The Doctrine of Christology

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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 ...

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...o deserve death, but He died for us, that is, in our place, bearing our punishment due us because of our sin. He took our place and satisfied our punishment, and in turn we receive His healing. Through His gracious and perfect sacrifice we may accept His righteousness that is now imputed to us (Rom. 5:19).

In the end, we may indeed recognize that in some areas God’s given revelation leaves us with questions, such as how we are to explain the paradoxical hypostasis of Christ’s full divinity and humanity. However, we must also remain grateful for the revelation which remains unambiguous, such as that which explains how Christ took our place of death in order to satisfy God’s wrath, that we might receive righteousness and live with Him forever. Praise be to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for the salvation brought to us through the person and work of Christ!

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