At Audacity Malaysia, we believe that the Lord Jesus Christ as both God and man, is the only One who can reconcile us to God. He lived a sinless and exemplary life, died on the cross in our place, and rose again to prove his victory and empower us for life.
In other words, Jesus Christ is our Saviour. In him, we find not only the self-revelation of God, but God acting for the salvation of humankind. This faith assertion is found in actual events in history for the Christian faith is not based on a grand or lofty idea or a philosophical system. At the heart of Christianity is the historical reality that Jesus Christ is God incarnated. The church of Christ was born out of the acknowledgement that Jesus is Immanuel — “God with us.”
Jesus is fully divine and fully human. He is the eternal Word, the Creator who calls all things into existence (John 1:1-4). He is the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End (Revelation 22:13).
Yet, the eternal Son of God participated in our existential humanness. The purpose of his coming into the world was to atone for our sins. God became man, so that humankind could be brought back into an eternal fellowship with God.
Jesus saw his sacrificial death as constituting a ransom to be paid for our sins (Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45). His death was the substitute for our death penalty (John 15:13). Furthermore, his substitutionary death brings an end to the enmity and estrangement between God and humankind.
As Erickson writes, “By substituting himself for us, Jesus actually bore the punishment due us, appeased the Father, and effected a reconciliation between God and humankind.”
The most fundamental confession of the Christian faith is that in the historical Jesus of Nazareth, we find the reconciling work of the Triune God.
Jesus of Nazareth did indeed, claim a unique relationship to God the Father and God confirmed his claim by raising him from the dead. It is on the basis of this historical foundation of Jesus’ claim and its confirmation through the resurrection that the church asserts the divinity and humanity of Jesus.
That Jesus is both divine and human may appear paradoxical to us. But the reality that Jesus was fully God and fully human was crucial in his role in God’s plan for the salvation of mankind. Jesus’ ministry is inherent in his identity, and we cannot understand his identity in isolation from his mission in the world.
Jesus’ humanity means that his atoning death is applicable to humankind. He was a genuine human being representing us (Galatians 4:4-5). On the Cross, the sin of humankind is transferred to Christ, just as in the Old Testament rites, sins were transferred to the sacrificial lamb.
The New Testament repeatedly speaks of Jesus as our Saviour. He is the second person of the Godhead who participated in our humanness and died for sin in our place. There is no other way of saving humankind but by his death. The death of Jesus is of infinite worth and covers the sins of all humanity for all times. In Jesus, we have eternal security in our relationship with God. Our relationship with God is unshakeable because the basis of the relationship is the sacrificial death of Christ.
In confessing Jesus as our Saviour, we acknowledge that through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, our sins have been fully paid for and we have been reconciled to God.
Without the incarnation of Christ and his work on the Cross, we would have remained estranged from God, lost in our sins and faced with an eternal doom. In accepting Jesus as our Saviour, it is vitally important that we understand the depth of God’s love that God would become man to save us. Our appropriate response is found not only in our confession of faith but in living our lives in deep gratitude and appreciation for what Jesus accomplished for us.
- Erickson, Millard J. Introducing Christian Doctrine (Grand Rapids: Baker Book, 1997).
- Grenz, Stanley J. Theology for the Community of God (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994).