89. Who is Jesus Christ?
Jesus Christ is God the Son, the second Person of the Trinity, the Savior of the world.
90. What do we mean when we say that God the Son became incarnate?
For Christ to become incarnate means that the Second Person of the Trinity became a human being, without ceasing to be God. Once he became a man, He was 100% God and 100% man.
91. How did God the Son become incarnate?
He was conceived in His human mother Mary by the Holy Spirit, without the help of a human father. This is called the virgin conception, which resulted in the virgin birth (Luke 1:35).
92. What do we mean when we say that Jesus is the God-man?
For Jesus to be the God-man means that He is fully divine and fully human though He is one person. Jesus is one in nature with God and one in nature with man. Everything that it means to be God, Jesus is; everything that it means to be human, Jesus is. Yet Jesus is only one person.
93. What is proof that Jesus was a man?
Proof that Jesus was a man includes the facts that He was conceived in a mother’s womb, grew up, learned and developed as a human person. He got tired, hungry, thirsty, and sleepy. He was tempted, suffered emotionally and physically, and then He died. (Matt 4:2, John 19:28, Matt. 26:58; Luke 2:52, Mark 15:25.)
94. What is the only difference between the humanity of Jesus and our humanity?
Jesus was not born with a sinful nature, and He never sinned (Hebrews 4:15). We were born with a sinful nature, and we have sinned against God (Romans 3:23).
95. How do the two natures of Jesus relate to one another?
The two natures of Jesus are unchanged, unconfused, indivisible, and inseparable. The two natures remain distinct though they contribute their attributes to the single Person of Christ. Jesus lived and operated as one person though he had two natures. Jesus lived and acted as God, while He lived and acted as man.
96. Does the fact that Jesus operated as both God and man take anything away from either of His natures?
The fact that He functions as God does not take away from his humanity, neither does the fact that He functions as a man take anything away from His deity. The Bible also, as a divine-human book, exhibits both human and divine characteristics. The fact that the Bible exhibits divine characteristics does not make it any less a human book, and the fact that Bible exhibits human characteristics does not make it any less a divine book. Likewise, Jesus can function in both His humanity and deity without lessening either his deity or humanity.
97. What is cummunicatio idiomatum?
Cummunicatio idiomatum means that all the divine and human attributes are communicated fully to the single person. “Idios” means self or one’s own. Each nature communicates its own properties to the single person or hypostasis.
98. What is perichoresis?
Perichoresis refers to the active intermingling of the two natures of Christ. Perichoresis means literally an embracing, a proceeding around. The two natures of Christ indwell one another, but without either losing its distinctiveness. The term ‘perichoresis’ can also be applied to the three members of the Trinity.
99. What scriptural evidence do we have that Jesus is actually God?
Scripture tells us that Jesus claimed to be God, that He exercised divine works, that He possessed divine attributes, and that He accepted worship as God.
100. What scriptures show that Jesus claimed to be God?
Scriptures that show that Jesus claimed to be God include John 8:58, where Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” In that verse, Jesus was identifying Himself with Jehovah, the I AM of Exodus 3:14. In John 10:30, Jesus said, “I and my Father are One.” According to the context of that verse, the Jews understood that Jesus was claiming to be equal to God the Father. Jesus accepted that interpretation of His words.
101. What scripture show that Jesus exercised divine works?
Scripture passages that shows that Jesus exercised divine works include Mark 2, which teaches that Jesus forgave sin; John 11, which shows that Jesus raises the dead; John 10, which teaches that Jesus gives eternal life; and John 1 and Colossians 1, which teach that Jesus created the world.
102. What scriptures show that Jesus possessed divine attributes?
Scriptures that show that Jesus possessed divine attributes include Revelation 22:13, which says that Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. This means that He is eternal. In John 16:30, His disciples told him, “Lord, now we are sure that you know all things.” Peter said in John 21:17, “Lord, You know all things.” The apostles believed that Jesus was omniscient. In Matthew 18:20, Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered, there am I in their midst.” In Matthew 28:20, He said, “I am with you, even to the end of the world.” And Ephesians 4:10 says that Jesus fills all things. These statements indicate that Jesus is not restricted by His humanity. In His deity, He can still be everywhere. He is omnipresent.
103. What scriptures show that Jesus accepted worship as God?
Scriptures that show that Jesus accepted worship as God include Matthew 28, which says that the disciples fell down before Him and worshiped Him; and John 21, which says that Thomas fell down before Him, calling Him Lord and God. Jesus can be contrasted with holy created beings, who refused worship (Revelation 22:8-9). Instead, angels worship Jesus, according to Hebrews 1. We need to remember that Jesus told Satan (Matthew 4) that only God was worthy of worship. If He were not God Himself, He would not have accepted the worship of others.
104. Why could no one else be the sacrifice for our sins?
Jesus had to be the sacrifice because He was the only one who was both God and man.
105. Why did Jesus have to be God to provide the sacrifice for our sins?
Jesus had to be God because only deity could atone for sins against an infinite God. Because God is limitless, our sins brought limitless guilt upon us. Only an infinite being (God) could offer up an adequate sacrifice to deliver us from this guilt.
We can also say that Jesus had to be God so that the One giving his life would have the power in Himself to take it up again. The sacrifice was only adequate because of the power of the One who would destroy sin and death by His resurrection.
We can also say that the blood which was shed on the cross could only cleanse our sin and give us victory because it was the blood of the divine-human person. No mere human, no matter how sinless, could have accomplished on the cross what the God-man did.
106. Why did Jesus have to be man?
One reason Jesus had to be man (and not simply God) was in order to suffer and die. God Himself was not capable of death. God had to become one of His creatures in order for Him to actually give His life’s blood. Jesus also needed to be man because he had to fully identify with the human race in order bring us back to God. He had to become one of us to save us. By going through every stage of our life as the perfect God-man, He (potentially) brings us back to Himself.
107. Why did he have to be both God and man at the same time?
Jesus had to be both God and man at the same time because He came to reconcile two separated parties – God and man. As our mediator, Christ had to represent both sides of these parties at the same time. As God, he represented God to man. As man, He represented man to God. By fully representing both sides, Jesus brought man and God together. It’s like He grasped God’s hand on one side and man’s hand on the other and pulled us back together. He could not have done this without full identification with both sides. This means that He had to have the abilities of both God and man to do what each had to do to bring about reconciliation.
108. What do theologians mean when they say that Christ was twice begotten?
When theologians say that Christ was twice begotten, they mean that Christ was first begotten before all time from the Father. This is an eternal non-physical begetting. He was begotten again when he came down from heaven and was incarnate by His earthly mother Mary.
109. Were the temptations of Christ genuine?
The temptations of Christ were real temptations clamoring for Him to abuse His real freedom.
110. Could Jesus have sinned?
Jesus was not forced to be sinless, for He had true freedom, but His sinlessness was inevitable because of who He was.
111. What are the three offices of Christ?
The three offices of Christ are Prophet, Priest, and King.
112. Why did Jesus need to fulfill these offices?
Jesus had to fulfill these offices to meet our needs. As Prophet He enlightens our darkened minds. He calls us to repentance. As Priest, He cleanses our corrupt hearts and reconciles us to God. As King, He delivers our wills from the bondage of the devil and will eventually “put all things under His feet.”
113. Why did Jesus have to die?
Jesus had to die because the consequence of our sin was death. In order to reverse the curse of the Fall, Jesus took that consequence. Jesus identified with us even to the point of death to restore us. Jesus was able to destroy death and the devil by dying and then raising from the dead. We are saved when we identify with Christ, dying to sin as Jesus died for sin, and then by faith identifying with Christ in His resurrection.
114. Was Christ punished for our sins?
Christ was only punished provisionally for our sins. It is most precise to say that Christ suffered for us so that we don’t have to be punished for our sins. The problem with saying that Christ took our punishment in an absolute sense is that one might conclude that no one for whom Christ died could be punished for his sins, since the punishment was already taken by Christ, and it would be unjust for punishment to be suffered twice for the same sins.
115. Do we believe that the atonement is objective?
We do believe that the atonement is a once-for-all objective act, but we say that it is the basis for forgiveness; it doesn’t secure our forgiveness automatically.
116. Was Christ our Substitute?
Christ was our substitute. “He was wounded for our transgressions . . . He died the just for the unjust . . . (Isaiah 53, I Peter 3:18).
117. How would you define the atonement?
The atonement is that gracious act of God whereby Christ, the sinless God-man, demonstrating God’s love for man and hatred for sin, suffered in the place of all mankind, giving His life’s blood to fully satisfy the justice and holiness of God, propitiating for sin, then rising from the dead, destroying the power of sin and death, overcoming the devil, and thereby making it possible that all who repent and believe will be forgiven instead of being punished for their sins, sanctified and (ultimately) glorified.
118. How important is the resurrection to atonement?
The resurrection confirms the atonement. It is evidence that Jesus has power over sin, death, and the devil, and that He can give spiritual and physical life to those who trust him.
119. Is there proof that Jesus really rose from the dead?
There is overwhelming evidence that Jesus rose from the dead. This evidence includes the facts that people observed Him die, after which the tomb He was buried in was found empty three days later, that Jesus was seen alive by hundreds of people after His death and burial, and that the disciples willingly died for their faith (they would have known their story was a lie if it were; no one willingly dies for what they know is a lie).
120. What are the unconditional benefits of the atonement?
The unconditional benefits of the atonement are the continued existence of the human race, salvation of infants, and prevenient grace, making salvation possible for all persons.
121. What are the conditional benefits of the atonement?
The conditional benefits of the atonement include justification, regeneration, adoption, the witness of the Spirit, and entire sanctification.
122. Did Christ die for everyone?
Jesus Christ died for everyone. The atonement is universal. I John 2:2 says that Christ made propitiation not only for our sins, but also for the sins of the whole world. 2 Cor 5:15 says that He died for all. Romans 14:15 says that He died for those that may perish. I Tim 4:10 says that Jesus is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.
123. Does this mean that everyone will be saved?
Universal atonement does not mean universal salvation. John 3:16 says that God gave His Son . . . so that whoever believes would not perish but have everlasting life. Salvation is conditioned upon our faith.