Continuing the “Here I Stand” series, after looking at the Scriptures that reveal theology to us, and God whom is the source. I want to look specifically to the Person of Jesus Christ.
We believe 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 a cross as 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, (Article III, EFCA 1950 Statement of Faith).
I believe that Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity who preexisted with the Father for all eternity. He is also creator of the universe, the Lord of creation. Consider John 1:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made, (John 1:1-3, ESV).
Further reading in John shows not only to the Jews, but to Gentiles as well, that the Word, the logos, is Jesus. Not only is He creator, but He is also the sustainer of creation as Paul writes in Colossians 1:17, “in him all things hold together.”
Jesus Christ is fully God “for to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace,” (Isaiah 9:6, ESV). He has glory being the only Son of the Father, (John 1:14). He is God and He has been anointed by God and His reign and rule will be forever, (Hebrews 1:8; Revelation 19:6).
In the fullness of time God sent forth His son who was born of a woman and born under the law, (Galatians 4:4). Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:35). Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, (Matthew 16:16; 26:61-64; John 3:16). In Jesus’ incarnation we see undiminished deity, “for in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,” (Colossians 1:19, ESV). We also see perfect humanity, sinless, so that He would be the perfect sacrifice for our sin, (2 Corinthians 5:21).
The mystery of the combining of the two natures of Christ (his deity and humanity) is called the hypostatic union, and is described in Philippians 2:5-8 by using the Greek word “kenosis” which literally means, “to empty”. Jesus did this not by giving up His deity, but by veiling His pre-incarnate glory, (John 17:5) and submitting to the humiliation of becoming man, (2 Corinthians 8:9). Jesus is truly God and truly man. He “made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, (Philippians 2:7, NIV). Jesus never used His divine attributes to benefit Himself or to alter His own path to the cross, (John 5:19). Jesus would do only what He saw His Father in heaven doing so as to follow the will of the Father.
In Jesus Christ, God the Father has been revealed, (John 1:18). The ultimate purpose for His life and ministry on earth was to provide a sacrifice for the sin of mankind, (Hebrews 10:1-10). Christ was able to be the supreme sacrifice because even though He was tempted, (Matthew 4:1-11) He lived a sinless life, (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15). Through His vicarious and atoning death upon the cross, Jesus took on all the sin of mankind: past, present, and future and satisfied the penalty of sin with God the Father, (1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 2:2). No better sacrifice could be offered that what Jesus offered in His own body, as we see in Hebrews:
For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, (Hebrews 9:24-26, ESV).
After His death, Christ was buried and on the third day He bodily arose from the dead, (Luke 24:3; John 20:20; 1 Corinthians 15:4). The resurrection of Jesus Christ confirms the truth of His words, (Matthew 28:6), and that He is the Son of God, (Romans 1:4). Forty days after His resurrection, Christ ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father where He is our Great High Priest, Advocate, and Intercessor preparing a place for believers, (Acts 1:9-11; Romans 8:34; Ephesians 1:20-23; Hebrews 7:25; 8:1; 9:24). He will one day return personally and visibly to the earth, (John 14:3; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16). He will not come in the form of a servant then, but rather as King.
Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords, (Revelation 19:11-16, ESV).
Come Lord Jesus!
This was originally posted at Caffeinated Thoughts on 7/22/08.