Christology

Posted: September 4, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Christology is the study of Jesus Christ. Questions arise, “was Jesus really God?” “Is Jesus who He says He is?” These questions and some alike will be examined. Since earlier the topic of Scripture was closely examined and concluded that to disbelieve any parts of Scripture is to disbelieve God, one must conclude that Jesus is both God and made and who He says He is because Scripture says so.

Deity of Christ

Christ is 100% God and 100% man (John 1; Luke 2:40). Christ had a human body and a human nature, not a sinful nature like humans do today, but a physical body (Luke 24:39).

Incarnation

Christ, the God-man, humbled himself and took on human form to do His (God’s) Holy will (Philippians 2). Wayne Grudem defines this as “The act of God the Son whereby he took to himself a human nature (Grudem 1245).” The means this happened was through a miraculous conception of Mary, Jesus’ mother despite the fact that she had no sexual relations with any man (Luke 1:26-38).

Humanity of Jesus

As mentioned earlier, Jesus is 100% human (Luke 2:40; Philippians 2). Jesus never had to be disciplined and was never in trouble with His parents. His parents may have had to tell him not to do something if Jesus did not know; speaking just to His humanity here, but Jesus was always without sin (Luke 24:39).

Hypostatic Union

The Hypostatic Union may be defined as, “The union of Christ’s human and divine natures one person (Grudem 1244).” This seems to be addressed above slightly, and no human, being finite, can understand this completely. Philippians 2 seems to be the best scripture reference for this saying that Christ, who is God, took on the form of a man. It does seem best that only Jesus can relate to human sinfulness struggles and is why Jesus is now interceding on Christian’s behalf. The Father and the Holy Spirit of the Trinity do not relate to us like Jesus can, why?—simply because they were not human (Hebrews 2:17; Grudem).

“made Himself nothing”

As mentioned above, Christ humbled Himself as God and took on the form of a man (Philippians 2). He “made Himself nothing” is a direct quote from Philippians 2, verse 7 to be exact. Pastor John MacArthur noted in his notes in “The MacArthur Study Bible” that Jesus did not exchange his divinity for humanity, but put aside His divine attributes for a time while on earth (MacArthur 1776). This was to help Christians look to Jesus as an example for us to follow!

Impeccable

Some doctrines are extremely difficult for finite creatures to grasp. This is yet another one of those doctrines. Impeccable is referring to the question of, “Could Jesus sin?” The correct answer, I am convinced, according to Scripture, no, Jesus could not have sinned. There are many who would debate and disagree with me and some are very respectable authors and theologians. However, Jesus’ natures are one. They cannot be divided. Jesus’ human nature and divinity are not separated. Meaning, a human nature cannot do what the divine nature does not want to do. They are one in the same. So, to say that Jesus could have sinned implies that God could have sinned which is incorrect (James 1:13). Temptation of sin and to actually carry out the temptation are two totally different scenarios. Yes, Jesus was tempted in every way humans today are tempted (Hebrews 4:15), yet resisted the temptation. So, was Jesus able to sin? No, because He did not want to, his divine nature would cease Him to, but He did faced hard temptations.

Resurrection

Christ was resurrected (Matthew 27:50-53; 1 Peter 1:3). Jesus resurrected and His body showed scars from the piercings’ (nails and spear). Jesus was “appearing” to His disciples in ways He previously did not do, this because He layed down some of His divine attributes for a while (Philippians 2:7) and was not using them. However, Jesus is in His full body but exercising His divinity. Because Jesus resurrected, Christians now have a resurrection to look forward to, and are able to fight sin (Romans 6:12-13). If Jesus had not resurrected, Christians should be pitied (1 Corinthians 15:14-16).

Offices of Christ

The offices of Christ are Prophet, Priest, and King. First, a prophet: Jesus is prophesized in the book of Deuteronomy by the author, Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15-18; Matt 16:14). While even Peter makes a point to say that Deuteronomy is speaking of Jesus (Acts 3:22-24), Hebrews calls Jesus out by referring to Him as God instead of just a prophet (Hebrews 1:1-2).

The office of Priest of Christ is that Christ continually, daily brings us near to God (Grudem 626; Hebrews 10:19-22). Jesus is our perfect sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 10:4). As Catholic human priests do, though they are wrong, intercede and pray for us if we go to them, Jesus prays for us and intercedes for us (Romans 8:34), this should be a very humbling and joyous time knowing what Christ is doing for us still!
Christ as King is Jesus ruling the world! We are His slaves, joyful slave that is (Romans 1:1). Jesus tells us that His kingdom is not something we can imagine, as it is this world (John 18:36). Jesus “is in fact the true king of the new people of God (Grudem 629).” After Christ resurrected, God the Father gave Jesus “greater authority over the church and over the universe (Grudem 629). One day, every knee will bow and confess and worship Christ, as King of kings and Lord of lords (Philippians 2:10; Revelation 19:16).
Jesus is the One who reveals God to us (prophet), Jesus is interceding on our behalf (priest), and Jesus is sovereign over all (king).

Conclusion

Jesus is 100% God and 100% man. Jesus could not have sinned, but He felt the intense temptations from Satan (Matthew 4:11). Jesus rose from the dead and is the perfect example to us. He is now interceding on our behalf to the Father (Hebrews 7:25). One day Christians will sit at Jesus’ throne (Revelation 3:21). What Scripture teaches about Jesus is correct and these statements about Christ we examined are scriptural and must be taken as Truth.

Works Cited
BibleGateway.com: A Searchable Online Bible in over 100 Versions and 50 Languages. Web. 17 July 2011. .
Grudem, Wayne A. Systematic Theology: an Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2000. Print.
Grudem, Wayne. “Offices of Christ: Prophet, Priest, & King (Part 1).” 17 July 2011. Lecture.
MacArthur, John. “Made Himself Nothing.” The MacArthur Study Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2010. 1776. Print.

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Comments
  1. David Ketter says:

    Saying that Jesus’ natures are united (hypostatic union) is good orthodoxy.
    Saying that Jesus has one nature is monophysitism, which was condemned by the Council of Chalcedon, one of the seven great councils.
    Coming between these two things and saying that he has two natures and one will is monothelitism (“Jesus’ natures are one. They cannot be divided. Jesus’ human nature and divinity are not separated. Meaning, a human nature cannot do what the divine nature does not want to do. They are one in the same.”). Monothelitism was condemned by the Third Council of Constantinople, another of the seven great councils.

    Christian orthodoxy states that Jesus had two natures and two wills that without separation, division, alteration, or confusion.

  2. David, are you adding to what I wrote or are you correcting me?

    • David Ketter says:

      I suppose it’d be more accurate to call it a potential correction. I quoted your post in defining monothelitism. That section SEEMS to be teaching monothelitism (two natures, one will), and I was pointing out that orthodox Christian teaching has defended the teaching that Christ has two natures and two wills.

      • Good catch, David. I think you are correct, both theologically and historically. However, I am not sure that Justin was teaching a form of monothelitism, as he was specifically discussing the impeccability of Christ at the point you have quoted him. That is probably why you included a phrase on “potential” revision. It seems to me that Justin may have been intending to say that Christ could not have sinned since the human nature was united to the divine nature; we know God cannot sin, and so the person of Christ could not have sinned in any point of His being.

        ~ Bennett S.

  3. amy says:

    Hi! Just found your blog this morning through the Rebelution site and have enjoyed reading a few of your articles.

    I know this is a big topic (!), but had a question for you based off this post–In regards to whether Christ could have sinned, you said, no, because He was fully God and God cannot sin.

    Then, I’m curious–how did Christ die? I’m sure we’d both agree, that just as God can’t sin, He can’t die, either.

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