The theme of the upcoming World Council of Churches’ assembly, “Jesus Christ Frees and Unites,” should call all Christians to examine again the person and work of Jesus Christ as found in the Scriptures.
Three questions arise from this theme:
Who is Jesus Christ? The question echoes and reechoes throughout the New Testament, and is still the central question facing men today. The Christian faith is centered in the person of Jesus Christ. Who is this Jesus? We must guard against remaking Jesus to fit our own ideas. Too often men have attempted to remold Jesus and the Scriptures to make them conform to the concepts and presuppositions of contemporary secular thought. This can never be done, however, without undermining the Christian faith. There is only one Jesus—the historical Jesus of the Scriptures. In them we learn the good news of the Gospel, that God—the infinite, personal, creator of the universe—has invaded this planet in the person of Jesus Christ. Supernaturally born in a minor province of the Roman Empire, this Jesus lived a sinless life and through his actions demonstrated God’s love for all men. He was put to death on a Roman cross, but because of his bodily resurrection, believing men need no longer fear the powers of sin and death and hell.
What does it mean to say that Jesus Christ frees? We are both freed from something and to something. The Bible declares that man has rebelled against his creator and has become enslaved by sin. The effects of this rebellion can be seen everywhere, from the brokenness of human lives to the corruption of human society. Ultimately, all human problems—both individual and social—spring from man’s rejection of God’s plan for humanity, and man’s attempt to find ...1
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