51. Christology: The Doctrine of Christ
Purpose: It is the purpose of this session to understand the Scriptural teaching regarding the person of Christ.
1. The disciple will understand that Jesus was truly human.
2. The disciple will understand more clearly the deity of Jesus and who He truly is.
3. The disciple will see the unique nature of Christ as a human and yet He is God.
4. The disciple will understand the significance of the doctrine of Christ and its impact upon us as Christians.
In other words, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s trespasses against them, and he has given us the message of reconciliation. Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His plea through us. We plead with you on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God!” God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:19-21
1. Mutual sharing and a time of prayer.
2. Share Scripture memory verses.
3. Discuss the doctrine of Christ.
4. Discuss the questions for review.
Christianity differs from other world religions in that Jesus Christ is absolutely central in the Christian religion. If Buddha, Mohammed, or Zoroaster were removed from the religions associated with them, their entire doctrines would remain intact. But if you remove Jesus from Christianity, nothing in the way of its doctrine remains.
Central in the understanding of Jesus is the doctrine called "hypostatic union". Hypostatic union is a theological term used in describing the unique personality makeup of Jesus. He was truly man and truly God. But in reality, the previous statement is an inadequate way to describe Him. Let's look at some of the approaches to describing His person that are inadequate and untrue.
1. Jesus’ person contained both deity and humanity. This is only partially true. Think about this and indicate why it is not true.
2. Jesus was one-half God and one-half man. What is wrong with this description of His personality?
3. Jesus was mostly God and a little bit man. Write your thoughts and what you know about Scripture in response to this statement.
4. Jesus was a man as we are men. He was no different from us, except that He attained a high level of morality and mission. React to this statement.
5. Jesus was God and really not a man at all. What is wrong with this statement?
Each of these statements contains error and does not truly represent the Person of Jesus accurately. Before we look at Scripture which accurately portrays Him, we will make a statement which has been the position of Christian theologians through the centuries as they speak of His nature and personality.
Jesus can accurately be described as being "as much God as if He'd never been man, and as much man as if He'd never been God, and yet both in vital union, the God-man."
The Humanity of Jesus Christ
Look up the following verses and write after each one how it teaches the humanity of Jesus.
1. Matthew 1:18
2. John 1:14
How does this verse teach the pre-existence of Jesus?
3. Luke 2:40, 46, 52
4. Matthew 4:2; John 19:28
5. 1 Timothy 2:5
What is He called in this verse that speaks of His humanity?
6. 1 John 1:1
7. Hebrews 1:3
The Deity of Jesus Christ
By deity, we mean that Jesus was truly God. Look at the following verses and write how each one teaches that Jesus was truly God.
1. John 1:1
2. Hebrews 1:8
3. John 20:28
4. Romans 9:5
5. John 8:58
6. Titus 2:13
7. Revelation 22:13, 16; compare Revelation 1:8
8. John 5:23, 24
His Attributes Were the Attributes of the Father
Remember the definition of an attribute from the study on the doctrine of God. See if you can find from the following verses the attributes of deity that are ascribed to the Lord Jesus.
1. John 1:1
2. John 1:4
3. Hebrews 13:8
4. Matthew 28:18
5. John 16:30
6. Matthew 18:20; Ephesians 1:23
7. Hebrews 1:3
What can we conclude from these verses?
What difference do these truths make in your life?
His Works Were Those of God
See if you can identify things Jesus did, does, or will do that are actually the works of God alone.
1. John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-18;
Compare Genesis 1:1
2. Mark 2:5-10; Psalm 51:4
3. John 5:22; Matthew 25:31-46
4. John 6:39-40; 11:25
What significance is there for us today in the reality that Jesus Christ is God?
The Kenosis: Philippians 2:4-8
The meaning of the word "kenosis" is "to empty". Christ emptied Himself of something when He became a man. In the light of this study , and in consideration of John 5:19 and Hebrews 9:14, of what did He empty Himself?
Remembering our study on spirituality early in this ministry, what practical example is there for us from the kenosis?
The Death of Jesus
I. The Purpose of His Death
A. There are many prevalent unscriptural views of the death of Christ. Some of them are as follows:
1. Jesus died a martyr.
2. Jesus died as an example to show us how to die.
3. Jesus died to show us the love of God for us.
4. The death of Jesus was an accident.
B. Some of these may have appeal to people today, but none of them express the true meaning and purpose of the death of Jesus. His death was for the following purposes.
1. He died as a _________________________ for our sins, Romans 3:25. What does this mean?
2. Find the purpose of His death in Isaiah 53:6 and 2 Corinthians 5:21. When one takes the place of another, he is called a _____________. Israel’s sins were confessed over the head of a scapegoat which became the_____________________________________________ sin bearing ____________. Substitution was also taught through the sacrificial system.
3. In 1 Peter 3:18, and 1 Timothy 2:6, Christ’s death is referred to as a ________________________. This language is usually involved in the payment of a price when something is held captive. In think-ing through a ransom in relation to His death, see Romans 7:14. Who was purchased from whom?
4. Yet another reason for His death is seen in Romans 5:10 and 2 Corinthians 5:18, 19. What was this?_________________________ Remember in our study of the Bridge we spoke of reconciliation. Who is reconciled as a result of the death of Jesus? What does this mean? See Romans 8:7.
5. In the space provided below, write some of the reasons you feel the death of Christ to have been an absolute necessity.
II. For Whom Did He Die?
A. John 1:29; 1 Timothy 2:6. What do these verses do with the idea of a limited atonement?
B. What does Hebrews 2:9 teach us about the inclusive aspects of His sacrifice?
Although the effects of Christ's death touch all men, this verse teaches us that Christ died for each of us personally.
C. What kind of men did Christ die for in particular? Romans 5:6-10; and 1 Timothy 1:15.
What kind of sinners would be excluded from the benefits of Calvary according to this verse?
D. The effects of His death will be realized by? 1 Timothy 4:10.
E. One last effect of the death of Christ is found in Romans 8:19-23. See if you can understand this and write your answer.
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
Lastly, we will see some of the truths related to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. See if you can find these in the following verses.
I. John 14:2
II. Hebrews 9:24
III. Christ's resurrection assures us of:
A. Hebrews 4:14-16
B. 2 Corinthians 5:1-8
C. Romans 4:25
The resurrection of Jesus is a fact, historically, and it is an absolute necessity if our hope is to be a valid hope, 1 Corinthians 15:14. He rose from the dead in a body just as He had died, Luke 24:39. This is denied by Jehovah’s Witnesses and others. We must ever keep the truth of the resurrection before us as an historical reality.
Questions for Review and Discussion
1. Why was it important that Jesus be the God-man?
2. What indications are present that He was truly human as we are human?
3. How would you prove from Scripture that He was truly God?
4. Jesus will forever be the God-man. What event during His time on earth assured His perpetual nature as the God-man? Why?
5. Why is the resurrection of vital importance to believers today?
6. What was the nature of Christ's physical being following the resurrection?
7. What vital truth does Romans 4:25 teach us?
Related Topics: Discipleship