Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. 1 John 5:1 (NIV)
The mark of a genuine Christian is not a general faith in God, but a specific faith in Jesus. Many people think a general faith in God makes you a Christian; it doesn’t. Jesus is “the Christ.” This is what Christians confess, but what does it mean?
Christ means “anointed one.” In the Old Testament, God anointed people for various tasks that reflected His work in the world: (1) Revealing himself, (2) Redeeming sinners, and (3) Reigning over His people. Prophets were anointed to speak the Word of God. Priests were anointed to offer sacrifices to God. Kings were anointed to rule the people of God.
The prophets, priests, and kings pointed forward to one person: the Anointed One. The Old Testament breathes with anticipation of the coming Messiah: the Christ in whom God would make Himself fully known; the Christ through whom God would redeem sinners; the Christ by whom God would bring in His kingdom and deliver His people from their enemies.
1. He is the Word by which God has made Himself known. Jesus said that if you saw Him, you also saw the Father (John 14:9). Who else could ever say that?
2. He is the priest who offers Himself as the sacrifice for our sins. Jesus said that He had come to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10) and to give His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).
3. He is the king who reigns over all. Jesus said that we would one day see Him coming on the clouds with all his holy angels (Mat. 24:30-31). He’s coming again in peace and glory.
Is your faith general or specific?