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Our Lord Jesus Christ

Our Lord Jesus Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Christology Revealed

(An Exploratory of the Humanity and Divinity of Jesus Christ as Illuminated by the Bible)

Introduction

Imagine if you will “As you are going home from work, two well-dressed gentlemen accost you, handing you some literature explaining what they believe.  You glance over it and are drawn to this sentence: “Jesus was a man and as such could not also be God.”  Seeing the puzzled look on your face, one of the men asks you what you think of this claim (Ted Rivera).”

In this essay, I will prove the monotheism of Jesus as it relates to the other entities of the Holy Trinity. I will explain Christ’s humanity and deity attributes and the meaning of the God and Man concept (Hypostatic Union). I then will explore the dangers of denying either of these aspects, explore some contradictions to Christology, and conclude with the impact of Christ’s humanity on my theological and secular life.

 

The Humanity of Jesus

The first account of the humanity of Jesus would be his birth. Although his conception was of divine origin he was born from an ordinary woman (Mt 1:25, Luke 1:31). Jesus greatest expression of his humanity is through his actions and teachings however. The best illustration of his humanity is when Jesus returns to Bethany after the citizens of the town tried to stone him for being a heretic. Upon hearing the news that Lazarus, his dear friend has died, He wept with Martha, Lazarus sister, expressing compassion, grief and love.  Jesus, then resurrected Lazarus from the dead (although the miracle of the resurrection of Lazarus illustrates his divinity) it also shows mercy and kindness for his friend and the family of Lazarus (John 11:1-40). Jesus also had to eat, and sleep, was tempted (Mt 4:12-17), and felt emotions as expressed by his outrage at the temple being desecrated as a market place (Mt 21:12-13). A final illustration of Jesus’s humanity is the fact Jesus experienced pain, suffering and death at the time of his trial and crucifixion (John 19: 1-34, Mark 15:1-40, Mt.11:27-55). It was necessary for Jesus to be born of flesh and thus human and an expression of humanity to fulfill the prophecies foretold in the OT and to serve as sufficient living sacrifice to replace the sacraments and earthly sacrifices of the Mosaic Covenant. The Laws of the Covenant (Exodus 20) and the deeds of man because of the nature of sin fell short and cannot grant salvation. Man became to corrupt and society was destroying itself. Thus God must be born and die in the flesh to restore a balance with God and man.

 

 

 

The Divinity of Christ

The divinity of Christ is illustrated by his omnipotence (Heb.1:3, 12, John 1:1-5, 1:10-14), omniscience (John 2:24-25), and omnipresence (Rev. 1:18) (Towns 2008,2002, 159) which is the three traits associated most commonly with the father Jehovah. Christ himself called himself The Son of God and uses the term “I AM” numerous times in the Bible ( especially in the Gospel of John) to authenticate his divinity and oneness with the father (John 6:35, 8:12,10:9,10:11,11:25,14:6,15, 18:5-8) (Towns 2008,2002). The use of Jehovah, which is a means to establish a covenant relationship with man, Scotchmen suggests, “The identification of our Lord Jesus Christ with the Lord (Father) of the Old Testament results in an explicit doctrine of his (Christ’s) deity. (Cited by Towns 2008, 2002,160.*) Particularly in the Gospel of John, Jesus reveals Himself as the “I AM” of the OT. (Towns 2008, 2002)

““Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.)  When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.  Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they said. Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go (THE HOLY BIBLE 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 Emphasis added).” The greatest account of Christ’s divinity is his resurrection and reappearance as man followed by his Accession to Heaven. (Luke 24).

The Hypostatic Union

The Hypostatic Union states that Jesus Christ is a union of two natures and an aspect of the monotheistic Jehovah. It concerns two aspects (dyo physes) and establishes the doctrine that The Son of God is immutable, incarnate, inseparable, and united for eternity with the God. However, his humanity and divinity are a mixed element composed of the human and the divine. This rules out any confusion of the Jesus of faith and history, and guarantees the doctrine of Logos, the Son of Man (John 1:1, 14; 8:58).   The complexity of the Savior’s personality is reinforced by this doctrine. “While there is a continuity of identity, there is this difference. It is no longer the divine nature alone that is expressed in his person. The human nature, not an impersonal appendage has its personal subsistence in the Logos. The incarnate Christ is theanthropos, the God-Man.”  This doctrine thus disproves all forms of Christological doctrines and false teachings proofing Jesus is perfectly and wholly God and Man. The Hypostatic Union was officially decreed in 451 A.D. by The Council of Chalcedon and remains the Orthodox Christological doctrine today.  It set forth to establish unification and to overturn heretic concerns in regards to the Trinity and the nature of Christ it has however been questioned over the years (Elwell 184,2001). Some of the common objections to this doctrine include that man was composed of parts an animal soul (instinct), rational soul and intellect as well as a body. In Christ, this was displaced by the divine soul (Logos).  Arius denied Christ a human soul and denied any connection with the Godhead claiming the word is made out of nothing before time. Deism divides the human and the divine into two distinct entities and tritheism three distinct personas (Elwell 241-242, 2001). The overemphasis on either the divine or the human aspect of Christ would lead to either a critical view of a judgmental impersonal God incapable of our salvation or down play the need for his resurrection and the need for the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Messiah, the replacement of the sacrificial lamb and the Mosaic Covenant, the teachings of humanity , love kindness, compassion and most importantly our judgment for our sins (and our forefathers) and the importance of grace and sanctification.

The impact of Christ Humanity on my life

Jesus has affected my life through his teaching and parables, through becoming the Living Word and by becoming my divine counselor, comforter and redeemer As the Alpha and Omega in Hypostatic Union he is the source of all power, wisdom, inspiration and present in all creation, time and space in perfect union with Jehovah and the Spirit.  Christ has softened my heart, taught me the true concept of love, compassion forgiveness, mercy, to not stress over money, not to worry and not to fear. He is my Prophet, Priest King and Redeemer. With Jehovah-Elohim-Adonai, all things are possible if I ask seek pray and forgive those I trespass against and sincerely seek his guidance and forgiveness with a humble and loving spirit. As I continue to love others and to teach others to love, to bring others to know his glory and to speak out against sin and corruption in a loving manner he will strengthen me. However, if I fail to try to live as he did and fail to live up to the Ten Commandments or become prideful I shall be punished as a father punishes a child.

An example of how Jesus’ humanity has been working in my life is that since 2002 I have been on disable and pursuing an education to better myself. This disability is a manifestation of epilepsy in the temporal lobe and was misdiagnosed as Bipolar Disorder. I have suffered severe depression battled with chemical dependency and felt empty inside for many years. I sought out philosophy religion, money or the ways of the world to ease the pain.  It was not until I rededicated my life to Christ after restudying the Word from a more open-minded perspective and attending church that the Spirit reentered my life. Over the last decade, I have become commissioned and devoted to serving God, Christ and the Spirit first and seeking The Bible as the primary and authoritative source of wisdom. Slowly dying to self and fighting of the temptation of sin( with prayer and the word) and the ways of the world I decided to transfer my college credits to Liberty University and pursue a degree in Religion hoping to gain further enlightenment into theology and to enter in to a ministry vocation.

One of the best illustrations of how to live up to the examples of Jesus is The Prayer of Saint Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,

grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;

to be understood, as to understand;

to be loved, as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive.

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Amen.

All in all Jesus has Christ has given me a new life and made me the man I am today.

In God, Christ and The Holy Spirit.

Trenton Rindoks

Bibliography

Elwell, Walter A. “Evangelical Dictionary of Theology 2nd Edition.” In Evangelical Dictionary of Theology 2nd Edition, by Walter A. Baker, 218-219, 583-584. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 184,2001.

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Bible Gateway. 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%2018:5-8&version=NIV (accessed June 9, 2013).

Towns, Elmer L. “Theology for Today.” In Theology for Today, by Elmer L. Towns, 159. Mason: Cengage Learning, 2008,2002.

 

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