Luke 1:35 34Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.
In yesterday's post we looked at the Holy Spirit's miracles of the incarnation and virgin (conception) birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Two days ago we considered the Spirit's Divine inspiration of the scriptures as the miracle needed to get ready for the first Christmas. With these three miracles we turn our attention today to a fourth Christmas miracle: namely the hypostatic union.
Hypostatic Union -
What the Holy Spirit actually did in connecting and uniting a complete, sinless human nature to the One Person
Jesus Christ who already had an eternal Divine nature
If the incarnation describes what the Spirit did in making it possible for Christ to come into this world, and the virgin birth describes the means by which He did the incarnation, then the hypostatic union tries to explain the details of what took place. This rather strange sounding
phrase "hypostatic union" can be broken down in the following way.
First, "hypostatic" comes from a Greek word "hypostasis"
meaning "substance, nature, expression of one's existence". The
second term "union" refers to how the already pre-existing Divine
nature and the newly conceived human nature would function "united" to
the Person of God the Son. A brilliant conservative Christian Theologian,
W.G.T Shedd, writes the clearest explanation I have found on this point:
"A common illustration....is the union of the human soul and body in one
person, and the union of heat and iron, neither of which loses its
God the Father planned and The Holy
Spirit prepared the womb of Mary to receive the Divine nature of the Person of
God the Son. (Hebrews 10:4-7) The Son in turn worked as well in the uniting of Himself
to the Holy Spirit conceived humanity in Mary's womb. (Hebrews 2:14) Fully and completely,
from beginning to end, the Holy Spirit is credited with the process of bring
both human and Divine natures to function equally but distinctly in the One
Person of the Son. Thus Christ has a human will and divine will, a human mind
and Divine mind and human qualities like weakness and tiredness while retaining
His Divine qualities of omnipotence and the like. The only thing being of
course that while on earth, Christ chose mostly not to exercise many of His Divine
attributes, but rather, by the Holy Spirit, chose to function primarily through
The point of
this discussion was to show the great lengths that God the Holy Spirit went to
in order to bring God the Son into this world. Christ's hypostatic union was
crucial, since He could now experience what it was like to be fully human and
to empathize with us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:15) The Virgin conception
meant that He could be fully human without sin, qualifying Him to be our Savior
and to intercede for every Christian before the throne of God. (Hebrews
7:24-25) Finally, without the incarnation - salvation, the fabric of sacred
scripture, Christ's death, resurrection and Second coming would all be
jeopardized. Let us praise God for the Holy Spirit's work in the Scriptures, incarnation, virgin birth and hypostatic union -
since He points us to Jesus.
1. W.G.T Shedd. Systematic Theology
Volume 2. Pages 327-328
Welcome to Growing Christian Resources, where you can search over 2,000 resources pertaining to your Christian walk, the explanation and defense of the Christian worldview and links to audio and video resources. Please checkout the New Hope podcast at www.gcrpodcast.wordpress.com and www.newhope-ny.org. For those desiring to dig-deeper into the scriptures, please check out www.biblicalexegete.wordpress.com.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Great Christmas Miracles P3: The Hypostatic Union
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
Post a Comment