The Never-Changing Christ For An Ever-Changing Culture -- By: Daniel L. Akin
SBJT 1:1 (Spring 1997) p. 32
The Never-Changing Christ
For An Ever-Changing Culture
Daniel L. Akin is Vice President for Academic Administration and Dean of the School of Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of several articles, and served as the New Testament editor for The Believer’s Study Bible. Akin is currently preparing 1, 2, 3 John for the New American Commentary.
From the first century to the present, Christians have declared that “Jesus Christ is Lord” (1 Co 12:3; Php 2:1; Rev 19:16) and that He is “the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb 13:8). His followers have proclaimed by faith what will one day be evident to all. Every earthly and temporal power will recognize and be subject to the majesty and sovereign Lordship of Jesus. James D.G. Dunn addresses the significance of Jesus for first-century believers and the decisive nature of his impact on their lives when he asserts that
Some movements have no dominant figure in the beginning; but Christianity began with Jesus. And it was the meaning of Jesus, of what he had said and done, together with what the first Christians understood him to be and to have been, to be doing and to have done, which was the most significant factor in the new sect’s own developing self-understanding and developing sense of distinctiveness over against the other religions, sects and philosophies of the time.1
As the community of faith, the Church remains the herald of the meaning of Jesus, proclaiming who He is and what He has done. In the midst of an ever-changing world, the Church must be faithful in its witness to Jesus and His gospel. Throughout history the “bride of Christ” has affirmed its faith through simple confessions like Romans 10:9 and through more developed creedal statements like the Nicene Creed (A.D. 325) where the Church confessed its belief in
one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right h...
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