Faithlife Sermons

The Hypostatic Union

Christmas  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 9 views
Notes & Transcripts
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Who in here knows what the “Hypostatic Union” is?

The Hypostatic Union is the perfectly blending of earthly and heavenly.
Jesus was fully man right?
He was born of this earth. Yes, he had a heavenly father and his mother, Mary was inseminated with the power of the holy spirit.
This was not a sexual act, it was an act of the Holy Spirit indwelling Mary and giving her the seed that would germinate in her uterus and penetrate her egg.
This human was in fact a human.
Did Jesus breathe? Yes, of course He breathed.
Did Jesus bleed? Yes, of course He bled.
He was, in fact, fully man. He experienced pain like all men do.
His body relied on its organs to function just as ours did.
His body, like ours, had scars.
Did he have freckles
Introduction:
The Apostle John was one of few men who had the distinguished privilege of experiencing the drama, joy, and glory of Jesus’ incarnate ministry spanning from his baptism to his ascension to the Father’s right hand.
So because of this, John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, serves as an authority to the matter of the Christ’s incarnation which we celebrate through the remembrance of his miraculous birth.
John began his Gospel account by providing a theological preamble and one that in this regard speaks to the incarnation, not by addressing a detailed account of the birth of the baby Jesus, but explaining the theological glory that this birth proved to be: "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us….”
John provided the cornerstone to a proper understanding of the “Hypostatic Union”
This is the two natures of Jesus Christ.
Wholly God
Wholly Man
This may also be understood as the deity of Christ:
Faith in the deity of Christ is necessary to being a Christian.
It is an essential part of the New Testament gospel of Christ.
Yet in every century the church has been forced to deal with people who claim to be Christians while denying or distorting the deity of Christ.
At the Council of Nicea in a.d. 325, the church, in opposition to the Arian heresy, declared that Jesus is begotten, not made, and that His divine nature is of the same essence (homoousios) with the Father.
This affirmation declared that the second person of the Trinity is one in essence with God the Father.
That is, the “being” of Christ is the being of God.
He is not merely similar to Deity, but He is Deity.
The confession of the deity of Christ is drawn from the manifold witness of the New Testament.
As the Logos incarnate, Christ is revealed as being not only preexistent to creation, but eternal.
He is said to be in the beginning with God and also that He is God ().
That He is with God demands a personal distinction within the Godhead.
That He is God demands inclusion in the Godhead.
Elsewhere, the New Testament ascribes terms and titles to Jesus that are clearly titles of deity.
God bestows the preeminent divine title of Lord upon Him ().
As the Son of Man, Jesus claims to be Lord of the Sabbath () and to have authority to forgive sins ().
He is called the “Lord of glory” () and willingly receives worship, as when Thomas confesses, “My Lord and my God!” ().
Paul declares that the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Christ bodily () and that Jesus is higher than angels, a theme reiterated in the book of Hebrews.
To worship an angel or any other creature, no matter how exalted, is to violate the biblical prohibition against idolatry.
The I ams of John’s gospel also bear witness to the identification of Christ with Deity.
In the fifth century, the Council of Chalcedon (a.d. 451) affirmed that Jesus was truly man and truly God.
Jesus’ two natures, human and divine, were said to be without mixture, confusion, separation, or division.
1 Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2015). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (2015 Edition) (p. 1851). Orlando, FL: Reformation Trust.
This subject can and has been a matter of substantial struggle in properly understanding with absolute clarity.
There is a natural struggle in holding these two natures in proper balance.
It is easy for us to over-emphasize one over the other.
It is easy for me to stand on Christ as being the Almighty God.
What is harder for me to understand is how Christ was flesh and how He struggled with life, as we do.
Finding this balance is a difficult one of coming to grips with the mortality that he possessed in his absolute immortality.
As we seek to pry open the matter of Wholly God and Wholly Man I want us to primarily focus on two Scriptures.
The Gospel of John, chapter 1:1-18
and,
As a way of application my prayer is that throughout this Christmas seaon your minds would drift in worshipful wonder of the glory of God in Christ’s incarnation.
To that end the first element of worshipful application for this lesson would be to plead with God to open your eyes to these unbelievable and yet magnificiently true truths of the Scripture.
This week we will walk with Jesus through John’s first-hand eye witness account provided through the Gospel of John.
John, who identified himself only as the disciple whom Jesus loved.
John, who walked closely with his Lord.
John, who laid upon Jesus at his final passover.
John, who was given the charge to care for Jesus’ mother while he hung on the Cross.
John, who ran to the empty tomb and beheld his risen Savior.
This John, who will unfold for us how we might better appreciate Jesus’ incarnation.
Lets read now, The Gospel according to John, Chapter 1, verses 1-18
John 1:1–18 ESV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’ ”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
Now, I want to drive home points of focus as we consider the following matters:
As God, Jesus demonstrated the authority, power, mercy, compassion, justice, and judgment of God.
As man, he demonstrated profound gentleness and various ways that he served his disciples and others.
The tension that was present with those around him as Jesus was clearly seen as a man and yet his signs, wonders, and his testimony forced the matter of his deity to be seen, understood, and accepted.
Jesus articulated the three persons of the trinity - he had a profound identification with the Father and his sending of the Spirit in his stead.
The overwhelming love Jesus had for his disciples and the enormous desire he had for them to love one another.
Consider this, for a moment. Jesus, who had from eternity past perfectly knew every moment of time and he himself was outside of time.
He inserted himself in the construct of time.
In that time, he met, face to face with and engaged his apostles.
the foundations of his church and the men who would drink from the wine of his cup and later receive their reward.
Think about the intentionality of Jesus’ life and his clear focus.
He knew every moment of why he was here on earth.
He came from the Father/above and would be returning to his Father.
He accepted worship
The people wrestling with Jesus being the Christ and the Messiah.
Jesus’ human body bore the physical scars of crucifixion.
How scriptures and prophesies are referenced back to Jesus.
What was plainly revealed about the character and heart of God through the Son.
What was plainly revealed about the character and heart of God through the Son.
Demonstrations of the revealed character of God (consider such passages as ).
Demonstrations of the Creator. Demonstrations of the one true God.
The range of responses to and interactions with Jesus: The disciples, “sinners,” religious leaders, the people in general, the governing authorities, and others.
John provides a purpose statement for his Gospel account.
John 20:30–31 ESV
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Within this purpose statement for his Gospel account are five key thematic elements of John’s Gospel:
Signs
Believe
Christ/the Messiah
Son of God
Life.
Signs:
To further prove that Jesus was in fact the incarnate Son of God, John organized his Gospel account around eight signs.
Water into wine
a.right out the gate Jesus turns water in the wine. There was not a magician or any other human who for that matter that had the ability to turn water into wine.
Healing of the officials son.
Jesus healed the officials son, remotely. The official asked his servants of the time the healing began, and they told him the seventh hour, which was the time that Jesus had said that he would be healed.
Healing of the invalid at the pool of Bethesda.
This was when Jesus healed the man at the pool, who had been an invalid for 38 years. This, if you will remember, caused drama. Why did it cause drama? It caused drama because Jesus perfomed the miracle on the Sabbath.
Feeding of the multitude.
Jesus’ fed five thousand people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.
He met a physical need with a super natural feat.
Only a God could accomplish something like this.
Walking on water.
How many men do you know that can actually walk on water?
Healing of the blind man.
We see a picture painted of a blind man. Who was blind from birth.
Jesus said he was born blind so that he could heal him.
So that his power could be demonstrated in his life.
He indicated that he was not blind due to his sin.
But that the works of God might be displayed in him.
Sidenote: why is saliva gross?
If Jesus spat on the ground and made a mudpie and put it on your face, would you tell him “Ew, yuck! Dont put that on my face!”
Raising of Lazarus from the dead.
What a story of God’s mighty hand in Jesus.
An act of God’s mercy, existing in Jesus. Displayed in the lives of Mary and Martha in aiding them in their strife of their dead brother.
He also noted in this miracle how he himself is the resurrection and the Life.
The great catch of fish.
He revealed himself again to his disciples after he had risen from the dead by way of filling the nets and providing an abundance of fish that was so heavy that they were not able to haul it into the boat.
He also held the net together as it was full of 153 fish and usually would have succumbed to its capacity.
Believe
The word believe is used 98 times in John’s Gospel.
This equates to 40% of the references to “believe in the entire New Testament.
The book of Matthew uses it 11 times.
Mark uses it 15 times.
and Luke uses it 9 times.
One of the key elements that we see in the Gospel according to John is his innate desire to provide a first-hand testimony of his experience as a Disciple and as an Apostle of Christ.
His desire was also to tell others of the glorious truths about Jesus.
He says in that John the Baptist came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him.
In he says, “Now when he was in Jerusalem a the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing.”
In he says, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life: whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”
As a statement in defense of him truly being the Messiah he says the following in “Yet many of the people believed in him. They said, ‘When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?’”
Christ/Messiah
In John says,
John 1:17–18 ESV
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
2. In , which is one of my favorite chapters on our redemption he says:
John 10:24–30 ESV
So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
Son of God
“And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”
“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”
“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.”
1 John 1:1–4 ESV
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
Does anyone in here know who The Book of 1 John was written to?
a people who we refer to as the Gnostics.
Has anyone heard of the Gnostics?
What did they believe?
OK, the gnostics believed that Jesus could not have been God because he was a man.
They believed that God is a spirit, which He is.
They could not come to grips with the fact that a spirit could in fact be fully spirit and fully man.

First John was written to warn and instruct the readers about false teaching (2:26; 3:7) that denied Jesus Christ had come in the flesh (4:2, 3). This teaching held that Christ only appeared to be human, so that there was no real incarnation and no divine Savior who was able to die as an atonement for sinners. Christ only seemed to die. There is much speculation about precisely who these false teachers were, but the letter does not offer much information about them. The false teaching of 1 John is generally known from early Christian history and is called “Docetism” (from the Gk. dokeō, “to seem” or “to appear”).

Some scholars think that the false teaching was a variety of Gnosticism, a religious movement that connected salvation with an experience of individual, esoteric revelation (from the Gk. gnōsis, “knowledge”). An example would be the teaching of the late-first-century teacher Cerinthus. Later writers regarded Cerinthus as both Gnostic and Docetic, but there is little in 1 John to connect the false teaching opposed there with the specific ideas attributed to Cerinthus, or even to Gnosticism more generally.

Several considerations indicate that 1 John was written after the gospel of John. First, it refers very briefly to ideas that the gospel unfolds much more clearly and fully. Apparently the original audience is presumed to have knowledge of the gospel. Second, the conflict with Docetism is absent from the gospel and appears to be a later development. Third, there is no hint in 1 John of the ideological conflict with “the Jews” that pervades the first half of the gospel. The gospel shows the Christian community painfully distinguishing itself from the Jewish people, while 1 John reflects a later time, when Christian self-identification was well established and could be presupposed.

Another indication for the date of 1 John comes from comparison with the letters of Ignatius and Polycarp that are to be dated no earlier than c. 110 A.D. These writings criticize false teachings similar to but more developed than those addressed in 1 John. To accommodate this development, 1 John should be dated some years earlier than 110 and likely at some point in the 90s.

So what we are dealing with is the belief that the Messiah could be in the flesh.
1 John is poignantly clear in its definition that Jesus was fully God, and fully man.
Conclusion
The image of the newborn Savior is precious and most certainly has its place as we give attention to this season of special emphasis on the incarnation.
However, John has peeled back the curtain in his prologue and provoked us to see the magnificence of the reality bundled up in that child.
From there we walk with the incarnate Son of God and see the Father through the Son as he ministers among men.
John’s witness continued… and in the Lord’s kindness he also bore witness to the Son of God’s glorious return.
and, 1 John, chapter 1, verses 1-4
1 John 1:1–4 ESV
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
:-1-4
The day that we now anticipate and long for too.
Revelation 1:1–20 ESV
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near. John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this. As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
“The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place.
Revelation 22:17–21 ESV
The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.
He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.
The Birth of Christ solidified him as the Savior of his people.
Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.
John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen. ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’ I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, ‘Write what you see in a book and 12 send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.’ Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this. As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.”
“The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.”
We are His and He is ours.
As we celebrate Christmas this year, may it be a year marked with the point of celebrating all that he was promised.
All that He fulfilled.
He alone is the power to justify. The power to Sanctify. The power to glorify.
Related Media
Related Sermons