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The Doctrine Of Christology Essay

958 words - 4 pages

Of all the debates that concern the Christian faith, the most important lies in the understanding of the very one whom the faith professes to follow: Jesus Christ. Who was Jesus Christ, and what did He do here on this earth? In noting the importance of these issues the apostle Paul goes so far as to make the startling claim that the Christian faith is useless if predicated on a false assumption of Christ’s saving work (1 Cor. 15:14). Indeed, there are no truths more central to our faith than the personhood and work of Jesus Christ, and yet serious disagreements exist regarding the nature of these tenets. Jesus lived here on earth as fully divine and yet fully human in one and the same person, and His death on the cross served as a perfect sacrifice and substitute for the necessary punishment of death that all sinners deserve.
In understanding Jesus Christ, one must first deal with the issue of the incarnation. What does it mean that “the Word became flesh” (Jn. 1:14)? Was Jesus human or was He God? In order to hold to a Jesus Christ that brings salvation, one must acknowledge that He is the God-Man, that is, that He came to earth and lived as a fully divine and yet fully human person. Just how did He do this? Though it may be difficult for us to wrap our minds around this fact, Jesus paradoxically exercised His full humanity and His full divinity simultaneously. For example, while retaining His omniscience, He faced the limits of knowledge. This can be seen in His encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4 where He evidenced His supernatural knowledge in knowing completely the woman’s undisclosed past. Yet in Matthew 24:36 Jesus shows limited knowledge in admitting to not knowing the hour of His second coming. Further, Jesus exhibits His divine omnipotence in performing many miracles such as calming the stormy seas or raising the dead (Matt. 8:26, Jn. 11:43-44), yet He is clearly shown to be fully human in the fact that he was born of a woman (Gal. 4:4) and in more overt declarations of His humanity (Heb. 2:14). Lastly, we can be sure that during His time on earth Jesus was spatially constricted in that He faced the limits of a finite human body, and yet somehow He maintained His divine omnipresence in order to sustain the world (Col 1:17) even while remaining fully human.
Though some would understand Jesus according to Philippians 2:7 to have emptied Himself of divinity during his time on earth, I would argue that this passage instead speaks of Jesus simply relinquishing the glory of remaining in heaven. Besides, once one has accepted the kenotic argument, it...

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