Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Dual Nature of Christ

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.
(John 1:14)

If there is anything that separates true Christianity from cults, like Mormonism and Jehovah Witness, and Christian Scientist is how they perceive Jesus Christ. Some perceive Jesus as a created being (Jehovah Witness), others, as the brother of Satan (Mormons), and even others as just a man. It is these errors in how they perceive Jesus Christ which are red flags for identifying false teaching and cults, therefore let us be alert to the deceptions of the enemy (2Timothy 2:15)

One method that the government uses to teach its representatives to recognize counterfeit money is by studying real money. So when they see anything that does not look like the real thing, they know it must be counterfeit. In the same way for the Christian, if we can recognize the correct teaching concerning Jesus Christ we can easily identify false teaching [1] and cults. One of the easiest methods is how they perceive Jesus Christ. This is not an option for Christianity, it is the foundation of  Christianity.

Jesus Christ is God in human flesh. 

He is not half man and half god. He is fully man and fully God. What that means is all that attributes and essences,  that make up a man is contained in Jesus Christ. So, if we could somehow add up all the stuff of a man, Jesus Christ would have all of them.
Paradoxically, Jesus Christ has all the attributes that make up God, so that what is true of the Father is also true of the son.
"For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form"  Colossians 2:9 

By this we can say that Jesus Christ has two natures.   so let me explain what is meant by two natures? Let's start with the Trinity, when we think of the Godhead we say God is one with three persons. (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) So then the attributes of a person are expressed by his mind, his will, and his fellowship. It is this mental, moral and social skills which make us (persons) in the image of God.
Now a person can either be spirit or flesh. This is called the nature of the person. The Bible tells us God is a spirit, that is the nature of God. And we know that each of us is flesh, that is the nature of man. Now Jesus is God, which means he is a spirit, and he is also man which means he is flesh. this may seem contradictory, but one is not exclusive of the other. Moreover, for salvation to take place, he must have two natures

Why Must Jesus Have Two Natures?
1.     Consider this, It is necessary that Jesus is human because we need a man, like us, to act as our representative before the Father someone that is righteous and without sin.

"My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;"
 1John 2:1.  
2.     We need someone who was able to suffer and die as a sacrifice for our sins. not like in the ancient time when lambs, goats, and bulls covered our sins, only to have them revealed again each year and the death of an animal was required again. It is only the blood of a sinless man can wash away our sins, permanently.
"For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. 2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, “Sacrifice and offering You have not desired, But a body You have prepared for Me; 6 In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have taken no pleasure. 7 “Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come (In the scroll of the book it is written of Me) To do Your will, O God.’”  8 After saying above, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have not desired, nor have You taken pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the Law), 9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second. 10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Hebrews 10:1-10 (NASB)
It is also necessary that Jesus should be God because no one else but God can save us from sin. This truth is expressed by God on numerous occasions, and many accounts.  
·        I, even I, am the LORD, And there is no savior besides Me. Isaiah 43:11
·        Jesus *said to him,  “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. John 14:6 
·        let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead; by this name this man stands here before you in good health. He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:10-12
Paradox of the Two Natures of Jesus Christ
Proper understanding of the two natures of Jesus Christ is important in both identifying false teaching and cult and also understanding the paradox of scripture.  Consider Luke 2:52  which says Jesus increased in knowledge and wisdom and John 21:17 which says Jesus knows all things. These two passages would appear to contradict one another if we did not understand the Dual Nature of Jesus Christ. However, if we would read John 1:1-14 which teaches the two natures of Jesus Christ we could see how these to passages are not contradictory toward one another, but paradoxical with one another. 

Understanding the paradox of the two natures of Jesus Christ allows us to see Jesus as;
·        God who was sinless, and a man who was tempted;
·        We can understand how He is both son of man, and son of God;
·        How He can worship the Father, and is worthy to be worshiped;
·        How He grew in wisdom, yet knows all things;
·        How He died on the cross, yet He gives eternal life;
·        How He was but flesh and bones, yet in Him dwells the fullness of the deity.
·        This is the beauty of the paradox of the two natures of Jesus Christ.

The Human Nature of Jesus Christ
Many Christians speak of Jesus Christ only in His divinity. This is done so they will not have to live up to a greater standard for their own lives. But to see Jesus as only divine is to fail to fully understand the magnitude of His sacrifice. Make no mistake Jesus Christ is completely a man. Scripture tells us that when he was tired of traveling, he rested by a well  as any man would (John 4:6) or fell asleep in a boat (Matt 8:24). He experienced hunger and thirst just like all men. At Lazarus’s grave, He the compassion He had for His boyhood friend was so great that He wept. (John 11:36) In the garden of Gethsemane, he confessed to his friends, My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death” He felt the sufferings of his passion, and, as the climax of his mission, Jesus died on a Roman cross. Jesus ‘in all things He had to be made like His brethren’ (Heb 2:17); in brief, He is even now, ‘the man Christ Jesus’.

The Divine Nature of Jesus Christ
Just as some cults teach that Jesus is only divine there is some recent teaching that He is only man. Yet the Bible is very clear on the divinity of Jesus Christ.
·       He was with the Father before the creation; Which means like the Father He is Eternal (John 17:5, Micah 5:2, 1 John 1:2)   In Revelation 1:8 in speaking of Himself he says “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End ... who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty’ (Rev 1:8).    He can accomplish all things; Which means like the Father He is Omnipotent like him (John 5:15-19)
·       Jesus knows all things; which means like the father He is Omniscience. (Acts 1:24; John 16:30)
·      He promises His disciples He will be with them even though He had ascended into heaven; Which means like the Father He is Omnipresent (Matt 28:20; Matt 18:20).
·       He never changes; Which means like the Father He is Immutable (Heb 13:8).

Consider what scripture says about the two natures of Jesus Christ.
Matt. 2:2, Matt 2:11, Matt. 4:1, Matt 14:33; Mark 1:1, Mark 15:39; Luke 2:52, Luke 24:39; John 9:35-37, John 10:28, John 10:30-33, John 19:5, John 20:28, John 21:17; Acts 7:59; Rom. 5:8; Phil 2:5-8; Col. 2:9; Heb. 1:8, Heb. 4:15; 1 Pet. 2:22;

It is this knowledge of who Jesus is, both God and man that set Christianity apart from all the false  teaching of Him. What we must know as Christians is it make no difference how good a person may be unless they see Christ and God and man; prophet and savior, lord over their lives they can not be saved. 

Your Brother in Christ
T.Charves FireSpeaks

[1] False teaching may not be a cult; it can be that the teacher is simply in error with scripture.
Slick, M. (2011). The Two Natures of Jesus. Retrieved January 1, 2012, from Christian Apologetics Research Ministry: