Foundation Truth ~ Christology ~ Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~

I. The Person of Christ: Fully God and Fully Man, yet One Person

A. The Humanity of Christ

1. The Virgin Birth

Matthew 1:18-20, 23-25 before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. ... that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. ... “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). ... he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

Luke 1:35; 3:23 “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy––the Son of God.

...Jesus ...being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli,

a. The Significance of the Virgin Birth

salvation must ultimately come from the Lord (Genesis 3:15; Galatians 4:4-5)

made possible the uniting of full deity and full humanity in one person

made possible true humanity without inherited sin

2. Human Weaknesses and Limitations

a. Jesus Had a Human Body

Luke 2:7 he was born

Luke 2:40 he grew through childhood to adulthood

Luke 2:52 he increased in wisdom and stature

John 4:6 he became weary

John 19:28 he became thirsty

Matthew 4:2 he became hungry

Mathew 4:11 he became weak

Luke 23:46 he died

Luke 24:39, 42; John 20:17, 20, 27; 21:9, 13 he continued to have a human body after the resurrection

John 16:28; 17:11 ascended to heaven in human body Luke 24:39, 50-51; Acts 1:9

b. Jesus Had a Human Mind

Luke 2:52 increased in wisdom

Hebrews 5:8 learned obedience

Mark 13:23 did not know hour of his return

c. Jesus Had a Human Soul and Human Emotions

John 12:27 now is my soul troubled

John 13:21 he was troubled in spirit

Matthew 26:38 my soul is very sorrowful, even to death

Matthew 8:10 he marveled at the faith of the centurion

John 11:35 he wept with sorrow at the death of Lazarus

Hebrews 5:7 prayed with full emotion

d. People Close to Jesus Saw Him Only as a Man

Matthew 13:53-58 people in his neighborhood didn't receive him as anything but a mere man

John 7:5 even his brothers did not believe in him

3. Sinlessness

sin is not a necessary part of being human (Adam and Eve created sinless)

Luke 2:40 the favor of God was on him

Luke 4:13 Satan unable to tempt him successfully

John 8:46 which of you convicts me of sin?

John 8:12 I am the light of the world (truthfulness and moral purity)

John 8:29 always does what pleases the Father

John 15:10 I have kept my Father's commandments

John 18:38 Pilate found no crime in him

Acts 2:27; 3:14; 4:30; 7:52; 13:35 called the Holy One or the Righteous One

Romans 8:3 came in the likeness of sinful flesh

II Corinthians 5:21 he knew no sin

Hebrews 4:15 tempted as we are yet without sin

Hebrews 7:26 holy, blameless, unstained, separated from sinners, exalted

I Peter 1:9 lamb without blemish or spot

I Peter 2:22 committed no sin; no guile was found on his lips

I Peter 3:18 died -righteous for unrighteous

I John 2:1 Jesus Christ the Righteous

I John 3:5 in him there is no sin

4. Could Jesus Have Sinned? Impeccability

What the Bible Says:

Jesus never actually sinned: I Peter 2:22

Jesus was tempted with real temptations: Hebrews 4:15

God cannot be tempted with evil: James 1:13

Conclusion: in his human nature he experienced the full force of the temptations; in his divine nature he was not tempted with evil and could not sin.

5. The Significance of the Full Humanity of Jesus

For Representative Obedience: Romans 5:18-19

To Be a Substitute Sacrifice: Hebrews 2:14-17

To Be the One Mediator Between God and Men: I Timothy 2:5

To Fulfill God's Original Purpose for Man to Rule Over Creation: Hebrews 2:8-9 (Psalm 8:6); Matthew 28:18; Ephesians 1:22

To Be the Davidic King: Luke 1:31-33

To Conquer Satan: Genesis 3:15; I John 3:8

To Be Our Example and Pattern in Life: I John 2:6; II Corinthians 3:18; Romans 8:28; I Peter 2:21

To Be the Pattern for Our Redeemed Bodies: I Corinthians 15:23, 42-44, 49; Colossians 1:18

To Sympathize as High Priest: Hebrews 2:18; 4:15-16

6. Jesus Will Be a Man Forever

John 20:25-27 scars of crucifixion remained

Luke 24:39 flesh and bones

Luke 24:41-42 ate food

Acts 1:11 will return in the same way

Acts 7:56 Stephen saw the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God

Revelation 1:13-17 one like a son of man filled with great glory and power

Matthew 26:29 will drink wine again in his Father's kingdom (Revelation 9:9)

B. The Deity of Christ [see further discussion under the Trinity]

1. Direct Scriptural Claims

a. The Word 'God' (Theos) Used of Christ: John 1:1, 18; 20:28; Romans 9:5; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:8; II Peter 1:1; Isaiah 9:6

b. The Word 'Lord'; (Kyrios) Used of Christ: [Kyrios used 6814 times to translate YHWH in the LXX] Luke 1:43; 2:11, 18; Matthew 3:3; 22:44; I Corinthians 8:6; 12:3; Hebrews 1:10-12; Revelation 19:16

c. Clear Claims to Deity: John 8:57-59 (Exodus 3:14); Revelation 22:13 (Revelation 1:8); John 1:1 (Psalm 33:6);

d. The Son of Man (84x in the Gospels – only by Jesus of himself): Daniel 7:13-14; Matthew 26:64-66

2. Jesus Possessed the Attributes of Deity:

omnipotence: Matthew 8:26-27; 14:19; John 2:1-11

eternity: John 8:58; Revelation 22:13

omniscience: Mark 2:8; John 1:48; John 2:25; 6:64; 16:30; 21:17

omnipresence: Matthew 18:20; 28:20

sovereignty: Mark 2:5-7; Matthew 5:22ff; 11:25-27; John 3:36

immortality: John 2:19-22; 10:17-18; Hebrews 7:16

worthy of worship: Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 1:6; Revelation 5:12-13

3. The Kenosis theory: Did Jesus Give Up Some Divine Attributes While on Earth?

Philippians 2:5-7 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

Beginning around 1860, some theologians taught that Jesus gave up some of his divine attributes while on earth, such as omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence.

a. This was not how the verse was understood for the first 1800 years of church history – including by the native speakers of Greek.

b. The text does not say he emptied himself of some of his powers or divine attributes.

c. The text does say that he humbled himself and took the form of a servant – a change in role or status; not in nature or essence.

d. Jesus' example is to be imitated not in giving up essential attributes or abilities but rather putting the interests of others ahead of your own.

e. The rest of scripture confirms that the eternal Son of God never ceased to be fully God when he took a human nature.

4. The Significance of the Full Deity of Jesus Christ

a. Only infinite God could provide an infinite sacrifice to bear the full penalty for all sins: II Corinthians 5:21

b. Salvation is from the Lord – no creature could ever save man: Jonah 2:9

c. Only someone who was truly and fully God could be the one mediator between God and man: I Timothy 2:5

d. Only someone who was truly and fully God could reveal God most fully to us: John 14:9

C. The Incarnation: Deity and Humanity in the One Person of Christ

1. Three Inadequate Views:

a. Apollinarianism: Apollinarius, (bishop of Laodicea c. 361 A.D.) taught that the one person Christ had a human body but not a human mind or spirit; the mind and spirit of Christ were from the divine nature of the Son of God.

-It is not only our bodies but also our minds and spirits that need redemption – our substitute must be fully and truly man to save us: Hebrews 2:17

b. Nestorianism: taught that there were two separate persons in Christ; a human person and a divine person. This teaching was attributed to Nestorius (popular preacher at Antioch and bishop of Constantinople from 428 A.D.)

-Nowhere in scripture do we have any indication that the human nature of Christ was a distinct person; rather we have a single person acting in wholeness and unity – 'I' not 'we'.

c. Monophysitism (or Eutychianism): taught by Eutyches (c. 378-454 A.D. - leader of a monastery in Constantinople) Christ had only one nature – the human nature of Christ was taken up and absorbed into the divine nature creating a third, different kind of nature

-If Christ was neither truly God nor truly man he could not truly represent us as man nor secure our salvation as God

2. The Chalcedonian Definition: A.D. 451: the hypostatic union

We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood;
truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body;
consubstantial [co-essential] with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood;
in all things like unto us, without sin;
begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood;
one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably;
the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ;
as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.

Summary Statement: “remaining what he was, he became what he was not”

Thoughts for reflection and contemplation regarding the distinction of the natures:

The helpless babe in the manger (Luke 2:7) was at the same time upholding the universe by the word of his power (Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:17)

Jesus learned and grew (Luke 2:52) and he knew all things (John 16:30)

Jesus, sleeping because of exhaustion (Matthew 8:24) could rise and exercise sovereign authority over nature (Matthew 8:26-27)

The one who turned water into wine (John 2:6-11) and fed thousands with a boy's lunch (John 6:9-14) was hungry (Matthew 4:2) and thirsty (John 19:28)

Jesus went to the Father and was no longer in the world (John 16:28; 17:11) but promised his followers that he would always be present with them (Matthew 28:20)