THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST   [Part 1]

(Lesson 04 on Bible Doctrines) 



 

I. THE NAMES OF CHRIST

  1. JESUS – This is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua (Josh. 1:1; Zech. 3:1). Derived from the Hebrew word “to save,” it designates Christ as the Saviour (Matt. 1:21).
  2. CHRIST – This is the New Testament form of the Old Testament Messiah, which means “the anointed one” (John 1:41).
  3. SON OF MAN – This is a Messianic title going back to Dan. 7:13. It is the name which Jesus usually applied to Himself (Luke 18:8). “While it does contain an indication of the humanity of Jesus, in the light of its historical origin it points far more to His superhuman character and to His future coming with the clouds of heaven in majesty and glory, Dan. 7:13; Matt. 16:27, 28; 26:64; Luke 21:27” – Louis Berkhof, Summary of Christian Doctrine.
  4. SON OF GOD – Christ is called the Son of God because of His miraculous, superhuman birth (Luke 1:35). The Jews of His day recognized what He meant when He referred to Himself as the Son of God (John 5:18; 10:30-33).
  5. LORD – This name could be used as a polite form of address, similar to our use of the word “sir” (cf. I Peter 3:6). However, in many passages it identifies Jesus Christ as Jehovah (LORD) God (cf. Acts 2:36; Rom. 10:9, 12, 13; I Cor. 12:3).

 

II. CHRIST HAS ALL THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD

  1. Holiness (Heb. 7:26).
  2. Immutability (Heb. 13:8).
  3. Truth (John 14:6).
  4. Love (I John 3:16).
  5. Omnipresence (Matt. 28:20; John 3:13).
  6. Omnipotence (Matt. 28:18).
  7. Omniscience (John 1:47-51; I Cor. 4:5; Col. 2:3).
  8. Life (John 1:4; 14:6).

 

III. THE TWO NATURES OF CHRIST

  1. The Bible represents Christ as having two distinct natures, one divine and the other human. The apostle Paul referred to this as “the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh” (I Tim. 3:16).
  2. Theologians refer to this union of the divine and human natures in one Person as the “hypostatic union.”
  3. The humanity of Christ is seldom called into question, but most liberals, cultists, infidels, and other various and diverse unbelievers, do not accept His deity. However, the Bible does teach that Jesus Christ is God.
    1. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6b).
    2. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).
    3. “And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God” (John 20:28).
    4. “Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen” (Rom. 9:5).
    5. “For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9).
    6. “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
    7. “But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy kingdom” (Heb. 1:8).
    8. “This is the true God, and eternal life” (I John 5:20b).
  4. There is abundant proof for the humanity of Jesus.  He was born of a woman (Gal. 4:4); spoke of Himself as a man (John 8:40); has the body of a man (Luke 24:39; I John 1:1); grew in wisdom and stature as a man (Luke 2:40, 52); was hungry, thirsty, and tired (Matt. 4:2; John 4:6; 19:28); wept over the death of a friend (John 11:35); and was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin (Heb. 4:15; cf. John 8:46; II Cor. 5:21; Heb. 9:14; I Peter 2:22; I John 3:5).
  5. It was necessary that Christ should be both God and man because it was only as man that He could die on the cross as our substitute, and only as sinless God that He could atone for the sins of others.  Berkhof says that “it was only as God that He could give His sacrifice infinite value, and bear the wrath of God so as to deliver others from it” (Summary of Christian Doctrine).
  6. In His incarnation, Christ assumed a human nature in addition to His divine nature – thereby possessing all the essential qualities of both the human and the divine nature. This is what the apostle Paul meant when he said that Christ “took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:7).

Pastor James Barker
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