Jesus the God-Man

The great mystery, the great need

(semi bunny trail from the main topic) Since the Fall of Adam and Eve, God has promised a Savior to come and rid the creation of the Serpent, who, through his subtililty, was the first to create something God could never do: a lie.In reality this lie was only a perversion of the true reality. This could be properly called “ the mystery of lawlessness”. How can a perversion exist in a perfect creation? The essence of God, Who is perfect in all His ways, in all that He does, created an expression of what was in His heart. We call this the created universe.

We know that within God Himself, there is nothing that opposes Himself. Yet, He created other beings that have, within themselves the ability to either agree with Him, and continue in the reality of perfection, or deviate and pervert perfection : to go their own way. There are only two ways.

  1. Gods way. This is the way of perfection, the Highest ideal that can be realized.
  2. Not Gods way. (our own way without Him). Even if this is 1 degree shy of His way, in light of eternity, it is a million miles away from His way.

The church has always insisted that it was necessary for Him to be fully God and fully Man if He was to accomplish salvation for all of humanity and bring us back into perfect union with Him and His way.

A brief history of christology-

It was actually wrong views of Christ and His nature that prompted the early church to search out the depths in understanding just how much God and how much Man Jesus really was. You may ask why is it important to know these details? Why not just read the bible and pray? While that sounds good and noble (and it is true), we cannot stop there. It is in community that we must do theology. We are all theologians. Do you think about God, or have thoughts about Him? That makes you a theologian. Are their certain things you believe about God? That is your theology. Theology is simply “ the study of God”. When we do theology by ourselves this is a dangerous thing, because we know in part, and often the standards we hold by ourselves lead to a biased off balanced view of God. We commune with the Holy Spirit not just in our personal devotional life, but also in community. God made it this way on purpose. This is how I see what happened in the whole christological debate/development. Iron sharpening iron. We cannot just have our bible and our own custom view of it. The truth is, every good heresy comes from the bible. One of the main heresies that emerged was based on scripture. It was called Arianism, which we will discuss in a little bit.

The Duel nature as son of David and Davids Lord

Jesus made a profound statement to the Pharisees when He asked them what they thought about the Christ, and who’s Son they thought He was descendent of.

“While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “The Son of David.” He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying:

‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”’?

If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?”

Another very interesting attribution for Jesus is “the root and offspring of David”(Rev 22:16). How could He be both the “root” and “offspring”?

The Root: This speaks of His divinity. He is the one who created and sustained not only King David (king of Israel), but all of Israel. The foundation of any earthy kingdom of God in the earth is laid by God Himself. All earthy kingdoms that originate from fallen man rises and falls, but God has promised that there will never lack a man to sit on Davids throne. The one who made this promise is Christ Himself.

The offspring: Just as God made an unconditional covenant with Abraham, which signified that God was the One who would keep both sides of the conditions, and therefore it could never be broken, the promise of an everlasting Kingdom from the loins of David was also unconditional, because God the Son Himself would take the throne, and keep all the necessary requirements to carry out the righteous will of the God-head, and thus His kingdom would prosper unto eternity in the hand of the God-Man.

Why is it important to accept Him as God and man

The whole point is declaring a Christ that can accomplish salvation for all humanity. If He was not all that we are , and all that God is, this cannot be accomplished.

”No one can pay [this satisfaction] of restoring God His honor which was robbed in our sin, except God, and no one ought to pay except a man: it is necessary that a God-man should pay it”(Anselm).

“That which He has not assumed, He has not healed, but that which is united to his deity is also saved”- Gregory of Nazianzus

If Jesus assumed only part of what we are, only that part of us could be saved.

” He is God, but God in such a manner as to be the Son, not the Father” (Novation).

He was always God the Son, even before He became a Man, yet He is uncreated as much as the Father and the Spirit is.

His divinity and humanity

The virgin birth – He was not born of human origin, but was conceived by the Holy Spirit

The Logos (Word of God) – His pre-existant life before being born on earth.Before He was a Man, He existed, and always existed. He is the Eternal Word of God. He is the uncreated God. He became incarnate, which means taking on flesh.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John1:1

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.John 1:14,

For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;Colossians 2:9

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.Philippians 2:7-8

Son of King David yet Davids Lord and King : A great Paradox – “He appeared as one of the sheep, yet He remained the Shepherd.”(melito of Sardis)

He was worshipped – something only reserved for God alone.

And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,(-Luke 24:52)

Prayers are directed to Him

While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

Heresies

Docetism: Just a spirit – from the greek “to seem or to appear”. Jesus only seemed like a man, and was only a sprit beingJohn addressed this in 1 john 4:1-3. This belief was part and parcel with Gnosticism.It Came with the view of Physical reality was inherently evil. The idea of the Son of God becoming flesh was something they could not accept. God being spirit who is good, could not become flesh, which is physical, and thus bad.

Ebionism: Just a Man – (the poor ones) – A Jewish group that probably insisted on voluntary poverty, believed that jesus was Just a man upon whom the Spirit of God worked mightily. Ireneaus wrote “ how can they be saved unless it was God who worked out their salvation upon the earth? Or how shall man pass into God, unless God has first passed into man?” He also wrote”For no one can forgive sins but God alone, while the Lord forgave them…..it is clear that He was Himself the Word of God mad the Son of Man.

Arianism :just a super god-like creature – the founder Arius believed that God was only one Person , and could not share His being with another. This eternal and unbegotten God created a Son; thus making the Son as a created being. He was a creature, but not like other creatures. It was through His Son that God created all things. He is called Only- Begotten because the father alone created Him, and only created Him like Him. He taught that He was not the same substance (homoousios) but rather similar substance (heteroousios)

There was a time the Son did not exist.”…he did not exist before his generation”.

…’Not eternal or co-eternal or co-unoriginate with the Father”.

His Biblical support –

  1. Created Being -“Firstborn of all creation” col 1:15
  2. Jesus prayer to the Father, admitting there is only one God and Jesus is not He…. “may know you, the only true God” John17:3
  3. Jesus said the Father was greater than himself (john 14:28)
  4. Jesus lacking perfect omniscience: not knowing His return, thus showing he is not God (mark13:32)

Sabellianism or Modalism: God wearing 3 different hats – The Father and Son and Spirit are just names for the One God who revealed Himself in different ways (modes) under those names. One God manifesting Himself in 3 different Modes.

Apollinarianism: GOD IN A BOD – The idea that the Word became united with a human body only. He was referred to as “the flesh-bearing God”. The human nature he taught was that it consisted of only a human body but not a human soul. His soul was replaced with the divine word. In other words He was not an ordinary human being. His Christ could only bring partial salvation.

Nestoriansim:two persons in one body – From the patriarc of Constantiople. The idea that there were two different persons working together within Jesus Christ.

Monophysitism or Eutychianism: A HUMINE(Human-divine) – Named after a monk named Eutychus. Christ possessing only one nature. His belief that before the incarnation, the divine and human nature of Christ existed, but after this union, Jesus Christ only possessed one nature. This new nature was completely different then all other men, making his nature not the same as the rest of humanity. The idea was He possessed a hybrid nature, on of a divine – human nature mixture.

2 natures in one person: The Hypostatic union

In the end the Church came up with an understanding that to this day is what every true christian church holds as being orthodox (right belief). The English adjective hypostatic comes from the Greek word hupostasis. The word only appears four times in the New Testament—maybe most memorably in Hebrews 1:3, where Jesus is said to be “the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature.”(desiring god ministires) Greek hupo-, “under” + Greek stasis, “standing” = “underlying reality” or “essence”.

Hypostatic Union

  1. Fully God– He is God 100%. Not like God, or mostly God, but fully God
  2. Fully Man – 100% Man. As much of a man as you and me, yet without sin. We must remember it is not sin that defines what a human is, this is actually an aberration from what Man was designed to be. The have sin is to really be un-human.
  3. two natures-Two natures without mixture, confusion or being changed. Not a divine nature becoming a human nature, or vice-versa, nor the two infinitely different natures joining together. “This understanding is often referred to as a dyophysite (two natures) understanding of the Union while those maintaining that the person of Christ is made up of a single nature hold to what is termed monophysitism.” (-credo house ministries )
  4. One person – He has only one mind, heart, soul, spirit. He does not have a double personality, but what makes a person, He is only One. His One person has two natures.
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