St. Mary's Anglican Catholic Church

Diocese of the Midwest

Catechist. Rehearse the Articles of thy Belief.

Answer. I believe in… Jesus Christ….

In talking about God as Father & Creator we distinguish Christianity from the various Eastern religions that identify God with the cosmos or some part of it. The Person of Jesus Christ distinguishes our religion from that of Jews (modern) and Muslims. It is significant that the second and longest section of both the Apostles’ and the Nicene Creeds is devoted to Jesus Christ. This is no surprise, because for the Christian, this is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.(St John 6:29)

In ancient times, a name was more than just a label chosen for aesthetic or sentimental reasons. A name said something about a person’s character or destiny. It was also the prerogative of the father to bestow the name of his son & heir. When the Angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary he declared to her: Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and 
and shalt call his name JESUS. (St Luke 1:31) The Angel also appeared to Mary’s espoused husband Joseph of Nazareth with the same message regarding the child she had conceived: she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (St Matthew 1:21) God the Father, not Joseph, chose the Child’s Name before the foundation of the world. As Gabriel’s words to Joseph indicate, the name Jesus means “savior” or “God saves.” It is the NT Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua/Jeshua, the same name given to the successor of Moses who led the children of Israel into the Promised Land. But Jesus Christ is a savior of a different order. This Jesus saves us from the guilt & punishment for our sins, making peace & reconciliation between God & man. (Colossians 1:14; 2 Corinthians 5:18) He saves us from the dominion of sin, Satan, and death; and at the Last Day He will bestow eternal life & happiness upon those who put their faith & trust in Him. (Titus 2:14; Romans 6:22-23; Hebrews 5:9) 

Jesus is also called Christ. This is not a surname, but rather a title or office. Christ is the anglicized version of the Greek Christos, which is the word used for the Hebrew word Messiah, both of which mean “anointed one” In the Old Testament, prophets, priests, and kings all received anointing with oil, symbolic of the Holy Ghost. Under the OT these three offices were never held by a single person; but Jesus Christ is our Prophet, Priest, and King all in One. At the beginning of His public ministry, the Holy Ghost was seen to descend upon Jesus at His Baptism in the River Jordan (St Matthew 3:16); and God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power. (Acts 10:38) This was in fulfillment of the words of Isaiah: The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound….(Isaiah 61:1; St Matthew 11:5; St Luke 4:16-21)Christ is our Prophet in that He reveals God and His will to us, particularly with regard to our salvation through Him; for He is the Word of God Incarnate. (St John 1:1-18; 15:15; St Matthew 7:28-29; 24:11; St Mark 6:22; 13:23; St Luke 4:15-22, 32; 19:43-44; 21:14; Revelation 22:12) He is our Priest in that when we were separated from God because of sin, Christ made atonement for our sins and continues as our Intercessor in heaven.(Acts 3:26; Romans 5:11; Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 2:17; 4:15; 7:25-27; 9:26)Christ is our King in that He guides & protects us; and at the Last Day He will return to destroy His enemies and reward His servants. (Isaiah 9:7; St Matthew 25:30; 28:18-20; St Luke 10:18-19; St John 12:31; 1 Corinthians 15:25; Ephesians 6:8; Hebrews 1:8; 2:14; 10:13; 1 St John 3:8; Revelation 20:11-15) It is notable that the gifts of the three wise men to the Christ Child were gold, frankincense, and myrrh, which have traditionally been interpreted as representing Christ’s royal, priestly, and prophetic offices. 
How are we to respond to this Anointed Savior? We are to hear and receive the words of this infallible Prophet. (Deuteronomy 18:15; St Luke 10:16; Acts 3:22-23; 7:37; Hebrews 2:1-3; 12:25) We are to embrace the self-oblation of our Great High Priest through faith & repentance. (Hebrews 4:14; 9:14; 10:21-25) And we must submit ourselves to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords as faithful & obedient servants. (Psalm 2:9; 10:16; 93:1-2,; St Luke 1:74-75; Revelation 2:27; 19:11-16) Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)