Jesus is God made flesh, the only Lord and our Savior, who gave His life as a substitute to pay the penalty for sin for all those who put their faith in Him alone as their righteousness before God.
We think the Ligonier Statement on Christology does a good job of capturing what the Bible teaches about who Jesus is.
The Ligonier Statement on Christology
We confess the mystery and wonder of God made flesh and rejoice in our great salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.
With the Father and the Holy Spirit, the Son created all things, sustains all things, and makes all things new. Truly God, He became truly man, two natures in one person.
He was born of the Virgin Mary and lived among us. Crucified, dead, and buried, He rose on the third day, ascended to heaven, and will come again in glory and judgment.
For us, He kept the Law, atoned for sin, and satisfied God’s wrath. He took our filthy rags and gave us His righteous robe.
He is our Prophet, Priest, and King, building His church, interceding for us, and reigning over all things.
Jesus Christ is Lord; we praise His holy Name forever.
Affirmations and Denials
We affirm that Jesus is the incarnation in history of the eternal Son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity. He is Christ, God’s promised Messiah. We deny that Jesus Christ is a mere man or was a fictional creation of the early Christian church.
We affirm that in the unity of the Godhead the eternally begotten Son is consubstantial (homoousios), coequal, and coeternal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. We deny that the Son is merely like God (homoiousios) or that He was simply adopted by the Father as His Son. We deny the eternal subordination of the Son to the Father in the ontological Trinity.
We affirm, with the Nicene and Chalcedonian Creeds, that Jesus Christ is both truly God and truly man, two natures united in one person forever. We deny that the Son was created. We deny that there was ever a time when the Son was not divine. We deny that the human body and soul of Jesus Christ existed prior to the incarnation of the Son in history.
We affirm the hypostatic union, that the two natures of Jesus Christ are united in His one person without mixture, confusion, division, or separation. We deny that to distinguish between the two natures is to separate them.
We affirm that in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, His divine and human natures retain their own attributes. We affirm that the attributes of both natures belong to the one person Jesus Christ. We deny that the human nature of Jesus Christ has divine attributes or can contain the divine nature. We deny that the divine nature communicates divine attributes to the human nature. We deny that the Son laid aside or gave up any of His divine attributes in the incarnation.
We affirm that Jesus Christ is the visible image of God, that He is the standard of true humanity, and that in our redemption we will be ultimately conformed to His image. We deny that Jesus Christ was less than truly human, that He merely appeared to be human, or that He lacked a reasonable human soul. We deny that in the hypostatic union the Son assumed a human person rather than a human nature.
We affirm that as truly man, Jesus Christ possessed in His state of humiliation all the natural limitations and common infirmities of human nature. We affirm that He was made like us in all respects, yet He was without sin. We deny that Jesus Christ sinned. We deny that Jesus Christ did not truly experience suffering, temptation, or hardship. We deny that sin is inherent to true humanity or that the sinlessness of Jesus Christ is incompatible with His being truly human.
We affirm that the historical Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, was miraculously conceived, and was born of the Virgin Mary. We affirm with the Chalcedonian Creed that she is rightly called mother of God (theotokos) in that the child she bore is the incarnate Son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity. We deny that Jesus Christ received His divine nature from Mary or that His sinlessness was derived from her.
We affirm that Jesus Christ is the last Adam who succeeded in His appointed task at every point where the first Adam failed, and that Jesus Christ is the head of His people, the body of Christ. We deny that Jesus Christ assumed a fallen human nature or inherited original sin.
We affirm the active and passive obedience of Jesus Christ, that in His perfect life He completely fulfilled the righteous demands of the law on our behalf, and that He bore the penalty of our sin by His death on the cross. We deny that Jesus Christ at any point failed to obey or fulfill the law of God. We deny that He abolished the moral law.
We affirm that on the cross Jesus Christ offered Himself as a penal substitutionary atonement for the sins of His people, propitiating the wrath of God and satisfying the justice of God, and was victorious over sin, death, and Satan. We deny that the death of Jesus Christ was a payment of ransom to Satan. We deny that the death of Jesus Christ was merely an example, merely a victory over Satan, or merely a display of God’s moral government.
We affirm the doctrine of double imputation, that our sin is imputed to Jesus Christ and His righteousness is imputed to us by faith. We deny that sin is overlooked without judgment. We deny that the active obedience of Jesus Christ is not imputed to us.
We affirm that on the third day Jesus Christ rose from the dead and that He was seen in the flesh by many. We deny that Jesus Christ merely seemed to die, or that only His spirit survived, or that His resurrection took place merely in the hearts of His followers.
We affirm that in His state of exaltation Jesus Christ is the firstfruits of the resurrection, that He has conquered both sin and death, and that in union with Him we too will be resurrected. We deny that the glorified resurrected body of Jesus Christ was a wholly different body from the one that was laid in the garden tomb. We deny that our resurrection is merely a resurrection of our spirits apart from our bodies.
We affirm that Jesus Christ ascended to His heavenly throne at the right hand of God the Father, that He is presently reigning as King, and that He will return visibly in power and glory. We deny that Jesus Christ was mistaken about the timing of His return.
We affirm that Jesus Christ poured out His Spirit on the day of Pentecost and that in His present session He is reigning over all things, interceding for His people, and building His church, of which He is the only head. We deny that Jesus Christ appointed the bishop of Rome as His vicar, or that any person other than Jesus Christ can be the church’s head.
We affirm that Jesus Christ will come again in glory to judge all people and will finally vanquish all His enemies, destroy death, and usher in the new heaven and the new earth in which He will reign in righteousness. We deny that the final return of Jesus Christ took place in AD 70 and that His coming and its attendant events are to be viewed as symbolic.
We affirm that those who believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be welcomed into His eternal kingdom, but those who do not believe in Him will suffer eternal conscious punishment in hell. We deny that every person will be saved. We deny that those who die without faith in Jesus Christ will be annihilated.
We affirm that all who have been chosen in Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world and who are united to Him through faith enjoy communion with Him and with one another. We affirm that in Jesus Christ we enjoy every spiritual blessing, including justification, adoption, sanctification, and glorification. We deny that Jesus Christ and His saving work can be separated. We deny that we are able to partake of the saving work of Jesus Christ apart from Jesus Christ Himself. We deny that we can be united to Jesus Christ and not be united to His body, the church.
We affirm the doctrine of justification by faith alone, that God declares us righteous by an act of His grace alone through our faith alone in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone, apart from our own personal merit or works. We affirm that to deny the doctrine of justification by faith alone is to deny the gospel. We deny that we are justified on the basis of any infusion of grace into us. We deny that we are justified only once we have become inherently righteous. We deny that this justification is now or ever will be based on our faithfulness.
We affirm the doctrine of sanctification, that God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, based on the work of Jesus Christ, delivers us from the reigning power of sin, sets us apart, and makes us holy by conforming us more and more to the image of His Son. We affirm that sanctification is a work of God’s grace and is inseparably joined with justification, although it is different from justification. We affirm that in this divine work of sanctification we are not merely passive, but we are responsible to apply ourselves to the appointed means of grace in our ongoing endeavor to die to sin and live in obedience to the Lord. We deny that a person is justified without immediately bearing the fruit of union with Jesus Christ in sanctification. We deny that our good works, while acceptable to God in Jesus Christ, merit justification. We deny that in this life our struggle with indwelling sin will cease, even though sin has no dominion over us.
We affirm that Jesus Christ is the sole mediator between God and His people. We affirm the mediatorial role of Jesus Christ as Prophet, Priest, and King in both His state of humiliation and His state of exaltation. We affirm that He was anointed by the Holy Spirit in order to execute this mediatorial office to which He was called by the Father. We deny that God has had or will have any other incarnations or that there are or will be any mediators of redemption other than the Lord Jesus Christ. We deny salvation apart from Jesus Christ alone.
We affirm that as the supreme Prophet of God, Jesus Christ was both the subject and object of prophecy. We affirm that Jesus Christ revealed and proclaimed the will of God, prophesied future events, and is in Himself the fulfillment of God’s promises. We deny that Jesus Christ ever uttered a false prophecy or false word, or that He failed or will fail to fulfill all prophecies regarding Himself.
We affirm that Jesus Christ is our Great High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, having made the perfect sacrifice of Himself on our behalf and continuing to intercede for us before the Father. We affirm that Jesus Christ is both the subject and object of the supreme atoning sacrifice. We deny that Jesus Christ, being from the tribe of Judah and not from the tribe of Levi, is disqualified from serving as our priest. We deny that He continually offers Himself as a sacrifice in the Mass as victim and priest, even in an unbloody manner. We deny that He became a priest only in heaven and was not a priest on earth.
We affirm that as King, Jesus Christ reigns supremely over all earthly and supernatural powers now and forever. We deny that the kingdom of Jesus Christ is merely a political kingdom of this world. We deny that earthly rulers are not accountable to Him.
We affirm that when Jesus Christ has conquered all His enemies, He will hand over His kingdom to the Father. We affirm that in the new heaven and the new earth, God will be with His people, and that believers will see Jesus Christ face-to-face, will be made like Him, and will enjoy Him forever. We deny that there is any other hope for humanity or any name or way in which salvation may be found except in Jesus Christ alone.