Christology, The Doctrine of Christ
Tod Kennedy, Spring-Summer, 2006
14. Where is it?
19. The Rapture
1. Jesus the Christ has always been eternal God. He is Eternal and Self-Existent. Jesus Christ as God always existed in eternity past. He is not dependent upon anyone else for His existence. He is the uncaused cause. This includes, but is more than preexistence. At the incarnation he also became man. So, from the incarnation on He is God and man in one person forever. At the present time and forever His humanity is resurrected glorified humanity. He is the Son of God, the Savior of the world. Let’s begin the study by looking at some central Scripture passages that clearly say that Jesus the Messiah is God, that at a time in history He was born as a man, and that from then on He also was true man.
a. Isaiah 9:6-7 predict that a child will be born and a son is given. We have in this statement the humanity and deity of Jesus. Isaiah predicts the incarnation of Jesus. One of Jesus’ names is the father of perpetuity or eternity. It speaks of his eternality.
b. John 1:1-14 and 18 refer the Word of God, God who took on humanity. The chapter begins by referring to a beginning that someone may use as a frame of reference, i.e. creation of angels, origin or creation of the earth and solar system. Here it refers to the time before the creation of anything and therefore eternity past. Start with the statement of absolute existence and then move into creation. Since everything was created through the Son, He had to be and was in continual existence before the creation of anything.
i. Notice it says in the beginning, not from the beginning. We start in eternity past and Christ is eternally existent then.
ii. Was the word. The verb is the word eimi which is the status quo verb, the verb of existence. It is not ginomai which means to become. Impf. active indicative 3rd person singular. The imperfect has the meaning of continual action or progressive action in past time. It is used three times in verse 1.
iii. Verse 2: was = imperfect of eimi + in a beginning face to face with God.
iv. Verse 3: His relation to creation. Verb became = ginomai aorist middle indicative 3rd person singular. Notice the difference between this and the verb eimi.
v. Verse 14: The word became aorist middle indicative of ginomai. And He dwelt or lived among us (aorist active indicative of, skenow, to live, dwell, take up tent dwelling 762).
vi. Verse 18 tells us that Jesus, when He became man, explained God the Father to people.
c. Philippians 2:6-11 teaches many things about Jesus Christ. Two important truths are that Christ Jesus existed in the expression and true nature of God (He is God) and that He took on the visible expression and therefore the true nature of a slave—a human slave to God the Father— (He became man) so that he could die for mankind’s sins. This is called the kenosis doctrine. This passage also clearly affirms that he is always God and became man, and furthermore he will forevermore be God and man in his one person. This doctrine is called the hypostatic union.
d. Hebrews 1:6-8, Jesus Christ is both the Son of God and God, and He became man at the incarnation.
e. 1 Timothy 3:16, Jesus was revealed in the flesh which indicates existence before He was revealed. The hymn goes on to summarize His life on earth and then His ascension to heaven.
f. Romans 1:3-5, Jesus is a descendant of David on the human side and the Son of God on the divine side.
g. Acts 1:6-11, the disciples recognize Him as the risen Lord who will someday rule the kingdom promised to Israel in the Old Testament. Before that comes about, Jesus will ascend to heaven and then at some time unknown to man He will return to earth to rule.
h. Micah 5:2, This is a statement that the Messiah will be born (humanity) in Bethlehem of Judah that He (deity) has lived forever in the past.
i. Exodus 3:13-15, Jesus Christ is the Angel of the Lord. He is identified as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He is I am who I am. Qal Imperfect I cs from the Hebrew verb hayah, which means to become, to happen, to be, to exist, and can be translated, I am. This indicates the eternal I am, who is Christ.
j. John 8:58 prin + infinitive aorist of ginomai means before Abram became or came into existence. I am, ego eimi, present active indicative of eimi plus first person singular pronoun. The verb of status quo.
k. Colossians 1:16-17: This gives His relationship to creation. He was not created; He was the creator, and He existed always before all things. He is eternal. Furthermore, He maintains creation through laws of math, chemistry, physics, biology, and others.
l. Revelation 22:13 is another description of His eternity. “I am the alpha and the omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.
a. Names of Christ in the Old Testament
i. Yahweh or Lord, Zechariah 10:12
ii. Elohim or God, Isaiah 40:3; Isaiah 9:6-7
iii. Adonai or Lord, Psalm 110:1
iv. Angel of the Lord, Genesis 16:7-13
v. Son of God, Psalm 2:7
b. Christ, the son of God, was active in the Old Testament. Two areas of prominence are creator and provider.
i. Creator – John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-17; Genesis 1:25; the plural implies the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
ii. God the Son maintained the structure and life of all creation; He provided for Israel; and He guided His people.
1. The Son maintains creation (Colossians 1:17).
2. The angel of the Lord revealed God and God’s will to God’s people (Abraham in Genesis 22).
3. The Son provided for Israel for Israel in the wilderness (1 Corinthians 10:1-5).
c. The Angel of the Lord. During Old Testament history, God often appeared to people in the form of the Angel of the Lord. The Bible, in John 1:18, tells us that no one has seen God at any time, and that Jesus explained God to mankind. The visible appearance of God to man in Old Testament times was often an appearance of God the Son as the Angel of the Lord before He became man at the incarnation.
i. For example, the Angel of the Lord appeared to Hagar in Genesis 16:7-13, and in verse 10 this angel said what only God could say, while in verse 13 Hagar identifies the Angel as God.
ii. In Genesis 22 the Angel of the Lord appeared to Abraham at the time he was to offer Isaac—the Angel of the Lord is called God and LORD in verses 1, 8, 11, 12, and 15-19.
iii. In Exodus 3 the Angel of the Lord appeared to Moses from the burning bush and the Angel is said to be God, LORD, I AM WHO I AM.
iv. Judges 2.1-5 the Angel of the Lord appeared to the Israelites and, again, the Angel was God.
v. After the birth of Jesus, the appearances of an angel of the Lord were actual angels sent by God.
3. Types and illustrations of Christ in the Old Testament. A type is a prophetic illustration, representation, or correspondence to something or someone to come. The following are examples of types or illustrations of Jesus Christ.
a. Adam in Romans 5:14.
b. Melchizedek in Hebrews 6:20 with Gen. 14:18–20 and Ps. 110:4.
c. The bronze serpent that Moses held up in Numbers 21:4-9 and John 3:14-15.
d. Old Testament sacrifices and feasts as noted in Hebrews, John 1:20, and 1 Corinthians 5:7.
e. The Kinsman Redeemer in Ruth (Boaz was related, able, and willing).
4. The Old Testament Prophecies and Jesus Christ. Peter wrote, in 1 Peter 1:10-12, that the Old Testament prophets knew something about the coming Messiah and studied so they might know more about Him and His coming to suffer and His later coming in glory.
a. General Messianic Prophecy
i. Linage of Christ. Genesis 3:15 He will be born of the woman; Genesis 4:25 in the line of Seth; Genesis 6-9 in the line of Shem from Noah; Genesis 12:1-3 line of Abraham; Genesis 17:19 Isaac; Genesis 28:14 Jacob; Genesis 49:10 Judah; 2 Samuel 7:12-13 Boaz, Obed, Jesse, David; The New Testament genealogies in Matthew 1:2-16 and Luke 3:23-38; Matthew deals with Joseph via Solomon (the legal line) while Luke deals with Mary via Nathan (the physical line).
ii. Birth of Christ
1. Micah 5:2 The Place
2. Isaiah 7:14 Virgin born
iii. The time of the birth of Christ, Daniel 9:25-26 at the end of the 69th week (death).
b. Prophecies about the person of Christ, His humanity and deity.
i. Genesis 3:15. This is a prophecy of the birth of the redeemer from the woman. It is more than a reference to just birth, but also a prophecy of the victory over Satan in the angelic conflict. Note that Christ is to be of humanity.
ii. Isaiah 7:14 states the sign to the house of David. The virgin shall conceive, bear a son, and His name shall be Immanuel (with us God). No human father. Compare Matthew 1:23.
iii. Isaiah 9:6-7. We see both His humanity and deity: child = humanity; son = deity; eternal father = father of eternity and deity; mighty God = deity. The other titles can go for the Messiah in hypostatic union.
iv. Micah 5:2. This refers to the eternality of Christ, plus His functions as a ruler.
c. Prophecies about the life of Christ.
i. Prophet – Deuteronomy 18:15-18 with John 1:21 and John 6:14;
ii. Priest – Psalm 110:4 with Hebrews 5:5-10, Zechariah 6:13;
iii. King; 2 Samuel 7:12-16 with Luke 1:31-33, Isaiah 9:6-7, Psalm 110 and others.
d. Prophecies about Christ coming as Savior.
i. Genesis 3:15. We have the indication of victory over Satan.
ii. Job 19:25. This indicates Job knew of the coming Savior
iii. Isaiah 53
e. Prophecies about the death of Christ for man.
i. Psalm 22, He is forsaken by God (verse 1), ridiculed (verses 6-8), suffers pain (verses 14-16), dislocation of bones (verse 14), thirsty (verse 15), hands and feet were pierced (verse 16 and Luke 23:33), division of clothes and lots (verse 18 and John 19:23-24), physical death (verse 15).
ii. Psalm 118:22-24 with 1 Peter 2:6-7.
iii. Isaiah 53 with 52:14: He is beaten, wounded, bruised (Isaiah 52:14, Isaiah 53:5); He is silent (Isaiah 53:7); His soul is offered for sin (Isaiah 53:10); He dies with wicked men (Isaiah 53; Matthew 27:38); Rejected by His own people (Isaiah 53:3; Psalm 19:4; John 7:5).
iv. Matthew 12:38-42; Matthew 16:21; Matthew 17:22-23; Matthew 20:18-19; Matthew 26:31; Mark 8:31; Mark 9:31; Mark 10:32-34; Luke 9:22, 44; Luke 18:31-33; John 12:32-33.
f. Prophecies about His resurrection.
i. Psalm 16:10 with Acts 2:25-31. This Psalm is quoted by Peter in Acts and He says it refers to Christ.
ii. Isaiah 53:10
iii. Matthew 12:38-42; Matthew 16:21; Matthew 17:9; Matthew 17:23; Matthew 20:19; Matthew 26:32; Matthew 27:63; Mark 8:31; Mark 9:9; Mark 9:31; Mark 10:32-34; Mark 14:58 Luke 9:22, 44; Luke 18:33; John 2:19-21.
g. Prophecies about Christ’s coming to earth. Psalm 2; Zechariah 12:10; 14:1-3.
h. Prophecies about the Millennial reign of Christ after the Second Advent. Isaiah 2; Isaiah 11; Psalm 72; Matthew 26:64; Luke 21:27; Revelation 20; Acts 1:11; then the eternal state in 1 Corinthians 15:24-28.
5. Immanuel – God with Us. The incarnation of Jesus Christ and fulfillment of the virgin conception prophecy of Isaiah 7:14. The redemptive line begins in Genesis 3:15. The place of birth is predicted in Micah 5:2.
a. Matthew 1:18-2:12. Matthew indicates the conception by the Holy Spirit, the virgin birth, His humanity and deity, the purpose for the birth = to save from sins, the place as a fulfillment of prophecy.
b. Luke 2:1-20. Gives the date, why they were in Bethlehem, the fact of the birth, the announcement by the angel. Immanuel, Jesus the Christ, became man at the incarnation. He was then qualified to be the mediator between God and man (Philippians 2:8; 1 Timothy 1:15 and 2:5-6). Notice the emphasis in Luke 2:10-11: the Savior, Christ the Lord.
c. Why did Immanuel come?
i. To save sinners, 1 Timothy 1:15.
ii. To be the sacrifice for sin, Hebrews 10:1-12.
iii. To be a priest forever, Hebrews 5:1-6.
iv. To destroy the works of Satan, 1 John 3:8.
a. Genesis 1:1
b. Genesis 1:26-27
c. Genesis 3:15
d. Genesis 9:26
e. Genesis 12:1-3
f. 2 Samuel 7:12-16
g. Isaiah 7:14
h. Isaiah 9:6-7
i. Isaiah 53
j. Jeremiah 31:27-34
k. Micah 5:2
l. Zechariah 12:10
m. Zechariah 14:9
n. Matthew 1:21-25
o. John 1:1-3
p. John 1:14
q. John 1:29
r. 1Timothy 1:15
s. 1 Corinthians 15:24-28
7. The Deity of Jesus Christ (Word, Work, Worshipped, Names, Attributes, Trinity = wwwnat).
a. The Word specifically declares that Christ is God; John 1:1; John 20:28; Romans 9:5; Philippians 2:6; Titus 2:13; 1 John 5:20; Hebrews 1:8.
b. He does, performs the work of Deity
i. He is the creator, John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16-17.
ii. He sustains the universe, Colossians 1:17.
iii. He forgives sin, Luke 7:48; Mark 2:1-11.
iv. He raises the dead, John 5:19-29.
v. He judges, John 5:22-30.
vi. He sends the Holy Spirit, John 15:26.
c. Christ is worshipped as God, Philippians 2:10; Hebrews 1:6; Matthew 14:33.
d. The names of God are ascribed to Christ.
i. God, Hebrews 1:8; Isaiah 9:6.
ii. Son of God, Matthew 16:16; Matthew 26:61-64.
iii. Lord, Matthew 22:43-45.
iv. King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Revelation 19:16.
e. He possesses the attributes, essence, and perfections of God. John 10:30 I and the Father are one. Colossians 2:9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form. Examples: Righteousness, 1 Peter 2:22; Love, John 15:9; 2 Timothy 1:13; Eternal Life, John 1:1-3; Micah 5:2; Omnipotent, Acts 10:38; 1 Corinthians 1:24; Philippians 3:21; Omnipresence, John 14:23; Matthew 18:20; Omniscient, John 6:64; John 1:48; John 16:30; Immutable, Hebrews 13:8; Veracity, John 14:6; John 1:14; Sovereign, Matthew 28:18; John 10:18; John 17:2; Justice, Acts 17:31; John 5:22-30.
f. He is a member of the Trinity (Matthew 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
8. The Humanity of Jesus Christ can be studied under the following words: Born, Human soul and spirit, Body, Actions, Names, Died. The first letter of each summary word about the humanity of Christ makes a nonsense word, bsband. Possible this word will help us to remember this doctrine. Jesus was truly human. Jesus had to be truly human because the Messiah was to be a man, He was to die, and be raised physically, and He was to fulfill the Davidic Covenant. He was to be a prophet, priest, and King. Christ possessed a true human body of flesh and blood; He possessed a human soul and human spirit. He was different in the fact that He had no sin nature, imputed sin, or personal sin.
a. Christ was born as a human being from a human mother, the virgin birth, Galatians 4:4; Luke 2:1-20. He grew up as a human from a baby to boyhood to manhood, Luke 2-3.
b. Christ possessed a human soul and human spirit, Matthew 26:38; Luke 23:46.
c. Christ possessed a body of flesh, 1 John 4:2; John 1:14; Hebrews 10:5.
d. Christ was subject to normal human actions such as hunger, Matthew 4:2; thirst, John 19:28; physical exhaustion, John 4:6; proper emotional response, John 11:35; underwent spiritual testing, Hebrews 4:15.
e. Christ possessed human names or titles:
i. Son of Man, Luke 19:10.
ii. Jesus, Matthew 1:21.
iii. Son of David, Mark 10:47.
iv. Man, I Timothy 2:5.
f. Christ died physically and was raised physically, John 19:30-42 and John 20-21; Matthew 27-28.
a. His early years are not covered in detail, but we know certain things about Jesus. After His birth He underwent a number of events required of a male child by the Law. The mother is ceremonially unclean at the birth of her male child. She remained ceremonially unclean for 33 days after the child is circumcised (at eight days of age). On the fortieth day after the birth the mother goes to a priest and offers a sin offering for her ritual cleansing —a lamb or two pigeons. Joseph and Mary did as was required, and they also did the following for Jesus as required by the law (Leviticus 12:1-8).
i. Circumcision at the age of 8 days, Leviticus 12:3; Luke 2:21.
ii. Presentation of the first born when He was 40 days old, Leviticus 12:4-7, Exodus 13:2-12; Luke 2:22-24. The usual practice was to redeem the first born from the Lord (Numbers 18:15). Jesus was not redeemed; He was consecrated to the Lord.
iii. Made a son of the law at 13 years old (Luke 2:42), though the instruction increased at age 12. In the event of a male child being appointed to public service the recognition and consecration occurred at 30 years of age or older (Numbers 4:23; Luke 3:23).
b. Baptism of Christ, Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:31-34. The baptism of Christ by John identified with the Father’s plan, set Him apart, and consecrated Him to His Messianic ministry.
c. He grew in His humanity physically, mentally, and spiritually. He advanced in the Word of God. His soul was built up. He knew Doctrine. Luke 2:40-52.
d. He was tempted by Satan in the sphere of His humanity. These temptations were real and legitimate. Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13; compare James 1:13.
i. The purpose of them was to challenge the humanity of Christ to act independently of the plan of God.
ii. Christ was tested in His humanity only – not in His deity; He was mature physically and spiritually (was totally saturated with the Word of God); He was filled with the Holy Spirit in His humanity; He did not have a sin nature
iii. What did the testing in the wilderness by Satan demonstrate? The testing demonstrated that he truly was the Messiah and ready to begin his ministry.
e. Christ lived his life in obedience to his father and God’s word, and by the power of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 4:4; Luke 2:40; Luke 4:14; John 17:4). He lives a pattern for us to follow.
f. His ministry in Judea, Galilee, and Perea is recorded in the gospels. Jesus presented Himself to Israel as Her Messiah.
i. During His ministry He taught God’s word, healed everyone who came to Him for healing, performed other miracles, and in doing all of this He gave people every opportunity to believe in Him as Messiah—the promised king of Israel and Savior of the world.
ii. During his teaching, Jesus stressed how important faith was in mankind’s relationship with God. One wonderful chapter that illustrates this is Matthew 8. God responds to faith.
iii. The religious leaders and most of the people rejected Him. Matthew 12:22-24 and 38-45 along with 21:23-46 clearly shows this rejection. This rejection of Jesus becomes even more evident in Matthew 22. Jesus anticipated this rejection in Matthew 11:20-24. In Matthew 23 Jesus pronounces woes upon the religious leadership. In Matthew 23:36-39 He expresses His great sorrow that Israel was unwilling to receive Him and pronounces judgment upon Israel—Israel will be temporarily set Israel aside. In Matthew 24:1-2 He announces the coming 70 AD judgment upon Jerusalem.
g. The transfiguration of Christ. Matthew 16:27-17:13; Mark 9:1-13; Luke 9:27-36; 2 Peter 1:16-18. The transfiguration was a momentary view of the Shekinah glory of Jesus Christ which was veiled while on earth. The reason for the event was reassure Peter, James, and John about who He was and that the glorious kingdom would come even though it will be postponed at that time. In short it was a preview of the coming Messianic kingdom.
h. The Upper Room Discourse (John 13-17; Matthew 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-25; Luke 22:7-38) is the record of the last session of Jesus with His disciples prior to the cross. It closed with the Lord’s Prayer recorded in John 17. During the upper room discourse Jesus prepared His disciples by teaching them doctrines that they will need to know and apply in order to successfully live and serve Him after He ascends to heaven.
i. Following this time of teaching and encouragement, Jesus and His disciples went to the Mount of Olives (Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26-31; Luke 22:39) and then to the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-56; Mark 14:32-52; Luke 22:7-53). The tests in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross were His greatest tests. Would He go to the cross and be made sin in our place. Yes, He willingly did the Father’s will and bore the sins of the world (Matthew 26:36-39; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:39-44; John 19:31).
j. In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus was arrested. Soon after, He was falsely tried and then crucified Him on the cross where He suffered as “the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (Matthew 26-27; Mark 14-15; Luke 22-23; John 18-19).His death on the cross was His sacrifice for all the sins of mankind. The doctrines of the death of Christ and the sin barrier explain this in more detail. As John the Baptist proclaimed (John 1:29), Jesus was the perfect “lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
k. On the third day after the crucifixion He physically arose from the dead (Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 21). Jesus proved to his disciples that He, indeed, arose from the dead. Over a period of 40 days He taught them about God’s kingdom.
l. He then gathered His disciples (now to be apostles) around Him and instructed them to wait for the Holy Spirit to come into them. He then commissioned his disciples just before He ascended to heaven (Matthew 28:19-20; Luke 24:48; Acts 1:1-8).
m. Jesus then ascended to heaven in full view of the disciples (Luke 24:51; Mark 16:19; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 3:16). Ten days after His ascension He sent the Holy Spirit to begin the church (Acts 1:8; 2:1-4; John 16:7; 14:26). One of the Holy Spirit’s ministries would be to baptize each believer into the spiritual body of Christ, the church, of which Christ is the head (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:20-23; Colossians 1:18). Jesus also authorized spiritual gifts to be given to individual church age believers by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:7, 11), and He gave gifted men to the church for service to Him and His church (Ephesians 4:7-12).
n. After His ascension Jesus took the place of highest honor at the right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19-20; Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:9; Hebrews 1:3). In the present church age while at the Father’s right hand He carries out His intercessory minister of praying for believers and serving as their defense attorney (Hebrews 6:20; 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2). His intercessory ministry will be interrupted when He comes in the air to take His church back to heaven with Him. This event is called the rapture of the church. Rapture is from the Latin word rapturo, the Latin translation of the New Testament Greek work harpazo, to carry off, to snatch away in 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
o. After the rapture of the church comes the tribulation. Jesus will conclude the tribulation by coming to earth and conquering all those who reject Him. The Father will make Jesus’ enemies the footstool for Jesus’ feet. This signifies that Jesus will then have physical authority and actual rule over all those who resist Him—human and angelic beings (Psalm 110:1; Luke 20:43; Acts 2:35; Hebrews 1:3 and 10:13). At this point Jesus begins His messianic millennial kingdom reign (Revelation 19-20).
10. Doctrines related to Christ’s incarnation. When “the word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14), God the Son became man. What happened to his deity? Jesus continued to true and undiminished deity. What did change was that He took upon Himself true humanity. The transformation was outwardly visible. The biblical doctrines of kenosis, hypostatic union, and impeccability explain the additions to deity and those effects on Him as now God and man.
a. Kenosis means that Jesus Christ left heaven and took on Himself the true nature of a human slave under God’s authority. In doing so He chose not to continually show His divine attributes—those visible demonstrations of His deity which He displayed in the Old Testament history such as the burning bush in Exodus 3, the cloud and fire and smoke during the exodus, and the Shekinah glory in the tabernacle and temple. By kenosis Paul meant that Jesus took the nature of humanity—a slave—so that He could die on the cross for mankind’s sins. The main verb in Philippians 2:7-8a is the aorist indicative of “to empty,” kenow. The verbs “taking, being made, and being found” are all aorist participles. They further explain emptying Himself. The actions are simultaneous to “empty.” The usage of the participles is most likely temporal (when He took…,) or attendant circumstance (and He took…,). In no way does this suggest He became less God.
i. The words in Philippians 2 help us to understand this truth.
1. The word “form” in Philippians 2:6 and 7–form of God and form of slave—is morfh and it means real nature or form of someone or something that appears to the senses. What appears to the senses is a form of the genuine person or thing. In verse 6, the form of God means that of godness that appeared to the senses in the Old Testament revelations of God—His majesty, glory, and splendor. In verse 7 it is the form of a slave—under authority of God the Father—that appeared to people.
2. The word “likeness” is ‘omoiwma. This refers to a copy of something, and here a copy of humanity—body, soul, and spirit—and so similar to all humanity, but not the exact image.
3. The word “appearance” is skhma and this refers to how He looked outwardly to other people.
4. So the emptying was actually taking the form of a slave so He could die.
ii. Charles Ryrie, in Basic Theology, page 262, writes “It seems to me that even evangelicals blunt the point of the passage by missing its principal emphasis as suggested above and focusing on trying to delineate what limitations Christ experienced in His earthly state. To be sure, the God-Man experienced limitations; but equally sure the God-Man evidenced the prerogatives of Deity. Therefore, conservatives suggest that the kenosis means the veiling of Christ’s preincarnate glory, which is true only in a relative sense (see Matt. 17:1–8; John 1:14; 17:5). Or they suggest it means the voluntary nonuse of some of His attributes of Deity. This was true on occasion but certainly not always throughout His life (see [John] 1:48; 2:24; 16:30). Neither did He only do His miracles always in the power of the Spirit, but sometimes in His own power (Luke 22:51; John 18:6). So if our understanding of kenosis comes from Philippians 2, we should get our definition of the concept there. And that passage does not discuss at all the question of how or how much Christ’s glory was veiled. Nor does it say anything about the use or restriction of divine attributes. It does say that the emptying concerned becoming a man to be able to die. Thus the kenosis means leaving His preincarnate position and taking on a servant-humanity.”
b. Hypostatic union is the name or label for the biblical doctrine that Jesus Christ is God and man in one person forever. Philippians 2:5-11 makes this clear. Philippians 2:5 refers to Jesus Christ. Then verse 6 begins with “who” and refers to Jesus Christ. The passage goes on to say He is God and He is man. Verse 11 concludes the section by saying that everyone will confess that resurrected Jesus Christ is Lord. John 1:14 says “the word became flesh and lived among us.” John 10:30 records Jesus saying “I am the Father are one,” and He is speaking while a man. First Timothy 2:5 calls Jesus the mediator between God and man, and He must be God and man to be a true mediator. Revelation 19 shows Jesus returning to earth as a soldier king, and His name is The Word of God. There is no question that Jesus Christ is God and man in one person forever.
c. Impeccable (not able to be tempted) and peccable (able to be tempted) relate to the question, could Jesus, the man, really be tempted? Jesus Christ was tempted in His humanity, and His temptations were very real, but He never ever sinned. Because He was tempted in His humanity or human nature, He understands our weaknesses, temptations, and the spiritual battles that we go through (Matthew 4:1-12; Luke 1:36; Hebrews 4:15). But, Jesus Christ could not be tempted in His deity (James 1:13).
a. The authorities brought Jesus to Calvary, the place of crucifixion. They offered Him a wine like drink which He tasted and refused. This drink would have had a dulling sedative effect upon Him. He refused it so that He might clearly understand what He was to suffer—punishment for our sins (Matthew 27:33-34; Mark 15:22-23; Luke 23:33; John 19:17).
b. Jesus was crucified at 9 am between two thieves. The thieves were guilty of capital crimes. Jesus said “Father, forgive them.” This was His first loud statement (Matthew 27:35-38; Mark 15:24-28; Luke 23:33-38; John 19:18-24).
c. The chief priests, scribes, one thief, and the people mocked Jesus. They cast lots for His coat (Matthew 27:35-44; Mark 15:24-32; Luke 23:34-38; John 19:23-24).
d. One of the thieves believed in Christ. The Lord gave Him assurance of salvation. Jesus said "Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise." This was His second cry (Luke 23:39-43).
e. Christ made provision for John to take care of Mary. Jesus said "Woman, behold, your son!" This was His third cry (John 19:26-27).
f. At twelve noon darkness came on the earth; the Father judged Christ for our sins. This lasted until 3 pm. The judgment reached a peak when Christ, under the strain of judgment, cried out the fourth cry to God as the judge, not God as Father, "ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?" that is, "MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?" (Matthew 27:45-47; Mark 15:33-36; Luke 23:44)
g. Jesus Christ recognized that the judgment of the cross had been accomplished, therefore since He was thirsty, He took some sour wine to give some relief and fulfill scripture of Psalm 69:21. He cried "I am thirsty," the fifth cry (John 19:28-29).
h. Jesus Christ now said something so that all will know that He had completed His substitutionary work on the cross. He said “it is finished,” the sixth cry. This verb is the perfect passive indicative of teleo. Compare John 19:28. At this point He was physically alive. Teleo means to bring to an end, to finish, to carry out, to accomplish, to perform (John 19:30).
i. Christ at this point voluntarily separated His body from His soul and human spirit by physical death. He said “father, into thy hands I commend my spirit,” His seventh cry. Note that He now said Father, not God the judge. The judgment was over. The fellowship between Father and Son had resumed (Matthew 27:5; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:31-42).
j. After this the soldier stuck a spear in his dead body, they took him down and Joseph and Nicodemus buried him (Matthew 27:57-60; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:31-42).
k. During the time from the burial to the resurrection, the body of Jesus went to the grave, while the soul and spirit went to paradise and the presence of God the father (Luke 23:42, 46; Ephesians 4:9; 1 Peter 3:18-21; Luke 23:53).
12. Jesus arose from physical death on the third day. At the end of the three day period Christ arose from the dead. His human nature (soul and human spirit) joined His glorified resurrected body. This body was a new kind of body, a resurrection body, glorified humanity (Matthew 28; Luke 16.1-8; Luke 24; John 20; 1 Corinthians 15.4-20; Acts 7.55-56, and others). After the resurrection many people saw Jesus Christ. Paul says at least 500 people (1 Corinthians 15:6). These included the disciples, select women, and others (Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20-21; 1 Corinthians 15). Paul, Stephen, and John saw Christ after He had ascended (Acts 7, 9, 22, 23, 26; 1 Corinthians 15:7; Revelation 1; Galatians 1).
a. His resurrection body is the first one in existence. Jesus’ resurrection was a physical body yet not bound by present laws. His body was sinless.
b. People could see and feel and talk with Him. He could eat. He could move through walls and travel at miraculous speeds. People recognized Him. His body was flesh and bones (John 20:19-29; Luke 24:15, 30-43).
c. Our resurrection bodies will be the same kind of body as His resurrection body (Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54).
13. One way to understand Christ’s death and the accomplishments of his death on the cross is to study the sin barrier between God and man and the removal of the sin barrier. Reconciliation is the entire work that Christ did; He removed the sin barrier between God and man. Substitution is the means by which He reconciled man to God. Before we look at the sin barrier, we should consider some biblical words that related to Christ’s work and what they mean.
a. The doctrine of the sin barrier is a separate study. I refer you to that.
b. Definitions help is understand and think through a subject. The following definitions about Jesus’ death on the cross. They are taken from Jesus Christ Our Lord, by John F. Walvoord.
i. Expiation refers to the act of bearing a penalty for sin.
ii. Forgiveness is an act of God in which charges against a sinner are removed on the ground of proper satisfaction. Forgiveness has a judicial basis.
iii. Justice means a strict rendering of what is due in the form of either merited reward or punishment.
iv. Justification is the judicial act of God declaring one to be righteous by imputation of righteousness to Him. It is judicial.
v. Propitiation has in view the satisfaction of all God’s righteous demands for judgment on the sinner by the redemptive act of the death of Christ. God is propitiated, not mankind.
vi. Reconciliation is the act of God based upon the work of Christ whereby man is rendered savable. It is the removal of the barrier between God and man. Mankind is reconciled, not God.
vii. Redemption refers to the work of Christ on the cross toward sin. Christ purchased our freedom from the slave market of sin and set us free.
viii. Sanctification is the act of God setting apart someone or something to holy use. It may be positional, experiential, or ultimate.
ix. Substitution has reference to the death of Christ on behalf or in place of the sinner. Christ died as a Substitute for sinners on the cross accomplishing salvation for those who put their trust in Him.
14. Christ’s Ascension. After the resurrection and 40 days of ministry by Christ in His resurrection body, He ascended to the Father. This marked a turning point in the ministry of Christ (Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51; Acts 1.6-11). See Doctrine of Ascension and Session of Christ.
15. Ministry of Jesus Christ Today On Earth. Jesus Christ at the present time has a ministry on earth in the church. In His humanity He is seated at the right hand of the Father. In His omnipresent deity He indwells every believer, (John 14:20; John 15:5; John 17:23; Colossians 1:27). Furthermore, Paul prays that Christ will intimately dwell in the heart of the believer—the believer grows in Christ, Christ fellowships with the believer, and Christ’s character shows forth in the life of the believer (Ephesians 3:17.)
16. Ministry of Jesus Christ Today In Heaven. Jesus Christ at the present time has a ministry in heaven for the church. As the high priest after the order of Melchizedek He prays for the believer, Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25. As the defense attorney He acts on our behalf when we sin, 1 John 2:1-2. He has also been placed in authority over all things even though waiting for the footstool victory. 1 Peter 3:22; Ephesians 1:21-22. Ministry to Israel a Savior, King, Judge.
17. Illustrations of the Relationship between Christ and the Church. The Bible gives us a number of illustrations teaching the relationship between Christ and the church.
a. Christ is the head of the body, the church. As head of the body He is the authority, and life of the body. Believers are part of the body under His headship. 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 1:22-23; Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 2:19.
b. Christ is the true vine and the church is the branches. Here the believer must abide in the vine to accomplish His purpose. The believer is totally dependent upon Jesus Christ for production in phase 2. John 15.
c. Christ is the chief cornerstone and the church is the building made up of living stones. Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone in the foundation. Everything must be anchored and properly oriented to Him. The building must grow based upon the specifications compatible to the chief cornerstone. If the building loosens up from the foundation it is weak, unsafe, and unusable. 1 Peter 2:4-5; Ephesians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 3:5-11.
d. Christ is the high priest and we are the royal priesthood. Christ as the high priest is:
i. Author of salvation. He is the priest and the sacrifice. Under this concept we have redemption, propitiation, reconciliation.
ii. Exercises His priestly office by
1. Intercession, Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25.
2. Defense attorney, 1 John 2:1-2.
iii. Believers are priests, 1 Peter 2:5; Revelation 1:6; Revelation 5:10.
e. Christ is the bridegroom and the church is His bride. 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:23-32; Revelation 19:6-8; Matthew 22:1-14; Luke 14:16-24p; Matthew 25:1-13. Marriage in Christ’s day followed the custom of:
i. The legal union. The parents agreed upon the marriage, they formed a contract, and the dowry was paid. This illustrates the acceptance of Christ as Savior. 2 Corinthians 11:2.
ii. The bridegroom and his friends go to the home of the bride as per Matthew 25:1-13. This illustrates Christ coming for His bride at the rapture.
iii. The marriage feast is for the guests. This occurs after the Second Advent and upon the earth. Israel is the invited guest plus invited gentiles. This follows the wedding which took place in heaven prior to the Second Advent. Revelation 19:6-8; Matthew 25:1-13; Matthew 22:1-14; Luke 14:16-24.
f. Christ is the shepherd and we are the sheep. John 10:15-16. He gives His life for the sheep, He calls the sheep, and they become one flock. He is the shepherd and overseer of our souls in 1 Peter 2:25 and 5:4. Jesus Christ provides, equips, protects, trains, disciplines, herd’s the sheep, the church.
18. The Rapture. At the conclusion of the church age Jesus Christ will come to receive His bride the church in the air. This is called the Rapture of the Church. At this historical moment the church age saints will be changed and receive their resurrection bodies. It will be an instantaneous change. This applies to believers in Christ whether physically dead or alive. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58; John 14:1-3. See Doctrine of the Rapture.
19. Judgment Seat of Christ. Following the rapture of the church, Jesus Christ is the Judge at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Here the works of church age believers are evaluated. 2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians 3:9-15. The result of this judgment is the reward or loss of rewards to believers.
20. Christ the Bridegroom – the Church the Bride. Also following the rapture of the church a marriage will take place in heaven between the bridegroom, Christ, and the bride, the church. 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:25-33; Revelation 19:7-8.
21. Second Advent of Christ. The second advent of Jesus Christ occurs at the end of the tribulation. He will visibly and physically return to the earth as the glorified God-Man. He returns as Judge, Conqueror, Savior, Deliverer, and King. (See Doctrine of the Second Advent.) Following the Second Advent Jesus Christ establishes His Millennial kingdom and rules one thousand years as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. (See Doctrine of the Millennium) Matthew 24:27-30; Revelation 19:11-21; Zechariah 14:1-3; Matthew 24-25; Revelation 20.
22. Millennium and Post Millennial Events. The Millennium and post-Millennial events end with Christ presenting the kingdom to the Father. At this point the eternal state begins. Jesus Christ continues to receive honor and glory throughout eternity. Isaiah 2, 1; Zechariah 14:9; Ezekiel 40-48; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Revelation 22:3.
End of Current Notes
Taught at Word of God Bible College, Kiev, Ukriane, Christology Module, March April 2006, and Spokane Bible Church, spring and summer, 2006.