What is the official Adventist belief on the human nature of Christ?
Answer: The most representative Seventh-day Adventist statement on the humanity of Jesus Christ is found in our Fundamental Beliefs which reads in full:
"God the Eternal Son became incarnate in Jesus Christ. Through Him all things were created, the character of God revealed, the salvation of humanity is accomplished, and the world is judged.
Forever truly God, He became also truly man, Jesus the Christ. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived and experienced temptation as a human being, but perfectly exemplified the righteousness and love of God.
By His miracles He manifested God's power and was attested as God's promised Messiah. He suffered and died voluntarily on the cross for our sins and in our place, was raised from the dead, and ascended to minister in the heavenly sanctuary on our behalf. He will come again in glory for the final deliverance of His people and the restoration of all things."
This statement underlines the Adventist belief in both the full divinity and the full humanity of Jesus Christ.
Adventist share the belief in the virgin birth, but also the belief that Jesus as a human being was tempted in all things, throughout his whole life. (see Hebrews 4:15).
As God, He can save us. As a human, He is our example.
After the incarnation, He is as a person always both God and human. Thus he bore in his body the consequences of sin, sharing the same conditions of infirmity, pain, hunger, loneliness etc as we do. The difference being that Jesus never in spite of this condition sinned.
There is ongoing reflection and discussion in regard to how to describe the humanity of Jesus in more detail. The Adventist Church has not produced any more detailed doctrinal statements. We prefer to leave room for the reflection, discussion and the ongoing thinking than to bind members to accept one very detailed description of his humanity.
The main points are, as emphasised in the official statement -
- Jesus is eternal God. (John 1:1-3, 14)
- He became fully human and tempted, yet lived a perfect life and died as a sacrifice in our place. (Hebrews 4:15, Phillipians 2:5-11)
- He is, consequently, fully able to save those who come to God through Him. (Romans 6:23)
- He provides the perfect example in whose footsteps we are asked to walk. (Matthew 11:29)