The Person of Christ (Discipleship Training)
Or, read my introductory post on discipleship training here.
The Person of Christ: Before time began, God predestined in his wisdom that his Son should be crucified as a sacrifice that would lead us into his glory (1 Cor. 2:7). According to God’s eternal purpose, God’s decision was that the Son would become the Mediator between God and man, reconciling human beings to God as our Prophet, Priest, and King. In this, God decreed that Christ would become the Head and Savior of his church, the Heir of all things, and the Judge of the World.
In order to do this, the eternal Second Person of the Trinity had to take for himself a full, human nature. God the Son did not cease to be God, or give up any of his divine attributes (the characteristics that makes God God). Instead, he united himself with a human nature. Fully God and man, Christ united these two natures in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion.
What a mystery! There are so many things that the best minds in the history of Christianity have applied themselves to understanding, and we still cannot fully understand what it means for Christ to exist as one person in two natures.
Still, we do know some things. The secret things belong to God, but what God has revealed belongs to us and to our children forever (Deut. 29:29). Let us give ourselves to understanding this to the fullest degree possible, according to what God has revealed in his Word.
To understand all that is revealed to us about the person of Christ, who eternally existed as God the Son, and who took to himself a human nature, so that he will forever exist as one person in two natures, the one Mediator between God and men.
Read and discuss:
- 1 Corinthians 2:7 (NASB): Christ crucified is God’s wisdom, hidden in a mystery, which God predestined before the ages unto our glory
- Ephesians 1:7–10: God set forth his eternal purposes in Christ as his plan for the fullness of time
- 1 John 4:2: Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, fully human
- 1 John 5:20: Jesus Christ is true God and eternal life
- 1 Timothy 2:5: Christ is the one Mediator between God and men
- Hebrews 1:1–2: Christ is our ultimate Prophet
- Hebrews 5:5–6: Christ is our ultimate Priest
- 1 Tim. 6:15: Christ is our ultimate King
Read and discuss:
- Westminster Confession of Faith, Ch. 8:1–3, 7
- Westminster Larger Catechism #36–40
- Westminster Shorter Catechism #21–22
- What does the Bible tell us about Christ’s being sent as God’s eternal purpose?
- In what sense is Christ God? In what sense is Christ human?
- How can Christ be fully God and fully human?
- What are some errors about how people have talked about Christ’s divinity (God-ness) and humanity (human-ness)?
- Consider how difficult it is to confess simultaneously that God is one God, but that he exists as three persons. Furthermore, consider how difficult it is to confess simultaneously that Jesus is fully God and fully human. How do historic creeds and confessions help us to confess about God what God commands us to do?
- Study the Nicene Creed to sharpen your understanding of what we mean when we say that Christ is fully God.
- Study the Definition of Chalcedon to sharpen your understanding of what we mean when we say that Christ is fully human and fully God.
- In light of this great mystery, let us worship Christ, the one Mediator between God and men!
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