1    (1) God sent the promised Deliverer to his people.
2          Jesus, the long expected Savior,
3              came into the world as a child,
4              descended from David,
5              conceived by the Holy Spirit,
6              born of Mary, a virgin.

7          He lived as a Jew among Jews.
8          He announced to his people
9              the coming of God's kingdom of justice and peace on earth.

10        We affirm that Jesus was born of woman
11            as is every child,
12            yet born of God's power
13            as was no other child.
14        In the person and work of Jesus,
15        God himself and a human life
16            are united but not confused,
17            distinguished but not separated.
18        The coming of Jesus was itself
19            the coming of God's promised rule.
20        Through his birth, life, death, and resurrection,
21        He brings about the relationship between God and humanity
22            that God always intended.

23    (2) Jesus lived a truly human life.
24        Jesus was what we are.
25        He grew up in a family and a society
26            troubled by the common problems of the world.
27        His knowledge was limited
28            by his time and place in history.
29        He felt deeply the joy of friendship
30            and the hurt of being rejected.
31        Jesus prayed,
32            struggled with temptation,
33            knew anger,
34            and was subject to suffering and death.
35        He was like us in every way except sin.

36        Jesus was what we should be.
37        He served his Father with complete trust
38            and unwavering obedience.
39        He loved all kinds of people
40            and accepted their love.
41        In constant dependence upon the Holy Spirit,

42        Jesus allowed no temptation or threat to keep him
43            from loving God with his whole being
44            and his neighbor as himself.

45        We recognize in Jesus what God created us to be.
46        He exposes our failure to live as he lived.
47        He demonstrates the new humanity
48        God promises to give us through him.

49    (3) Jesus was God in the flesh.
50        Jesus Christ overthrew evil powers
51            that enslaved and degraded people,
52            yet he made no use of power to protect himself.
53        He healed those who were sick in body and mind,
54            yet he did not avoid pain and suffering for himself.
55        He commanded his followers to place loyalty to him
56            above loyalty to family and country,
57            yet he lived among them as a servant.
58        Jesus taught with authority,
59            challenging many time-honored customs and ideas,
60            yet he submitted to humiliation and death
61            without a word on his own behalf.
62        He forgave sinners,
63            yet he was counted among sinners.

64        We recognize the work of God in Jesus' power and authority.
65        He did what only God can do.
66        We also recognize the work of God in Jesus' lowliness.
67        When he lived as a servant
68            and went humbly to his death
69            the greatness that belongs only to God was manifest.
70        In both his majesty and lowliness
71        Jesus is the eternal Son of God,
72        God himself with us.

73    (4) Jesus died for sinners.
74        Religious leaders hated Jesus
75            because he criticized their hypocrisy
76            and reproved their neglect of justice and mercy.
77        They charged him with blasphemy and sedition
78            when he claimed to speak and act with God's authority.
79        One of Jesus' followers betrayed him.
80        Others abandoned and denied him
81            because they were afraid to stand with him.
82        Civil authorities condemned him
83            because he provoked unrest among the people.
84        He was sentenced, mocked, beaten,
85            and crucified as a common criminal.

86        We confess that in the execution of Jesus
87            the sin of the human race reached its depths.
88        The only innocent one was condemned and put to death,
89            not by sinfulness of one nation,
90            but by the sinfulness of us all.
91        In the presence of Jesus,
92            who lived out what God wants us all to be,
93            we were threatened beyond endurance.
94        Blinded by our rebellion against our Creator,
95            we killed his Son when we met him face to face.

96          We believe that in the death of Jesus on the cross
97          God achieved and demonstrated once for all
98              the costly forgiveness of our sins.
99          Jesus Christ is the reconciler between God and the world.
100        He acted on behalf of sinners as one of us,
101            fulfilling the obedience God demands of us,
102            accepting God's condemnation of our sinfulness.
103        In his lonely agony on the cross
104        Jesus felt forsaken by God
105            and thus experienced hell itself for us.
106        Yet the Son was never more in accord with the Father's will.
107        He was acting on behalf of God,
108            manifesting the Father's love that takes on itself
109            the loneliness, pain and death
110            that result from our waywardness.
111        In Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself,
112            not holding our sins against us.
113        Each of us beholds on the cross
114            the Savior who died in our place,
115            so that we may no longer live for ourselves,
116            but for him.
117        In him is our only hope for salvation.

118    (5) Jesus is our living Lord.
119        Jesus was dead and buried,
120            but God raised him from the dead.
121        The risen Lord appeared to his followers.
122        They recognized him as their Master
123            who had been crucified.
124        Before Jesus left them,
125            he commissioned them to proclaim to all people
126            the good news of his victory over death,
127            and promised to be with them always.

128        We are certain that Jesus lives.
129        He lives as God with us,
130            touching all of human life with the presence of God.
131        He lives as one of us with God.
132        Because he shares our humanity
133            and has bound us to himself in love,
134            we have an advocate in the innermost life of God.

135        We declare that Jesus is Lord.
136        His resurrection is a decisive victory
137            over the powers that deform and destroy human life.
138        His lordship is hidden.
139        The world appears to be dominated by people and systems
140            that do not acknowledge his rule.
141        But his lordship is real.
142        It demands our loyalty and sets us free
143            from the fear of all lesser lords who threaten us.
144        We maintain that ultimate sovereignty
145            now belongs to Jesus Christ
146            in every sphere of life.
147        Jesus is Lord!
148        He has been Lord from the beginning.
149        He will be Lord at the end.
150        Even now he is Lord.

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