"I believe in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord"
In the previous article we professed faith in one God. Here we confess Jesus to be Lord. What's the difference between God and Lord? Absolutely none! We believe that God Himself became a man. This man is Jesus.
This introduces us to two central concepts of the Christian Faith: 1) the trinity, and 2) the incarnation. The trinity refers to the teaching that while there is only one God as we have previously stated, He exists in an eternal relationship within Himself of 3 persons in one God. These 3 persons are known as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Virtually everything that Christians believe comes back to this central tenet of our faith.
God is eternal and God is love. Love needs an object to love and desires to be loved in return. From eternity past, before God created anything, this love relationship existed in the Godhead Himself. God's revelation of this truth has been progressive. He first revealed Himself as one God. Then, in the appointed time, He came to us in the person of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. As our Lord was completing His mission on earth, He introduced us to the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit, and promised to send Him to guide the Church into all truth.
The incarnation refers to the belief that God became flesh as mentioned above. Jesus is truly and fully God as is made more evident from the Church's more complete statement of faith: the Nicene Creed. There we are taught that Jesus is "God from God, Light from Light, true God of true God, begotten, not made, of one being with the Father."
In becoming man, Jesus showed us the way back to God, and He Himself was the way back to God. Since we had become separated from God by sin, we were in need of someone capable of reconciling us back to God. Only God Himself could do this as we were lost and bound in sin. Our Lord Jesus Christ, by giving Himself in pure sacrifice became the means of our salvation. Through His death, resurrection, and ascension, He has made a way for us to be forgiven of our sins and restored to right relationship with God.
The key to the transaction is faith. Jesus promised that if we believe in Him we would not die, but have eternal life. However, if we remain in our unbelief, then there is no other hope for us. As Jesus also said, "He who does not believe is condemned already," (Jn. 3:18).
To believe is more than assenting to theological facts. It is to allow Christ to reshape our lives to be fashioned into His image. This is true salvation; to regain the image of God lost through sin. This is to know God and be known by God. This is to love God and be loved by God. This is the answer to the questions that continually plague us. This is the only solution that truly satisfies.
Today there are many who profess to believe in God. There are even many who say they believe in Jesus. But there are fewer who truly allow Jesus to do His transforming work in their lives. To say, "I believe in Jesus," in the Creed is to assent to these truths and commit to these actions.