Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ordination #2, Art. 3a: Christology, Person & Birth

I have my next ordination anti-procrastination check in on Nov. 30th. The next two posts make up what I've come up with for the Evangelical Free Church's third point on their doctrinal statement. Please let me know if you've got any advice for content or clarity. Thanks. Here's the actual doctrinal statement.

That Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He died on the cross, a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. Further, He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where, at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He is now our High Priest and Advocate.

Scripture is clear that Jesus Christ is true God, meaning fully God. Jesus Himself does the things God does (forgives sins – Mk. 2.5; judges the world – Mt. 25.31-46), the gospel record indicates His deity (Jn. 1.1; 8.58), as does the rest of the NT (Heb. 1.3; Col. 1.15-20). At the same time Jesus is also true man by His own testimony (Jn. 8.40) and others’ (Acts 2.22; Rom. 5.15). Jesus developed in essential aspects of personhood (Lk. 2.52). Physically, He faced limitations at times (hunger – Mt. 4.2; thirst – Jn. 19.28; fatigue – Jn. 4.6) and He died. Psychologically, we see Jesus exhibit human emotions (compassion – Mt. 9.36; sorrow – Mt. 26.37; joy – Jn. 15.11; anger and grief (Mk. 3.5) and indignation (Mk. 10.14). Yet being fully man, Jesus was without sin (Heb. 4.15). His sinlessness does not negate His humanity, but shows Him to be what humanity was intended to be without the corruption of sin. He needed to be truly man to offer an appropriate sacrifice for mankind’s sin (Heb. 2.14-17) and to offer us an example of godly living (Rom. 5.18-19). Two natures, human and divine, in a unified person is a biblical assumption (1 Jn. 2.1-2), but an unexplainable mystery. Jesus is fully God and fully man united in one Person – two natures, one person (Council of Chalcedon 451 AD). This God-man was conceived of the Holy Spirit (Mt. 1.18; Lk. 1.35) and born of the Virgin Mary (Mt. 1.18-25; Lk. 1.26-35, 2.7).

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