LAWTON CHURCH OF GOD, LAWTON OKLAHOMA

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Lesson 11 Christ Both God and Man

 

Devotional Reading:   Hebrews 2:9–18.

 

Memory Verse:           John 1:14.

        

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

 

LESSON TEXT

 

John 1:1–3, 14. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. . . . 14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

 

 1 John 1:1, 2. That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us).

 

Romans 1:3, 4. Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.

 

Philippians 2:6–9. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.

 

1 Timothy 3:16. And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

 

COMMENTS ON THE LESSON TEXT

 

John 1:1, 2. Christ is here called the Word. He was with God hence was not the Father, yet he was God—God the Son. That he already existed in the beginning denotes his eternity. V3. He is designated as the creator of all. V14. His incarnation is clearly stated; still his divinity is clearly manifested.

1 John 1:1, 2. The same truth is here expressed in much the same way.

Romans 1:3, 4. Jesus Christ is the Son of David according to his humanity but is also the Son of God.

Philippians 2:6–9. A graphic picture of Christ, the divine Son of God, who accepted man’s lowly estate that he might die for us.

1 Timothy 3:16. Paul sums up the incarnation and glorification of Christ. There is a great mystery in this. We cannot hope to comprehend the person of Christ but we can believe what is revealed in the Scriptures concerning him.

 

LESSON TOPIC: THE PERSON OF CHRIST

 

I. CHRIST IS BOTH GOD AND MAN

 

He is clearly proved to be God. This is established in the discussion of the Trinity.

He is also known to be man. Both truths appear in the Bible. Their seeming contradiction should be harmonized.

 

II. ATTEMPTED EXPLANATIONS

 

1. He was a divine man.

 

This view considers Christ a creature. He was a perfect man, filled with the Holy Spirit, yet only a man. Such a theory has been held in some form by various ancient sects and is now advocated by Unitarians.

 

2. Christ’s nature was wholly divine.

 

He possessed a physical body which was inhabited only by the divine Son. He possessed no human nature. But he did possess a distinctly human nature, hence this explanation is not satisfactory.

 

3. Christ possessed a human nature with divine attributes.

 

Christ possessed a human nature to which was imparted divine attributes, thus making him divine. But God is eternal and unchangeable. Gods are not made of human beings. A man can never become God, for God did not become, he always was.

 

4. Christ divested himself of some divine attributes.

 

Christ, the divine Son, in the becoming man, divested himself of some of his divine attributes. This theory is held by some devout believers who thus seek to explain the nature of Christ. God cannot be less than perfect and complete.

 

III. TWO NATURES IN CHRIST

 

1. He was completely human.

 

A) He is called a man. He frequently speaks of himself as the Son of Man. Paul calls him “the man, Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:5 and Isaiah 53:3) B) He possessed a physical body. He was born of a woman as are other children. He ate, became weary, and slept like other men. His body was nailed to the cross. He bled, suffered and died like other men. His body was like ours. C) He had a human spirit. He was not an angel but was in all points like we are. He grew in wisdom as well as in body. He rejoiced in spirit, was tempted, was heavy hearted, wept, groaned, was provoked, was indignant, and sympathized with men. He manifested the various emotions common to sinless human nature. D) As a human being he was unique. His conception was supernatural, there was no moral depravity, and his life was sinless.

 

2. He was truly divine.

 

No marks of divinity are ascribed to the Father that are not likewise ascribed to Christ.

 

3. The incarnation of Christ.

 

A) Christ existed before his incarnation. He declared, “Before Abraham was, I am.” He also speaks of having come down from heaven. B) God came in the flesh. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. His name was called Emmanuel, which means God with us. C) This was a person. The Word is not a mere emanation from God but a person. Full personal powers and divine attributes were possessed by him. The Word was God.

 

IV. THE UNITY OF CHRIST’S PERSON

 

1. The theory of two persons.

 

A) The fact of two natures in Christ leads some to believe that two distinct persons dwelt in one body. But if the two natures can be reconciled in one person the laws of reason required that we so reconcile them. B) The mystery of two natures in one person led some to adopt the idea of two persons. But the idea of two separate persons dwelling in one body is no less a mystery. The difficulty is not solved that way.

 

2. The mystery of two natures.

 

The combination of two natures in one person is a great mystery. There is nothing like it known to human experience. Shall we therefore reject the idea? Not for this reason, for we may expect the person of Christ to be unique. God is not like man. We look to the Scriptures for the answer.

 

3. The two natures are combined in one person.

 

A) Jesus is always spoken of as one person. All Bible references to Christ refer to him as a single person. He is always spoken of in the singular number. He always so refers to himself. There is no hint that he regarded himself as other than one person.

 

V. PURPOSES OF THE INCARNATION

 

To reveal God. Jesus is the express image of the Father’s person. To make atonement. To save man.