Christology – God the Son
A. Names – the names listed below are those with specific reference to Christ’s divinity.
Jesus has divine titles (the N.T. applies O. T. Yahweh passages to Jesus) :
Yahweh – John 8:24, 28, 58, (“I AM” – Ego eimi statements in the Greek text of the NT/LXX refer to Yahweh)
Isaiah 44:6 / Revelation 1:8, 22:13
Psalm 102:21-26 / Hebrews 1:10-12
Isaiah 8:13, 14 / I Peter 2:8
Joel 2:32 / Romans 10:13
“Jesus is Lord” (1 Cor. 12:3) – This is the central confession of the NT of Christ’s divine nature.
B. Preexistence/Divinity – A biblical case for the deity of Jesus.
Old Testament: the promise of a divine Messiah
Psalm 110:1 – “The Lord says to my Lord . . .”
Malachi 3:1 – “The Lord will suddenly come to His temple . . .”
Isaiah 9:6 - A son born who is called the mighty God.
Micah 5:2 – One born in the city of
Isaiah 40:3 – “Prepare the way for Yahweh Who is coming . . .”
Jeremiah 23:5-6 – The Messiah will be called Yahweh our righteousness.
New Testament: Clear statements of his deity
John 4:26 – I Am He.
Titus 2:13 – Our great God and Savior.
Jesus has divine prerogatives
Luke 5:20-21 – Jesus forgives sins.
Matthew 14:33 – Jesus receives worship.
John 10:30 – He and the Father are one.
John 14:9 – He who has seen Him as seen the Father.
John 1:1-3 – all things came into being by Him.
Colossians 1:15-19 – He is the firstborn of all creation.
Philippians 2:6 – Jesus was existing in the form of God before the incarnation.
John 1:14 – one of a kind (monogenous).
Explicit statements from the New Testament showing the deity of Jesus
John 1:1-3; Romans 9:5; Philippians 2:6; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:3; 1:8 (quoting Psalm 45:6)
The Incarnation Shown Forth in Christ’s Divinity
John 1:1-3; 3:13, 17; 6:38, 57; 8:58; 13:3; 16:28; 17:5; Galatians 4:4-5; Colossians 1:16-18; Philippians 2:5-7; Hebrews 1:2, 8:10; Revelation 22:13, 16.
Cultural Barriers to believing in the incarnation (1 Corinthians 1:23)
Jews: (stumbling block) - Fiercely monotheistic; they considered incarnation blasphemy.
Greeks: (foolishness) – Dualistic philosophy aimed at escape from the physical body; the concept of the incarnation is the opposite philosophical direction they wanted to go in.
(1) The Necessity of the Incarnation (i.e., necessary meaning non-optional)
1. To redeem fallen man as God’s free and gracious choice – Romans 9:18, 24.
2. God’s choice to redeem man required representation through the sinless mediator, Christ Jesus instead of Adam (Acts 4:12; Romans 3:26; 1 Tim. 2:5)
Romans 5:12-21 – Jesus is the second Adam.
1 Corinthians 15:45 – Jesus is the last Adam.
1 Timothy 2:5 – Jesus is the one mediator between God and man.
(2) The Purpose of the Incarnation
The purpose of the incarnation was to make provision for the perfect blood atoning sacrifice needed to secure the redemption of God’s elect. Christ’s incarnation fulfilled the righteous demands of the Law and culminated in His sin-bearing, death, which death was required to satisfy God’s justice.
1. God cannot die, but God incarnated could die - Hebrews 9:23-26.
2. Hebrews 10:1-14 – Jesus took on a body in order to die as a substitutionary, propitiatory sacrifice.
3. Doctrine of subsequent necessity (Right view) - God chose to save fallen man, therefore He sent Jesus.
4. Doctrine of antecedent necessity (Wrong view) - God had to save fallen man, therefore He sent Jesus.
5. Subsequent – God chose to save in eternity and subsequently sent His son to ratify that election in time.
6. Consequent – Because God the Father chose, the incarnation was required to redeem those chosen.
7. Absolute necessity of the incarnation – the cross was the only way to save those elected from the foundation of the world (John 6:37-44).
So, the incarnation was a subsequent, consequent, absolute necessity for saving God’s eternally chosen elect.
(3) The Virgin Birth
The virgin conception is the miracle, not the birth itself.
Isaiah 7:14 – Heb. Word almah means either “young maiden” or “virgin”, but the LXX use of the Greek term parthenos always means virgin and this is the Greek term used in Matthew 1:23.
Why was the virgin conception necessary?
1. It demonstrates the uniqueness of Jesus.
2. It demonstrates the divine initiative in His birth (John 1:14; 3:2; 13:3).
3. It demonstrates the Sonship of Jesus (Gal. 4:4; Heb. 1:8).
D. The Kenosis
The kenosis theory is different from the biblical doctrine of the kenosis. The kenosis theory says that Jesus divested (i.e., gave up) some or all of His divine attributes (Phil. 2:7).
Obvious Problems with the kenosis theory:
1. God cannot divest Himself of any essential attribute (i.e., glory, divinity, sovereignty)
2. The incarnation did add human flesh to the divine nature (fully God/fully man)
The glory of God the Son was in a certain sense veiled by human flesh.
Matthew 17:2; Hebrews 10:20; John 1:14; John 17:5
Jesus chose not to exercise or assert all of His divine prerogatives in the Incarnation.
Hebrews 5:8 – the son suffered: He never laid aside His Sonship.
Four reasons why the kenosis theory is not tenable:
1. The immutability (unchangeableness) of God does not allow it.
2. The unity of the Trinity would cease to exist.
3. Genuine incarnation (God made flesh) requires it.
4. Exaltation of Jesus would then require giving up human nature.
The Biblical kenosis is found in Philippians 2:7 – “He emptied Himself . . .” This refers to His voluntary choice to temporarily refuse to assert His powers and rights as God the Son in the incarnation and instead become a humble, willing servant, by being obedient to God to the point of death on the cross.
Perpetuity of Jesus’ human nature.
Hebrews 13:8 – yesterday, today and forever.
1 Timothy 2:5/Hebrews 7:25 – Jesus is the eternal mediator.
Colossians 2:9 – All the fullness of deity dwells in Christ in bodily form in a present, ongoing fashion.
Philippians 3:21 – Continuity but transformation.
Relationship of the two Natures in Christ (Human/Divine):
Reformed/Biblical view: both divine and human natures are communicated to His person.
Whatever is true of either nature is true of the person
Does Jesus know everything?
Human nature – no
Divine nature – yes
Where does heresy come from?
1. Unteachable and obstinate disposition of sinful and/or unregenerate religious people.
2. A desire to reduce mysteries of God’s word to manageable formulations.
Nine major Christological heresies of church history:
1. Ebionitism: natural son of Joseph and Mary, Christ at baptism until the cross.
2. Adoptionism: man Jesus became divine by conferral of divine qualities.
3. Doceticism: Jesus was divine being who only appeared human (1 John 4:2-3).
4. Sabellianism: God appeared as the Son for only a time (Modalism).
5. Arianism: Jesus divine in secondary sense, 1st & greatest created being (Council of Nicea convened in 325 A.D. to correct this heresy).
6. Apollinarianism: fully divine/partial human nature (no human mind or soul).
7. Nestorianism: Jesus was two persons (unity of wills, not natures).
8. Eutychianism: Jesus had one mingled human & divine nature (Monophysitism).
9. Kenosis theory: Jesus emptied Himself of deity at incarnation (later 19th century liberal
Four categories of the nine major heresies
1. Jesus was essentially man and not divine (#1 & #2)
2. Jesus was an appearance only (#3 & #4)
3. Jesus’ full human nature denied (#5 & #6)
4. Jesus’ two natures separated or mingled (#7 & #8)
Orthodox, Scriptural, and Creedal Christology
The Definition of Chalcedon (451 A.D.) – formulated so as to be a confessional statement against the above errors (English text from Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, vol. 2, p. 62).
We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men 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 soul and body; consubstantial 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 and one Subsistence, 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.
· Jesus is 1 person with 2 full natures without confusion, division, mixture or separation.
· You have a plurality of natures in Jesus, not persons.
· Two whole, complete natures.
1646 London Baptist Confession states regarding Jesus:
XVI. THAT He might be a prophet every way complete, it was necessary He should be God, and also that He should be man: For unless He had been God, He could never have perfectly understood the will of God; and unless He had been man, He could not suitably have unfolded it in His own person to men.
John 1:18; Acts 3:22; Deut.18:15; Heb.1:1.
Note: That Jesus Christ is God is wonderfully and clearly expressed in the Scriptures. He is called the mighty God. lsa.9:6. That Word was God, John 1:1. Christ, who is God over all, Rom.9:5. God manifested in the flesh, 1 Tim.3:16. The same is very God, 1 John 5:20. He is the first, Rev.1:8. He gives being to all things, and without Him was nothing made, John 1:2. He forgiveth sins, Matt.9:6. He is before Abraham, John 8:58. He was and is, and ever will be the same, Heb.13:8. He is always with His to the end of the world, Matt.28:20. Which could not be said of Jesus Christ, if He were not God. And to the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever, Heb.1:8. John 1:18. Also, Christ is not only perfectly God, but perfect man, made of a woman, Ga1.4:4. Made of the seed of David, Rom.1:3. Coming out of the loins of David, Acts 2:30. Of Jesse and
1689 London Baptist Confession, chapter 8 (statements based upon confession):
“The only mediator . . .” – 1 Timothy 2:5
“ . . .is the Lord” – Romans 10:9
“Jesus Christ” – Matthew 16:16
“Who being the eternal” – John 1:1
“Son of God” – 1 John 5:20
“ . . of one substance” – John 20:28
“and equal with the Father” – Philippians 2:6
“in the fullness of time” – Matthew 1:21-28, Galatians 4:4
“became a man” – 1 Timothy 2:5
“and so was and continues to be God and man” – John 1:14
“in two entire, distinct natures in one person” – Colossians 2:9
“forever” – Romans 9:5
Fully God and Fully Man
Jesus Christ, the Son of God and second person of the Trinity, is God. He is of the same essence as the Father and equal to him. At just the right time, according to the predestined plan of God, the eternal Son became a man. He was made like us in every way, except for his sinlessness. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary. This union of the divine and human made Jesus forever both God and man in one person. He is fully God and fully man. His divine and human natures are neither altered, blended, nor confused. Jesus Christ, the only mediator between God and man, was, and is, fully God and fully man. John 1:1-14, Romans 1:1-4, John 3:16, Matthew 28:18-20, John 14:5-14, John 10:22-39, Galatians 4:1-7, Hebrews 4:14-16, Luke 1:26-38, Matthew 1:18-24, 1 Timothy 2:1-7, Hebrews 2:5-18
The Nature of the Humanity of Jesus
Fully man: Jesus was and is completely human (Jesus had everything that makes man human).
Weakened human nature: closest to sinful humanity without sinning (Jesus had mortal humanity; not pre-fall humanity). Romans 8:3; Hebrews 5:2; 2 Corinthians 13:4; 1 Corinthians 15:3
G. Temptation and Impeccability
Luke 1:35 – the Holy one to be born
John 8:46 – “can you prove Me guilty of sin?”
Acts 3:14 – “. . . the Holy and Righteous one”
Hebrews 4:15 – “tempted . . . yet without sin”
Hebrews 9:14 – “unblemished . . .”
1 Peter 1:18-19; 2:22-23; 1 John 3:4; 2 Corinthians 5:21.
Hebrews 5:7, 12:2-4 – Jesus was truly tempted.
*Paradox: Jesus was impeccable in regard to His divine nature; but was peccable in regard to His human nature.
Charles Hodge – Christ was able to sin as to His human nature.
W. G. T. Shedd – Christ was unable to sin because of His deity.
The incarnation of Christ occurred by addition of human nature, not by way of the subtraction of Christ’s deity.
John 1:14; Philippians 2:6-7; 1 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV); 1 Timothy 1:17; Colossians 2:9.
Again, the incarnation did not subtract deity from Jesus.
H. Teachings, Miracles
Mark 2:7, 12 – Amazed by His works.
Matthew 7:28-29 – Astonished at His teaching.
Matthew 8:27 – Marveled at His authority.
Matthew 16:13-17 – Puzzled about His identity.
His Humiliation and Exaltation
The Lord Jesus willingly accepted his appointment as mediator and perfectly fulfilled that office. He endured the most severe tortures of soul and body, was crucified, buried, and remained under the power of death for three days, without seeing corruption. . . .
J. Exaltation [(1) Resurrection; (2) Ascension; (3) Session]
. . . . .He rose from the dead on the third day. He ascended into heaven, where he sat down at the Father's right hand and intercedes for his people. From the Father's right hand he shall physically return at the end of the world to judge all men and angels. John 10:14-18, Galatians 3:10-14, Isaiah 53, 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, Acts 1:1-11, Acts 13:34-37, Romans 8:31-34, 2 Timothy 4:1-5
K. Second Coming
What Happens When Christ Comes
Believers who are alive at the second coming of Jesus Christ will not die, but they will be instantly changed into a resurrected state. At that time, the bodies of the believing dead will also be raised incorruptible with a resurrected body and all believers will be with the Lord Jesus Christ in the new heavens and the new earth. The unbeliever will experience the full fury of God’s wrath forever in the
God has appointed a day when he will judge the world with perfect justice through Jesus Christ, to whom he has given all power and authority. On that day the fallen angels will be judged as well as everyone who has ever lived on the earth. All must appear before the judgment seat of Christ to give account for everything they have done (their thoughts, words, and actions) while they lived on the earth. The Lord Jesus will give his unchangeable verdict on that day, forever sealing the destinies of everyone. The wicked will be sent into the
L. Mediator – “JESUS Christ is made the mediator of the new and everlasting covenant of grace between God and man, ever to be perfectly and fully the prophet, priest, and king of the
The Eternal Mediator
It pleased God, in his eternal purpose, to choose the Lord Jesus, his one and only Son, to be the mediator between God and man. He was to be the Prophet, Priest, and King, the head and Savior of his church, the heir of all things and judge of the world. To the Lord Jesus the Father gave, from all eternity, a people to redeem, call, justify, sanctify, and glorify. 1 Peter 1:17-21, 1 Timothy 2:1-7, Hebrews 1:1-4, Hebrews 5:1-10, Luke 1:26-33, Ephesians 1:15-23, Romans 8:28-30, John 5:16-30
M. Three Offices of Christ
(1) Prophet – He proclaims to us what God would have us receive because of our sinful ignorance. (2) Priest – He intercedes for us by His shed blood thereby making us acceptable to God. (3) King – He reigns over the world in His sovereignty and thereby convicts, draws, and convinces us of his majesty and preserves us unto His heavenly kingdom.
Jesus Christ, as our Prophet, Priest, and King
The three offices of Jesus Christ, our Messiah, are necessary for us. Because of our ignorance we need him to be our Prophet. Because of our separation from God we need him to be our Priest so that we can be made to be acceptable to him. Because we have rebelled against him and have become God-haters there is absolutely no way for us to return to him, therefore we need him to be our King to convince, draw, deliver, and preserve us for his heavenly kingdom. 1 Timothy 2:1-7, John 1:15-18, Colossians 1:21-22, Romans 5:9-11, Ephesians 2:1-10, John 6:44
 Article 10, section 3a, ibid.
 Article 10, section 3b, ibid.
 Article 28, section 2, ibid.
 Article 29, ibid.