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First John: 1 John 4:2-The Hypostatic Union of Jesus Christ is a Fundamental Doctrine of Christianity Lesson # 148

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First John: 1 John 4:2-The Hypostatic Union of Jesus Christ is a Fundamental Doctrine of Christianity

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1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. (ESV)
1 John 4:2 By means of this, any one of you can at any time confirm the Spirit’s teaching who is the one and only God: Any spirit which does acknowledge Jesus as the Christ appearing in a human body does possess the characteristic which originates from this the one and only God who is the Spirit. (Author’s translation)
First John 4:2 teaches that the hypostatic union of Jesus Christ a fundamental doctrine of Christianity.
The Scriptural evidence is overwhelming that Jesus of Nazareth who is the Christ is both God and man forever.
The two distinct natures, which as to their attributes differ significantly, were brought together into personal union, which will continue forever.
In theology or specifically Christology (the study of Christ), the term “hypostatic union” is used by theologians to describe the teaching of the Scriptures that Jesus Christ is undiminished deity and true sinless humanity in one person forever.
Jesus Christ unites in Himself, the essence or nature of God and the essence or nature of man.
Now, it must be remembered that the Scriptures teach that in His human nature, the Lord Jesus Christ, the God-Man was subordinate to the Father.
However, in His deity, He is of course co-infinite, co-equal and co-eternal with both the Father and the Spirit.
The New Testament emphatically teaches that in His person, Jesus of Nazareth who is the Christ was both God and man, which we established in chapters two and four respectively (John 1:14; Rom. 1:1-4; 8:3; 9:1-5; Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 1:19-22; 1 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 2:14; 1 John 1:1-4; 4:1-3; 2 John 7).
Many of these passages such as Romans 1:3-4, 8:3, Philippians 2:6-11, John 1:14 and 1 John 1:1-3 make it clear that the eternal Son of God clothed and veiled His deity with a sinless human nature and became a human being.
The act of incarnation was not temporary but rather permanent according to the testimony of the Scriptures.
His human body is now glorified in that it is a resurrected body, thus His human nature continues forever.
Matthew 26:64, Mark 14:62 and Luke 22:69-70 make clear that Christ’s humanity will continue forever.
The appearances of Christ after His resurrection also provide further evidence that His humanity will continue forever (Matthew 28:9; Luke 24:30-31, 39-43; John 20:17, 22, 27-28; Acts 1:1-11; 7:56).
1 John 2:1 teaches that He now sits at the right hand of the Father as the believer’s Advocate interceding for the believer when Satan accuses the believer (Compare Zechariah 3:1-7; Revelation 12:10) which is further evidence of the continuance of Christ’s humanity.
Furthermore, passages dealing with the rapture of the church in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 and Philippians 3:20-21 make clear the continuance of Jesus Christ’s humanity.
The term “hypostatic union” means that deity and true humanity are combined in one personality, forever and that personality is Jesus Christ.
He did not have two personalities because He had two natures.
Because He is a man does not make our Lord less than God.
Nor, does His being God prevent Him from being truly a man.
The integrity of the attributes of His divine nature, were not corrupted or compromised or diminished by the fact that His divine nature was united permanently with a human nature.
Nor were the integrity of the attributes of His human nature corrupted or compromised or diminished by the fact that He was God.
His two natures, though united, retain their separate identities.
There was no mixture of His divine nature with that of His human nature.
His divine attributes are always united to His divine nature and His human attributes are always united to His human nature.
Deity remains deity and humanity remains humanity.
The infinite cannot become finite and the immutable cannot be changed.
No attribute of deity was altered when our Lord became a man through the incarnation and the same holds true when He died on the cross.
To take away a single attribute from His divine nature would destroy His deity and to take away from His perfect human nature a single attribute would destroy His humanity.
The two natures of Christ are not only united without affecting the attributes of the two natures but they are also combined in one person.
Now, if a sinner rejects the teaching that Jesus is both God and a human being, then they can never be saved since salvation is based upon the person and work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
An eternal relationship with God is based upon this fact since if the Son of God did not become a human being, then there is absolutely no sacrifice for sins.
If there is no solution to mankind’s sin problem, then there is no possibility of human beings having a relationship and fellowship with the Trinity.
Thus, we can see why John wrote the prologue to the epistle the way he did.
1 John 1:1 We are now proclaiming to each of you what has always existed from eternity past, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we observed for ourselves, even what we touched with our hands concerning the Word which is truly life. 2 In other words, this life was revealed. As noted previously, we have seen so therefore we are now proclaiming by testifying to each of you this life, which is eternal, which because of its eternal nature has always existed face to face with the Father. Indeed, it was revealed to each one of us. 3 What we have seen as well as heard, we are now proclaiming to each of you in order that each of you would also continue to regularly experience fellowship with each of us. Also, our fellowship is in fact with the Father as well as with His Son, who is Jesus, who is the Christ. 4 Thus, we ourselves are now communicating in writing concerning each of these things in order to cause our joy to exist in a maximum state. (Author’s translation)
Therefore, in all these passages, 1 John 1:1-4 and 4:1-6 John is demonstrating his concern for the Christian community in the Roman province of Asia with regards to this incipient form of Gnosticism which denied that Jesus of Nazareth was a human being.
Consequently, they were denying that Jesus of Nazareth was both God and man which is called in theology the “hypostatic union,” which is the basis for the Christian community’s eternal relationship and fellowship with the Father, Son and Spirit.
This communicated by John in 1 John 1:3.
If a believer rejects that Jesus is both God and man, then they will not experience fellowship with God since the hypostatic union is the basis for fellowship with the triune God.
If the Son did not become a human being, then there would be no possible way for sinners to experience fellowship with a holy God since His death as a human being provides sinners the forgiveness of sins.
His death and resurrection as a human being provided sinners deliverance from eternal condemnation, enslavement to the devil and the sin nature, personal sins, physical and spiritual death, and condemnation from the Law.
It also provided the opportunity to experience an eternal relationship and fellowship with a holy God.
None of this would be possible if the Son did not become a human being and die on the cross and rise from the dead three days later.
Furthermore, to deny that Jesus of Nazareth is both God and man is to deny the resurrection since the resurrection demonstrates that Jesus is God (cf. Rom. 1:1-4).
To deny the deity of Christ is to deny the doctrine of the Trinity.
In the same way, if a non-believer rejects that Jesus is both God and man, then they will never experience an eternal relationship and fellowship with God since the hypostatic union is the basis for this relationship and fellowship with the triune God.
If the Son did not become a human being, then there would be no possible way for sinners to experience an eternal relationship and fellowship with a holy God since His death on the cross as a human being provides sinners the forgiveness of sins.
His death and resurrection as a human being provided sinners deliverance from eternal condemnation, enslavement to the devil and the sin nature, personal sins, physical and spiritual death, and condemnation from the Law.
It also provided the opportunity to experience an eternal relationship and fellowship with a holy God.
None of this would be possible if the Son did not become a human being and die on the cross and rise from the dead three days later.
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