2000-10-02 - The Person of Christ
Part 1 - What Actually Happened the Moment I Trusted Christ?
John 6:37 All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will Certainly not cast out.
I would like to begin a series that revolves around 20 propositions concerning what actually happens when someone comes to faith in Christ. The proposition in store for today is a deeply theological one, but not something that is beyond our understanding. The proposition is that when we trusted in Christ, we were "received by a person." The personal nature of Christ is a unique and complicated subject. For in Christ's person there consist two natures, one divine, the other human. The mass of evidence in the New Testament alone regarding the divinity of Christ, in His person, is astounding. For example, just covering one area, divine perfections, we can see that the New Testament clearly ascribes divinity to Christ in His person. For example:
I am sorry I cannot write these verses out, but you have them here, and you may at your leisure look them up, if you like. This small section of verses only scratches the surface of the New Testament witness to the divine nature of the person of Christ, and does not even begin to take into account the Old Testament witness. But we must move on. Christ's person also consists in a human nature. He is called a man in 1 Timothy 2:5. Some other examples in Scripture to Christ's nature being human are:
He was commonly called the Son of Man, Matthew 13:37; the seed of a woman, Genesis 3:15; the seed of Abraham, Acts 3:25; Son of David, Luke 1:32; made of a woman, Galatians 4:4. He had a body. He ate drank, slept, and grew up, Luke 2:52. He died in agony, was buried, rose, and His body was identified by physical signs from the ordeal, Luke 24:36-44. He wept, John 11:33, 35. He loved Martha and Mary, and the disciple that leaned upon his bosom, John 13:23. All very human characteristics. And thus we must conclude that the person of Christ consists of two natures - one human, one divine. And thankfully, Philippians 2:6-11 says this very thing. The person of Christ consists in two natures, and yet is still one person. If Christ is not a man, then the whole history of His life is a myth. If Christ is not God, then to worship Him is idolatry.
And yet, not to worship Christ is to disobey the Father, "He who does not honor the Son, does not honor the Father who sent Him." John 5:23. In John 14:3, Christ talks about receiving us and being with us. "And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that were I am, there you may be also." In addition, John 1:11 mentions that "His own did not receive Him." There certainly seems to be Scriptural examples of receiving Christ. And since Christ is a person, to receive Him is to receive His person.
I know that this is more "theological" today than I like to be. However, it is important that we understand this in a complete way. For it is here that we can understand the passage in Hebrews 4 where Christ is said to sympathize with our weaknesses. It is because of He is a person, who is like us, that He can do so. In this, Christ becomes that much more real to us. "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin." Hebrews 4:15
"The doctrine that Jesus Christ had a true human nature is probably the single most important article of the Christian faith." Donald MacLeod.
Soli Deo Gloria,