WHO IS THE CHRIST?
Christ once asked the following question, “Who do the crowds say I am?” (Luke 9:18). This is the most serious and vital question facing mankind. Until the end of time, the person of Christ will be the dividing point of groups, cultures, and schools of thought. The church of Christ on every continent and in every age has believed that the real union of mankind and God lies in Christ’s person.
One may ask “What caused the church to believe that Christ is the Son of God?” The answer is found in the evidence for Christ’s deity.
During a period of about one thousand years, prophecies predicting the coming of a divine person from heaven were recorded, one who would be the Savior of the world. A descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Judah and of the house of David, this person would also be the almighty, eternal God. Centuries before Christ’s birth these prophecies were well known and accepted.
Spurgeon, a mighty man of God and renowned preacher, said that Christ is the central truth in world history. All things march toward or away from him, and all lines of history meet in his person; history progresses according to the will of Christ. His miracles and his splendid words witness to the truth of his teachings giving certain proof of the validity of his claims to be the Son of God.
When he lived on earth Jesus Christ raised the dead to life, as indicated in the following passage from the New Testament: “As he approached the town gate, a dead person was carried out - the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. When the Lord saw her, his heart was filled with pity for her and he said: ‘Don’t cry!’ Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said: ‘Young man, I say to you, get up!’ The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.” (Luke 7:12-15)
When Jesus revealed himself to the apostle John through a vision after his resurrection, he said: “I am the Alpha and the Omega ...who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8). He also said: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35). And so we know that only in Christ Jesus is life and satisfaction.
The Christian faith through the Holy Spirit was summarized in a later generation by the church father Athanasius as follows:
1. Whoever wishes to be saved must hold to the universal faith.
2. The universal faith is this: that we worship one God in the Trinity, and the Trinity in a unity.
3. Neither mingle the separate persons, nor divide their common substance.
4. Another person is the Father, another is the Son and another is the Holy Spirit. But the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is one deity, equal in glory, co-eternal in majesty.
5. As the Father is, so is the Son, and so also is the Holy Spirit.
6. The Father is uncreated, the Son is uncreated, and the Holy Spirit is uncreated.
7. The Father is incomprehensible, the Son is incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit is incomprehensible.
8. The Father is eternal, the Son is eternal, and the Holy Spirit is eternal. Yet they are not three eternal beings, but one eternal being. Just as there are not three uncreated or three incomprehensible beings, but rather there is one uncreated and one incomprehensible being.
9. Thus also the Father is almighty, the Son is almighty, and the Holy Spirit is almighty.
10. Thus the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.
11. Thus the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, and the Holy Spirit is Lord. And yet there are not three Lords, but one Lord.
12. For just as we, according to Christian truth, must acknowledge every person by himself as God and Lord, so the universal faith forbids us to speak of three Gods and Lords.
13. There is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; and one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.
14. And in this Trinity none is before or after another and none is greater or less than another, rather all three persons are together co-eternal and co-equal.
15. Thus in all things, as has been said, the Trinity is to be worshipped in the One, and the One in the Trinity.
16. Therefore this is the true faith that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man: He is God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds, and man, of the substance of His mother, born in the world.
17. Although He is God and man He is not two, but one Christ: He is One, not by converting the deity into humanity, but by the godhead taking up humanity.
Dear reader, if you are interested in learning more about the Christ, we are ready to send you free of charge the booklet WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT CHRIST? by Abd al Masih. Write to us under the following address:
P.O. BOX 567 • Imperial, PA 15126 • USA