Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:1-7)
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. .(John 1:1)
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)
In our last post we started our look at the second part of the first of three questions asked to see if Jesus is the “Saviour” and “liberator” of mankind; we looked at Jesus as the Son of (M)man: We have seen in previous posts how the term, Son of Man is used in the Bible to express different points (generally with reference to the weakness of humanity); some of these include; the ordinariness; the inherent physical, spiritual and moral weaknesses in humanity that lead to difficulty in resisting temptation or avoiding wrongdoing (character flaws). It is also used in the old testament to uniquely show characteristics of Jesus Christ as the Saviour Son in capital "S" and in the new to illustrate His genealogy (as a man); as we have also seen that The Son of God has no genealogy (John 1:1). But as the Son of man Christ does have a genealogy (Matt. 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38).
In this post we shall be looking at the core of the hypostasis - or the essence or reality of the nature of Jesus Christ - the essential nature or reality of Jesus Christ, in which the divine and the human are believed to be combined in other words, we will take a look at common questions like; if He called Himself Son of man, how is He then able liberate man from sin? Or if God is Spirit, how can He have a Son? How is it possible for Him to be God and man at the same time? Is He the Son of God?
In the days of the old testament God spoke through the prophets, who were men born through His Spirit (as seen in 2 Peter 1:21).
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they“ Hebrews 1:1-4
In the new testament He spoke through the Son; in the person of the Son. God had made the Son, God himself expressed:
“But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom“ (Hebrews 1:8)
“Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows” (Psalms 45:6-7).
God the Father is hidden; God the Son is expressed. No one has ever seen God; the Son, as the Word of God (John1:1; Rev. 19:13) and the speaking of God has declared Him with the full expression, explanation and definition of Him:
“No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:18)
The Son is the centre of the eternal purpose of God. He is the essence or the brightness radiating from the Father’s Glory and the impress of The Father’s substance. John explains this further when He said:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not” (John 1:15)
In creation, He is the means through which the universe is made; the power that upholds and bears all things; the heir appointed to inherit all things; in redemption He accomplished the purification of man’s sins and He is now sitting on the right side of God in the Heavens. Someone out there would ask - how is that possible? From God to man and then back to God? God and man at the same time? Why didn’t He stay as God to do all He wanted to do if He was really God? What was the need for all these? These is answered in what is called the “hypostatic union” because God in His infinite mercy decided to become man so as to save man.
GOTQUESTIONS.ORG describes the hypostatic union as:
“The hypostatic union is the term used to describe how God the Son, Jesus Christ, took on a human nature, yet remained fully God at the same time. Jesus always had been God (John 8:58, 10:30), but at the incarnation Jesus became a human being (John 1:14). The addition of the human nature to the divine nature is Jesus, the God-man. This is the hypostatic union, Jesus Christ, one Person, fully God and fully man."To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?" (Isaiah 40:18)
Jesus' two natures, human and divine, are inseparable. Jesus will forever be the God-man, fully God and fully human, two distinct natures in one Person. Jesus' humanity and divinity are not mixed, but are united without loss of separate identity. Jesus sometimes operated with the limitations of humanity (John 4:6, 19:28) and other times in the power of His deity (John 11:43; Matthew 14:18-21). In both, Jesus' actions were from His one Person. Jesus had two natures, but only one personality.
The doctrine of the hypostatic union is an attempt to explain how Jesus could be both God and man at the same time. It is ultimately, though, a doctrine we are incapable of fully understanding. It is impossible for us to fully understand how God works. We, as human beings with finite minds, should not expect to totally comprehend an infinite God. Jesus is God’s Son in that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). But that does not mean Jesus did not exist before He was conceived. Jesus has always existed (John 8:58, 10:30). When Jesus was conceived, He became a human being in addition to being God (John 1:1, 14).
Jesus is both God and man. Jesus has always been God, but He did not become a human being until He was conceived in Mary. Jesus became a human being in order to identify with us in our struggles (Hebrews 2:17) and, more importantly, so that He could die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins (Philippians 2:5-11). In summary, the hypostatic union teaches that Jesus is both fully human and fully divine, that there is no mixture or dilution of either nature, and that He is one united Person, forever.”
"No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him" (John 1:18).
"Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature" (Colossians 1:15).
"Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen" (I Timothy 6:16).
"Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have" (Luke 24:39).
Now, to “Save” or “liberate” mankind, being the reason for this hypostatic union there has to be a connection between the spirit of man and God. In the old testament (and even today in our 21st century, as man tries to help himself in every other way apart from God), the type of propitiation was (and is) only able to cover sins; but the Son took away the sin (John 1:29) and accomplished the purification of sins once for all. So He sat down for ever (Hebrews 10:10,12)
Propitiation - This is Jesus meeting the demands of the Father, to appease His wrath, so that humanity could be redeemed to God (Man being reconciled to God). Thankfully, Jesus paid the price for our sins. Eternal life is a free gift, paid for by Christ’s own physical blood. This gift can only be received by faith alone in Christ. All you have to do is admit to God that you’re a guilty sinner and believe upon the name of Jesus for forgiveness.
“To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43).
"God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24).
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Man is made up of BODY, SOUL, and SPIRIT; these three elements of man each have their own distinct level of supremacy; The spirit is highest in supremacy and the body is lowest, in other words, our SPIRIT, God-consciousness (as represented by the functions of our conscience, intuition and communion) This reconciliation with Godactually takes place through empowerment from God that takes place through The curtain (see Ex. 26:31-33; Mark 15:38; Heb. 9:8-14; 10:19-20). The curtain of the temple that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. The tearing of the curtain (like the Lord's physical body) when the Son of God was crucified at Calvary indicated that Christ, The Son of God had entered heaven itself for us so that we too may now enter God’s very presence. (See Eph. 1:20-23; 2: 4-7; 13-16; Col. 2:13-15; Rev. 1:18; Heb. 1:4; 2:9-10; 4:14 –16; 9:24). These curtain is the connection from God to the spirit of man.
SPIRIT OF MAN
The principle of conscious life; the vital principle in humans, animating the body or mediating between body and soul; Excellent disposition or attitude in terms of vigour, courage, firmness of intent, etc.; mettle: That's the spirit; The incorporeal part of humans: present in spirit though absent in body. Our spirit comprises of our:
The inner sense of what is right or wrong in one's conduct or motives, impelling one toward right action: to follow the dictates of conscience: The complex of ethical and moral principles that controls or inhibits the actions or thoughts of an individual: An inhibiting sense of what is prudent: I'd eat another piece of pie but my conscience would bother me: Knowledge shows what is right or wrong, but it is the conscience that approves of what is right and disapproves of what is contrary to it.
Compare with: Deut. 2:30; Psa. 34:18; Psa. 51:10; John 13:21; Acts 17:16; Rom. 8:16; 1 Cor. 5:3; 2 Cor. 2:13; 2 Tim. 1:7
Direct perception of truth, fact, etc., independent of any reasoning process; immediate apprehension: A fact, truth, etc., perceived in this way: A keen and quick insight: The quality or ability of having such direct perception or quick insight: An immediate cognition of an object not inferred or determined by a previous cognition of the same object; any object or truth so discerned; pure, untaught, non-inferential knowledge: The ability of the native speaker to make linguistic judgments, as of the grammaticality, ambiguity, equivalence, or non-equivalence of sentences, deriving from the speaker's native-language competence.
Compare with: Matt. 26:41; Mark 2:8; Mark 8:12; John 11:33; Acts 18:5; Acts 18:25; Acts 20:22; 1 Cor. 2:11; I Cor. 16:18; 2 Cor. 7:13
Interchange or sharing of thoughts or emotions; intimate communication: communion with nature: The act of sharing, or holding in common; participation: Worship
Compare with: Luke 1:47; John 4:23; Rom. 1:9; Rom. 7:6; Rom. 8:15; Rom. 8:16; I Cor. 6:17; 1 Cor. 14:15; I Cor. 14:16; Rev. 21:10.
It is this curtain that connects man to God through His Son the Vine. We will be looking at this comprehensively in another post.
In the scheme of things regarding the “the eternal purpose of the Master planner” our almighty, all powerful God, His Son Jesus Christ have been and will be the centre of focus. In the Gospels of Christ who lived on the earth and on the cross for the accomplishment of redemption. Witness Lee, in his new testament commentaries outlines this focus for us:
In the acts of the Apostles is the resurrected and ascended Son of God propagated and ministered to the world. In Romans as we are now doing, is the Son of God, who is our righteousness for justification and our life for sanctification, transformation, glorification and building up. In Galatians is the Son of God who enables us to live a life that is versus the law, religions, traditions and forms. In Philippians is the Son of God who live out of His members. I Ephesians and Colossians is the Son of God who is the life, the content and the Head of the Body, the Church. In 1 and 2 Corinthians is the Son of God, who is everything in the practical Church life. In 1 and 2 Thessalonians is the Son of God, who is our holiness for His coming back. In 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus is the Son of God who is God’s economy, enabling us to know how to conduct ourselves in the house of God.Jesus during His ministry here on earth made statements that suggested and confirmed who He is; statements that pointed to Him as The Son of God, Some of these are:
In Hebrews, He is the Son of God , the present Christ, who is now in the heavens as our Minister and our High Priest, ministering to us the heavenly life, grace, authority, power; and sustaining us to live a heavenly life on earth. He is the Son of God, Christ now, the Christ today, and the Christ on the throne in the heavens, who is our daily salvation and moment-by moment supply. In the Epistles of Peter is the Son of God, who enables us to take God’s governmental dealings administered through sufferings. In the Epistles of John is the Son of God who is the life and the fellowship of the children of God in God’s family. In Revelation is the Son of God, who is walking amongst the Churches in this age, ruling over the world in the coming age and expressing God in full glory in the new heaven and new earth for eternity.
“I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30).
“Believest thou not that I am IN THE FATHER, and the FATHER IN ME.? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.” (John 14:10-11).
“Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are” (John 17:11).
“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be ONE; as THOU, FATHER, ART IN ME, and I IN THEE, that they also may be ONE IN US: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be ONE, even as WE ARE ONE” (John 17:20-22).
His reaction to those who see Him as blaspheming by making these claims:
“If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not” (John 10:35-37; see also John 11:4)
There were those who (like is prevalent today) Challenged His claim of being the Son of God:
“And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? But Jesus held his peace, And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven” (Matthew 26:62-64; see also Matth. 27:40,43; Luke 22:70; John 19:7)
Even before He came into this world as a man (His incarnation), Prophet Daniel saw this:
“Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire“ (Daniel 3:24-26).
The devil also acknowledged this in His bid to tempt Jesus before the start of His ministry:
“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread” (Matthew 4:1-3, 6; see also Luke 4:3,9)
God the Father also confirmed these statements:
“Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid” (Matthew 17:4-6; see also Mark 9:6-8; Luke 9:34-36; 2 Peter 1:16-18).
Angel Gabriel confirmed to Jesus’ mother that her son would be the Son of God:
“Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren” (Luke 1:34-36).
Even the unclean spirits know that He is the Son of God:
“And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding” (Matthew 8:28-30; see also Mark 3:11; Luke 8:28).
The testimonies of those who were close to Him confirmed it:
“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight” (Mark 1:1-3; see also John 1:34, 49; 1 John 5:20).
The testimonies of those who came in contact with the power inherent in His being the Son of God:
“And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God. And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret” (Matthew 14:32-34; see also Luke 4:41; john 11:27).
Even at His death on the cross at Calvary, the centurion confirmed it:
“And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him” (Matthew 27:53-55; see also Mark 15:39).
The consequences of not believing in Him:
“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:17-19; see also 1 John 5:10,12).
Gains for believing in Him:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself” (John 5:24-26).
“And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:30-31; see also Romans 1:4; Galatians 2:20; Hebrews 4:14; 1 John 3:8; 4:15; 5:5,13).
Consequences of Knowing Him and then Falling away (Backsliding):
“And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God” (Hebrews 6:5-7; see also 10:28-30)
If you believe; what next?
“And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him” (Acts 8:36-38; see also 2 Corinthians 1:19; Ephesians 4:12-14).
In our next post we shall be looking at the Question - IS JESUS EQUAL WITH GOD ? meanwhile:
Our Father, we pray as we bow before this blessed One, Your blessed son, that the eyes of our understanding may be opened, that we may realise that here is One who stands supreme in the midst of those thousands and tens of thousands in Revelation who cry, "Worthy is the Lamb to be praised, to receive honour and glory and blessing. Worthy is this One who is slain and is dead, and is alive, and lives forevermore." “Your Son, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass” We thank you for this revelation, and pray that our hearts may echo these words, "Lord, here am l; I am nothing but a human being, nothing but a man, a woman, a boy, a girl, but Lord, here I am. Take me. Send me. Use me." In Jesus name, Amen.
You might (still) say – "how do I; and Why do I have to know and experience this Jesus you are going on about" Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.
Admit your spiritual need.
We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.
What is the result of sin?
In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.
Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.
John 3:16-17. In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. It is Jesus, after all, who is the source of life and light.
What must a person do to accept this gift?
Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states – “come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.
Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.
If you haven't already received Christ as your Saviour, don't put it off another day! Take time right now to invite Him into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You might pray something like this:
Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.