Saturday, July 26, 2014

When Divinity Meets Humanity

Doctrine is not revealed as fact like a number but the teaching of the Bible that is systematically arrived at. What this means is that you look at all of scripture as a whole and see what it is teaching about a given subject.

For instance the Bible teaches, that
·        God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
·        That there is one God, (Deuteronomy 6:4)

From this we can say confidently there is but one God and He created the Heavens and the Earth.  That is until we get to Colossians 1:16 which in speaking of Jesus Christ says “ For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him”

How do we reconcile Colossians 1:16 with Genesis 1:1 and Deuteronomy 6:4? Simple Jesus must be God. This is very staggering to say the Jesus is God until we get to Colossians 2:9-10 here we see the divinity of this Jesus Christ, and the formation of a Godhead, 3 person is one god. This is the Trinity revealed to us in scripture and taught through sound doctrine.
Now let us deal with a question given to me last Sunday which indirectly denies the Trinity, a 2000 year old fully accepted, irreproachable, historically provable, doctrine of the Bible.

If Jesus is God why did He not know the hour of his return?

Mark 13:30-32, "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 31"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.  32But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone."

Matt. 24:36, "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone."

Many times when dealing with the Trinity, (And because it [this question] challenges the deity of Jesus Christ it challenges the doctrine of the Trinity) the issue is not as much the Trinity as it is the difficulty in understanding the Trinity. Sometime the inquirer just does not understand the Trinity, however, most often this question comes from those that are used to dealing with things out of their own intellect. Smart people so to speak; they are those that search the scripture diligently to prove in one lifetime what has been established and stood the test of the wisest scholars for over 2000 years.  Most cases it comes from those that struggle with the power of a sovereign God, because they are used to being important, or smart, or the center of intelligence, or something to their small portion of the world.  

But perceiving Christ as God, someone much more than a man, omnipotent makes them impotent;  and everything they have done that has heretofore hailed as good to man, is but a filthy rags before an all mighty God (Isaiah 64:6)

Return to His Glory
During His earthly ministry Jesus moved and walked as man and every miracle that he did was as a man. This is because He was made a little while lower than the angels (Heb. 2:9) and had emptied Himself (willingly choose not to express His deity)  and taken on the form of a man (Phil. 2:7). 

Because Jesus, was a man who was ministering completely as a man under the Law (Gal. 4:4-5), He did His miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Christ was therefore completely dependent upon God as He in the form of man was cooperating with the limitations of being human.  That is why He said He didn't know the day or hour of His return.

However, we see that after the resurrection of Christ it is said of Him that He knows all things (John 21:17) and that He is omnipresent (Matt. 28:20).  Therefore, after His resurrection and glorification, the Lord Jesus did know all things.

The Hypostatic Union.
So how is it that Jesus being God did not know the hour of His return?  Simple Jesus is both God and man we see his deity in passages like (John 1:1, 14; 20:28; Col. 2:9) However, Jesus was also fully man and during His ministry in Jerusalem, He was cooperating with the limitations of being a man. 

·        As a man, Jesus walked and talked just like each of us,
·        As God, He was worshipped (Matt. 14:33; 28:9; Heb. 1:6), prayed to (1 Cor. 1:2), etc. 
This Dual Nature of Christ is called the Hypostatic Union, So why was it necessary to have a hypostatic Union? Hebrews 2:17 tells us so that he might identify with our suffering…

Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (Hebrews 2:17)

… and so that he could be a spiritual High Priest and mediator between God and man and to secure eternal redemption for us…
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)

But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us (Hebrews 9:11-12)

But excitedly important He took on the image of a servant (Philippians 2:7) so that He could die on the cross and atone for the sins of His elect and give everlasting life.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Philippians 2:5-11 says “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

…and he could not have done that without being human

Until we can see the blessed beauty of the Trinity and the need for the Hypostatic Union we will never understand the power of God’s unmerited Grace toward our salvation.

Sola Deo Gloria