CHRISTOLOGY

Natures of Christ

 God incarnated Himself in the form of Jesus of Nazareth (John 1:14), who was by nature fully divine (Col. 1:19, Heb. 1:3) yet fully human (Lk. 24:39). Although Jesus laid down aspects of His deity during the time of His incarnation (Phil. 2:6-7), none of His deity diminished by this willful and intentional restraint (John 18:36-37). Scripture attests to Jesus experiencing the full range of human emotions and experiences (Heb. 4:15), and His divinity in no way compromised the magnitude or reality of temptation experienced by His human nature (Mt. 4:1-11, Lk. 22:39-46). Jesus’ humanity enabled Him to act as substitutionary atonement for fallen humanity (2 Cor. 5:21) and its representative in re-establishing covenant relationship between man and God broken in the fall (Rom. 5:15-17). The two natures operate in concert and union rather than independently, and Jesus’ actions were always those of divinity-humanity, although the precise mechanisms and particulars of this interaction remain mysterious (Col. 2:2).

 

Sinlessness of Christ

 Jesus is blameless and never committed sin; either by commission or omission (1 John 3:5). As stated previously, He encountered genuine and full temptation commensurate with the human experience (Mt. 4:1-11, Lk. 22:39-46), and although He had the agency and free will to sin when tempted, He nevertheless exercised that agency and free will so as to remain unblemished and without sin. Speculation as to whether or not it was possible for Jesus to have sinned creates a paradox; in His divinity Jesus was incapable of acting contrary to His divine nature (Jas. 1:13), yet his temptations to sin could not have been genuine if He was not able to exercise His agency and free will (Heb. 4:15). Despite the intriguing question of this paradox, however, Scripture is clear that Jesus remained blameless and sinless through His temptations (1 Pet. 1:19).

 

Virgin Birth

 Jesus’ conception in the womb of Mary was not the result of sexual relationship, but was a supernatural act of God (Mt. 1:18-25). Mary later went on to have children of natural birth with Joseph (Mk. 6:3).

 

Offices of Christ

 The offices/roles of Jesus Christ include that of a prophet, priest, and king – these offices relate to His functions of revealing, reconciling, and ruling (respectively) although the offices and functions are distinct.

In His prophetic/revealing office, Jesus referred to Himself as a prophet (Matt. 13:57), is identified by others as a prophet (Acts 3:22 cf. Deut. 18:15), and His ministry closely mirrored those of previous prophets – although His ministry and prophecy was superior to that of His predecessors (Mt. 4:23-25).

In His priestly/reconciling office Jesus intercedes for His disciples in a high priestly prayer (John 17) and continues to do so for believers (Heb. 7:25, 9:24). The office of priest is not fulfilled only through priestly prayers, but additionally by the sacrificial offering of His body as an ultimate and final sacrifice (Heb. 10:10).

In his kingly/ruling office Jesus fulfils the prophecy of a divinely appointed monarch sitting David’s throne (Isa. 9:7). Jesus understood this to be true about Himself (Matt. 19:28), the accusation of this led to His execution by the Roman government (John 18:33-37), the entirety of creation is under His dominion (1 Pet. 3:22). He will return again to inaugurate His kingdom fully (Rev. 21:5-8).

 

 

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