The Lord Jesus Christ

His Person

Michael Hardt

FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions

 

  1. Who is Christ?
  2. So, what is Christ then, a Man or God?
  3. Are there any other Bible references which demonstrate that Christ was God?
  4. But how can He be God and, at the same time, the Son of God?
  5. What do we mean by ‘Trinity’
  6. Do Christians believe in more than one God?
  7. Are there different ranks in the Godhead?
  8. Are there relationships between the persons of the Godhead?
  9. Why is it so serious if someone denies that the Lord Jesus is the Eternal Son?
  10. Christ is Man and God at the same time – can anyone understand this?
  11. Why is it so important that Christ was (and is) both, God and Man?
  12. When did Christ become a Man?
  13. When He became Man, did He cease to be God?
  14. Will Christ ever cease to be a Man?
  15. Did He have a human soul, a human spirit, and a human body?
  16. Was He a man just like us?
  17. If Christ could not sin, how could He be tempted?
  18. Was Joseph His natural father?
  19. Was Mary His natural mother?
  20. Does Mary, therefore, have a special place and, if so, what is it?

 

1.     Who is Christ?

This is the question of questions (Mt. 16:15) – the most important one you will ever face. The Gospel of John was written “that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” (Jn 20:30). He became man (more on this in questions 9-18) and lived on this earth for just over 30 years. He was pronounced innocent by the Roman court but was crucified. After three days He rose again and, six weeks later, ascended to heaven. He will come again, first to take those who believed in Him to be with Him, and then to judge the world and set up His kingdom in power.

2.     So, what is Christ then, a Man or God?

Both. He is “the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim.2:5) but He is also “the true God” (1 John 5:20), “God blessed for ever” (Rom.9:5).

3.     Are there any other Bible references which demonstrate that Christ was God?

Yes, many! The Bible leaves absolutely no doubt that He was God. Just consider the following:

4.     But how can He be God and, at the same time, the Son of God?

There are three divine persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Each of them is ‘God’.

And yet, there are not several gods, but “God is one” (1 Tim. 2:5). See also 1 Cor.8:4 and Gal. 3:20.

5.     What do we mean by ‘Trinity’

Essentially, what we have just said (question 4): there are three persons in the Godhead, and yet God is one. This is not for human reason to question but for faith to worship.

6.     Do Christians believe in more than one God?

No. Sometimes this accusation is made out of ignorance. But Christianity is strictly monotheistic, i.e. based on faith in one God.

7.     Are there different ranks in the Godhead?

No. If someone refers to Father, Son and Spirit as ‘first’, ‘second’ and ‘third’ persons of the godhead this is not a rank order but simply an enumeration (perhaps this way of speaking should be avoided to avoid misunderstandings?).

8.     Are there relationships between the persons of the Godhead?

Yes. The Christ is the Son of the Father. This relationship has always existed, throughout the past ages, the ‘past eternity’. He was the Son when God gave Him (John 3:16 and Is. 9:6), He was already the Son when the world was created (Heb. 1:2), and the Father loved the Son even before the world was made (John 17: 24).

9.     Why is it so serious if someone denies that the Lord Jesus is the Eternal Son?

Well, if this truth is given up all is lost. What is special about Christianity is that God is a God of love. But how do we know God’s love? Because He gave His Son, the only Son He had (see John 3:16 and compare with Gen. 22: 2 and Mark 12:6). If someone denies that Christ was already the Son of God before His birth, then God simply gave a person, not His only Son. Further, God is revealed in His Son. The Son has made known the Father. If He was not the Son before He came, then we still would not know who the Father is.

10. Christ is Man and God at the same time – can anyone understand this?

No. Nobody. God is far too great to be understood by limited human minds. But we can believe it. “The word was God” (John 1:1) and “the word became flesh” (i.e. became man, John 1:14).

11. Why is it so important that Christ was (and is) both, God and Man?

First, it is so important because it concerns Christ. If a teacher does not bring ‘the doctrine of the Christ’ he must be rejected (2 John 9-11).

But secondly this is so important because, otherwise, Christ could not have accomplished the work of redemption. He had to become Man in order to be able to die. And He had to be God in order to accomplish the redemptive work in divine power: “when he had by himself purged our sins” (Hebr. 1:3) – see also Col. 1:19.

Also, He had to be God as well as man in order to be a mediator between God and man (1 Tim.2:5). A mediator is someone who can put his hand on the shoulders of both of the parties between whom he mediates (Job 9:33).

12.  When did Christ become a Man?

About 2000 years ago, when He was born in Bethlehem (see Micah 5:1 and Lk 2:4-7). This is the point in time God calls ‘the fullness of time’ (Gal. 4:4). Man had been tested in every possible way – and had failed completely. This is when God sent His Son and spoke in Him, through (or ‘in’) His person (Heb. 1:1.2).

13. When He became Man, did He cease to be God?

No. He always was and always is and always will be God. This is axiomatic. God is eternal and cannot cease to be God. Col. 1:19 and 2:9.

14.  Will Christ ever cease to be a Man?

No. He was raised (1 Cor. 15) and ascended to heaven where He is now as glorified Man. This is important because He is now our High Priest – and not one that does not know how to sympathise with us but one who was and is man Himself and knows what it is like to be tested and tempted in this scene (except that He did and does not have a sinful nature). When Christ will appear in power, He will still be the ‘Son of man’ (Mt.26:64).

15. Did He have a human soul, a human spirit, and a human body?

Yes. He was a real man, and man is composed of body, soul and spirit (1 Thess. 5:23).

How wonderful to see that the Lord’s perfect humanity is stated in such clear terms.

16. Was He a man just like us?

Yes – except for sin. Every descendent of Adam (and that includes every man, woman and child alive today) has a sinful nature (Romans 5). But the Lord Jesus did not have a sinful nature. He “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15). Note that

17.  If Christ could not sin, how could He be tempted?

True – it says in the Gospels that Christ was tempted by the devil (Mk. 1:13). This means that Satan presented temptations to Him but there was nothing in Him that would respond to them [this is where everyone else differs: we all have the inclination to respond to Satan’s temptations of the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life (1 John 2:16) because we have the flesh, the sinful nature in us, but not so with Christ]. He needed to be tempted. However, this was not to test whether He would sin but to demonstrate that He would not.

18.   Was Joseph His natural father?

No. Christ did not have a human father. Gabriel said to Mary: “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35). Interestingly, the man who wrote this gospel was a medical doctor.

The report given by Matthew confirms this. When Joseph found out that Mary was expecting a child he wanted to put her away in secret. But the angel of the Lord appeared to him and told him not to do so, and not to fear, because “that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost”. Who could think of a clearer way to put it?

Any final doubt is removed by the words stating that Jospeh “knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.” (Mt. 1:25).

19. Was Mary His natural mother?

Yes. Even the earliest prediction about the Lord refers to Him as ‘the seed of the woman’ (Gen. 3:15). Paul states that one of the privileges of the Israelites was that “of them, as concerning the flesh Christ came” (Rom.9:5). Further, we read in John 7:42: “Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David?” Another very clear confirmation is found in Romans 1:3, which states that Christ was “of the seed of David according to the flesh”. See also 2 Tim. 2:8.

20.  Does Mary, therefore, have a special place and, if so, what is it?

Yes, she does. Gabriel said to her “Blessed art thou among women” (Lk 1:28), and a little later Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, repeats the same words to her (v.42). It was a great privilege to be the natural mother of Christ (as man).

However, the wise men from the east came to Jerusalem (Mt. 2) because they had “seen his [not ‘his mother’s’] star in the east, and …[had] come to worship him [not ‘her’]” (v.2). They were guided by the star which “went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child [not: ‘his mother’] was” (v.9). Remarkably, it then says “they saw the young child with Mary his mother [not ‘the mother with her child’], and fell down, and worshipped him [not ‘her’] (v.11).

Those who esteem Mary highly do well to respect her advice: “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it” (John 2:5). The Lord’s words to John “Behold, thy mother” (John 19:27) and the fact that, from this hour, John took her to be with himself, shows that Mary did not have supernatural powers but would have to rely on being cared for. Finally, in Acts 1:14 Mary is mentioned as one of the women who continued with the disciples in prayer. No special role is attributed to her.

In brief: Mary had a very special place – but one of privilege, not of authority or power. Praying to Mary is simply idolatry. Worship belongs to God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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