THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST [Part 1]
(Lesson 04 on Bible Doctrines)
THE NAMES OF
- 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).
- CHRIST – This is the New Testament
form of the Old Testament Messiah,
which means “the anointed one” (John 1:41).
- 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.
- 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).
- 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).
CHRIST HAS ALL THE
ATTRIBUTES OF GOD
- Holiness (Heb. 7:26).
- Immutability (Heb. 13:8).
- Truth (John 14:6).
- Love (I John 3:16).
- Omnipresence (Matt. 28:20; John 3:13).
- Omnipotence (Matt. 28:18).
- Omniscience (John 1:47-51; I Cor. 4:5; Col. 2:3).
- Life (John 1:4; 14:6).
THE TWO NATURES OF
- 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.
- Theologians refer to this
union of the divine and human natures in one Person as the “hypostatic
- 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.
- “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).
- “In the beginning was the
Word, and the Word was with God, and the
Word was God” (John 1:1).
- “And Thomas answered and
said unto Him, My Lord and my God”
- “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).
- “For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily”
- “Looking for that blessed
hope, and the glorious appearing of the
great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus
- “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.
- “This is the true God, and eternal life” (I John
- 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).
- 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
- 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