Understanding The Bible
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BY THE AUTHOR
Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
THE PERSONS OF THE TRINITY
God the Father
Father of the Lord Jesus Christ
This relationship is definitely announced, but nowhere clearly explained. It is fundamental within the Divine Being and has always existed.
Plain statement of Scripture,
2 Cor. 1:3; 11:31; Gal. 4:4; Eph. 1:3; Rom. 15:6; 1 Pet. 1:3
The Son is said to have been
"begotten" of the Father,
Jn. 1:14,18; 3:16; Col. 1:15; 1 Jn. 4:9
The Father affirms this
Mt. 3:17; 17:5; Lk. 9:35; Heb. 1:5-10
Christ affirms this relationship
Jn. 5:17-26; 8:54; 14:12; 17:5; Lk. 2:49
Father of the nation Israel (as
a unit, not as individuals as in NT),
Ex. 4:22; Dt. 32:6; Isa. 64:8; Mal. 1:6; 2:10
Father of all who believe in
Christ (a NT privilege),
Jn. 1:12; Gal. 3:26; Eph. 2:18-19; Rom. 8:14-17; 1 Jn. 3:1, Eph. 4:6
This relationship does not include all mankind. The so-called "universal fatherhood of God" is wholly unsupported by Scripture,
1 Cor. 8:6; Jn. 8:44; Eph. 2:2-3. He is the Creator and in this sense they are His "offspring, " Acts 17:29 (Greek genos = race).
Determination of the decree,
Ps. 2:7-9; Jn. 6:37-38; 17:4-7
Election, Eph. 1:3-6
Creation, 1 Cor. 8:6
Sending Christ, Jn. 3:16; 5:37; 8:16
Raising of the dead, Jn. 5:21; 1 Cor. 15:15
Revelation, Rom. 1:2
Judgment, 1 Pet. 1:17
Disciplining of sons, Heb.
12:9; Jn. 15:1-2
God the Son (outline by Chafer)
Mic. 5:2; Jn. 1:1-2; 5:58; Col. 1:17; Rev. 1:17-18; Jn. 6:62; 17:5,24; 16:28; 8:42
The deity of Christ
Consider notes on this point in section pertaining to Trinity.
The humanity of Christ (Incarnation)
Jn. 8:40; Acts 2:22; Rom. 5:15; 1 Cor. 15:21; Jn. 1:14; 1 Tim. 3:16; 1 Jn. 4:2
He possessed the essential elements of human nature--a material body and a rational soul,
Mt. 26:26,28,38; Lk. 23:46; 24:39; Jn. 11:33; Heb. 2:14.
He was subject to the ordinary laws of human development and to human wants and sufferings,
Lk. 2:40,52; Heb. 2:10,18; 5:8.
The normal experiences of man's life were His,
Mt. 4:2; 8:24; 9:36; Mk. 3:5; Lk. 22:44; Jn. 4:6; 11:35; 12:27; 19:28,30; Heb. 5:7.
He came to reveal God to man,
Jn. 1:14,18; 14:9; Mt. 11:27; 1 Jn. 3:16; Col. 2:2.
He came to reveal man. He is an
example to the believer,
1 Pet. 2:21.
He came to provide a sacrifice
He came in the flesh that He
might destroy the works of the Devil,
Heb. 2:14; 1 Jn. 3:8; Col. 2:13-15; Jn. 12:31; 16:11.
He came into the world that He
might be a. merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to
Heb. 2:16-17; 8:1; 9:11-12,24.
He came in the flesh that He
might fulfill the Davidic covenant,
2 Sam. 7:16; Lk. 1:31-33; Rom. 15:8; Acts 2:30-31, 36.
The "hypo static union"
This doctrine indicates the union of the two natures of Christ in one person. Three essential facts are to be considered:
"The Lord Jesus Christ was from the moment of human gestation until His resurrection the undiminished presence of God. He suffered His glory to be veiled, but none of His conscious Deity was ever sacrificed. The Babe of Bethlehem could have commanded the dismissal of all material things, had He chosen to do so. God could do no more, or be no more, than is claimed for Christ. " (Chafer)
Christ was truly man with a complete human nature.
These two natures were, without
diminution or complication, united in the one unique and incomparable
Person. He is humanity un-exalted and Deity undiminished.
Also to be considered in the doctrine of the hypostatic union of Christ is the impeccability of Christ. By this we affirm that Christ was not merely able not to sin, but was not able to sin. Because of His immutable holiness Christ, being God, could not sin, and in His sinless humanity, as procreated of God, He was "that holy thing" (Lk. 1:35) incapable of sin.
An objection to the hypostatic union of Christ is given in the Kenosis Theory, based on Philippians 2:7, where the literal translation would be "Christ emptied Himself. " This theory advances the thought that the Incarnate Christ emptied Himself of His Deity.
(For a fuller discussion of our Lord's alleged limitation of knowledge, urged by some because of improper views on His self-humbling, see next page for a special note on Mark 13:32.)
The orthodox position in regard to Philippians 2:7 is that Christ surrendered only:
(1) the independent use of His attributes
(2) His visible glory
The offices of Christ
Prophet - representing the claims of God to man
Priest - representing man to God, Heb. 5:1
Priest taken from among men to be their representative.
He is appointed by God (cp. 5:4).
He is active in those interests of men that pertain to God.
His special work is to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.
He makes intercession for His people, Heb. 3:1; 4:14; 5:5; 6.20; 7:26; 8:1.
King - the promised Seed of
David who is to reign in righteousness over a regathered, redeemed Israel
and over the world
The Holy Spirit
His personality: Acts 8:29,39; 10:19; 16:17 (Cp. notes on Trinity)
It is to be observed that no name is revealed of the Holy Spirit. He is identified in the following passages: Mt. 10:20; 12:28; 4:18 Lk. 11:13; Jn. 14:17; Rom. 8:2,9,16; 2 Cor. 3:18; Gal. 4:6; Phil. 1:19; 1 Jn. 3:24.
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