7 Things You Need to Know About Jesus

The point at which a movement usually moves from orthodoxy to heresy is its understanding of Jesus. If we get Jesus wrong, we get everything wrong.

Jesus Christ
Metropolitan Museum of Art

1. Jesus is not a created being. The Arian heresy (similar to the Jehovah’s Witnesses) almost took over the Church. The reason the Nicene Council was called was to clarify the Son’s nature and they concluded that the Son was not created. Before there was Jesus of Nazareth, there was God the Son.

2. There really was a historical Jesus. Despite what Jesus mythicists claim, Jesus is not a symbol, image or myth. Jesus is as historical as any other ancient figure and the evidence we have is very good.

3. Jesus was born of a virgin. The virgin birth (more accurately the virginal conception) is not an attempt to copy pagan virgin births (it is actually hard to find a pagan virgin birth). It is difficult to make sense of the incarnation if Jesus’ human existence is fully explainable by the actions of a man and a woman.

4. The incarnation must be taken seriously. Jesus was not God pretending to be a man. Jesus was as fully man as he was fully God. He had to learn to walk and talk as every human child must. He got tired and hungry as all normal people do.

5. Jesus died for our sins. The death of Jesus was not just the wrongful death of an innocent man. Jesus could have prevented his death by keeping away from Jerusalem. Jesus had to die to bridge the gap between God and humanity, thus reconciling us through the redemption of sin.

6. Jesus was resurrected. The resurrection is not a pleasant epilogue to make the story end on a positive note. The resurrection is essential to the story. Evidence from Acts and Paul’s letters suggests that the resurrection was often preached more than the crucifixion. It is the resurrection that demonstrates the truth of all that Jesus said and did.

7. Jesus will come again. The second coming is not the invention of some religious fanatics. It is found throughout the New Testament. Jesus fulfilled some Old Testament prophecies but there are promises of restoration that have not been fulfilled. The Day of the Lord is coming when all things will be made right. That will happen when Jesus returns and the general resurrection takes place.

Is a group that you encounter orthodox or heretical? This list of essential beliefs about Jesus is a good test.

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One thought on “7 Things You Need to Know About Jesus”

  1. Hello Stephen,
    I’ve bees struggling to understand and make sense of the doctrine of inherited sins, that we inherited a sinful nature from Adam. I’ve read of two view points (more about the “judicial or legal aspect than “inherited” aspect). One, if we were Adam (in the perfect state), we would sin just like him. Second, that’s the way God set up the human race to work, just as Adam represented the whole human race, so Christ represented the whole human race too.
    So, my point is, I don’t know how to justify (from human standpoint and from God stand point) that we all inherited a sinful nature from Adam and by default would go to hell if the Lord did not die for our sins and gave us a chance. I guess maybe the first explanation somewhat makes sense, like even if we were in the perfect state like Adam, under the enticement of Satan, we would sin the same way.
    And a question also popped in my mind like Why did not God create everybody – from Adam on – with a perfect nature and then test each person individually? I feel like something wrong with this view (because through self-reflection and observation or the teachings of the Bible, I do believe that we’re all sinners), but I haven’t been able to answer this question satisfactorily yet. Do you have an answer to that?

    Thanks a lot and God bless you,
    Bao

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