Doctrine: The Person of Christ

Posted: January 10, 2009 in Theology
Tags: , , ,
The Doctrine of Christ
The Person of Christ – Fully God and fully man
Greg Brandenburg
Grace Community Church
Christmas Carols:
Long lay the world, in sin and error pining – O Holy Night
Rejoice, Rejoice, Immanuel has come to you O Israel – O Come, O Come Immanuel
Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled – Hark the Herald Angels Sing

The Person of Christ – Fully God and fully man

A. Humanity
1. Virgin Birth
Conceived in the womb of Mary through the power of the Holy Spirit with no human biological father.
Mt. 1:18  This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. (Lk.1:34-35; 3:23)

Why a virgin birth?
a. this can only be from God
b. the only way to unite humanity and deity
c. Avoids inherited sin

2. How human was He?
a. Human body
born like babies are born
he experienced being tired, hungry, thirsty, all the stuff that comes with our bio presence
He came back to life physically and although perfected it was still a physical body – Lk.24:39

b. human mind
Luke 2:52 – he increased in wisdom
Heb.5:8 – he learned obedience

c. had human emotions

He was not 50/50 – He was 100/100 God and man
Docetism – heresy that Jesus was not a man
1 John 4:2-3 – This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,  3  but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
Why it is important to understand Jesus as fully man:
Representative obedience – As in Adam all sinned, by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous – Rom.5:18-19
Substitute sacrifice – Heb.2:16-17

3. Sinless
Heb.4:15 – For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin.
1 Pet.3:19 a lamb without blemish or defect.

Rom.8:3 – “in the likeness of sinful flesh”
Could He have sinned?
Impeccability – not able to sin
If He was fully God, was He able to sin?
James 1:13
Jesus could not have sinned because He was never less than fully God.
Nevertheless, the temptations were real because He overcame them with the power of His human nature (thirst, hunger, pain are all issues for a human, not God).
The temptations, while intended for evil on Satan’s part, were allowed by God to verify the perfect humanity of the Son of Man.
B. Deity
1. Direct claims
a. Theos – John 1:1 with 1:14-18; Titus 2:13 13  while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ
b. Kurios – Lk.2:11; Mt.3:3 John quoting Is.40:3
c. Other claims – Jn.8:57-59 (I Am); the Son of Man – see Mt.26:64-66 and Daniel 7:13-14
2. Attributes displayed
a. Where did Jesus reveal omnipotence? (calming the storm, water to wine, multiplied food)
b. Where did Jesus reveal omniscience? (He knew who would betray Him, knew the Samaritan woman had many husbands)
c. Sovereignty? He forgave sins, He spoke as one having authority (instead of saying “so says the Lord” He said “but I say to you.”
3. The kenosis – Phil.2:5-7
Jesus did not give up attributes of God in order to become a man. He merely “took on the form of a bondservant.”
4. Why is it important to understand Christ as fully God?
a. to bear the full penalty of sin of all who would believe
b. salvation is from God alone – no man can save, not even himself
c. a perfect mediator would require someone who is 100% God and 100% man
5. Why is it necessary that Christ is fully God?
a. only infinite God can bear the penalty of sins – infinitely
b. salvation is only from God
c. a true mediator between God and man requires it
C. The Incarnation
1. Inadequate view of the person of Christ
a. Arianism – Christ, though superior to all creation, was created at some point by the Father
b. Apollinarianism – Christ had a human body but a divine mind and spirit (see Heb.2:17)
c. Nestorianism – two persons in Christ – one human, one divine
d. Monophysitism – the human nature of Christ was absorbed by the divine nature leaving one synthesized nature
2. Chalcedonian Definition (451 A.D.)
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.


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