Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Jesus Christ - 1,2,3 - He is One Person

Matthew 16:13  Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

The person of Jesus Christ is the most fascinating character of history and eternity.  I would like to take today's blog and the next couple of blogs to do a sweeping overview of who exactly Jesus Christ is.  I will use a simple device in aiding our remembrance of the essential doctrinal truths of this incredible person Jesus Christ:

He is One Person...having two natures...occupying three offices.  Today we will focus on the first, namely what is it about Jesus Christ that makes Him "One" Person.

He is One Person in Co-unity with the Father and the Holy Spirit
As Jesus was praying in His high priestly prayer in John 17:5, He makes this statement:  “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was." Christ here reveals the Eternal Pre-existent glory and non-ending life He has had with the God the Father from all eternity.  The Apostle Paul writes these words in 1 Corinthians 8:6 - "yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him." 

Why the Person of Christ leads to the understanding of the Trinity
The authority of  the scriptures and understanding of the historic Christian Church has been that first there is One God and second, the Deity of Jesus Christ.  Both truths are taught in scripture and theologians have come to understand that Christ, being one person, is in Co-unity with the Father.  Additionally, Christ is also in Co-union with the Holy Spirit.  Matthew 28:19-20 reveals Christ's command to: "go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing in the name (not names) of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit."  This special co-union between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is known as the Trinity, or the God-head (the Eternal center of undivided life shared by and dwelling in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit).     

He is One Person with a distinct identity
As "Person",  Christ is defined by who He is in the Three-fold Co-Union with the Father and Holy Spirit.   God the Son has His own distinct identity.  The Baptist Faith and Message 2000, the doctrinal statement of the Southern Baptist Convention, has this to say: "The eternal Triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being."

Christ as the second member of the Trinity has these distinct qualities that are rooted within His identity as God the Son:

He reveals the Father.   Hebrews 1:3a "He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature....".  To one of His disciples Jesus says these words in John 14:9 "He who has seen Me has seen the Father".

He regulates creation.   Hebrews 1:3b "and upholds all things by the word of His power."  Colossians 1:16 explains - "He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together."

He rules over His church  The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul says this in Colossians 1:18 "And he (Christ) is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy."  We read similar statements in Ephesians 5:23 - "For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body."

So Christ is One Person.  Tomorrow we will consider what is meant when we say Jesus Christ has two natures. 

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