The deity of Christ doctrine

Published October 26, 2019, 4:09 PM

by Nelly Favis Villafuerte

GENTLE BREEZE

By NELLY FAVIS VILLAFUERTE

Nelly Favis Villafuerte

Nelly Favis Villafuerte

Was Jesus Christ a hybrid – half-God and half-man?  Or was he true man and true God without being a mixture of the two natures?  In the Bible, we see Jesus becoming the God-man, meaning true God and true man in one person without an intermingling of the two natures.  This was depicted in John 1:14 where it says that “the Word became flesh and lived for a while among us.”  Also, in Philippians Chapter 2, Jesus Christ took the “very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”  In the words of a Christian lawyer, “Jesus was the God-man.  He was just as much man as if he had never been God and just as much God as if he had never been man.  Jesus Christ was not just a finite man but infinite God.”

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Jesus Christ is called the “Son of Man.”  This phrase emphasizes the true man nature (humanity) of Jesus and is mentioned 77 times in the Holy Bible.  In Luke 19:10, for example, it is stated:  “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”  Again in Acts 7:56, Stephen, just before his death, saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.  “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

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Jesus, as true man experienced the instincts normally possessed by human beings.  Thus:  Jesus hungered (Matthew 4:2,  Matthew 21:18);  he thirsted (John 4:7,  John 19-28);  he got tired (John 4:6);  he slept  (Matthew 8:24);  he loved (Mark 10:21,  John 11:36);  he got angry (John 2:16, Hebrews 5:7);  he wept (John 11:35,  Matthew 26:38Luke 19:4);  and he prayed (Matthew 14:23).

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While Jesus experienced all the human instincts mentioned, Jesus was different from other human beings in that He was sinless.  Hebrews 7:26 and 1 Peter 1:19 describes Jesus Christ as “one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.”  In 1 Peter 1:19, Jesus is portrayed as the “lamb without blemish or defect.”  Sinlessness is defined as absolute obedience to the will of God.  In biblical accounts, there were people who testified to the sinlessness of Jesus Christ.  (see John 18:38,  Matthew 27:19,  Luke 23:41,  Matthew 27:4,  Luke 23:47)  Jesus himself said is not guilty of sin  (John 8:46).  One may ask:  is there anyone else in the Bible after Adam’s fall who claimed to be without sin?  None that I could think of.

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There are people who believe that since Jesus Christ was tempted, he was a sinner because of his susceptibility to sin.  But then, temptation in itself is not sin.  It is the surrendering or giving in to temptation that is sin.  Others also argue that Jesus Christ was not perfect since he was tempted.  Remember Adam and Eve?  They were created perfect without original sin.  But despite their being perfect, they were tempted.  And more than that, Adam and Eve yielded to temptation.  Jesus Christ’s “perfect sinlessness” is the distinctive and unique phenomenon that makes him above normal human beings.

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From the biblical standpoint, Jesus Christ is not only a man because he is also God.  To my readers who do not agree with this statement, I pose the following questions:  If Jesus Christ is only a man, why did He claim to have existed before Abraham?  Remember the famous Biblical passage:  “Before Abraham was, I am.”  By human standards, Jesus Christ could not have existed before Abraham because He is hundreds of years younger than Abraham.  How then?  If Jesus Christ’s claim is false, He is then a liar, or maybe a lunatic?  If His claim is true, he is Lord and God.  Another question:  If Jesus Christ were only a man, how come He claimed direct ascendance and descendance from God?  (see John 3:13, 31, 16, 28)  Have there been other men who have ever descended from or ascended to God?  (see John 1:18, 1 John 4:12, 1 Timothy 6:16, John 3:13).

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Many claim that Jesus Christ cannot be God because Jesus Christ died and the immortal God cannot die.  Let us go back to the claim of Jesus Christ in John 10:17-18 which says, “I lay down my life – only to take it up again.  No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.  I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.”  In John 11:25-26, Jesus Christ also said, “I am the resurrection and the life.”  Based on this Biblical passage, Jesus claimed to be the Resurrection even before He bodily rose from death!

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After all is said, the answers to the questions — Is Jesus Christ God? Is he the Son of God? Is he Lord? – depend on the truth or falsity of the claims found in the Holy Bible.  This leads to another question:  Is the Holy Bible alone the revealed Word of God?  Skeptics have asked:  how could fallible men produce an infallible bible?  Let me answer with the question:  Is anything too difficult for God?”

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This column continues to give out copies of the Holy Bible for free to those who cannot afford to buy their own copies. If interested, please send your letter-request to Ms. Nelly Favis Villafuerte, 5233 Fahrenheit St., Palanan, Makati City. Kindly mention if it is the Tagalog, English, Cebuano, or Ilocano Bible that is preferred.

Be joyful and forgiving!

(Comments may be sent to Ms. Villafuerte’s email: [email protected])

 
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