3.01 God acts to heal the brokenness and alienation caused by sin and to restore the human family to community through the reconciliation effected in Jesus Christ.
3.02 God acts to restore sinful persons to a covenant relationship, the nature of which is that of a family. It is established through God's initiative and the human response of faith.
3.03 God's covenant is a relationship of grace. It appears in various forms and manifestations in the scriptures but always as one of grace. The new covenant in Jesus Christ is its ultimate and supreme expression.
3.04 Jesus Christ, the eternal Word made flesh, is always the essence of the one covenant of grace. Before Christ's coming, it was made effective by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the passover lamb, and other signs and ordinances delivered to the people of Israel. These were sufficient through the ministry of the Holy Spirit to instruct persons savingly in the knowledge of God and to lead them to believe God.
3.05 Since Christ's coming, the covenant of grace is made effective chiefly by the preaching of the word and the administration of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper. In these, together with other acts of worship and acts of love toward the neighbor, the gospel of the covenant of grace is set forth simply and yet in fullness and with spiritual power.
3.06 Children have always been included with their parents in the covenant of grace. Before Christ came, the appropriate sign and seal thereof was circumcision. Since the advent of Christ the sign and seal is baptism.
Christ the Savior
3.07 God's mighty act of reconciling love was accomplished in Jesus Christ, the divine Son who became flesh to be the means by which the sins of the world are forgiven.
3.08 Jesus Christ, being truly human and truly divine, was tempted in every respect as every person is, yet he did not sin. While fully sharing human life, Christ continued to be holy, blameless, undefiled, and thoroughly fitted to be the savior of the world, the only hope of reconciliation between God and sinful persons.
3.09 Jesus Christ willingly suffered sin and death for every person. On the third day after being crucified, Christ was raised from the dead, appeared to many disciples, afterward ascended to God, and makes intercession for all persons.
3.10 Through the Holy Spirit, people are able to acknowledge and repent of their sin, believe in Jesus Christ as Savior, and follow Christ as Lord. Believers experience Christ's presence and guidance, which helps them to overcome the powers of evil in ways consistent with God's nature and will.
3.11 God's work of reconciliation in Jesus Christ occurred at a particular time and place. Yet its powers and benefits extend to the believer in all ages from the beginning of the world. It is communicated by the Holy Spirit and through such instruments as God is pleased to employ.