What we believe and teach: Jesus Christ
What we believe and teach: Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, the city of David(which is in Judea), about two thousand years ago. He was born of a virgin called Mary, who was the wife of Joseph who was of the house and lineage of David. Mary conceived in her womb Jesus through the Holy Spirit (before she and Joseph came together), therefore Jesus was born without sin. The birth of Jesus took place in the days of the emperor Caesar Augustus. On the eighth day Jesus was circumcised according to the law of Moses, and when the days of the purification of Mary were completed, his parents brought Him to Jerusalemto present Him to the Lord.
Jesus was brought up in Nazareth of Galilee, that’s why He is called the Nazarene. When Jesus was about 30 years old, He came from Galileeto John the Baptist at the Jordan Riverto be baptized by him. John was the man whom God sent before Jesus to prepare His way.
After Jesus was baptized, He was anointed with the Holy Spirit and then He was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and when those days had ended, the devil came to Him and tempted Him in order to cause Jesus to sin, but Jesus firmly resisted the devil, who (when he had ended every temptation) departed from Him until an opportune time. Then Jesus began to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom in the cities and villages of Galilee(He said: ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdomof Godis near.
Repent and believe in the Gospel’). He began also to heal the sick and to cast out demons. He went also throughout Judeapreaching the Gospel, and healing the sick and casting out demons. Jesus healed the sick by the power of the Lord which was present for Him to heal the sick, and He cast out demons by the Spirit of God. He preached to men the salvation which God had promised, which could be obtained only by faith in Him.
From His disciples He chose twelve, whom He also named apostles and whom He sent forth to preach the Kingdom, to heal the sick and to cast out demons. Jesus Christ committed no sin nor was any deceit in His mouth. He did only good, yet He was hated, reviled and despised by many in Israel. Several times they sought to kill Him, but they did not manage to kill Him, because His hour had not yet come. The world hated Him because He testified of it that its works were evil. The Pharisees, the scribes and the chief priests, and many Jews hated Him and persecuted Him because He said that God was His Father, and also because He healed the sick on the Sabbath, the day of rest which is holy according to the law of Moses and on which, according to the Jewish tradition, it was not lawful to heal the sick. Then one day Satan entered Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve apostles, who betrayed Jesus Christ for thirty silver coins, and handed Him over to the Pharisees, the scribes and the priests, who had Jesus brought before the Sanhedrin and condemned Him as worthy of death.
Then they handed Him over to Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea, who, even though at first he wanted to release Jesus because he found no reason for death in Him, eventually gave sentence that it should be as the Jews requested, that is to say, He gave sentence that Jesus should be crucified. The soldiers of the governor led Him away to be crucified.
They brought Him to a place called ‘Golgotha’, which is in Jerusalem, and they crucified Him. Two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left. He died for our sins. After Jesus breathed His last, He was buried. His body was placed in a tomb where no one had ever lain before.
But the third day God raised Him from the dead for our justification, and He appeared to His witnesses; He ate and drank with them and talked with them after He arose from the dead. Between His death and His resurrection, Jesus, by the Spirit, went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared. The resurrection of Jesus Christ was a bodily resurrection, which means that He took back His body with which He had died, for when Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection the body with which He appeared to them had the nail marks in the hands and in the feet. However that body was immortal, glorious and powerful. Jesus Christ is the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
Forty days later Jesus was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of the Father. He is still there, where He makes intercession for us because He has become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood, therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
The Christ of God
Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ of God, that is, the Anointed One of God, of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets wrote, who was to come into this world to die for our sins and to rise for our justification. Here are some of the biblical predictions, concerning the Christ of God, which were fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth.
He was born in Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, just as the prophet Micah had said; He was born of a virgin, just as the prophet Isaiah had said; he grew up and was brought up in Nazareth that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets ‘he will be called a Nazarene’; when he was about thirty years old He was anointed with the Holy Spirit and began to preach the Gospel and to heal the sick so that the words of the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled; He spoke to the crowds in parables that it might be fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Asaph; He committed no sin nor any deceit was in His mouth, just as the prophet Isaiah had said; He was hated without reason and He was betrayed by one of His disciples, just as it was written in the Psalms; two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left, so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled; not one of His bones was broken so that the words of David might be fulfilled; the roman soldiers divided His garments among them and cast lots for His tunic, so that the words of David might be fulfilled. He bore our sins, just as the prophet Isaiah had said. His body was placed in a tomb which belonged to a rich man, just as the prophet Isaiah had said; but the third day He rose from the dead and a few weeks later He ascended to heaven at the right hand of the Father, so that the words of David might be fulfilled.
The Son of God
Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God who, before He took the form of a bondservant and came in the likeness of men, existed from all eternity in the form of God with God the Father in heaven. Therefore when we say that Jesus is the Son of God we don’t mean that there was a time when He did not exist and then God created Him. Jesus was God before He came down from heaven, and He remained God in the days of His flesh, for He forgave people of their sins and He was worshipped. On several occasions He confirmed that He was God, on one of them He said: “Before Abraham was born, I AM”. It pleased the Father that in Jesus Christ all the fullness of the Godhead should dwell.
The Son is at the right hand of the Father and all the angels of God, as well as all the saints who are in heaven, worship Him. This confirms that He is God and He will be God forever. Therefore He is worthy to be worshiped like the Father, and we who are His disciples worship Him. To Him be the glory now and forever. Amen.
The Son of Man
Jesus of Nazareth was a real man. However He was born without sin that He might die on the cross for our sins. Being a real man, He needed to eat, to drink, and to rest. He needed also to be anointed with the Holy Spirit. Being a real man, He was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. He rejoiced in the Spirit, but He was also exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Jesus Christ felt pain in His body when He was scourged, when He was struck on the head and in the face, and when He was nailed to the cross. While He was hanging on the cross, blood and water came out of His body.
God made Jesus of Nazareth not only Christ but also Lord. Therefore He is Lord of all. Because He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross, God has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth,
and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Jesus of Nazareth is the prophet about whom Moses spoke to the Israelites, saying: ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people”. He, being the prophet of God, spoke the words of God, no man ever spoke like Him. He predicted many things, among which there are many events which will happen before His second coming.
Jesus Christ, therefore, is the prophet raised up by God in the last days and in Whom a man must believe to be rescued from the coming wrath of God.
If anyone comes to you and tells you that Jesus Christ did not exist before He was conceived in the womb of his mother, or that He was not born of a virgin (because God the Father united Himself with Mary), or that He did not come in the flesh, or that Jesus also sinned sometimes, or that He got married, or that He was not the Christ, or that He was not God, or that He was the Son of God by adoption, or that He took on the nature of Satan, or that He was born again, or that He is at once the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; or that He did not feel pain when He was flogged and crucified, beware of such a person and avoid him, for he is a deceiver.
(Giacinto Butindaro, from http://www.the-new-way.org/wwbat/index.html)