By K. Erik Thoennes
Deity of Christ:
That Jesus Christ was fully God. He claimed that the angels of God were “his angels” and that God’s Kingdom was His Kingdom (Mt. 13:41). He claimed the authority to forgive sins (Mk. 2:5) and the role of divine Judge (Mt. 25:31-46). He claimed authority over the Law, even the Sabbath (Mk. 2:27-28) and a unique unified pre-existent relationship with the Father and (Jn. 3:16; 5:58; 10:30-33; 14:7-9,23; 17). He claimed to be the Son of God (Jn. 19:7; Mt. 26:63ff.) allowed his disciples to attribute deity to Him (Jn. 20:28; Mt. 16:16), and the power over life and death (Jn. 5:21; 11:25). His miracles demonstrated His divine authority over creation. Jesus is described as the eternal preexistent Logos (Jn. 1:1). His resurrection was the ultimate witness to His deity. Other references that ascribe deity to Jesus are; (Heb. 1:1-4,8; Col. 1:15-20, 2:9; Phil. 2:5-11; Titus 2:13). It is necessary that Jesus be God if we are to have; true knowledge of God, sufficient redemption and salvation (because an infinite God died in our place), knowledge of true complete fellowship with God (because He took the initiative and came to us), and worship of Jesus.
Humanity of Christ:
Jesus was also fully man. He had a physical human body (Lk. 2:52; 1 Jn. 1:1-4). He experienced hunger (Mt. 4:2), thirst (Jn. 19:28), fatigue (Jn. 4:6), suffering and death (Jn. 19:28-34). He exhibited of the human emotions of love (Mk. 10:21; Jn.11:3, 13:23), compassion (Matt. 9:36, 14:14, 15:32, 20:34), sorrow (Mt. 26:37; Jn. 15:11, 17:13; Heb. 12:2), anger and grief (Mk. 3:5), indignation (Mk.10:14), wonder (Lk. 7:9), disbelief (Mk. 6:6), and anguish (Mk. 14:32-34, 15:34). Jesus was at times limited in His intellectual abilities (Mk. 9:21, 13:32). It is necessary for Jesus to be fully human in order that; His death be real and therefore a true sacrifice for sin, He can truly sympathize with us and intercede for us, He can be an example for us, we can see what human nature was intended to be like.
Relation between Divine and Human Natures:
The human and divine natures of Jesus were distinct yet fully unified. The mystery of the incarnation is best described as the Son taking on human nature and flesh (Jn. 1). His deity was in no way diminished in the incarnation and Jesus’ human nature has no independent existence apart from the eternal Logos.
Work of Christ:
Jesus was without a sin nature (Jn. 8:46, 1 Pete. 2:21-22; Heb 4:15) and was therefore an absolute sacrifice, was born of a virgin (Mt. 1:18-25; Lk. 1:26-38), was killed for our transgressions as a substitutionary atonement, was resurrected from the dead, and ascended to reign with the Father and will return again (1 Cor. 5:24; Rev. 19:11).
Jesus came to restore the right relationship between God and man. This restoration profoundly effects man’s relationship with society and the environment as well. To fulfill this great task Jesus took on the roles of Prophet, Priest and King. As Prophet He represented God before man in being the direct revelation of God (Heb 1:1-3; Col 2:9). As Priest He represented God before men as mediator, intercessor and sacrifice (Heb. 7; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Jn. 2:2; Heb. 9:23-26). And as King in re-establishing His reign over all creation (Col. 2:15; Eph. 1:20ff; 1 Cor 15:45-59).