Saturday, October 08, 2011

The Thirty-Nine Articles - A Faith for Today: Articles 12 - 16: The Christian Life

Every one of these Articles dealing with the Christian life focuses on our sinfulness (Article 14 only by implication, but it is clearly meant). To some people that will make the Articles seem negative, unhelpful and lacking in encouragement. ‘We don’t want to hear about our sins but to be built up, loved and shown the greatness of God’ - so the argument goes. In fact, as we shall see, these
Articles are marvelously encouraging, they are realistic; they accept us as we are; they deal with the actual human condition; they magnify the grace and goodness of God.

A Sinless Saviour
When we understand the teaching of Article 15 the others fit into place very easily. Articles 12-14 and 16 tackle important questions and controversies to do with how human goodness and sin affect each other, but Article 15 deals with Jesus Christ’s goodness, sinlessness and the way he dealt with our sin. When we focus on Christ and learn from him, the truth about ourselves and the world makes sense.

Jesus Christ was fully human
He shared ‘our human nature’; he was not God pretending to be man, or dressed up to look like man, or acting like man. His humanity was full and true. This means that he can understand our condition, sympathise with our weaknesses, share our aspirations. He knows how we live and think and feel. And as a complete human being he was able to be our representative before God; to die in our place, to plead our cause, to be head of his body the church. To read more, click here.

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