Summary: "Who do you say that I am?" This is the most essential question Jesus asked, and for us to answer.The creed says, "Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord"
"Who do you say that I am?" -- the most essential question Jesus ever asked, and for us to answer. And not just any answer will do.
In the end, every person must deal with Jesus Christ. No one can escape him. You can avoid the question, or delay it, or postpone it, or stonewall it, or pretend you didn’t hear it. But sooner or later you must answer it. -- Ray Pritchard
The Apostle’s Creed gives us four desciptions of Jesus, that help us answer that question: Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord
"Jesus" = the Lord Saves or God to the rescue.
“You are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
He is the "hero" of the "story". It all about the mission of Jesus; the reason why he came.
"Christ" = Messiah; a title not a name; anointed one
The anointing was a sign that God had called a king, prophet, priest to their position. To call Jesus “the Christ” means that the he is the one whom God promised to send to deliver Israel and bring salvation to the world.
cp. to Neo
"his only Son" = the unique relationship that he had with God
Jn. 3:16 -- “only-begotten” means “one and only” or “absolutely unique” or “one of a kind and there can never be another of the same kind.” The term stresses the absolutely unique nature of Jesus Christ.
To call Jesus “God’s only Son” means that he shares the same essential nature as the Father
He is not “similar” to God. To call him “God’s only Son” means that he is “God the Son,” and thus worthy of the same worship, adoration, praise, and reverence that we give to God the Father.
He is the God-Man. 100% God and 100% man (not 50/50 or God appearing as a man)
"our Lord" = the one who is absoutely sovereign
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2: 9-11).
Romans 10:9 says that “if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Rome required only that taxes be paid and that everyone be required to say, “Caesar is Lord.” That’s all-just three simple words. Say “Caesar is Lord,” and then go on about your business. Affirm that Caesar was sovereign and then follow whatever religion suited you. For many people in the Empire, that was no big burden. But Christians steadfastly refused to say, “Caesar is Lord.” They simply wouldn’t say it. How could they say, “Caesar is Lord” when their faith taught them that “Jesus is Lord?” They could not and would not deny Christ. And that is why during the days of persecution, Christians were slaughtered, murdered by the thousands, crucified, burned at the stake, run through with the sword, and thrown to the wild animals. This was the great dividing line that Christians would not cross.
Chuck Colson notes that in the first century, if you stood in a public gathering and cried out, “Jesus is God!” no one would be upset. But if you shouted, “Jesus is Lord!” you would start a riot. Rome did not persecute Christians because they believed in the deity of Christ, or that Jesus was the promised Messiah, or that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead. Rome did not kill Christians because they said Jesus is the only way of salvation. Those were “religious beliefs” that did not threaten the state. But when Christians declared, “Jesus Christ is our Lord, and there is no other!” that was a direct attack on Caesar-worship, and thus punishable by death.