Article 2 of Wesleys 25 Articles of Religion states, "Of the Word, or Son of God, who was made very Man. The Son, who is the Word of the Father, the very and eternal God, of one substance with the Father, took mans nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin; so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and manhood, were joined together in one person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God and very man, who truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile his Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for actual sins of men."
Evangelical Methodists believe that Jesus Christ was God manifest in human flesh. That is, God wrapped Himself in a human body, Jesus, in the womb of the Virgin Mary and was born into the human race by the power of the Holy Ghost.
We believe that Jesus Christ was both perfect man and perfect God as Paul states in Philippians 2:5-11 We believe that once that union became a reality it was an eternal union.
We believe that God became man for one purpose: to redeem man from sin and restore him to fellowship with Himself Christ did not come to give us a way of life or a pattern to live by, as the modernists declare. It is true that He did leave for us a pattern to live by and we are to walk in His steps, but Christ came to die, to give Himself as a ransom for the sins of man. As sin entered into the race, through a man, bringing with it its own judgement and penalty of death, so Christ, the perfect man, giving Himself in our stead, redeemed us from sin taking the penalty upon Himself
John states this precious truth so beautifully in John 1:29, "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world."
Christ by His death paid the debt of the guilt of sin and His blood cleanses from all sins.
So Jesus Christ who is the Word of the Father (John 1:1-3), begotten from everlasting, one with and co-equal with the Father (John 3:16-18; John 17:5) is God and of one substance with the Father. He is the Logos, the Word that became flesh is the person of Jesus (John 1:14,18). He is the very image of the invisible Godhead according to Colossians 1:15-18. All things were created by Him and through Him and for Him. He is before all things and by Him all things are held in control. He is the head of the body, the Church. He is the first born from among and out of the dead. God wills that in all things He shall be pre-eminent.
This article explains how God became man. "The Son took mans nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin of her substance, so that two whole and perfect natures, Godhead and manhood were joined together in One Person, never to be divided. Jesus is the human and Christ the Divine, making the God-man, Christ Jesus.
The article continues, "who truly suffered, was crucified, dead and buried, to reconcile His Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for the actual sins of men."
Bishop Bromley Oxnam. now retired, in his book "A Testament of Faith", denies this entire article of religion in chapter 2 of the above book. He scoffs at the virgin birth on pages 34 and 35 and says, "It is offensive to me." It was not offensive to Dr. Howard E. Kelly of John Hopkins who held seventeen degrees from the world's greatest universities in the field of genetics.
On page 41 in the same book Bishop Oxnam states that the fact that Jesus Christ died for him, making a sacrifice for his sins simply does not make sense. He says it is offensive to him.
He denies his belief in the Scriptures on page 42 by stating that he does not believe that Christ was part of a pre-determined plan of God. He says that to believe that is blasphemous.
Yet this man as a Bishop in the Methodist Church presided over ordinations, asked the question to the candidate, "Have you studied the doctrines of the Methodist church?" followed by another question, "Do you believe that these doctrines are in harmony with the Holy Scriptures? followed by, "Will you preach and maintain them?"
In an ordination service he would also ask, "Do you unfeignedly believe all the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament?" followed by the question, "Will you diligently read and expound them?" and later he would ask, "Will you be ready with all faithful diligence to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrine contrary to Gods Word?"
Yet the Bishop in his book denies belief in them. He declared that he did in his ordination vows. He asked the candidate the same questions. How dishonest, how hypocritical can one get and yet call himself a Christian?
Why did Christ die? The answer is given in the article "to reconcile His Father to us." This is supported by Scripture. Romans 5:10-11 says that we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son. Again in II Corinthians 5:18-20 we are told that God reconciled us to Himself through Christ. In Ephesians 2:16 we read that Christ reconciled us to the Father through the Cross. In Colossians 1:19-22 we are told that Christ made peace through the blood of His Cross.
He paid the debt of sin which was death, having died for all who have sinned. Since all have sinned according to Romans 3:23, He died for all. Paul so states that in I Timothy 2:6, "Christ Jesus gave Himself a ransom for all..." Christ died for you.
Some helpful Scripture references are: Luke 1:27, 31, 35; John 1:1-3,14,18, John 3:16-17; Acts 4:12; Romans 5:10-18; 1 Corinthians 15:3; II Corinthians 5:18-19; Galatians 1:4
Galatians 2:20, Galatians 4:4,5; Ephesians 5:2; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:19-22; 1 Timothy 1:15; Hebrews 2:17, Hebrews 7:27, Hebrews 9:26, Hebrews 10:12; I Peter 2:24; I John 1:1, I John 2:2,1 John 4:14, I John 5:7; Revelation 19:13.