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God the Son

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The Trinity

Scripture is emphatically clear: there is only one God, and He is one (, , , , , , , , , , ). With equal clarity God reveals His existence in the unity of the Godhead (, ). That is that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist in the triune Godhead as distinct persons (, , , ), yet with one substance (, , , , , ) and that they therefore are co-equal () and co-eternal. This is the essence of the Trinity.
If we, with human eyes, are unable to fully comprehend this inestimable mystery, it is not an indictment of its theological truth, but rather a reality of the limitations of our nature. We may not unblinking stare into the brilliance of our sun, and we certainly are unable to gaze deeply into the revelation of the Trinity, with its blinding, divine, and glorious light.

Error to Avoid: Modalism

Modalism- the belief that God does not exist as three distinct persons within the triune Godhead, but instead asserts that God merely reveals Himself in three different forms (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) as He wills.
Such a view is definitively unbiblical, and therefore heretical, diminishing the persons of God into mere masks that He both dons and discards at will. Modalism puts its adherents into the frightful position of being simultaneously idolatrous (holding to a view of God less than who He is and inconsistent with His self-revelation) and blasphemous (it demonstrates an intellectual contempt for God in the way He has revealed Himself).

God the Son

The Person of Christ:

1. The Two Natures: Human and Divine

What it means:
Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God and second person of the trinity necessarily posses the full nature of divinity (), as He is of one substance with the other persons of the Godhead (, ) . Christ Himself testifies to His own divinity(, , , ), as do the Father (, , , ) and the Spirit () in addition to the prophets () and apostles (). Through the mystery of the incarnation (God became man by virgin birth) (, ), Christ subjected Himself to the Father by being made fully man(, ), for the purpose of our righteousness by His sacrificial obedience (, ), and yet did so without compromising, suspending, or forfeiting His divine nature.
In short Christ was,is, and will be forevermore, both fully God, and fully man.
a) The Divinity of Christ
Where we find it:
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What it means:
In order for us to receive salvation, Christ must be fully God, for without His divine nature He would be unable to overcome sin and death. Further, the ability to forgive sins is the divine right of the One whose holiness sin offends.
Consider Peter’s magnificient evangelistic sermon in , in which he affirms the legitimacy of Christ’s finished work as savior on the basis:
› Scripture is emphatically clear: there is only one God, and He is one (, , , , , , , , , , ). With equal clarity God reveals His existence in the unity of the Godhead (, ). That is that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist in the triune Godhead as distinct persons (, , , ), yet with one substance (, , , , , ) and that they therefore are co-equal () and co-eternal. This is the essence of the Trinity.
of God’s attesting of His power manifested in Christ through miracles (2:22)
of the inability of death to hold Christ (2:24)
that David prophesied that the Father would exalt Christ to His the heavenly throne (2:25-33)
that God has made Jesus both Lord and Christ (2:34-36) (see also: , , )
Additionally, God alone has the power to forgive sins, a reality the scribes understood when they thought Christ blasphemous for doing so in . Yet Christ did do so (), and forgiveness of sin is possible through faith in His blood alone (, ).
“Q: Why must the Redeemer be truly God?
A: That because of his divine nature his obedience and suffering would be perfect and effective; and also that he would be able to bear the righteous anger of God against sin and yet overcome death.”- New City Catechism
A: That because of his divine nature his obedience and suffering would be perfect and effective; and also that he would be able to bear the righteous anger of God against sin and yet overcome death.
The great love of God could never be more clearly manifested than by God the Son Himself taking on the form of man and offering Himself as the sacrifice for our sin.
If Christ were simply a man, than His death would hardly be of greater cost to God than the death of any of the prophets or saints. Yet God is said to demonstrate the great depth of His love for us uniquely in the offering of His Son (, ).
There will be a fuller discussion of the love of God revealed in the incarnation in the section titled “The Humanity of Christ.”
The divinity of Christ firmly establishes His Lordship over all things, commanding our love, worship, and obedience.
Lest we think that Christ was a man alone, and not God the Son, the writer of Hebrews (by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) sets as his thesis the preeminence of Christ over all.
Christ is a greater leader than Moses ()
Christ is a greater high priest ()
Christ is greater than angels ()
Christ is the express image of the person of God () (see also: , )
Therefore, for the glory of His person, and for His obedience to the Father’s will, God the Father has given to God the Son all authority (, , ,
Our response to Christ must reflect the reality that He is not merely our Savior, deserving our faith and praise, but He is also our Lord, deserving our obedience and glory.
Common questions to consider:
Jesus, while he may have been a good moral teacher, was most definitely not God. He did not think of himself as God, nor did his disciples or early followers. Instead the supposed divinity of Christ is a modern tradition of the church.
While the popularity of opinions such as these continues to grow, it demonstrates a profound animosity to the revelation of God in Scripture, and a dishonest assessment of the teachings of Christ, His apostles, and of Scripture as a whole.
Christ’s birth is presented in the gospels as the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophetic word “Immanuel” (God with us). (, )
On numerous occasions the religious leaders understood Christ to be making statements or preforming actions that must be considered blasphemous if not done by God Himself (, , ).
The words of Christ himself, both in his earthly ministry (, -25, , ) and in the Revelation given to John (, , ) make clear His divine nature and incommunicable attributes.
Any depiction of Christ as a “good moral teacher” that denies His divinity is incoherent, as Christ would then have either been lying about His Lordship, or was crazy.
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” -C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.
Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.
That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things
That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things
Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with
Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with
the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make
the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make
your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something
your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something
worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can
worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can
fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense
fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense
about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
-C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
-C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
What if Jesus, while a great prophet of God and the savior of mankind, was still merely a man? Can one still be a Christian and not believe that Jesus is God?
If we, with human eyes, are unable to fully comprehend this inestimable mystery, it is not an indictment of its theological truth, but rather a reality of the limitations of our nature. We may not unblinking stare into the brilliance of our sun, and we certainly are unable to gaze deeply into the revelation of the Trinity, with its blinding, divine, and glorious light.
It is important that we have clarity on this issue: essential to the Christian faith is the reality that Jesus Christ, as the second person of the Godhead, is absolutely God ().
Scripture is emphatic on this point (, , , ), and to deny the divine nature of Christ would be to disregard the testimony of the prophets, apostles, the work of Christ, the words of Christ, and the testimony of the Father’s validation of the Son ().
Further, the Spirit testifies to the Son (), and it therefore seems fair to question whether that same Spirit of truth, given to all believers, can be said to indwell someone who denies the very truth to which the Spirit testifies ().
If Christ is not God, then Christianity itself is meaningless.
-see the points discussed in the “what it means” section
b) The Humanity of Christ
Where we find it:
What it means:
Common questions to consider:
Additional resources for further study

2. Sinlessness

For Christ to be the redeemer of mankind and impute His righteousness to us, He must actually be righteous, and therefore must be without sin. Because of God’s supernatural act of the virgin birth, Christ did not inherit the sin nature, and while in His life He experienced temptation in equal measure to our experience, He did not succumb to sin.

Where we find it:
What it means:
The sinless perfection of Christ makes Him the only acceptable offering for sin.
The sinlessness of Christ means that when He bore sin on the cross, it was our sin, not His own, that He bore.
Were it otherwise, then Christ would have merely died for His own sin, and we would remain under the wrath of God.
Common questions to consider:
Additional resources for further study:

The Work of Christ:

Redeemer

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