Christians are a people of truth. Our faith is based on the truth of God. One of the most important and characteristic truths about Christianity is the doctrine of the Trinity. Though you won’t find the word “trinity” in the Scriptures, you will see the attributes of deity ascribed and described of the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit. In other words, God is one, but exists in three persons. Much controversy has come as a result of this teaching, but the Scriptures are clear in its proclamation of the deity of all three members of the Godhead.
Perhaps the most controversial teaching of the Godhead is the teaching about the nature of Jesus Christ. In the Scriptures, we find that Jesus was an actual human being 100% and that He was also 100% God. This is known as the doctrine of the hypostatic union.
Notice what the Apostle Paul says in Philippians 2:5-11 & Colossians 1:15-19
- 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)
- 15 He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him (Jesus) all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell… (Colossians 1:15-19)
This is hugely significant as we consider the work of the gospel. For anyone to be saved, they must have the righteousness required by God that comes from obedience to the law. However, the Bible teaches that no one can perfectly obey the law of God because of his sinful nature. We’re all born rebels incapable of obeying the Lord, nor do we naturally have the desire to. This is why the doctrine of Christ or Christology is an essential doctrine.
As a man, Jesus perfectly obeyed the will/law of the Father (Matthew 5:17 & John 4:34). The law requires perfect obedience and it also demands death for disobedience. Jesus lived as a human being, with its limitations, for 33 years perfectly submitted to the will of the Father, including dying on a cross as a ransom and a substitution for sinners. (Isaiah 53)
As God, Jesus exhibited the attributes of deity – authority over creation, received worship, immortality, His titles as Lord, and His claim to being I AM (John 8:58). What’s key is that only God can fulfill His own law and in this Jesus proved His deity as well.
The rejection of the nature and work of Jesus Christ is the birth of false religions. (i.e. Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormonism, etc.)
The nature and work of Jesus is one we must get right if we will fully appreciate the uniqueness, grace and mercy of the gospel and its security.
Check out the song, Hypostatic Union, by shai linne from his forthcoming album, Lyrical Theology Volume 1.
(see if you can decipher what the logo says)
Grace & Peace,