Friday, April 11, 2008

This week's Sabbath School lesson: the deity of Christ

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him, but some doubted" -- Matthew 28:16-17, NIV.
Robert Johnston once pointed out that all Christology can be boiled down to two statements:
  • Jesus prayed.
  • And Jesus' followers prayed to him.
The first statement is the basis for our belief that Jesus is human -- and as such, he was forced to rely upon God just as much as we do.

The second statement is the basis for our belief that Jesus is divine -- and as such, he is the source of every blessing in our lives.

Now obviously, we've had a difficult time explaining how both statements could be true -- and over the years, believers have tried to simplify matters by getting rid of one or the other.
  • Docetists and other Gnostics, for instance, said Jesus was divine -- but not really human,
  • While Ebionites and Arians said Jesus was human -- but not really divine.
  • And then you had Nestorians and Apollonarians, both of whom said Jesus was not fully one or the other, but a hybrid of the two.
The result is our belief in the Trinity -- and no, it is not an easy doctrine to understand.

But it beats the alternatives.

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