A DECLARATION OF FAITH (1977)
CHAPTER FOUR -- GOD IN CHRIST
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
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
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
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
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.