Two Natures of Christ

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In the oldest creeds of Christianity we have the confession that Jesus Christ is Fully God and Fully Man.  Biblically, this doctrine is equally important to that of the Deity of Christ.  The technical term for this teaching is the Hypostatic Union.  This is a very important doctrine to learn especially when coming out of a Cult with Arian tendencies.

 

“For the right faith is, that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; God of the Substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man of the substance of His mother, born in the world; Perfect God and perfect Man” – Athanasian Creed

 

Why is this so important?  Well besides the fact that this is what the scriptures teach, without a proper understanding of the doctrine it becomes easier for cults to deceive people.

 

“One of the most common errors that non-Christian cults make is not understanding the two natures of Christ.  For example, the Jehovah’s Witnesses focus on Jesus’ humanity and ignore His divinity.  They repeatedly quote verses dealing with Jesus as a man and try to set them against Scripture showing that Jesus is also divine.  On the other hand, the Christian Scientists do the reverse.  They focus on the Scriptures showing Jesus’ divinity to the extent of denying His true humanity.” – CARM

 

With that stated, to present a positive case for this doctrine I am going to put forward clear passages teaching both theses.

Humanity of Christ

 

In my opinion, most of us laity tend to overlook this teaching from scripture.  Biblically, Jesus was fully man.  He got tired, hungry, and sleepy.  Jesus worshiped the Father and submitted to him as we are commanded to do.  Read the verses below and see for yourself.

 

“Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.” John 4:6 KJV 

“And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?” Mark 4:38 KJV 

“And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry” Mark 11:12 KJV 

“And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.” Matt 4:2 KJV 

“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” Luke 2:52 KJV 

“Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” Luke 24:39 KJV 

“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3 KJV 

“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” Heb 2:9 KJV 

 

How do you confess the Humanity of Christ in a way that doesn’t Contradict the doctrines of the Trinity or the Immutability of God?  You do so by referring to the incarnation (God in flesh) as the assumed human nature.  Thus, Christ did not change into having a human nature, but assumed such from Mary.

How did Mary give Christ a Human Nature without transferring along with it original sin?

I have NO idea!

To prevent confessing heresy, in my opinion, it is generally best to stop your speculation at this point and enjoy a little bit of mystery in your life.  The Bible doesn’t give us enough information to reflect on this any further with conviction.

 

Divinity of Christ

 

Also conveyed in scripture is the Deity of Christ.  I have written a post dedicated to this that you can find HERE if you want to go into greater detail.  But for the purposes of this post I am just going to present a sample of the clearest passages.  Notice that Jesus calls himself “I AM”.  And that he is said to know everything, is called God, and the creation of all things is ascribed to his actions.

 

“He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.” John 21:17 KJV 

“Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.” John 8:58 KJV

“I and my Father are one.” John 10:30 KJV

“And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.” John 20:28 KJV 

“Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:;  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:;  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.;  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” Col 1:15-18 KJV

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Php 2:5-11 KJV

“For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Col 2:9 KJV

“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” 1 Tim 3:16 KJV

“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”  Acts 20:28 KJV

Conclusion

 

Here is the idea, if  Jehovah’s Witness come to your home and try to convert you or a family member, one of the things they are going to focus on is the passages detailing the humanity of Christ.  They will generally use many of the verses that I posted above, though there are more along such lines.

The sad part is that it is easy for laity like us to fall into one of two traps when Arians do this.  Either you are going to convert and go along with them, or you are going to start twisting the verses teaching the humanity of Christ to defend the Deity.  Sadly, in this respect the Arians they get you coming or they get you going.

The proper way to understand these passages, and pretty much any doctrine, is that they are all true at the same time.  The key theologically speaking is to confess each teaching in a way that is consistent with the whole council of scripture.  Christ is both God and Man, both are true at the same time.  No this doesn’t make any sense, and we shouldn’t expect it to.  It can only be confessed.

 

 

 

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About ACTheologian

I am a layman who blogs my Biblical studies. Enjoy, please read with an open Bible and do double check with your pastor.
This entry was posted in Armchair Lounge, Nature of God and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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