CRITICAL DOCTRINE Christology - Jesus Christ Theology Proper – Attributes of God Pneumatology – Holy Spirit Bibliology – The Bible Angelology – Angels, fallen and unfallen Anthropology – Man Soteriology – Salvation Ecclesiology – The Church Eschatology – End Times Israelology – Israel as God’s instrument (not listed in virtually any set of systematic Theology Books, yet 5/6ths of the Bible speaks about Israel.) Chuck Missler
CHRISTOLOGY The Deity of Christ The Humanity of Christ The incarnation The proofs of His humanity The Union of Deity and Humanity of Christ The Kenosis of Christ ??? The impeccability of Christ The earthly life of Christ The Events of His life The Offices He occupied The Resurrection and Ascension of Christ The fact of the Resurrection The nature of the Resurrection The significance of the Resurrection The importance of the Ascension The Present Ministry of Christ The Future Ministry of Christ
THEOLOGY/APOLOGETICS William Lane Craig gives us a clear distinctive to these two projects of the faith. Theology works from above; you begin with Christ, the second person of the Trinity and work down. You see the Bible as the authoritative and inspired Word of God. Apologetics works from below; in that it doesn’t assume the truth of the Christian faith i.e. The Bible. The two approaches involve two quite different projects.
THE DEITY OF CHRIST The Book of 1John 1:1-41:7 2:22-26 3:5-83:23-24 4:9-104:13-15 5:1-135:20
THE HUMANITY OF CHRIST William Lane Craig said, “How are we to make sense of His divinity and His humanity? If He was truly God then how could He be human? On the other hand, if He was truly man, then was He not divine? How can the infinite and the finite be combined in one person? The humanity and divinity of Christ in one man has been a cause for much debate and even wild speculation over the centuries.
THE INCARNATION The Incarnation is: the embodiment of God the Son in human flesh as Jesus Christ William Lane Craig said, “The doctrine of the Incarnation is not that the Son's divine nature somehow took on a human nature. Rather the claim is that the second Person of the Trinity, who has a divine nature, took on in addition to his divine nature a human nature as well. So you shouldn't think of the Incarnation in terms of two natures' somehow blending together; indeed, the classical formulation is that the natures remain unchanged and distinct in the Incarnation. They are united only in the sense that there is one person who comes to have them both.” So Christ added a human nature to His divine nature, He did not subtract His divine nature to take on His human nature.
THE INCARNATION The purposes for the incarnation: Reveal God to men (John 1:18) Provide an example for living (1Pet 2:21) Provide a sacrifice for sin (Heb 10:1-10) Destroy the works of the devil (1John 3:8) Fulfill the promise of a son to sit on a throne forever (Luke 1:31-33) The Lord God had to become incarnate in order to walk a sinless life and fulfill the whole of the law and become an unblemished sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. (1John 2:2)
THE PROOFS OF HUMANITY The Proofs of the Humanity of Jesus Christ are: He was born (Luke 2:7, 11) Jesus referred to Himself as a man (John 8:40) He had a soul (Matt 26:38) He underwent temptation (Matt 4:1) Physical Limitations Hunger (Matt 4:2) Tired (John 4:6) Thirst (John 19:28) Mental Limitations implied (Luke 2:52, Mark 13:32) He Died (Luke 23:46)
THE UNION OF DEITY AND HUMANITY IN CHRIST Everything that can be questioned about the proposition that Jesus Christ was one person with two natures, divine and human, has been questioned. Some have denied the deity of Christ (Ebionites, Arians). Others denied the reality of His humanity, feeling that He was simply a phantomlike appearance of God (Docetists). The Apollinarians claimed that the humanity was incomplete, the spirit being that of the eternal Logos. Others declared that He was adopted as divine at His baptism (Unitarians). Jehovah’s Witnesses claim He was God’s highest created representative. Barthians hold that He was fully human (including a sinful nature) and that God worked through this man to reveal Himself, especially at the cross. Charles Ryrie
THE UNION OF DEITY AND HUMANITY IN CHRIST If Christ had two complete natures, both God and man, then that would indicate that He would be two persons, so how do we reconcile this? The council of Chalcedon laid down the boundary markers for orthodoxy, namely that in Christ there is one person that exists in two natures, any Christological speculation must steer a course between these parameters. We must neither divide the person nor confuse the natures of Christ. William Lane Craig
THE CHALCEDONIAN STATEMENT "Following the holy Fathers, we all with one consent teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in Manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body; consubstantial [coequal] with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin, begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, without confusion, without change, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two Persons, but one and the same Son, and only- begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ; as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning him, and the Lord Jesus Christ himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us."
THE UNION OF DEITY AND HUMANITY IN CHRIST Some theologians will say that Jesus Christ is fully God, and fully man. However I don’t think that is correct way of describing Jesus divinity and humanity. How can Jesus be fully God? If He was, then there would be no room for His humanity and visa versa. I believe that it would be better to say that He was truly God and truly man. He is truly God and truly man. Of the same substance as the Father, and like us in every respect except that He was without sin.
THE UNION OF DEITY AND HUMANITY IN CHRIST William Lane Craig said, “Jesus Christ has two complete and distinct natures, a complete God nature and a complete human nature. They don’t combine together to make a new species, like a Godman, because then He would be neither God nor man but some kind of new thing a hybrid. But Christ is the Logos, the second person of the Trinity. Jesus had the essential nature of God, and the contingent nature of man in that He didn’t have to take it on, but He chose to.” My only problem with the statement William made above is that, at the resurrection we will take on a new nature by receiving an imperishable body, the same that Christ now has.
IMPERISHABLE BODIES 1Jn. 3:2-3 “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.” 1Co. 15:51-53 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed — in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. Why must we be changed into this new creation? 1Co. 15:50 I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
NEW CREATION We are new creatures in Christ now in our spirit, but the flesh will be changed at the resurrection: 2Co. 5:17-20 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”