Thursday, March 5, 2015

Why the Hypostatic Union (Jesus is One Person with Two Natures) Matters

Scripture: Philippians 2.5-11; John 1.1; John 1.14; etc.
Translation: Phil. 2.5Think this among yourselves, which also was in Christ Jesus: 6Who, although He really was in the form of God, didn’t consider being equal with God something to cling to. 7Instead, He emptied Himself by taking the form of a slave, becoming in the likeness of human beings, and being found in form as a human being. 8He humbled Himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9Because of this God also highly exalted Him and graced Him with the Name that is above every name, 10so that in the Name of Jesus every knee would bow from the heavenly places and the earthly places and the underworldly places 11and so that every tongue would confess that “Jesus the Messiah is the Lord” for the glory of God the Father!
Heb. 1.1In many ways and times in the past God spoke to the forefathers via the prophets. 2At the last of these days, He spoke to us via the Son, Whom He appointed as the Heir of all things, through Whom also He made the ages, 3Who, being the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His ontological nature, also sustaining the existence of all things by the Word of His Power, having caused cleansing from sins, sat at the right hand of the Greatness in the high places.
Heb. 2.14So, since He really does have a share of the children of flesh and blood, and since He likewise shares the same things [flesh and blood], with the result that through His death He nullifies the one who has the force of death (i.e. the devil), 15and with the result that He frees these people, all the people who were held in slavery to the fear of death throughout all of life. You see, of course it doesn’t concern angels, but rather it concerns the seed of Abraham. 17From which point, He had to be like his brothers in every way, so that He would become compassionate and a faithful high-priest with respect to the things before God in order to deal with the sins of the people, because through what He really did suffer when He was tested He was able to help those being tested.
John 1.1In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God and the Word was God. 2This One was in the beginning with God. 3All things came to exist through Him. And without Him not even one thing that really does exist came to exist.
John 1.14And the Word become flesh and settled among us and we looked at His glory, glory like the One and Only from the Father, full of grace and truth.
1 John 2.22Who is the liar, except for the person who denies, “Jesus is not the Messiah”. This person is the antichrist: the person who denies the Father and the Son. 23Everyone who denies the Son doesn’t even have the Father, the one confessing the Son also has the Father.
1 John 4.2By this we you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses “Jesus is the Messiah who really did coming in the flesh” is from God. 3And every spirit that doesn’t confess Jesus is not from God. And this is the one from the antichrist, which you’ve heard that he is coming, and now is already in the world.
Matt. 1.18And the birth of Jesus the Messiah happened like this: when His mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, before they came together, she was found to be pregnant by the Holy Spirit. 19But Joseph, her husband, because he was righteous and didn’t want her to be publically shamed, had decided to divorce her secretly. 20And after he had thought about these things, look, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what will be born in her by the Spirit is Holy. 21And she will give birth to a son, and you will call His Name ‘Jesus,’ because he will save His people from their sins. 22And this whole thing is really happening, so that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet would be fulfilled, when he said, 23“Look, the virgin will get pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will call His Name, ‘Emmanuel’ (which is translated “God is with us”). 24And when Joseph woke up from the dream, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took his wife home. 25And he didn’t know her sexually until after she gave birth to a son and he called His Name, ‘Jesus.’
John 8.52Then the Jews said to Him, “Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died as well as the prophets, and You’re saying, “If someone obeys my message, he will never ever taste death forever.” 53You’re not greater than our father Abraham, who died, are you?! Who are you making Yourself? 54Jesus responded, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing. My Father is the One Who is glorifying Me, Who you’re saying “He is our God!” 55And you don’t know Him, but I know Him. And if I say that I don’t know Him, I will be like you, a liar! Instead, I know Him and I obey His message. 56Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see My day, and he did see it and rejoiced!” 57So the Jews said to Him, “You’re not even 50 years old yet and you really saw Abraham?” 58Jesus said to them, “Amen, Amen, I’m telling you, before Abraham came to exist, I AM! 59So, they picked up stones, so they could throw them at Him. But Jesus was hidden and left the Temple.

1.      The Hypostatic Union: Jesus is fully God and fully man in one person, starting at the incarnation and forever after
a.       Jesus is fully God (Phil. 2.5-11; John 8.30-59; Heb. 1.1-4; John 20.28; 1 John 2.20-23; John 1.1-3)
                                                              i.      He is the Second Person of the Trinity, God the Son
                                                            ii.      He is fully God, but is not God the Father in a human body
b.      Jesus is fully Man/human (1 John 4.2-3; Rev. 5; John 1.14; Phil. 2.5-11; Heb. 1.1-2.18, esp. 2.14-18)
                                                              i.      He has a human body
                                                            ii.      He has a human mind, emotions, will
                                                          iii.      He has a human soul
c.       Jesus is only One person, but has two natures (Matt. 1.18-25; Lk. 4.9-13; Phil. 2.5-11; )
                                                              i.      Jesus is truly human and truly God at the same time starting at the incarnation
                                                            ii.      Jesus is not two beings sharing a body, He is one person with two natures
                                                          iii.      Jesus is not a human who became God, He is the God Who became Human
2.      Why it Matters
a.       Because we need Jesus to be fully God
                                                              i.      To be saved
1.      He must be fully God to pay an eternal debt, because only God is eternal
2.      He must be fully God to pay an infinite debt, because only God is infinitely valuable
3.      He must be fully God to defeat death and the devil and sin
                                                            ii.      To worship and know Him as God
b.      Because we need Jesus to be fully man/human
                                                              i.      To be saved
1.      He must be fully man pay the debt in human blood and life
2.      He must be fully human to die
3.      He must be fully human to live a perfect human life in our place
                                                            ii.      To be resurrected (1 Cor. 15)
1.      Jesus had to be fully man, otherwise He could not die or rise from the dead, nor could He have a glorified resurrection body, which would mean that we would not have the hope of resurrection into a perfect glorified body, because our resurrection is tied up with His resurrection.
                                                          iii.      To follow His example
1.      Jesus had to be fully man to show us what a perfect human life looked like
                                                          iv.      To be understood
1.      Jesus had to be fully man so that we could more fully trust and understand how God could really understand what we are going through
2.      Jesus had to be fully man so that that He could represent us before God with understanding and great personal sympathy and compassion
c.       Because we need Jesus to one person so He can be fully God and fully man at the same time
                                                              i.      To fulfill prophecy
                                                            ii.      To save us completely
                                                          iii.      To be worshiped as our Lord and God
d.      Anyone and everyone that denies that Jesus is fully God and fully man in one person, beginning at his incarnation and forever after that, is really just a different version of the same problem: rejecting the real Jesus for fake one of their own imaginations
                                                              i.      This means that Atheists, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, and Jehovah’s Witnesses have sometime in common: they have rejected Christ
1.      Atheists reject Jesus as God
2.      Mormons reject Jesus as being fully God and fully man starting at the incarnation, and they reject Jesus as being the second person of the Trinity, because they reject the Trinity
3.      Muslims like Mormons and atheists reject Jesus as fully God, demoting Him to a mere prophet
4.      Jehovah’s Witnesses reject Jesus as fully God and fully man, categorizing Him as an angel (much like the Arians did in the A.D. 400s)
5.      Unitarians/Oneness people reject Jesus as both fully God and fully man, by rejecting the Trinity, and because of that rejection rejecting that Jesus became fully human
3.      Discussion Questions
a.       Have you ever thought about what it means that Jesus is God and Man? If so, share your thoughts.
b.      What are some reasons you think we need Jesus to be fully God?
c.       What are some reasons you think we need Jesus to be truly human?
d.      How would you explain that Jesus is fully God and fully human to a Christian? How would you explain it to a non-Christian.
e.       Talk about some things that Jesus can more fully understand because He was human. How might that comfort you?
f.       Some people say Jesus is not good example because He was fully God, but why is that not true? How does Jesus’ humanity make Him the perfect example for us?

g.      Name some things that Jesus models for us. How are you doing at following His example? How are we doing as a church?

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