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Christology (Person and Work of Christ)

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The Deity and Humanity of Christ

Before we can answer WHAT Christ did, we must answer WHO Christ is.
In order to understand the WHAT we must understand the WHO.
This discussion is very similar to the one we had on the Trinity. If you remember the Trinitarian controversies that surrounded the early church, usually worked itself out in discussion about who Jesus was and how Scripture revealed him.
Much like the Trinitarian controversies, the Christological discussion was filled with excommunications and heresies.
We will briefly look at 6 heresies that revolved around the person of Christ.

Ebionism - No Divine Nature

Denied the Divine nature of God
this was a very Jewish way of thinking about Jesus.
Jesus was seen as simply a prophet.
focused on the teachings of Jesus, rather than his deity and works.

Docetism - No human Nature

Jesus Appeared human, much like a hologram.
Jesus didn’t really suffer on the cross because he didn’t actually have a human body.
Very similar to gnosticism which had a platonic view of the body and soul. Body = Bad, Soul = good. jesus couldn’t have a body because the physical nature was evil and corrupt. So they avoided this by saying he never really had a body. God couldn’t really go to the bathroom could he?
An offshoot of this was Cerinthus who taught the deity of Christ came at the baptism and then left before the crucifixion.
Important passages.
1 John 4:2 NASB95
By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;
John 1:14 NASB95
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Arianism - Denied Genuine Deity

See lesson from the Trinity
Jesus was the Super-human but he wasn’t actually God. He was a creature.

Apollinarianism - Full humanity

Alexandrian School
We are beginning to hone in on the nature of Christ a bit.
Jesus is fully God but his soul is divine. Jesus had a lower soul, mind will and emotion but lacked a the human mind, he had a divine mind. He had a Trichotomist view of the body, and denied the human spirit. this was the divine mind of God.
This view is getting closer to Orthodoxy but is still not there.

Nestorianism - Denied Unity of humanity and divinity

Antiochian School
Jesus becomes schizophrenic and has both two natures and is therefore two persons.
He went to far to protect the humanity of Christ and therefore separated them into two beings.

Eutychians - Denied the distinction of the two Natures.

Also called Monophysitism (Single Nature)
Eutychus created a hybrid model of Christ where his two natures are blended together.
What is the consequence with this? He is neither God nor man!
In trying to bring unity he brought confusion and ultimately denied the reality of both the divine and human aspect of Jesus.
How did the Early Church Resolve this?

The Hypostatic Union

Definition: The phrase used to describe the union of the two natures of God.
the Council of Chalcedon
We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach people 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 (prosopon) and one Subsistence (hypostasis), 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.
the Early Church Fathers left the definition of the hypostatic union a mystery. Somehow both natures are wrapped up into one person

The Work of Christ

Christ the Teacher

Jesus was devoted to the Father and preaching the Kingdom of God hear on earth.
God’s Kingdom is going to be one of peace and rest. When we live by Kingdom principles and follow the commandments of God, it doesn’t earn us salvation but it helps us in life. Jesus provided the teachings for us to live by.
Jesus was our example and he showed us how to love each other.
John 13:14–15 NASB95
“If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. “For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.
The Sermon on the Mount is Jesus’ central teaching
The Danger of overemphasizing this = Social Gospel

Christ the Conqueror

We have been freed from the bondage of sin
Hebrews 2:14–15 NASB95
Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.
Hebrews 2:
Colossians 2:15 NASB95
When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.
Christ’ death was a triumph over the powers of darkness and the demonic.

Christ the Second Adam

Christ compared to Adam
Adam sinned by eating a fruit of a tree which brought a curse upon mankind.
Christ redeemed by dying on a tree.
Galatians 3:13 NASB95
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”—
Death came through Adam, Life came through Christ.
Adam was the first “priest” to serve in God’s temple. Christ is the great high priest, who has no beginning or end.
Adam was given the cultural commission (). Jesus gives the Great Commission.
From Adam, God brought his bride Eve. From Christ came his bride the church.
Adam was made in the image of God; christ is the perfect image of God.
Adam and Eve were one flesh, quotes Gene 2:24 and tells us that Christ and the church are one flesh.
Adam had life, but gave it up for death. Christ took upon himself our death and in return gives us life.
Christ did more than live a perfect life. He lived the life we were meant to live. Christ is the better Adam and the better, truest human.
Christ saves us not by the cross alone but by all that he did: his Incarnation, his life of Obedience, his cross and resurrection, his Ascension and his Second Coming.
We often focus on one or two of these aspects about who Jesus was, but I’m hoping the more we talk about the divinity and humanity of Christ, you understand the implications stemming from Jesus’ divinity.

Christ the Atonement

We will talk about this more in our doctrine of Salvation.
Jesus lived the perfect life, set the perfect example, he defeated our enemies, but he is more than that. He is also our sacrifice.
1 Peter 2:24 NASB95
and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.
2 Corinthians 5:21 NASB95
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Jesus died the death of a criminal, he died in the status of fallen man before God.
The Day of Atonement - 2 goats were offered at the doorway of the temple/tabernacle.
The first goat was offered as a sacrifice for sin. His life was taken and his blood was spilled. The blood was taken to the Holy of Holies and sprinkled on the the Ark of the Covenant in the empty seat of the Lord. This sacrifice was meant to be symbol of the propitiation of sin
Propitiation = Appeasement of wrath
The second goat was led outside of the camp to be seen no longer. they would walk it out to a high cliff and push it off so that the goat would never be seen again, not even by those who committed the act.
Expiation = The removal of sins or guilt.
1 John 4:10 NASB95
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Christ is our propitiation, he absorbed the wrath of God.
Hebrews 2:17 NASB95
Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
Christ provided expiation. He covers us with his righteousness.

Christ the Only Way of Salvation?

Give the drawings of the mountains
What about the argument that says “All religions tell us something about God. Christianity gives us a piece, even a really good piece but other religions have something to offer too. In fact all paths lead to the ocean of God.”
A similar argument (The secular argument) - Inclusivity, Christians are exclusive. you exclude people from your religion because you believe some are going to hell. Why can’t we say all religions are moving us toward the same God then we could all get along!
Christianity is too exclusive, don’t tell me people are going to hell because they don’t believe in Jesus!”
The world wants to be more inclusive, so the exclusive message of Christ is becoming more and more taboo.
What is the problem with this sort of interpretation?
The person trying to convince you, that you don’t have the supreme religious knowledge, actually has the supreme religious knowledge!
Meaning in trying to be inclusive, they are actually being exclusive.
Tim Kellers illustration of the blind men and the elephants.
Give the drawing of the hills.
Only in Christianity does God come down to us and engage with us for salvation. It is not by our effort or works, but simply because of Grace.
John 14:6 NASB95
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
john 14
Romans 10:9 NASB95
that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
Matthew 7:13 NASB95
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.
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