Summary: The Judge steps around the judgment table and takes the place of the condemned (See Figure at www.ingodsimage.site)
[IN GOD’S IMAGE 27 - FULLY GOD AND FULLY MAN]
This message is part of a series of 90 sermons based on the title, “In God’s Image – God’s Purpose for humanity.” This series of free sermons or the equivalent free book format is designed to take the reader through an amazing process beginning with God in prehistory and finishing with humanity joining God in eternity as His loving sons and daughters. It is at times, a painful yet fascinating story, not only for humanity, but also for God. As the sermons follow a chronological view of the story of salvation, it is highly recommend they be presented in numerical order rather than jumping to the more “interesting” or “controversial” subjects as the material builds on what is presented earlier. We also recommend reading the introduction prior to using the material. The free book version along with any graphics or figures mentioned in this series can be downloaded at www.ingodsimage.site - Gary Regazzoli
Today we are going to have a bit of a theology lesson.
• Theology, which is the study of God, is normally reserved for scholars and academics who use big difficult to pronounce words and terms to explain biblical concepts.
• However, as theology plays an important role in magnifying our understanding of God’s nature and character, we need to spend some time looking at these concepts to deepen our relationship with our God.
The early NT church wrestled with two major issues for the first 400 years – The concept of the “Trinity,” and the concept of “Christology.”
• We looked at the concept of the Trinity earlier, so our focus this time is on “Christology.”
• Last time we proved from John 1 that Jesus was indeed God. We also saw that in the true spirit of the Trinity, He did not come with his own agenda, but came with the complete support and agreement of the Father and the Holy Spirit.
• The Trinity was united in its mission to restore its broken relationship with mankind.
But the other remarkable statement John makes is, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” (John 1:14).
• In an act of pure grace, the Word chooses to give up his glory at the Father’s right hand and become a human.
• So just to confuse things not only is Jesus God, but He is also God in the flesh – a real live human.
• So in addition to trying to reconcile God being one and at the same time three, the early church had to wrestle with the question of trying to understand the nature of Jesus Christ – How could He be at the same time both human and divine?
• This led to the development of what is termed “Christology” – the study of the nature of Jesus Christ.
• The importance of this discussion should not be underestimated, as at stake is Jesus’ claim of being our Savior.
• If He was not both God and man our very salvation is at stake.
To begin with, we need to go back to the conundrum facing the early church of trying to understand the nature of Jesus Christ – how could He be at the same time both human and divine?
• For centuries the debate raged around how these two natures could exist in one person.
• Some stressed the divine side while others stressed the human side.
• Finally after substantial debate and even bloodshed, The Council of Chalcedon in 451 A.D. ruled that the Lord Jesus Christ is “truly God and truly man.”
The Consubstantial and Hypostatic Unions. (See figure below).
What we should note is the doctrine of the Trinity and the doctrine of the Incarnation belong together.
• The doctrine of the Trinity declares that Jesus is truly divine, while the doctrine of the Incarnation declares that Jesus is also truly human.
• Why did the early church spend over 400 years debating this issue before arriving at this conclusion?
• Well it had important theological implications that centre on the ability of Jesus’ claim to be able to forgive our sins – a pretty important implication.
• First, justice demands a response; a price has to be paid for our sins.
• Just as a murderer is sentenced to die or life in prison, a penalty had to be paid for the sins of all humanity.
• And the only person in the position to be able to die for the sins of all humanity is the Creator of all humanity, Jesus Christ (John 1:3).
• Our Holy God takes sin very seriously. He just doesn’t give us a free pass; a price has to be paid.
• Our death is demanded by a just and holy God for our many sins.