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Showing posts from June, 2020

The Holy Spirit - His Personality

Without a doubt the Holy Spirit is the most misunderstood member of the Trinity. Often, because of such misunderstandings, false teachings will arise concerning Him. The Bible though, is quite clear in what it teaches concerning the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is neither an “it,” a “thing,” or a mere “influence.” The Bible teaches that the Spirit is a Person having the characteristics of personality, not some impersonal force. Paul Enns defines personality “as possessing intellect, emotion, and will.”[1] The distinguishing marks of personality are self-consciousness and freedom. Arius was one who denied the personality of the Holy Spirit and his teachings have continued even to the present day through the teachings and beliefs of pseudo-Christian cults such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses. What is some of the evidence we have that demonstrates that the Holy Spirit has personality? (1) His attributes – intellect (1 Cor.2:10-11), knowledge (1 Cor. 2:11), mind (Rom. 8:27; Eph. 1:17), Emotions (Eph. …

Jesus Christ - The Resurrection

The bodily resurrection of Christ is the cardinal doctrine of the Faith. If Jesus is not raised, not much else really matters. Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 15:17, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” I think that verse encapsulates the importance of this doctrine and the risk one who would deny it takes.
What’s the importance of the resurrection? (1) If it didn’t happen then Christianity is just another false religion, it has no validity (1 Cor. 15:17).(2) Since it did happen, it proves that God was satisfied with the Son’s sacrifice. His payment for sin was sufficient and complete. (3) The sending of the Holy Spirit necessitated the resurrection (John 16:7). (4) For the fulfillment of prophesy. David had long before prophesied the resurrection of the Son of God (Ps. 16:10) and according to Peter His resurrection fulfilled that prophecy. Jesus Himself had prophesied not only about His death but about His resurrection as well (Matt. 16:21; …

Jesus Christ - His Death

As we turn our attention to the death of Christ, there are several key words that we will consider in our study: (1) Substitution – many Bible passages clearly teach that Jesus died a substitutionary death on behalf of sinners. This is often referred to as vicarious which means “one in place of another.” Two verses worth looking at that emphasize His substitutionary death are Isaiah 53 in the Old Testament and 1 Peter 2:24 in the New Testament. Other verses that teach the substitutionary death of Christ are, Matt. 20:28; Luke 11:11; 1 Tim 2:6; Gal. 3:13; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 3:18.By dying in our place, He was able to satisfy the righteous demands of God’s justice. Complete payment for sin was made, thus, making it possible for God to declare sinners righteous and adopt them into His family. By dying in our stead, He atoned for our sins and through His death, made satisfactory payment for them. (2) Redemption – by His death, Jesus purchased us out of the sin slave market and set us free f…

Jesus Christ - The Kenosis

“who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, andbeing made in the likeness of men”(Phil. 2:6, 7 NASB).
Kenosis comes from the verb kenoo, which is used in Phil. 2:7, and it refers to the self-emptying of Christ. A question often asked is, when God became man, how did the two natures of Christ relate to each other? The Kenosis answers that question.
What does it mean He “emptied Himself?” What did He empty Himself of? Can this mean that when Christ became a man he ceased to be God? Did He relinquish divine attributes thus becoming less than God? Millard Erickson states that “at no point does this passage say that he ceased to possess the divine nature. This becomes clearer when we take Colossians 2:9 into account: ‘For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.’ The kenosis of Philippians 2:7 must be understood in the light of the pleroma of Colossians 2:9. What does it m…

Jesus Christ - The Hypostatic Union

The hypostatic union is the union of two distinct natures, the divine and the human, in the one Person of Christ. Craig Blaising points out that “in the incarnation of the Son of God, a human nature was inseparably united forever with the divine nature in the one person of Jesus Christ, yet with the two natures remaining distinct , whole, and unchanged, without mixture or confusion so that the one person, Jesus Christ, is truly God and truly man.”[1] 
Kenneth Samples adds that “philosophically speaking, as the God-man, Jesus Christ is ‘two Whats’ (that is, a divine ‘what’ [or nature] and a human ‘what’ [or nature]) and ‘one Who’ (that is, a single ‘person’ or ‘self’).”[2]
One important point needs to be made here. When we talk about the hypostatic union, the union of two natures in one Person, we are not saying that Christ is half human and half God. He is not some kind of hybrid. The Bible is clear in teaching that the result of the hypostatic union is a Person who is truly and complete…