humanity is central to God's eternal purpose and is fully revealed in the person and work of Jesus Christ, chosen by God before creation to be the Savior. We affirm that Jesus Christ is truly divine and truly human.

Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ, God the Son, is a distinct person of the Trinity, in perfect equality and unity with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. He is eternally existent and is fully God. He created all things and is the source and sustainer of life.

In the fullness of time God the Son took on human likeness, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary. He was God incarnate -- God in the flesh -- and lived on earth as a man, fully human, yet without sin. He grew physically and mentally, and experienced hunger, thirst, fatigue, rejection, and the range of human emotions. He was tempted in every way, but remained sinless. He was perfectly obedient and submissive to the Father. He took on the role of a servant and responded in compassion to those in need. Jesus modeled perfect humanity and called people to follow Him.

The divine nature of Jesus of Nazareth was shown clearly during His life on earth. At infancy He was announced as Immanuel, God with us. At His baptism he was acknowledged to be God's Son. His ministry was marked by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. He taught with divine authority and commissioned His disciples to proclaim His gospel. He said that anyone who has seen Him had seen the Father. He was the Son of God, full of grace and truth.

Jesus came to earth as the promised Messiah revealed in the Scriptures. He inaugurated the kingdom of God and demonstrated its presence by healing the sick and casting out demons. His miracles were signs of God's kingdom. In His teaching, Jesus set God's rule over against the kingdoms of this world. He called those who followed Him into the church, the new covenant community based on the values of the kingdom of God. He came to destroy the works of the devil and to redeem the human family from sin.

Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Christ's work of redemption was accomplished in His death and resurrection. God purposed in Christ to redeem us from the guilt and power of sin and to free us from the rule of Satan, so that all who believe would be restored to divine favor and fellowship.

By His suffering and sacrificial death for us, Jesus Christ provided complete atonement for sin. His death and resurrection opened the only way for reconciliation between a holy, just God and sinful humanity. His life-blood freely given on the cross provided pardon and ratified the New Covenant.

The bodily resurrection of Jesus testifies decisively of His deity and His victory over Satan, sin, and death. The risen Christ ascended to heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father, interceding for us.

Jesus Christ is now our risen, exalted, and reigning Lord. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him. He is the Head of the church and the Lord of human history. At the end of time, all things in heaven and on earth will be brought under His rule. Every person will bow before Him and He will reign forever. With joy we confess that Jesus is Lord and acknowledge His authority over our lives. We honor him with our worship and obedience.

Coming to Faith

The salvation graciously provided by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ becomes effective in our lives by the ministry of the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit who prepares us for faith in Jesus Christ. He awakens us to our need, enables us to acknowledge our guilt, and calls us to respond to God in faith and obedience.

The response of faith is a personal reliance on God's grace and a turning from sin to righteousness. Repentance involves an acknowledgment of sin. It is expressed in genuine sorrow, forsaking sin, and a change in attitude toward God, preparing for the continuing ministry of the Holy Spirit. Repentance includes a willingness for reconciliation and restitution.

New Life in Christ

All who come to faith in Christ are born again, receive the Holy Spirit, and become children of God. They are acquitted of all guilt for sin, are granted the righteousness of Christ, and are reconciled to God. Persons thus justified by grace through faith enjoy peace with God, are adopted into God's family, become part of the church, and receive the assurance of eternal life. We become new creatures in Christ, regenerated by the Holy Spirit. This change of heart becomes evident in the development of Christlike character and a walk of obedience to God. Conversion is expressed in a changed life with new direction, purposes, interests, and values.

The new life in Christ is developed through Christian spiritual disciplines such as prayer, study of Scripture, fasting, and self-denial. They do not make the believer immune from temptation. Persistent disobedience impairs fellowship with God and can destroy one's new life in Christ. When there is sin in the Christian's life, it needs to be confessed and forsaken in the confidence of God's willingness to pardon and His power to cleanse from evil.

Life in the Spirit

We believe that God's grace provides for more than forgiveness of sin. As the Spirit works in the life of the believer, he or she is led forward in sanctification to a full surrender and commitment of the motives and will to Christ. This results in freedom from the control of sin and in empowerment to live the holy life. The Holy Spirit fills persons yielded to God and equips them for effective witness and service.

Sanctification is also an ongoing journey of yielding to God and growing in grace. The quality of the surrendered life corresponds to the believer's responsiveness to the Holy Spirit and obedience to the Word of God. The Spirit-filled life results in a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, inner strength in times of temptation, godly living and wholehearted service to the Lord. The Holy Spirit produces virtuous character—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These virtues characterize the believer's walk in the Spirit.

Hope of Life Everlasting

The salvation provided by our Lord Jesus Christ will be consummated for the believer in the joy of heaven and the full realization of the kingdom of God. In our glorified bodies we will be free from all the effects of sin. Restored in the likeness of Christ, we will worship God and reign with Christ throughout eternity.

Supporting Scripture

Jesus Christ and Salvation

Ephesians 1:3-14; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 1:1-3; 1 Peter 1:3-5

Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ

Matthew 1:20-23; 3:13-17; 6:33; 7:28-29, 9:35-36; 12:25-28; 26:26-29; 28:18-20; Mark 1:14-15; 14:61-62; Luke l:26-2:33, 52; 4:1-21; 22:44; John 1:1-14; 3:16; 13:1-17; 14:8-11; Galatians 4:4-5; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 4:14-15

Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Psalm 22:1-18; Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Matthew 27:27-28:20; John 3:16-17; Acts 1:9-11; Romans 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 15:20-28; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 1:9-10; Philippians 2:9-11; Colossians 1:21-22; Hebrews 1:3; 7:24-25; 9:11-28; 12:2; Revelation 11:15

Coming to Faith

Luke 3:7-9; 5:31-32; 18:9-14; 19:8-9; John 16:5-15

New Life in Christ

John 3:1-17; Acts 2:41-47; Romans 5:11; 8:14-17; 10:9-10, 13; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 4:6-7, Ephesians 2:1-10; Colossians 1:22-23; Hebrews 3:14; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 1 John 2:24-25

Life in the Spirit

Luke 11:11-13; John 20:21-22; Acts 1; Romans 6:1-14; 8:1-17; 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 5:5; 5:16-25; Ephesians 1:13-14; 3:14-21; 1 John 1:9

Hope of Life Everlasting

Matthew 24:13; John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:35-58; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 5:9-10; 21:1-4