This survey article is intended to give the student a familiarity with the basic areas being considered when we talk about the doctrine of Christ. Hence we will cover his person, including his deity and humanity. We will also talk about the relationship of his deity to his humanity in the idea of the incarnation—a truth essential to Christianity in every age. As the incarnate Son of God, Jesus lived in one sense like any man, and we will investigate that briefly by looking at certain passages, but he also carried on a unique ministry, fulfilling three distinct yet related offices in Israel: he was a prophet, priest, and king and therefore the fulfillment of OT hope. In light of his resurrection and ascension, he now carries on a vital ministry from the right hand of the Father.
1. What are the various lines of evidence to demonstrate that Jesus was, in fact, God?
2. What are the various lines of evidence to show that he was, in fact, fully human?
3. What do we mean when we refer to the incarnation of Christ? What are two key passages in this discussion?
4. Give a brief overview of Jesus’ life and ministry? What are the three offices associated with him and what is the significance of each one?
5. What are some proofs for the resurrection of Christ and what was the nature of his resurrection body?
6. Now that Christ has been raised and exalted to the right hand of the Father, what is the nature of his present ministry?
The Coming of the Christ is a five part series with a special focus on the incarnation and what it means theologically as well as ethically for the Christian. We are stressing the doctrine of the incarnation in this section because it is crucial to any balanced understanding of Christ and his work. It is also the wellspring from which we have any accurate knowledge of God and how we are to live in the world. It is important to note that many aberrations of Christian doctrine begin with false understandings of Christ and his dual nature.
Therefore, this series will stress the importance of the incarnation in terms of what it means as well as the purpose for the incarnation. We will look at the birth of Christ as well, and the proper response of humble faith which each of us should have in light of God’s condescending to be with us. We will then spend a good deal of time talking about Philippians 2:5-11—a key passage (probably an early hymn) unfolding for us both the attributes of Christ and the attitudes of Christ in relation to the incarnation. The series will end with two articles that investigate the implications (from the incarnation) for the church, life, and ministry.
1. Why is the incarnation important to Christianity? What was God’s purpose in the incarnation?
2. What are some present as well as ancient deviations from the biblical view of the incarnation?
3. What does the term “form” mean in Phil 2:6? What is meant by the “Kenosis theory”? What did Christ empty himself of or lay aside?
4. What was Christ’s attitude in the incarnation and what is our relationship to that according to Philippians 2:5?
5. What are some principles that flow from the incarnation? What are some implications, that flow from the incarnation, both for your life and the life of the church?