Jesus Christ was both God and man, a perfect union of humanity and deity. At certain times in the history of the church, some have tried to emphasize one of His natures at the expense of the other. In the fifth century, the Council of Chalcedon affirmed that Jesus Christ was “truly God and truly Man…recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division.” The significance of Christ’s dual nature for us is that, as Man, He can identify with us in every situation (see Hebrews 4: 15-16). And as God, when we accept Him as our personal Lord and Savior, we are accepting the living Lord of the heavens and the earth to lead our daily lives. (See also Hebrews 4:14; John 20:26-28.)
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity, the Spirit of God who dwells in the hearts of His people and who is the daily Guide of their lives. The Holy Spirit bears witness to Christ. He is the One who leads us to accept Christ as our Savior (I Corinthians 12:3). He brings us comfort and assurance of our salvation. And the fruit of the Spirit in the life of the Christian is His work. (See Galatians 5:22-23).
Although the Old Testament presents to us in somewhat of a shadow the Person and work of the Holy Spirit, it was not until the work of Christ was completed that the Holy Spirit was sent upon the Church. Jesus had promised that when His work was finished, He would send the Holy Spirit. (See John 16:7-13).
The doctrine of the Trinity means that there is one God with three eternal distinctions in His nature. These distinctions or properties are eternal, so that the Father alone is Father, the Son alone is Son, and the Spirit alone is Spirit. And though the Bible emphasizes that God is One (Deuteronomy 6:4), the New Testament speaks of Father, Son and Holy Spirit as though each were God (Matthew 28:18-20).
Salvation by Grace, Through Faith
Grace means “undeserved favor.” Which means salvation is something we do not deserve. The reason for that is, even though we were created in God’s image, that image was marred through sin (see Romans 3:23).
Someone had to pay for man’s sin. Jesus Christ is that Redeemer, whom the Father sent to purchase our salvation. Salvation is completely a work of God’s grace and kindness. It is not dependent in any way upon our goodness or human effort: Ephesians 2:8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”
The Book of Order of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church speaks of two aspects of the church. There is…
The Visible Church
This is made up of local congregations across the world who profess faith in Jesus Christ.
The Invisible Church
This is the church catholic (or universal), which is composed of every believer in every age, including the church in heaven. In short, this church is composed of true believers.
The Return of Christ
The Bible teaches that Christ will return to Earth a second time, visibly, bodily and personally, to receive His own unto Himself. 2 Timothy 2:19: “The Lord knows those who are His.” So that Jesus comes at this time to judge the world. Which means:
- Those who have received Christ will live forever with Him in heaven.
- Those who have rejected Christ will be forever condemned.
For more information on what we believe, click on the link to our denomination, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (www.epc.org).