A Lamp to My Feet Reminder – John 3:16


This past week we had the pleasure to take a look at a short verse, compared to the passages we have been working on, which is also an extremely fascinating verse. I don’t want to steal any of your thunder, so I’ll hold off on getting preachy on what I love about this verse and learned from it and save it for another time. But one thing that is incredible about this verse is that God sent his Son, his one and only Son, to the earth. Just thinking about that part of the verse itself is unfathomable, but true.  
I invite you to share your findings on John 3:16 in the comments below. What does this verse mean? What did you learn? What stands out to you? 
 
If you didn’t get a chance to complete this week’s “challenge” feel free to take a look at our verse this week below and comment with what you love most about this verse. 
 

John 3:16 (ESV) 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
 
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Why is the Hypostatic Union of Christ Necessary?


Why is the Hypostatic Union of Christ Necessary

The nature of Christ is a difficult nature to understand. He is two in one. Completely God while at the same time completely man. While this may be hard to understand, this dual nature of Christ was required so that he could accomplish His redemptive work on the cross.

While there are numerous instances in Scripture where it is evident that Jesus was fully human, this author believes that there are two instances that stand out from the rest. These are His birth (Luke 2:1-7) and His death (John 19:31-35). Like the rest of humanity, He was born from a woman. And, like the rest of humanity, He died a physical death.
While Jesus was fully human He was also fully God. John 1:1 and 1:14 state this fact explicitly. Verse one states that “the Word was God” (ESV). Then, in verse fourteen, it states that, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” In addition to this passage, Jesus claimed to be one with the Father (John 10:30).

These facts are referred to as the Hypostatic Union. Stated simply, if such a doctrine can be, through the birth of Jesus His human nature was forever added to His divine nature. This addition of the human nature did not mix with the divine nature, but instead, “[remained] distinct, whole, and unchanged…so that the one person, Jesus Christ, was truly God and truly man.”[1]

With Jesus being both God and man carries enormous weight for the history of God’s

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relationship with man. Man was fallen before God, full of sin and unworthy of being in the presence of God (Romans 3:23). God promised a redeemer to save the world from eternal separation from Him (Genesis 12:1-3). This redeemer was Jesus (Romans 5:9-11). Because Jesus was God and man, He was able to become the one and only human being to live a blameless life before God (Hebrews 7:26) and offer His life as a sacrifice for the entire world (v. 27).

This sacrifice for all could not have been accomplished in any other way. Through His becoming human, He was able to identify with humanity (Hebrews 2:9), remain without sin (4:15), and give His life as a sacrifice for all (9:12), so that all those who would believe in Him can enter into a new relationship with God that is eternal in nature (Romans 5:2).
It is important to realize that in order for the redemptive nature of Christ to be adequate, both natures must remain at one hundred percent each. To make Him more human than God would eradicate His being able to remain blameless. And to make Him more God than human would eradicate His ability to completely self-identify with those He came to save.

Although Scripture is very clear that Jesus is God (John 1:1, 14) there are objections to this view of Christ. The first is Ebionitism, which states that Christ was a man born naturally on whom the Spirit came at his baptism. A fairly simple objection to this view is to restate the verses above. These verses are clear that God became man. Therefore, Christ could not be just man, He is also God.

Another view, Sabellianism, said that Jesus was a second God next to God. A simple objection to this is John 10:30, where Jesus states, “I and the Father are one.” Jesus was one with the Father, not in addition to Him or separate from Him. A third major view was Arianism, which believed Jesus was a subordinate entity to God. While He was subordinate in duty (Matthew 26:39, 42), He was not subordinate in nature (John 17:11).
Christ in His humanity is an example to all humans for how to live our lives. Personally, this author views Christ as an example of what our relationship to our heavenly Father should be like. Jesus was very clear that we are to love God with all of our heart, with all of our soul, and with all of our mind (Matthew 22:37). Alongside of this love, Jesus is a perfect example of doing the will of God because of our love for Him, which requires putting our wishes to the side (Matthew 26:39, 42). With these two examples in mind a life which is glorifying to God is the natural (though not always easy) result.

As can be seen, the nature of Christ is not easy to grasp. But it is the beauty of His dual nature, the Hypostatic Union, and the work that He accomplished because of this union, that offers us eternal life, with Him, if we believe in Him.

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Jesus Did not Come in a UFO – Who is Christmas part 2


Last week I wrote about how human Christ was and how GOD He was and is. He had a family, brothers who mocked him, a sense of humor, became frustrated, ate, slept, cried, sweat, etc. He was human through and through during His time here on earth. How did he get here? How did He leave? Through these two questions one will discover just how much He was like you and I and just how much He is the GOD of you and I.

Not an Alien Invasion

Read Luke 1:26-38. Gabriel doesn’t tell Mary to look for a rope ladder to drop down from a UFO (this would not be a method our Humble Savior would have used), or that a stork is going to bring her a child since she is a virgin. No. He does the opposite. He says that she is going to give birth to Son. Give birth. Which meant that she would carry to term, as the saying goes, and a child would be born from her. She then asks a great question, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” (v. 34). Gabriel’s answer:  “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.” (v. 35). Wow. Christ’s literal father, through conception, is God. “Son of God” is not just a title that sounds cool, or does not apply just because the genealogy of Christ goes back to God (Luke 3:38). No, His literal father IS God. Crazy. So then in Chapter 2:1-7 Jesus is born. Merry Christmas, and Happy Birthday, Jesus. Human through and through. Human in His birth, but also God in His birth.

He Does Not Disintegrate

So after His birth He lives a life just like you and I. Goes through the fun years as a child, probably spending time with his earthly father, Joseph, in his wood shop, and even had to go through those awkward years as a teenager. He went through his twenties and got his ministry here on earth started at age 30. Three years later he is hanging on a cross.

As humans, our bodies can only endure so much before it is over. As a human, Jesus was only physically able to endure so much torture before he, too, died (Luke 23:46), and was buried (Luke 23:50-56). He is so human in his death that he actually dies. And once he is dead his body hangs limp on that cross until it is removed. Then when it was removed it was buried. He did not disappear once dead, or disintegrate off of the cross. Angels didn’t come down and grab him from the cross, or anything awesome like that. He died, like I will and like you will. And then was buried.

He was fully human in his birth from a woman, in his life as a child, teenager, and twenty-something, and ultimately, He was fully human in his death.

Only God can Beat Death

Three days after being placed in that tomb Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and a few other women go to the tomb to finish preparing His body. Once they get there they are met with the stone rolled away and Jesus’ body missing. Then to make it even more crazy, two men, in “dazzling apparel” (Luke 24:4 – A.K.A. angles) ask them why they would be so crazy to look for the living among the dead (Luke 24:5-8).

“Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”

He is risen. He is risen, indeed. Amen.

He died like we will but could not possibly stay dead. He is God. God does not die. God doesn’t have a beginning so how could He have an end? In verse 51 He is “carried up” into heaven and leaves the earth with the promise that He will return; a return that we eagerly await!

Give Him Your Life

This Saturday is the Birthday of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He did not die, so he is still living. Since, then, that is the case, shouldn’t we all give him a gift? He has given us the gift of salvation, a free gift to all who will receive it and make Him Lord of their life, so shouldn’t we return the favor? Maybe you are not a Christian. Maybe you have never given your life to Christ. Do that this Christmas. He died for you. Loves you no matter what you have done or how terrible you think you are. He wants to save you from eternal death and give you eternal life.

If you have already given Him your life, what’s next? Give Him more. Give him your time, your talents, and your money. Live your life entirely for Him and constantly worship and glorify Him through your actions, words, and thoughts. This is the best gift you can give Him for His Birthday this Christmas.