Christology (Jesus Humanity)

Systematic Theology 2  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  30:53
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The Person of Christ

The biblical teaching about the person of Christ is the following: Jesus Christ was fully God and fully man in one person, and will be so forever.
Key Terms: Incarnation - Jesus’ assumption of human nature. His becoming a human being in a specific time and place.

The Humanity of Christ: Virgin Birth

Matthew 1:18 NKJV
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus was born as a result of a miracle: Mary, Jesus’ mother, became pregnant without ever having sexual relations.
Matthew 1:20 NKJV
20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 1:24–25 NKJV
24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.
Luke 1:35 NKJV
35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

1. It shows that salvation ultimately must come from the Lord.

Just as God had promised in the beginning.
Genesis 3:15 NKJV
15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”
The “seed” of the woman (Gen. 3:15) would ultimately destroy the serpent
So God through His own power made this happen, not through mere human effort.
The virgin birth should remind us that salvation can never come through human effort, but must be the work of God himself. Look at (Gal. 4:4–5).
Galatians 4:4–5 NKJV
4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

2. The virgin birth made possible the uniting of full deity and full humanity in one person.

This was the means God used to send his Son (John 3:16; Gal. 4:4) into the world as a man. I cannot think of any other way to unite humanity and deity in one person.

3. The virgin birth also makes possible Christ’s true humanity without inherited sin.

As we noted in chapter 24, all human beings have inherited legal guilt and a corrupt moral nature from their first father, Adam (this is sometimes called “inherited sin” or “original sin”). But the fact that Jesus did not have a human father means that the line of descent from Adam is partially interrupted. Jesus did not descend from Adam in exactly the same way in which every other human being has descended from Adam. And this helps us to understand why the legal guilt and moral corruption that belongs to all other human beings did not belong to Christ
Wayne A. Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; Zondervan Pub. House, 2004), 529–530.
The doctrine of Jesus’ birth is not primarily about Mary’s virginity and miraculous conception.
Though this miracle fulfilled a preordained prophecy (Isaiah 7:14), the reason it is essential has to do with God’s supernatural intervention.

The Humanity of Christ: Human Weaknesses and Limitations

Jesus Had a Human Body

Jesus got tired, he slept, he sweated, and he got hungry and thirsty. Look at
Luke 2:7 NKJV
7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Luke 2:40 NKJV
40 And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.
Luke 2:52 NKJV
52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
John 4:6 NKJV
6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
Matthew 4:2 NKJV
2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.
Luke 24:39 NKJV
39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”

Jesus Had a Human Mind

Luke 2:52 NKJV
52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
Hebrews 5:8 NKJV
8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.
Mark 13:32 NKJV
32 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

Jesus Had a Human Soul and Human Emotions

John 12:27 NKJV
27 “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.
John 13:21 NKJV
21 When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”
Matthew 26:38 NKJV
38 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”
He demonstrated a full range of emotions.
Matthew 8:10 NKJV
10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!
John 11:35 NKJV
35 Jesus wept.
Hebrews 5:7 NKJV
7 who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear,
Hebrews 4:15 NKJV
15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
James 1:13 NKJV
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.

People Near Jesus Saw Him as Only a Man.

Matthew 4:23–25 NKJV
23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. 24 Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them. 25 Great multitudes followed Him—from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.
Matthew 13:53–58 NKJV
53 Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these parables, that He departed from there. 54 When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? 55 Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?” 57 So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.” 58 Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Jesus was Tempted like all Humans

Luke 4:1–13 NKJV
1 Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry. 3 And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 4 But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ ” 5 Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” 8 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ” 9 Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. 10 For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you,’ 11 and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ” 12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ” 13 Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.
Hebrews 4:15 NKJV
15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
James 1:13 NKJV
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.

Christ was sinless or without sin

Romans 8:3 NKJV
3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,
2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV
21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Hebrews 7:26 NKJV
26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;

Key term: Docetism is the teaching that Jesus was not a man

1 John 4:2–3 NKJV
2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

Implications due to Christ’s Humanity

For Representative Obedience

As we noted in the chapter on the covenants between God and man above, Jesus was our representative and obeyed for us where Adam had failed and disobeyed. We see this in the parallels between Jesus’ temptation (Luke 4:1–13) and the time of testing for Adam and Eve in the garden (Gen. 2:15–3:7). It is also clearly reflected in Paul’s discussion of the parallels between Adam and Christ, in Adam’s disobedience and Christ’s obedience:
Romans 5:18–19 NKJV
18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous. (Rom. 5:18–19)
This is why Paul can call Christ “the last Adam”
1 Corinthians 15:45 NKJV
45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
and Paul called Adam the “first man” and Christ the “second man”
1 Corinthians 15:47 NKJV
47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven.
Jesus had to be a man in order to be our representative and obey in our place.

To Be a Substitute Sacrifice

If Jesus had not been a man, he could not have died in our place and paid the penalty that was due to us. The author of Hebrews tells us that
Hebrews 2:16–17 NKJV
16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
Jesus had to become a man, not an angel, because God was concerned with saving men, not with saving angels. But to do this he “had to” be made like us in every way, so that he might become “the propitiation” for us, the sacrifice that is an acceptable substitute for us.

To Be the One Mediator Between God and Men

1 Timothy 2:5 NKJV
5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
Because we were alienated from God by sin, we needed someone to come between God and ourselves and bring us back to him. We needed a mediator who could represent us to God and who could represent God to us. There is only one person who has ever fulfilled that requirement: “There is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5). In order to fulfill this role of mediator, Jesus had to be fully man as well as fully God.

To Fulfill God’s Original Purpose for Man to Rule Over Creation

Hebrews 2:8–9 NKJV
8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet.” For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
As we saw in the discussion of the purpose for which God created man, God put mankind on the earth to subdue it and rule over it as God’s representatives. But man did not fulfill that purpose, for he instead fell into sin. The author of Hebrews realizes that God intended everything to be in subjection to man, but he admits, “As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him” (Heb. 2:8). Then when Jesus came as a man, he was able to obey God and thereby have the right to rule over creation as a man thus fulfilling God’s original purpose in putting man on the earth. Hebrews recognizes this when it says that now “we see Jesus” in the place of authority over the universe, “crowned with glory and honor” (Heb. 2:9; cf. the same phrase in v. 7). Jesus in fact has been given “all authority in heaven and on earth” (Matt. 28:18), and God has “put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church” (Eph. 1:22). Indeed, we shall someday reign with him on his throne (Rev. 3:21) and experience, in subjection to Christ our Lord, the fulfillment of God’s purpose that we reign over the earth (cf. Luke 19:17, 19; 1 Cor. 6:3). Jesus had to be a man in order to fulfill God’s original purpose that man rule over his creation.

To Be Our Example and Pattern in Life

1 John 2:6 NKJV
6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
John tells us, “He who says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked” (1 John 2:6),
1 John 3:2–3 NKJV
2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
and reminds us that “when he appears we shall be like him,” and that this hope of future conformity to Christ’s character even now gives increasing moral purity to our lives (1 John 3:2–3).
Paul tells us that we are
2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV
18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
continually being “changed into his likeness” (2 Cor. 3:18),
Romans 8:29 NKJV
29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
thus moving toward the goal for which God saved us, that we might “be conformed to the image of his Son” (Rom. 8:29). Peter tells us that especially in suffering we have to consider Christ’s example: “Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps” (1 Peter 2:21). Throughout our Christian life, we are to run the race set before us “looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith” (Heb. 12:2). If we become discouraged by the hostility and opposition of sinners, we are to “consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself” (Heb. 12:3). Jesus is also our example in death. Paul’s goal is to become “like him in his death” (Phil. 3:10; cf. Acts 7:60; 1 Peter 3:17–18 with 4:1). Our goal should be to be like Christ all our days, up to the point of death, and to die with unfailing obedience to God, with strong trust in him, and with love and forgiveness to others. Jesus had to become a man like us in order to live as our example and pattern in life.

To Be the Pattern for Our Redeemed Bodies

Paul tells us that when Jesus rose from the dead he rose in a new body that was “imperishable … raised in glory … raised in power … raised a spiritual body” (1 Cor. 15:42–44).
1 Corinthians 15:23 NKJV
23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.
This new resurrection body that Jesus had when he rose from the dead is the pattern for what our bodies will be like when we are raised from the dead, because Christ is “the first fruits” (1 Cor. 15:23)—an agricultural metaphor that likens Christ to the first sample of the harvest, showing what the other fruit from that harvest would be like. We now have a physical body like Adam’s, but we will have one like Christ’s: “Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven” (1 Cor. 15:49). Jesus had to be raised as a man in order to be the “first-born from the dead” (Col. 1:18), the pattern for the bodies that we would later have.

To Sympathize As High Priest

Hebrews 2:18 NKJV
18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
The author of Hebrews reminds us that “because he himself has suffered and been tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted” (Heb. 2:18; cf. 4:15–16). If Jesus had not been a man, he would not have been able to know by experience what we go through in our temptations and struggles in this life. But because he has lived as a man, he is able to sympathize more fully with us in our experiences.
Wayne A. Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; Zondervan Pub. House, 2004), 540–542.
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