The Doctrine of Christ

The doctrine of Christ is the cornerstone of the doctrine of salvation. It is known as such, and not as the doctrine of Jesus, because the apostles stressed in their proclamation since the beginning that Jesus is the Messiah (the Christ in Greek), as seen in the answer to which the apostle Peter answered Jesus,

And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. Matthew 16:16

Because they stressed such an emphasis is that precisely in Antioquia they were called, Christians for the first time,

And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. Acts 11:26

It was the basic doctrine of the proclamation of the Gospel established by the apostles at the beginning of the communities of faith, so much so for that in the texts of the first accounts it is known as the doctrine of the apostles.

The first time this doctrine appears in its institutional form is during the solemn feast of Sukkot, 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus, date that marks the beginning of the Jerusalem church.

It is not that previously it had not been established. Jesus spoke of himself, that He was the Christ, the Son of God, even used prophetic terms to refer to himself, as the term, son of man, a term used in the writings of the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel to refer to the work messianic of the prophets in favor of a people who did not want to hear them.

But his teaching was never directed to establish a doctrinal body new and different from that established in the Mosaic Law.

It was the apostles in their mission as witnesses of Jesus who took care to proclaim a doctrine organized according to their experiences with Jesus, and in accordance with the Scriptures. In the first accounts of the apostolic activity it was recorded that the communities of faith grew according the teachings of the apostles.

And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. Acts 2:42

This practice remained unchanged and we found it even in the time of the Apostle Paul,

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; Ephesians 2:20

The doctrine of Christ was to prove by the Scriptures that Jesus, a man approved by God, is the Messiah, who has risen from the dead, because death could not hold him back, and that today He is seated at the right hand of God-Father.

Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: …  24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.         Acts 2:22-24

Since that first public manifestation, Jesus was proclaimed in every private or public meeting as the Christ, not as the second name of Jesus, but in acceptance and establishment of the prophetic word that had been prophesied about him from an ancient time, which would be sent by God, a prophet like Moses,[1] identified as the Messiah (the Christ, in Greek), who would teach all things,[2] and establish a new covenant, not similar to that of Moses, in writing, but a covenant engraved in the hearts of those who are subject to Him.[3]

Although, Messiah, it really means, anointed, and in other texts it is used to refer to the one Jehovah God has chosen, as a king, a prophet or a priest, in the proclamation of the day of Sukkot (Pentecost), apostle Peter citing the very words of David shows that the psalmist distinguishes in his writings the Christ, and identifies him in a position together with God,

For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord (Jesus) always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Acts 2:25 (reference to Psalm 16:8)

David is an anointed one, but in none of his psalms speaks of himself but of Jesus, whom he identifies as greater than him, recognizing him by the Holly Ghost as God. In Psalm 16 David prophesies of the resurrection of Jesus.

Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: 27Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 28Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. Acts 2:26-28 (reference to the Psalm 16:8-11)

The apostle Peter explained during his first public proclamation that this Word is in fulfillment of the resurrection of Jesus,

Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 30Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 32This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. Acts 2:29-33

The conclusion of the apostle’s proclamation is even more compelling, and explains that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God the Father.

For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 35Until I make thy foes thy footstool. 36Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.       Acts 2:34-36

Thus, Jesus is the Messiah (the Christ, in Greek), has risen from the dead and is seated at the right hand of the Father, until all his enemies are placed as a footstool for his feet. With this proclamation the apostles filled Jerusalem and thus established the doctrine of Christ,

Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Acts 5:28

The doctrine of Christ is the doctrine of salvation. The apostles identified it as the cornerstone of the spiritual construction of the life of faith. Anyone who rebels and does not persevere in the doctrine of Christ does not have God or have the option of salvation.

Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 2nd. John 9

The doctrine of Christ was proclaimed by the apostles in Jerusalem,

This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Acts 4:11

The doctrine of Christ was proclaimed and established among the Hebrew communities in the diaspora,

To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, …  6Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,  1st. Peter 2:4-7

The doctrine of Christ was established and proclaimed among Gentile communities in the same way as it was among Jews,

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; Ephesians 2:20

This principle of fundament is established from the prophetic words of the psalmist David about the Messiah,

The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.    Psalm 118:22

Not having a proper Christology leads us to fall into apostasy, so it is necessary to understand the word of the beginning of the doctrine of Christ, so that with knowledge and discernment we know in whom we have believed, to keep us in the hope of salvation that we profess.

The four Gospels that we know today, universally considered as legitimate in their content, were written with the purpose of leaving the doctrine of Christ established for posterity. They have the mission that the reader knows about the work of the Messiah, and so that reading, as John says, you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and so that believing, you might have life through his name.[4]

[1] Deuteronomy 8:15

[2] John 4:25

[3] Jeremiah 31:31-33

[4] Juan 20:31