Monday, September 17, 2012

Christology


Christology

            The Biblical basis for Jesus′ humanity can be illustrated in multiple locations in the scripture. When we read (John 1:14, NKJV), “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we held His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” This states that God came down in human form.  Another example of humanity of Jesus comes through his human birth.  Jesus experienced the same human hunger for food, he experienced anxiety and disappointment as seen in (Mark 14:33). He also had a human death and was buried.

            The deity of Jesus is an essential doctrine and is a central non-negotiable belief within Christianity. Also known as the “divinity of Christ,” this doctrine shows that Jesus Christ was and is God incarnate. The apostle Paul stated, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). The Christian meaning of the term “deity of Christ” is pretty clear. The Christian believes that there is a personal God, Creator, and Ruler of the universe, a God who is infinite, eternal and unchangeable. When a Christian says that Jesus is God, or that he believes in the “deity of Christ,” he means that God and Christ are one as stated, “I am My Farther are one” (John 10:30). The Biblical basis for Jesus′ deity is His pre-existence and eternality. Jesus has always existed, as specifically stated, “Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). The hypostatic union states that human nature was united with the divine nature in the one person (physical, bodily form) of Jesus Christ. The two natures are distinct, complete and unchanged; they are not mixed or confused (as having multiple personalities) so that Jesus is one person both God and man. (Elwell, 2001)

            Jesus was both God and man. Jesus had to have an intimate knowledge of what it was like to be man (or human), but He still had to maintain His deity. Because He is man, He can identify with us more intimately. He can come to our aid as our sympathetic High Priest when we reach human limits of our weaknesses. Paul speaks in (Philippians 2:6­–8), “who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and become obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. The only way this could be accomplished was that Jesus was both God and man.

            Incarnation of Jesus was required to pay for our sins. Incarnation is the Latin word for “becoming flesh.” In (Hebrews 9:22), “And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.” This is no arbitrary decree on the part of a bloodthirsty God, as have suggested. There is no greater symbol of life than blood; blood keeps us alive. Jesus shed his blood, gave his life, for our sins so that we wouldn’t have to experience spiritual death.

            Overemphasizing or denying either the deity or humanity of Christ we fail to acknowledge the He is God. That He was born sinless and that He suffered a physical death to atone for our sins. When we overemphasize His humanity, we fail to acknowledge that He is God, and sinless because of His divine nature.

            Common objections of traditional understanding of Christology is denial of the full deity of Jesus and seen in heresies like Ebionitism, which looked on Christ as a man born naturally, on whom the Holy Spirit came at his baptism, and also Docetism, which asserted that the humanity and sufferings of Christ were apparent rather than real (Elwell p.241-242). These different views all have something in common; they express man’s opinion over the Word of God, this is the fatal flaw. Responding to this type of view would be laying out the Scripture of John 1:14, Romans 8:3, Galatians 4:4, 1 Timothy 3:16, Hebrews 2:14, and 1 John 4:2–3.

            Christ’s humanity is a constant beacon of light that stirs my life and shows me that my human nature does not have to control me. That I can live a life that better serves Him by knowing that He was once flesh and He suffered the same torments of human life, and through Him all things are possible.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Elwell, Walter A, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, Second Edition.
Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001

Scofield Study System Holy Bible, (NKJV) Oxford University Press Inc.,
New York, 2002

Towns, Elmer L, Theology for Today. Manson, OH: 2008, 2002 Cengage Learning

 
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