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Person and natures of Christ

1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
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Itiswrittenkjv1611
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Person and natures of Christ

Postby Itiswrittenkjv1611 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:15 am

Chalcedonian Creed (425 A.D.)

We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable soul and body; consubstantial with us according to the manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the virgin Mary, the mother of God, according to the manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, as the prophets from the beginning have declared concerning him, and the Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.

*Does not state that Jesus' human nature has no personal subsistence of it's own.

Defining "person" and "nature"

A person possesses a nature (not the other way around) and a person cannot exist without a nature.

"My nature" suggests that there is a person, I, who possesses a nature

Nature answers the question "what we are" and person answers the question "who we are". Every being has a nature; of every being we may properly ask, "What is it?" But not every being is a person: only rational beings are persons. We could not properly ask of a rock or a carrot or a fish, "Who is it?"

By our nature we do what we do. Every being acts according to what it is.

There are many things we can do. We can laugh and cry and walk and talk and sleep and think and love. All these things and more we can do because as human beings we have a nature which makes them possible. A snake could do only one of them - sleep. A stone could do none of them. Nature, then, is to be seen not only as what we are but as the source of what we can do.

Nature is the source of our operations, person does them.

My nature decides what kind of operations are possible for me, it is not my nature that does them: I do them, I the person. Person and nature may be considered sources of action, but in a different sense. The person is that which does the actions, the nature is that by virtue of which the actions are done, or, better, that from which the actions are drawn.

It is our nature to do certain things, but that we do them. We operate in or according to our nature.

The Bible teaches that God is 3 persons and that Jesus is one person with 2 natures.

Just because in man we find a 1 person 1 nature relationship and just because it is beyond our complete understanding does not negate the truth of The Trinity or the dual natures in Christ.

We are finite beings and God is infinite.

We can only begin to catch a glimpse of both the nature that we ourselves have and the person that we ourselves are, we are more in darkness on this subject than in light.

Important facts concerning the person and natures of Christ

Christ is one in Person

1. Nothing is said in Scripture of Jesus having more than one person.


In Scripture we see the Trinity, three persons in one Divine Being. Each of the persons are distinguished well from one another and they are introduced as speaking one to another.
It follows that if there were two persons in Jesus Christ we would see them speaking to each other using language seen used between the Father and The Son such as "Thee" or "Thou". We find nothing of the sort in Scripture and therefore the reason must be that the human personality is not present in The Mediator.

2. Christ is called one mediator

1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

There is one God in relation to man and it follows that there is one mediator. Who is the mediator? "The man Christ Jesus" the person.

There is one mediator therefore, it is suggested that there must be one person in Christ Jesus.

3. Jesus always speaks of himself as one in the same person.

No matter if what is said about Him refers to His divine or His human existence. It is the same identical subject that speaks in both relationships when it is said "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death" (Matt 26:38) and when stated "Before Abraham was, I am." (Jn 8:58) We can hereby conclude oneness of persons and duality of natures.

*The Nestorian heresy taught that there were two separate persons in Christ

The person in Christ is Divine

1. Passages on the Incarnation start from eternity past in the person of The Son of God

Joh 1:1-4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

1Jn 1:1-3 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

Php 2:6-11 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Christ being "in the form of God" means that He possessed the essential Divine attributes. Only God can be "in the form of God". When Christ humbled Himself, He humbled Himself of the perogatives and appearances of Deity, not the essence. Christ never ceased being God. The assumption of a new nature (Christ's human nature) does not mean the cessation of Christ's Divine nature. If Christ ceased being Divine, one of the members of the Godhead would have ceased to exist. The assumption of a new nature also does not mean that the nature of Jesus was in any way changed.

2. Passages speaking of the union of the Divine person with the human nature always have the Divine person active and not passive.

He became flesh (Jn 1:14), He took on the seed of Abraham (Heb 2:16), He humbled Himself (Phil 2:8), He became poor (2 Cor 8:9)

3. The humanity of Jesus is never spoken of in personal terms but in terms of nature.

It is not a man that Jesus assumed, but flesh.

Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

Flesh in this context means the fullness of human nature; body and soul but without personality needed.

Two distinct natures

The one Divine person of Jesus Christ consists of two distinct natures, one human and one Divine.

The properties or attributes of both natures may be properly predicated of the one Person. In other words, the one person of Jesus Christ retains all of the attributes of both natures (e.g., through His divine nature He is omniscient while simultaneously through His human nature He may lack knowledge).

The union of the two natures is not an indwelling, nor a mere contact or occupancy of space, but a personal union. This is similar to the union of body and soul in human beings. This union of the two natures in Christ is referred to as the Hypostatic Union.

The two natures exist together in perfect union so that the human is never without the divine or the divine without the human, but the natures do not mix or mingle.

The two natures, divine and human, are distinct, but inseparably united in the one person. The two natures retain their own attributes or qualities and are thus not mixed together.

*The Eutychian heresy blended the two natures of Christ together to form one hybrid nature (monophysitism: one nature).

The human nature is not deified, and the divine nature does not suffer human limitation.
The word nature refers to essence or substance, and these two natures are inseparable, unmixed, and unchanged.

For more on the Hypostatic Union click here

Divine nature

Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Through His divine nature, Jesus Christ is "the Son of God", second person of the Trinity, who shares the one divine essence fully and equally with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

*The Arian heresy viewed Jesus merely as a God-like creature.

The Deity of Christ can be seen through His various names and titles (Jesus, Lord, Son of God, ect). It can also been seen through His pre-existence, His sinlessness, His Divine attributes and many more evidences can be found in Scripture.

For more on the Deity of Christ click here

Human nature

Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Through His human nature, Jesus Christ is the "Son of Man", fully human, possessing all the essential attributes of a true human being.

*Docetism denied the true humanity of Christ.

His human nature has no personal subsistence of it's own, it's personal existence is in the person of the Son of God. (The person of the Son of God serves as person for the human nature as well as the Divine, He lends personality to both.)

1. The Divine person, who cannot change, was already in existence, therefore His human nature must be impersonal (not of itself personally) or else there were two subjects in existence. (There would be two mediators.)

2. All human persons have a sinful nature, Yet Christ was sinless and He had to be for our salvation.

The human nature of Christ can be seen from His title "Christ" and "Son of Man", through is infirmities and weaknesses and much more.

For more on the humanity of Christ click here

Two wills (Monothelitism)

As a result of the two natures, Jesus has two wills.

Evident from Scripture:

Joh 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will (human will that subjects to the Father), but the will of him that sent me (Divine will equal with the Father).

Mat_26:42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. (Jesus' human will pleading with the Divine will of the Father that Jesus' Divine will is equal to.)

Joh 10:17-18 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life (human will), that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father (Divine will).

Summary

Jesus Christ is one person with two distinct natures (Divine and human). Even though Jesus has two natures, He is one in His person. His person is Divine. His human nature has no personal subsistence of it's own, it's personal existence is in the person of the Son of God. Jesus Christ is the same person before and after the incarnation. Before the incarnation Jesus had one nature (Divine). After the incarnation Jesus added to Himself a human nature which subsists with the Divine nature He had and still has. Jesus has a Divine consciousness and a human consciousness which results in two wills, but remains one in person.

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