JESUS is a Body of Doctrine

By: Deji Yesufu

Have you ever wondered why Jesus Christ is referred to as the “Word” of God? John introduces the gospel he wrote this way: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…” (John 1:1). The “Word” in this text is translated from the Greek “Logos”. Theologians go as far as positing that in Genesis 1, when “God said…”, the spoken word that led to the creation of the universe was the logos Himself – Jesus Christ. So that it is safe to conclude with Paul that “by (Jesus) all things were created, both in the heavens and the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things have been created through him and for him” (Colossians 1:16). Bringing us to the established Christian fact that Jesus Christ, God’s spoken word, the Logos, created the world. Now, and by extension, Jesus Christ is not just the word of God, our Lord is a body of doctrine. It is words that define the doctrines that men believe and certain words must define the eternal Son of God. Anything short of those words will lead inevitably to another Jesus and to another gospel.

In these days of inclusivity, the tendency is for men to seek general grounds for agreement in matters of religion. The world is becoming increasingly associating; countries are breaking the walls of political barriers to find cooperation with other countries for the sake of support and mutual understanding. These tendencies are also spilling into religion, with many religions seeking to find common grounds with other religions. While these may be good on the surface, undefined ecumenism has a way of eating at the heart of true religion. So, on the mission field, when you approach a Muslim or a Mormon, for example, and you introduce yourself to them as a Christian evangelist, there is usually a quick retort explaining that we believe in the same Jesus. The Muslim, for example, will say they believe that Jesus was born of the virgin Mary; that Christ is the Messiah; and that Jesus worked many miracles. When you attempt to define further who this Jesus they are talking about is; when you show them that the biblical Jesus is the Son of God. That he was crucified, he died and rose again after three days, you begin to hear some objections. Islam is ready to define Jesus by a set of doctrines but no further than those. But a body of doctrines must define the person of Jesus Christ, or else what we are dealing with is not the Jesus of the Bible but another Jesus. To refute one of the first heresies that beleaguered the Church, the apostolic fathers formulated what has now come to be known as the Apostles Creed. This is what the creed says about Jesus:

I believe in Jesus Christ, (God’s) only Son, our Lord,
      who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
      and born of the virgin Mary.
      He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
      was crucified, died, and was buried;
      he descended to hell.
      The third day he rose again from the dead.
      He ascended to heaven
      and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
      From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

Every line of this creed defines who Jesus is to us. Anything short of these defined body of doctrine, is not the Jesus of the Bible. Two hundred years after this creed were formulated, the Nicene Creed was brought forth also. In this creed, the Nicene fathers stated clearly that Jesus Christ was God – that he was not subordinated to God the Father; but rather had taken up the role of coming to the world in human flesh to die and obtain eternal justification for sinful sinners. The Nicene Creed was formulated so as to combat the Arian heresy that sought to redefine the person of Christ. The fathers knew enough to clearly define Jesus by a body of doctrine. So that anything short of those doctrines, we are not dealing with the man Jesus but another Jesus.

This point is relevant to be made because every age comes with a new definition of who Jesus is. Those of us who live in Nigeria would have come across the capitalized lettered Jesus in red. It is all over the place. People use it as their display picture on social media and everywhere. When you ask them who this Jesus is, they are quick to reply that this Jesus is their deliverer; their healer; the one who blesses all of their endeavors; their Protector; the love of their life; etc. There is a Nigerian gospel musician who has made a name for himself by carrying out all-night singing sessions, claiming to be worshipping this red lettered Jesus. You will have no problem with these individuals as long as you accept their Jesus as they suggest him to be. Any further query of this subject will land one in uncomfortable grounds. You quickly discover that this Jesus they speak very sumptuously about is not a Jesus that justifies sinners. He is not a Jesus that is concerned with daily sanctification of the Christian. Even if this Jesus is agreed to be a sanctifier, we are quickly reminded that this Jesus NEVER uses suffering as a means of sanctifying the saint. The modern Jesus is a Jesus of breakthrough; of prosperity; of lifting, success and deliverance. This Jesus is interested only in victories; he is not a loser. When you point out the fact that the biblical Jesus was a carpenter who is still in the business of carving out crosses for the saints and laying them on us, calling us to bear them faithfully through life – these modern Christians “reject it in Jesus name”.

My point in this essay is simple: except your Jesus is defined clearly by the words of the Bible and by the doctrines that the church fathers have known Jesus to be all through the 2,000 year history of the Church, the Jesus you may be calling on may not be the Jesus of the Bible. Jesus Christ is defined by a body of doctrine. There are clear-cut statements that tell us who Jesus is. Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus is fully God and fully man. Jesus is able to save a sinner to the uttermost. Jesus will soon return to judge the living and the dead. Etc. Except your Jesus is defined by a body of doctrines as taught in the Bible, the Jesus you are following is another Jesus.

Posted by Deji Yesufu


  1. Jonathan Atiang March 7, 2023 at 12:44 pm

    Wonderful article sir. Yesterday I was meditating on Jesus enquiry of his disciples, when he asked “who do people say I am?” which they were very quick yo respond to, but when he asked them finally, “who do you say I am?” The fell silent,but God graciously revealed Jesus to them through Peter. Whar struck me was that in Mark’s account, Jesus didn’t explain anything plainly about his purpose and mission until he got this out of the way, namely, “who do you say I am”.


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