Friday, September 1, 2017

Importance of humanity of Jesus Christ



TOPIC: The importance of humanity of Jesus Christ and evaluating the biblical counterfeit against the heresies of Jesus humanity.
OUTLINE:
1. Introduction
2. Early heresies regarding humanity of Jesus
    2.1. Doceitism
    2.2. Appolianarism
3. Biblical evidences of Jesus humanity
    3.1. Virgin birth
    3.2. Human weakness and limitations
         a. Jesus had a human body
         b. Jesus had a human soul and emotions
4. The importance of the humanity of Christ
5. The necessity of Jesus manhood
6. Evaluation
 Conclusion
    
1. Introduction
The Humanity of Jesus an issue that started from the beginning of the Christian Church and it even continues today. So discussion in the humanity of Jesus is ever important.
Christ’s incarnation as human was not avoidable as far as the atonement is concerned. To reconcile fallen humanity with God an incarnation who was a perfect human was needed. Thus Jesus came to the world as word manifested as flesh. The Apostle assigns as the reason why Christ assumed our nature and not the nature of angels that He came to redeem us. (Hebrews 2: 14-16.) It was necessary that He should be made under the law which we had broken; that He should fulfil all righteousness; that He should suffer and die; that He should be able to sympathize in all the infirmities of his people, and that He should be united to them in a common nature. He who and those who are sanctified are and must be of one nature. Therefore as the children were partakers of flesh and blood, He also took part of the same. (Hebrews 2: 11-14.)
In this paper I am explaining the humanity of Jesus giving the Biblical evidences, importance and necessity of Jesus’ humanity.
2. Early heresies regarding humanity of Jesus
The biblical teaching about the full deity and full humanity of Christ is so extensive that both have been believed from the earliest times in the history of the church. But a clear understanding of how full deity and full humanity could be combined together in one person was formulated only gradually in the church and was formulated in the Chalcedonian creed in A.D. 451. Before that point, several heretical views of the person of Christ were proposed and then rejected. Two such heresies are discussed below:
    2.1. Doceitism
The word docetism comes from the Greek verb “dokeo”  “to seem, to appear to be.” Any theological position that says that Jesus was not really a man, but only appeared to be a man, is called a “docetic” position. Behind Docetism is an assumption that the material creation is inherently evil, and therefore the Son of God could not have been united to a true human nature. No prominent church leader ever advocated Docetism, but it was a troublesome heresy that had various supporters in the first four centuries of the church.
    2.2. Appolianarism
Apollinarism, who became bishop in Laodicea about A.D. 361, taught that the one person of Christ had a human body but not a human mind or spirit, and that the mind and spirit of Christ were from the divine nature of the Son of God. But the views of Apollinarism were rejected by the leaders of the church at that time, who realized that it was not just our human body that needed salvation and needed to be represented by Christ in his redemptive work, but our human minds and spirits as well: Christ had to be fully and truly man if he was to save us (Heb. 2:17). Apollinarianism was rejected by several church councils, from the
Council of Alexandria in A.D. 362 to the Council of Constantinople in A.D. 381.
3. Biblical evidences of Humanity of Christ
Jesus was born as human to redeem the humanity. We may summarize the biblical teaching about the person of Christ as follows: Jesus Christ was fully God and fully man in one person, and will be so forever. The biblical evidences for Jesus’ humanity are as follows:
    3.1. Virgin birth
Scripture clearly asserts that Jesus was conceived in the womb of his mother Mary by a miraculous work of the Holy Spirit and without a human father.
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had
been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 1:18)
The doctrinal importance of the virgin birth is seen in at least three areas.
1. It shows that salvation ultimately must come from the Lord. Just as God had promised that the “seed” of the woman (Gen. 3:15) would ultimately destroy the serpent, so God brought it about by his own power, not through mere human effort.
2. The virgin birth made possible the uniting of full deity and full humanity in one person. This was the means God used to send his Son (John 3:16; Gal. 4:4) into the world as a man. If we think for a moment of other possible ways in which Christ might have come to the earth, none of them would so clearly unite humanity and deity in one person. Christ, so that his full humanity would be evident to us from the fact of his ordinary human birth from a human mother, and his full deity would be evident from the fact of his conception in Mary’s womb by the powerful work of the Holy Spirit.
3. The virgin birth also makes possible Christ’s true humanity without inherited sin. As we noted in chapter, all human beings have inherited legal guilt and a corrupt moral nature from their first father, Adam. But the fact that Jesus did not have a human father means that the line of descent from Adam is partially interrupted. Jesus did not descend from Adam in exactly the same way in which every other human being has descended from Adam. And this helps us to understand why the legal guilt and moral corruption that belongs to all other human beings did not belong to Christ.
    3.2. Human weakness and limitations
              3.2.1 Jesus had a human body
The body of Jesus “was like the bodies of other men except for those qualities which have resulted from human sin and failure.” Luke 1–2 describes Mary’s pregnancy and her giving birth to the child Jesus, affirming the Saviour’s true humanity. Ultimately, He suffered greatly in His human body: He experienced the pain of the scourging (John 19:1), the horror of crucifixion (John 19:18), and on the cross He thirsted as a man (John 19:28). These elements emphasize His true humanity.
When Jesus had fasted in the wilderness He became hungry (Matt. 4:2); when He and the disciples walked through Samaria He became tired and stopped at the well to rest (John 4:6); He was thirsty from the day’s journey in the heat (John 4:7).
3.2.2 Jesus had a human soul and emotions.
Jesus was a complete human being, having a body, soul, and spirit. Prior to the cross, Jesus was troubled in His soul at the anticipation of the cross (John 12:27). There was a self-consciousness that He was to bear the sins of the world, and Jesus was overwhelmed at the prospect. John 11:33 describes in strongest terms the emotion that Jesus felt in His human spirit at the death of His friend Lazarus. At the prospect of His impending crucifixion Jesus was troubled in His human spirit (John 13:21); when He ultimately died He gave up His spirit (John 19:30).

4. The importance of the humanity of Christ.
Jesus had to be a man if He was to represent fallen humanity. First John was written to dispel the doctrinal error that denies the true humanity of Christ (cf. 1 John 4:2). If Jesus was not a real man, then the death on the cross was an illusion; He had to be a real man to die for humanity. The Scriptures teach the true humanity of Jesus. However, they also show that He did not possess man’s sinful, fallen nature (1 John 3:5).
5. The Necessity of Jesus manhood
The demands of Christ’s work as mediator required that Christ should be proper and very man. Mankind had fallen, and was conscience struck, hostile, and fearful towards God. Hence it was desirable that the Daysman should appear in his nature as his brother in order to encourage confidence, to allure to a familiar approach, and quiet guilty fears. To such a being as sinful man, personal intercourse with God would have been intolerably dreadful, (Gen. 3:8; Ex. 20:19) and even an angel would have appeared too terrible to his fears.
 Again, the Bible assures us that one object gained by the incarnation of Christ was fuller assurance of His sympathy, by His experimental acquaintance with all the woes of our fallen condition (Heb. 2:17, 18; 4:15 to 5:2). The experience of every Christian under trial of affliction testifies to the strength of this reasoning by the consolation which Christ’s true humanity gives Him. It is very true that the Son, as omniscient God, can and does figure to Hi accurate as experience itself, but His having experienced them in human nature enables our weak faith to grasp the consolation better.
Another purpose of God, in clothing our Redeemer with human nature, was to leave us a perfect human example. The importance and efficacy of teaching by example, need not be unfolded here (See 1 Pet. 2:21; Heb. 12:2).
 In the fourth place, Christ’s incarnation was necessary, in order to establish a proper basis for that legal union between Him and His elect, which should make Him bearer of their imputed guilt, and them partakers of His imputed righteousness and of His exaltation (See 1 Cor. 15:21). It was necessary that man’s sin should be punished in the nature of man, in order to render the substitution more natural and proper (Rom. 8:3). Had the deity been united with some angelic, or other creature, the imputation of man’s sin to that Person, and its punishment in that foreign nature would have appeared less reasonable (See Heb. 2:14–16). So, likewise, the obedience rendered in another nature than man’s, would not have been so reasonable a ground for raising man’s race to a share in the Mediator’s blessedness.
And this leads us to add, last, that a created eve been so appropriate as man’s. And none but a creature could come under law, assume a subject position, and work out an active righteousness. God is above law, being Himself the great law giver. For the other vicarious work, suffering a penalty, not only a created, but a corporeal nature is necessary. Angels cannot feel bodily death, and brutes could not experience spiritual, but both are parts of the Heb. 10:5, 9:22.
7. Evaluation
God gave his Son for the redemption of man. He came into the world to save his people from their sins; to seek and save those who are lost. He took part in flesh and blood in order, by death, to destroy him who had the power of death, that is the devil, and to deliver those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. He died the just for the unjust that He might bring us near to God.
The intention of coming of the Son of God was to reconcile us unto God, and as reconciliation of parties at variance is a work of mediation, Christ is called our mediator. But where reconciliation involves the necessity of satisfaction for sin as committed against God, and then he only is a mediator who makes atonement for sin. As this was done, and could be done by Christ alone, it follows that He only is the mediator between God and man. To us, therefore, there is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy2:5)
Thus to reconcile man and God, Son of God has to come as a man, not mere in appearance of man but fully as man. The blessings of Salvation and peace with God happened because of the Jesus’ incarnation as man which also gave as eternal privileges before God.
8. Conclusion
I have explained in the paper about the biblical evidences on Jesus’ humanity, the necessity and importance which were the turning point in the history and also considering the salvation of Humanity. I believe this paper almost succeeded in explaining the human incarnation of Jesus Christ giving the biblical evidences.



Bibliography
Berkoff, Loius. Systematic Theology. Pennsylvania: The Bath Press, 2000.
Culver, Duncen. Systematic Theology. Ross-shire: Geanies House, 2005.
Enns, Paul Moody handbook of Theology. Michigan: Moody Publishers1989.
Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology. Secunderabad: OM Books,2005. 

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