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Survey of Bible Doctrine: Christ

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I. The Deity of Christ

    A. He possesses incommunicable attributes.

      1. Self-existence (Heb.7:3; John 5:26)

      2. Immutability (Heb.1:10; 13:8)

      3. Infinity: Eternality (Heb.7:3); Omnipresence (Matt.28:20)

    B. He participates in the function of deity.

      1. He created the world (John 1:3).

      2. He sustains the world (Col.1:15-17).

      3. He forgives sins (Matt.9:1,2)

      4. He performs final judgment (John 5:22; Rev.19:16).

    C. He receives worship.

      1. Of angels (Heb.1:6; Rev.5:12,13)

      2. Of men (John 9:38; 20:28; Matt.28:9)

    D. He has divine titles.

      1. Jehovah (Luke 2:11; 5:8)

      2. Son of God (Luke 1:35, John 5:18)

    E. Jesus claimed to be God (John 5:18; 8:24,28,58; 10:30-33).

    F. Other explicit claims (John 1:1; Rom.9.5; 1 John 5:20). Also there are four texts with grammatical forms proving that Jesus Christ = God (2 Thess.1:12; 1 Tim.5:21; Tit.2:13; 1 Pet.1:1 each fit the "Granville Sharp" grammatical rule proving 2 titles describe the same person).

II. The Humanity of Christ

    A. He had human intellect. His wisdom "increased" humanly (Luke 2:40,52).

    B. He had human emotions.

      1. Love (Matt.9:36; John 11:36).

      2. Grief (John 11:35; Matt.26:38).

    C. He had human will.

      1. He desired not to suffer (Matt.26:39).

      2. He determined to go to Jerusalem to suffer obediently (Luke 9:51).

    D. He had a human body.

      1. He was born physically (Matt.1:18; Luke 2:7).

      2. He developed as humans do (Luke 2:40,52).

      3. He had human needs.

        a. Food (Matt.4:2)

        b. Drink (John 19:28)

        c. Sleep (John 4:6)

    E. He is called a man.

      1. By Himself (Luke 19:10)

      2. By others (1 Tim.2:5)

III. The Incarnation of Christ

    A. Definition: The incarnation is the means by which the eternal divine Christ took on humanity.

    B. Purposes of the incarnation

      1. To reveal God to men (John 1:18)

      2. To take away sin (Heb.10:5-13)

      3. To serve as our high priest before God (Heb.4:14-16)

      4. To serve as an example of obedience to God (1 Pet.2:21)

      5. To fulfill the Davidic Covenant – The promise of an earthly eternal king in David’s line (Luke 1:31-33)

    C. Key evidences for Christ’s incarnation

      1. The Virgin Birth

        a. Christ was not conceived humanly – Mary was a virgin (Matt.1:18,25; Luke 1:27,34).

        b. Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit.

          1) The conception was exclusively God’s work (Luke 1:35).

          2) As a result Jesus was a unique "holy offspring" – The Son of God (Luke 1:35).

          3) The incarnation was a miraculous birth (Luke 1:37).

      2. The Kenosis passage (Phil.2:5-11)

        a. Jesus was truly God (existed in the "form of God" – 2:6) but He took on true humanity (the "form of a servant" – 2:7).

        b. Jesus temporarily relinquished the use of some of His divine attributes (kenosis – "emptied Himself" – 2:7).

          1) He chose to do it ("Himself" – 2:7).

          2) He did it obediently to provide man’s redemption (2:8).

          3) He could still utilize divine attributes: Omniscience (John 2:24); Omnipotence (miracles)

        c. He permanently took on a human body.

          1) His humanity was real. "form of servant," "likeness of man," "appearance as man" (2:7,8)

          2) His humanity remains forever (Acts 1:3,9-11)

      3. John 1:14 - "The Word (the eternal Son of God – John 1:1) became flesh (human) and dwelt among us…"

IV. The Life of Christ

    A. The Chronology of His earthly life

      1. The Preparation Years – Birth to Baptism (Luke 1-3) Through age 32 (5/4 B.C. – A.D. 29, Luke 3:1,2,23)

      2. The Ministry Years – Age 32-35/36 (A.D. 29 – A.D. 33)

        a. The early Judean and Samaritan Ministry (John 2:13 – 4:42)

        b. The Galilean Ministry (Matt.4:12 – 18:35; Mark 1:14 – 9:50)

        c. The Perean Ministry (Luke 10:1 – 19:28)

      3. The Passion Week (including post-resurrection appearances – Matt.21:1 – 28:20; Mark 10:1 – 16:20; Luke 19:29 – 24:53; John 11:55 – 21:25). Age 35/36 (March – April A.D. 33). Note: The dates follow the chronology of Dr. Harold Hoehner, Chronological Aspects Of The Life Of Christ, Zondervan. 1977.

    B. The Functions of His earthly life: While on earth Christ fulfilled the functions of Prophet, Priest and King:

      1. Christ was God’s Prophet (Matt.13:57; Luke 13:33). Christ was the ultimate fulfillment of the office of prophet as predicted by Moses (Deut.18:15; Acts 3:22-26). He delivered God’s message to man by constant teaching and preaching (Matt.7:29, 11:1 etc.).

      2. Christ was man’s High Priest (Heb.4:14-16; 6:20-7:3; 7:26-28; 9:11-14; 10;11-14). As our human High Priest Christ could experience our weaknesses and temptations (Heb.4:14-18). As the sinless Son of God, Christ was the unique High Priest who could offer Himself as the once-for-all sacrifice for our sins (Heb.7:26-28; 10:11-14).

      3. Christ came as King (Matt.27:11). The prophets and the angel Gabriel predicted that Jesus would come as the King of Israel (Is.9:6,7; Luke 1:31-33). He did (Matt.2:2; 3:2). He came offering the Davidic Kingdom to Israel but they rejected it (Matt.22:1-14). So the kingdom age was postponed (humanly speaking). Some day the many kingdom promises of the Old Testament will be fulfilled in the Millennium after Christ returns to judge the earth (Psalm 110; Matt.25:31; Rev.19:15,16; 20:4,6).

V. The Resurrection of Christ

    A. Proofs of Christ’s resurrection

      1. The tomb was empty (Matt.18:1-4 etc.). If the body had been stolen by the Romans, they could have produced it to disprove the resurrection (Matt.28:11-15). If the disciples had stolen the body it is impossible that they would have been willing to die for a lie (Acts 4:1-22; 5:17-42; 7:54-60; 12:1,2).

      2. Christ appeared numerous time (John 20:11-18; Matt.28:8-10; 1 Cor.15:5; Luke 24:13-32; 36-43; John 20:26-29; 21:1-14; 1 Cor.15:6,7; Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:9-12). The sheer numbers of witnesses explains why 2 months later Peter’s claim that Christ was raised were not contradicted (Acts 2:14-42).

    B. The Nature of Christ’s resurrection. It was a physical bodily resurrection (Luke 24:39-43; John 20:27). Christ’s resurrection body was not merely a "spiritual" or immaterial body. It was His physical body literally raised and gloriously transformed (John 20:19).

    C. The significance of Christ’s resurrection

      1. Christ’s resurrection proves the trustworthiness of Christ’s word (Matt.28:6) and of Scripture (1 Cor.15:4; Psalm 16:8).

      2. Christ’s resurrection proves the validity of trusting in Christ’s death for salvation ("The gospel" – 1 Cor.15:1-5,14,17).

VI. The Present Ministry of Christ

    After His resurrection Christ ascended to heaven (Acts 1:9-11) where He was exalted once again (Eph.1:20-23; Heb.1:3). He now has numerous functions relating to believers.

    A. Christ is building His church (Matt.16:18).

    B. Christ is leading His body the Church (Eph.1:22,23; Col.1:18).

    C. Christ is praying for believers –

      1. He prays for our protection form Satan and sin (John 17:15).

      2. He prays for our unity (John 17:20-23).

      3. He prays for help in our times of need (Heb.4:16).

      4. He prays for our recovery from sin and continues fellowship (1 John 2:1).

    D. Christ is involved in answering our prayers (John 14:13,14).

    E. Christ gives us strength in difficult circumstances (Phil.4:13).

    F. Christ is enabling us to be fruitful in ministry (John 15:1-16).

    G. Christ is preparing a place for us in heaven (John 14:3).

Related Topics: Christology