The Divinity/Humanity of Christ

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Frogman, Mar 12, 2004.

  1. Frogman

    Frogman
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    vaspers made the suggestion this topic be considered from the general baptist forum. I thought it may be more appropriate here so I brought it here, looking forward to some good honest Biblical discussion not without history included of Baptist positions on this issue if you wish.

    Here is what I wrote on the thread concerning the real reason we take communion from the general baptist forum:

    I think that would be a very good and important thread. I believe that this subject of Christology is neglected often in one direction or the other.

    It would be good to study this Biblically and perhaps historically compare what Baptists have believed.

    The primary differences I think are the considerations of both the eternal and the timely natures of Christ.

    Isaiah says a 'son is given' so was he the son from eternity?

    The Bible says he stood as the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, so does this make connection to his eternal being?

    The Bible says He was in the beginning with God? Is this limited to his eternal nature?

    The Bible says he emptied himself. Does this mean of his eternal divinity until at the time of his baptism he received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit without measure?

    Or did was he conceived and possessed in the womb this outpouring?

    As he is the only Begotten Son of God was he begotten in eternity therefore brought forth, or is this humanity he possessed also eternal?

    Just some questions.
    Bro. Dallas [​IMG]
     
  2. uhdum

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    Excellent post, my friend...

    I look forward to this thread...perhaps this is one we can all grow spiritually from and gain a greater understanding of Jesus and His work (even if we won't understand it all). I'll try to contribute later on when I get a chance.

    God bless!
     
  3. freeatlast

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    For years Dr. John Macarthur held that the Sonship of Jesus was simply a incarnation title. he took a lot of flack over that and has now changed his belief to hold that the Son was and is an eternal part of the Godhead.
    One reason for the debate I believe is that some believe that the Trinity is three literal distinct persons who make one God. While others believe that the trinity is one God who presents himself in three persons. In some debates on the issue one will call the other heretics. The problem is that neither can be positive as to how the trinity exists.

    In Luke it says this;
    Luk 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

    You notice that it says He SHALL be CALLED the Son of God, leaving some to believe that He was not always the Son. John says He was the Word and the Word became flesh. This further adds to some belief that Jesus was not always the Son, but part of the literal makeup of God which became the Son.

    Personally I believe that there are three distinct literal persons that make the Trinity and this is the makeup of one God. How that works I have no idea, but that is nothing since I cannot figure out how God can exist without a beginning, yet I believe that also. To add to the confusion I also believe that Jesus is not an eternal Son in eternity past. As I mentioned this is what MacArthur used to believe but changed his mind on it. I still hold to it however. I believe that He was as John says, the Word, making the term Son an incarnation title and one that is accurate for the place that He took in being a man as well as God. As to Him being the Word I believe that this is an literal explaination. In other words I believe that the literal Word of God became flesh. The scriptures says that God created with a word and it also teaches that Jesus was the Creator so this is where I get this understanding.
     
  4. Frogman

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    Thanks for the post freeatlast.

    Enjoyed reading what you wrote. Would you agree then that Jesus (signifying his name among men) did not possess the full measure of the Spirit until his baptism and the Holy Spirit came down from heaven?

    I know there is perhaps no sure or conclusive way we can determine much of this because we cannot see into eternity past. But I do agree that at the very least John's gospel gave us a glimpse into eternity past.

    That God has always been a distinct trinity is taught I believe with the first word of Scripture Elohim is plural. I believe this at once shows us the plurality of God while showing at the same time the unity of God.

    Even though these things may or may not be agreed upon I don't want a debate, but a study and discussion. I think this can serve to bless any involved. Because disagreement is going to be avoided feel free to express what you will for discussion.

    I am going to give a passage of scripture for our consideration one I have always loved:

    We can look at these as we go along and more can be added. I believe these will show the distinctions of the two persons of God the Father and of God the Son. To what extent can we find his sonship as being from eternity? Or can we?

    God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. Hebrews 1.1-3

    I am studying these for comment. Feel free to do the same or post your own passages for study.

    God Bless
    Bro. Dallas [​IMG]
     
  5. freeatlast

    freeatlast
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    Frogman
    As to your question;
    "Would you agree then that Jesus (signifying his name among men) did not possess the full measure of the Spirit until his baptism and the Holy Spirit came down from heaven?"

    I think sometimes terms can confuse. By full measure I assume that you mean measure of power, not measure of person. I believe that when the Spirit showed Himself as a dove it was a sign to those around more then anythnig else. Jesus had been sinless up to that time as well as after and that would require the spirit in great measure. As you know this is all speculation. Being fully God and fully man is somewhat of an unsolvable problem from my side.
     
  6. Frogman

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    Thanks freeatlast,
    I agree. I believe in the immutability of Christ. IMHO,this would have been impossible apart from his being fully God and possessing the full measure of the Spirit prior to his baptism.

    I have read where the signers of the 1st London Confession believed what I understood to be an adoption of Jesus as the Son of God and this is what is meant by 'This day have I begotten thee'.

    This would mean, I think, that he was not the Son from eternity. This is why I became interested in this.

    I believe Christ was the Son of God from eternity. So, I thought it would be good to take a look at this as much as I am able.

    Thanks for your posts.

    Bro. Dallas [​IMG]
     
  7. vaspers

    vaspers
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    Free at last & Frogman: good discussion.

    I humbly suggest: say nothing theological. Use only actual biblical terms and expressions.

    Anyway, that's what I will do. Start using theological terms and you get all tangled up in neo-Platonic or gnostic concepts, me thinks.

    I NEVER say: "God the Son," or the "Second Person of the Blessed Triune Godhead," or the "God-man," or "Dear Trinity, I love Yous" or "Jesus is the Father you never had" (as that weird Promise Keepers org insists on so much that I left the $75.00 event after two annoying hours and threw my PK shirt in the garbage), or any other theological phrase.

    Swedenborg allegedly said that the Trinity was formed after God created the material realm or universe, and that God is not 3 persons but God is one person with 3 aspects. I prefer this formulation, but I despise the word "trinity" it is so pagan and nonsensical to me. Yet God is called Father, and Spirit and Holy, and Jesus is the Word made flesh, Word was with God and was God.

    Often apostle Paul says "God the Father and Jesus Christ our Lord" in his introductions to epistles and closings and such. He never uses a "trinitarian formula". In fact the triune formula is possibly implied only one or two places in Bible if memory serves me. A duality is strongly implied (Father/Son) and a unity (Hear O Israel the Lord your God is ONE--not two or three or four or five). Big problem, this trinity concept. Yet I'm not totally against it, just never satisfied with doctrinal formulations.
     
  8. Frogman

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    Good points vaspers. Not for purpose of debate, but only discussion. How do you believe in regards to Christ's baptism and the belief this implies to us of the Trinity?

    Forgive the word 'implies' but it is the best word I could think of. I think you are on the mark about what causes alot of disagreements and ultimately divisions among Christians. This, mostly could be attributed to the language used and the individual meaning assigned to the language.

    I do not expect I will ever understand these things. But I do think this could be a blessing if studied.

    I am reading now what John Gill has written:

    Of the Distinct Personality and Diety of the Son

    God Bless
    Bro. Dallas [​IMG]
     
  9. vaspers

    vaspers
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    Nice reply. I say wild stuff, but you know I am totally sincere when I say it. I ponder stuff a lot. Someday I'll get a life. Until then, I ponder.

    Jesus getting baptized, big issue w/you, I see.

    well, I don't know. I can't explain it. Jesus did not need to repent. John's baptism was for repentance. I know Jesus explained: we all must "fulfill all righteousness," but huh? I still am in the dark on this one, I admit it up front.

    John Wesley, whom I dearly love, though I don't know about Wesleyan churches or Methodist doctrines, anyway, he, the great revivalist, preacher, hymn writer, did NOT like the trinity formulations of men, and refused to subscribe to any of them. He did see God as Father, Son, Holy Spirit, but he rejected "trinity" as non-biblical word. (THE THEOLOGY OF JOHN WESLEY, William Ragsdale Cannon, Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, MCMXLVI--what year? I'm bad with Roman Numerals)--page 161 "Wesley frankly admits that he personally can require no one to use the word "trinity" or "person" as if the refusal to do so were blasphemous...nor will he say that it is of importance to believe any particular explication of the doctrine of the Trinity."

    Well expressed. A history of this idea, as stated by famous past theologians, would be a nice book to write.
     
  10. Frogman

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    Thank you vaspers,
    The issue of Jesus' baptism is important to me because I too do not believe he required a baptism of repentance such as John preached. I believe this baptism of Jesus shows his identification with the church, and subsequently shows the relationship of the believer to the church, not to any facet of eternal blessing of life.

    This is why I have always beleived Jesus Christ possessed the full measure of the Holy Spirit. As I stand I would not agree with the belief of Jesus being adopted as the Son of God at or upon his baptism. The reason I am looking at this is the claim from another board I am a member of that the 1st baptist confession of faith (1644) teaches this adoption rather than the eternal sonship.

    (Aside: Did Wesley start Sunday Schools?) These are unbiblical also. But that is a different topic.

    The argument as I understand it from the adoptionists pov is that Christ emptied himself of his diety to come into the world in the flesh and the out pouring of the holy spirit occurred at his baptism to enable him to the work ahead of him. That otherwise he was a man like any other.

    Now, I don't know any historical heresies such as gnosticism etc. But I do know that I disagree with this view and that is why I am studying it. Not necessarily to disprove it, but to understand Biblically why I believe as I do.

    Thanks.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  11. freeatlast

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    There are several ideas as to why the Lord had to be baptized. I have not been able to hold to one explaination, but here is one. One possibility for Jesus needing to be baptized was because He had to fulfill the legal requirements for entering into the priesthood. He was priest after the order of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4; Heb. 5:8-10; 6:20). Priests offered sacrifice to God on behalf of the people. Jesus became a sacrifice for our sin (1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Cor. 5:21) in His role as priest.
    To be consecrated as a priest, He had to be:
    - washed with water (Lev. 8:6; Exodus 29:4, Matt. 3:16).
    - Anointed with oil (Lev. 8:12; Exodus 29:7; Matt. 3:16).
    Both of these were bestowed upon Jesus at His baptism.
    Additionally, He may have needed to be 30 years old - (Num. 4:3)
     
  12. blackbird

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    Romans 6 gives us a clue as to one reason Jesus was baptized---it was a public proclaimation to the people of an impending death, in impending buriel, and an impending resurrection.

    At Jesus' baptism---He wasn't so much identifying with our humanity as we at our baptism are identifying with Him---Jesus identified with humanity at His birth when He became flesh---at baptism we identify with Him---

    More next writing
     

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