基督论Christology – 论到基督的教义
圣经教义 – 有关的重要信仰
作者： 马可. 康布隆 神学博士 Mark G. Cambron, D.D.
耶稣这个名在四福音书裡面出现612次， 在新约圣经的别处出现71次 。基督这个称呼在福音书裡只出现过56次，而在新约的福音书以外的其他地方，基督这个称呼出现过256次。
在圣经裡，你看到耶稣这名，是在他的死`被埋葬又复活以前 ； 而基督这称呼是在这之后看到的。
再次的我们强调，耶稣-这名字在福音书中是显注/常见的，而基督-这名则在书信中更多的被提到。在救赎的施行与完成之前，耶稣这名字更常出现，而在救赎的工作结束后，基督这名字更加突显。基督徒不是一个只相信耶稣的人 – 全世界都相信有一位耶稣 – 但基督徒是一个相信主耶稣基督的人。他是主！有了这些知识，通过宣告耶稣为主（罗马书10：9），并且相信神已使他从死裡复活。（并且我们从哥林多前书15：1-3 知道福音是主耶稣基督代替罪人死，被埋葬又复活）。我们说四福音书裡面并没有很多的“福音”。四福音书对罪人得救赎的教义方面提到的不多; 只有在每本福音书的最后几章中，将基督的死，埋葬和复活记载了下来。因此，‘耶稣’这名字在福音书裡,比‘基督’这称呼更常出现。
新约的书信非常清楚的写出救恩的教义-救赎是本乎恩，因着信 – 藉着信靠耶稣的代替牺牲- 被杀献祭替你赎罪。新约的书信裡充满了救赎的教义; 因此书信裡的强调，是在‘基督’和‘主’这头衔/称呼上！在各各他（骷髅地）的被钉之前，是‘耶稣’这名被强调;而在各各他之后，是‘基督’这头衔被强调：“故此、以色列全家当确实的知道,你们钉在十字架上的这位耶稣、 神已经立他为主为基督了（使徒行传2：36）”。“他既有人的样子，就自己卑微，存心顺服，以至于死，且死在十字架上。所以 神将他升为至高,又赐给他超乎万名之上的名，叫一切在天上的，地上的，和地底下的，因耶稣的名，无不屈膝，无不口称耶稣基督为主、使荣耀归与父 神”（腓利比书2:8-11)
在这裡也要指出一点，当他还在地上的时候（被钉十字架以前），从来没有人当着他的面称呼他耶稣。他们总是称呼他： 主，夫子，或拉比。…. ”你们称呼我夫子、称呼我主、你们说的不错．我本来就是“（约翰福音13:13)”。… “你们为甚麽称呼我主阿、主阿、却不遵我的话行呢？”（路加福音6:46)
主的最后晚餐的设立，是福音书对耶稣这名字的强调，对比使徒书信对基督的头衔‘主’这称号之强调的完美例证。…（马太福音26:26） ”他们吃的时候，耶稣拿起饼饼来，祝谢了就擘开，递给门徒，说：“你们拿去吃吧，这是我的身体。”。 再看（哥林多前书11:23） “ 我当日传给你们的、原是从主领受的、就是主耶稣被出卖的那一夜、拿起饼来祝谢了、就擘开、说、这是我的身体、为你们捨的．你们应当如此行、为的是记念我。
我们被称为基督徒， 基督徒这称呼并不是来自于耶稣的名，而是来自于基督的称号。我们是基督徒！是的，我们知道基督徒这名称最初是由那些恨恶神和恨恶基督的人给信徒取的; 即便如此，我们为能够接受主基督这宝贵的名而骄傲，并且愿意承担担祂所背负的辱骂。
请记好， 从来没有不信的人称耶稣为主的，他们叫他‘耶稣’；同时，信的人也绝不会当面叫祂耶稣的 ，其中有一个例外 。在在路加福音24：19-21 ” 他问他们：“什么事呢？”他们说：“就是拿撒勒人耶稣的事。他是先知，在 神和众人面前，说话行事都有大能。我们的祭司长和官长，竟把他交出去，判了死罪，钉在十字架上。但我们素来盼望要救赎以色列的就是他。不但这样，这些事发生到今天，已经是第三天了。
这些话是从失望洩气的门徒口裡说出来的 – ‘我们素来盼望要救赎以色列的就是他’。当耶稣被钉十字架时，他们的一切希望破碎了。他们不明白旧约的经文，也不记得主的话曾说祂会从死裡复活。因此他们像称呼一个失败者那样的直称他; 于是在这裡他们称他耶稣。
要知道，如果基督没有从死裡复活，那麽，不仅是他们的希望，连我们的希望也会被毁灭的; 若他没有复活，他将一直是普普通通的耶稣。 “但现在基督从死裡复活，成为睡了之人的初熟果子”（哥林多前书15:20）。他是基督，他是主！不仅仅是人，而是‘神-人’。
基督这名字意味着受膏者。这是神的儿子的职份头衔。任何时候当我们听到“受膏者”这词时，请记得，人是如何受膏立以及在什麽情况下受膏立的。我们知道人是被膏立为王`受膏抹为先知和祭司的：在（撒母耳记上15：1）“撒母耳对扫罗说、耶和华差遣我膏你为王、治理他的百姓以色列．所以你当听从耶和华的话。”（列王记上19:15-16）耶和华对以利亚说：“…回到大马士革的旷野去。到了那里，就要膏哈薛作亚兰王。又要膏宁示的孙子耶户作以色列王，还要膏亚伯．米何拉人沙法的儿子以利沙接续你作先知。”; 又（利未记8:1-2, &12）“耶和华晓谕摩西说：你将亚伦和他儿子一同带来，并将圣衣、膏油、与赎罪祭的一隻公牛、两隻公绵羊、一筐无酵饼、都带来．… 又把膏油倒在亚伦的头上膏他、使他成圣。”
1.基督已被膏立为先知了。 “摩西曾（对我们的祖先）说: 主 神要从你们弟兄中间、给你们兴起一位先知像我，凡他向你们所说的，你们都要听从。凡不听从那先知的，必要从民中全然灭绝。”（使徒行传3:22-23）。
2. 耶稣已经被膏抹为祭司了。我们既然有一位己经升入高天尊荣的大祭司，就是 神的儿子耶稣，便当持定所承认的道。因我们的大祭司，并非不能体恤我们的软弱．他也曾凡事受过试探，与我们一样。只是他没有犯罪. . .”（希伯来书4:14-15)
3. 基督已经被膏立为王了。天使对马利亚说，“你要怀孕生子、可以给他起名叫耶稣。他要为大,称为至高者的儿子。主 神要把他祖大卫的位给他。他要作雅各家的王,直到永远。他的国也没有穷尽。（路加福音1:31-33)
（约翰福音1:41)“他（安德烈）先找着自己的哥哥西门、对他说、我们遇见弥赛亚了（弥赛亚繙出来、就是基督）” 。..在(约翰福音4:25) 妇人说：我知道弥赛亚，就是那称为基督的要来．他来了、必将一切的事都告诉我们。
这是基督的神性那带有权柄的头衔称号。我们在旧约圣经中所看到神的三个名字複合在‘主’ 这一个名裡。在研究神的名字时，我们看到钦定版（KJV）裡的“神”一词来自希伯来语Elohim，它是神的职称;而“主（LORD)”或“神（GOD）”这个词来自希伯来文耶和华（Jehovah)，这是神的位格名字; 而“主Lord”或“主lord ”（小写字母）, 这个词来自希伯来语Adonai，意思为主人。
在新约中，“主”一词来自于希腊文kurios，在钦定版（KJV）中被翻译为主，神，主人和先生。这等同于旧约的Adonai – 主人(Master)。并且基督Christ，主（Lord），是我们的主人（master）。“你们作主人的待僕人，也是一理，不要威吓他们．因为知道他们和你们，同有一位主在天上，他并不偏待人。“（以弗所书6:9）; “你们作主人的、要公公平平的待僕人、因为知道你们也有一位主在天上。”（歌罗西书4:1）。
如上所述，“主”的这头衔还包括神的另一个名字，即LORD或Jehovah -耶和华，我们是通过这个名在新约圣经中被使用的方式而知道这点的。新约圣经在引用旧约经文时，使用的是“主”这个词-Lord，而旧约经文是用这个词-“LORD”或“Jehovah”： 旧约申命记6:16, ‘你们不可试探耶和华你们的 神’。对比 在马太福音4:7 耶稣对魔鬼说、经上又记着说『不可试探主你的 神。』 。在这节经文中，也可以看到Elohim（神）这称呼被用在主身上- 即主耶稣基督。
在救赎裡，我们必须承认耶稣基督是耶和华,是神，和主人：“你若口裡认耶稣为主（耶和华,神,主人-全部三者）、心裡信 神使他从死人中复活了，就必得救 “（罗马书10:9 新译本）。
我们既然称他是主（耶和华,神,主人），那麽我们就必认他是拥有我们的那一位，是决定我们的生命和所行的那一位，只有他持有权利支配我们`和我们所拥有的一切。我们对祂负有很大的责任;要以他的心意为我们生命的旨意：“不要作煳涂人、要明白主（耶稣基督：耶和华,神，主人）的旨意如何。”（以弗所书5:17）。即使在婚姻中，也应该遵守主耶稣基督的旨意：“丈夫活着的时候，妻子就受法律约束;但如果她的丈夫死了，妻子就可以自由、随意再嫁．只是要嫁在主裡面的人“（哥林多前书7:39）。这些话具有更深刻的意义 – 当你意识到一个基督徒不只是应该嫁娶另一个基督徒，而更是应当只有当这嫁娶符合主的旨意时，才应该这样做。在结婚之后，应该要想去遵行主的旨意：“你们作妻子的，当顺服自己的丈夫、照着在主里所合宜作的。”（歌罗西书3:18，吕振中版）。
这是主的另一个称号，即他的个人名字（耶稣）与他的职份头衔（基督）的组合。其强调是在第一个词 – 耶稣，从他以前是什麽到他现在是什麽。也就是说，曾经使自己卑微的耶稣现在已经被高举为基督了。
在这裡所强调的是前两个字 – 基督，这意味着这位被尊荣（被高举了的），他曾经是卑微的; （腓利比书2:5-8） “你们当以基督耶稣的心为心。他本来有 神的形像，却不坚持持自己与神平等的地位，反而倒空自己，取了奴僕的形像，成为人的样式；既然有人的样子，就自甘卑微，顺服至死，而且死在十字架上。”。
这是主的最完整的称号：“ 愿颂讚归与我们主耶稣基督的父 神，他在基督裡、已经赐给我们天上各样属灵的福气了．”（以弗所书1:3）。
这是一个旧约的头衔，带进新约圣经裡的。耶和华在燃烧的灌木丛中向摩西显现，并命令他告诉法老让以色列人离开被奴役之地。（出埃及记3:13-14）“摩西对 神说：看哪，我到以色列人那裡，对他们说，你们祖宗的 神打发我到你们这裡来．他们若问我说、他叫甚麽名字？我要对他们说甚麽呢？神对摩西说、我是自有永有的．又说、你要对以色列人这样说、那自有的打发我到你们这裡来。”。
在客西马尼园时，主耶稣称我就是（自有永有的）。当众人带着灯笼，火把和武器要来抓他时，主出去迎接他们，问道：“你们找谁？他们回答说，拿撒勒的耶稣。耶稣对他们说：“我是（自有永有的）……”（约翰福音18:4-5）。你可能会接着问，但经文裡写，“我是他”，而不仅仅说“我是”啊？！。对于这一点，我们的回答是，看看这个词-“他”在英文的译本裡是斜体字的‘他’，而所有斜体字都是出于翻译译者而来，因此是可以省略的。主耶稣实际上在说：“我是自有永有者。”当主宣布他是这伟大的自有永有者时，那些站在他面前的人就做了什麽呢？ … 当“耶稣一说 我就是，他们就退后倒在地上。”（约翰福音18：6）。圣经裡在别处也记载基督耶稣是这伟大‘自有永有者’的事实。（约翰福音8:58） “耶稣对他们说，我实实在在地告诉你们，还没有亚伯拉罕，就有了我。”（新译本的翻译是） “在有亚伯拉罕以前，我已经存在了” 。而吕振中版的翻译为“没有亚伯拉罕之先、我永在。”. . . . “.. 神本性一切的丰盛、都有形有体的居住在祂裡面．”（歌罗西书2:9）。
这是主的位格的荣耀和神性的称号。 “天使回答马利亚说、圣灵要临到你身上、至高者的能力要荫庇你．因此所要生的圣者、必称为 神的儿子。”（路加福音1:35）。“犹太人回答说：我们有律法。按那律法`他是该死的,因他以自己为 神的儿子。”（约翰福音19:7）。也参考约翰福音5:18。
主耶稣是神子-‘神的儿子’。基督徒是‘神的一个儿子’。主耶稣为神的儿子是因着关係和本质; 而基督徒为神的儿子是通过重生和被神收纳的。主耶稣从万世以先直到永恆都是神的儿子; 而人是当他信入主基督的时，这位基督徒成为神的一个孩子。
人子，这称呼在新约中共出现八十八次：其中一次在使徒行传;一次在希伯来书; 有两次在启示录中; 在福音书裡有八十四次; 却没有在书信中出现过一次。使徒书信所关注的是教会，而不是关切千禧年国度的到来。基督是国度的王，却是教会的头。由于教会不是国度，所以，基督的这千禧年的头衔称呼（人子）在写给教会的书信中没有出现。
马太福音被形容是“耶稣基督的家谱。亚伯拉罕的后裔，大卫的子孙，耶稣基督的家谱．〔后裔子孙原文都作儿子）”（马太福音1:1) . . . “所应许的原是向亚伯拉罕和他子孙说的。神并不是说众子孙，指着许多人，乃是说你那一个子孙、指着一个人、就是基督。”(加拉太书3:16)
N. Second Man.第二个人。
“第二个人”指明了有一个人在他之前 – 只有一个- 而那人就是亚当：“头一个人是出于地、乃属土．第二个人是出于天。”（哥林多前书15:47)
O. Last Adam. 末后的亚当。
“看哪，必有童女怀孕生子，人要称他的名为以马内利。（以马内利翻出来，就是 神与我们同在。）”(马太福音1:23)。请记住，主耶稣是以马内利 – 神与我们同在; 他永不会撇下我们、也不会丢弃我们（希伯来书13:5-6)
事实上，主耶稣不仅仅是我们的教导者： 他是我们的神，我们的耶和华， 我们的主！
“道成肉身”（incarnation）一词来自拉丁语，意思是赋予肉体; 因此，当我们谈到基督耶稣-神的儿子的道成肉身时，我们指的是神的“使之有肉体” – 神在肉身显现。
1.关于马利亚的童贞。马太福音和路加福音都叙述她是处女。 “耶稣基督降生的事、记在下面．他母亲马利亚已经许配了约瑟，还没有迎娶、马利亚就从圣灵怀了孕。”（马太福音1:18）。 “到了第六个月、天使加百列奉 神的差遣，往加利利的一座城去，这城名叫拿撒勒．
到一个童女那裡，是已经许配大卫家的一个人，名叫约瑟，童女的名字叫马利亚。。 。 。 。马利亚对天使说、我没有出嫁、怎麽有这事呢？“（路加福音1:26-27 & 34）。
3.关于父系的神性。如果约瑟不是耶稣基督的父亲，那麽谁是呢？当然是神了：“天使对她说：马利亚，不要怕．你在 神面前已经蒙恩了。你要怀孕生子、可以给他起名叫耶稣。他要为大、称为至高者的儿子．主 神要把他祖大卫的位给他．”（路加福音1:31-32) “天使回答说、圣灵要临到你身上、至高者的能力要荫庇你．因此所要生的圣者、必称为 神的儿子。〔路加福音1:35〕另见马太福音1:18-20.
许多人不相信耶稣基督的童女出生的原因是他们认为他的出生只是一个寻常婴儿的诞生，而不是这位神，圣子的诞生。请记住，这是道成肉身 – 神成为有血肉的人，上帝在肉体中显现！
基督是大卫的实际子孙吗？当然他是！但不是通过约瑟追溯到所罗门和大卫的。他是藉着他的母亲做为大卫子孙的; 她-马利亚自己，是以色列的一位公主，她的血统追溯到大卫的另一个儿子拿单。按照血缘，基督耶稣是大卫的子孙经由玛利亚而来; 而按照法律，他是通过约瑟而成为大卫的子孙的。
在约瑟的态度上。让我们来看一下马太福音一章18到25节, “ 耶稣基督降生的事、记在下面．他母亲马利亚已经许配了约瑟、还没有迎娶、马利亚就从圣灵怀了孕。他丈夫约瑟是个义人，不愿意明明的羞辱他、想要暗暗的把他休了。正思念这事的时候、有主的使者向他梦中显现，说：大卫的子孙约瑟、不要怕！只管娶过你的妻子马利亚来．因他所怀的孕、是从圣灵来的。他将要生一个儿子．你要给他起名叫耶稣．因他要将自己的百姓从罪恶裡救出来。这一切的事成就，是要应验主藉先知所说的话、说：必有童女、怀孕生子，人要称他的名为以马内利。（以马内利繙出来、就是 神与我们同在。）
c. 东方博士来朝拜的事件。“有几个博士从东方来到耶路撒冷。说，那生下来作犹太人之王的在那裡？我们在东方看见他的星、特来拜他。…. 进了房子、看见小孩子和他母亲马利亚、就俯伏拜那小孩子、揭开宝盒、拿黄金乳香没药为礼物献给他。
a. 神对撒迦利亚的启示。“天使对他说、撒迦利亚、不要害怕．因为你的祈祷已经被听见了、你的妻子以利沙伯要给你生一个儿子、你要给他起名叫约翰。你必欢喜快乐．有许多人因他出世、也必喜乐。他在主面前将要为大、澹酒浓酒都不喝、从母腹裡就被圣灵充满了。他要使许多以色列人回转、归于主他们的 神。他必有以利亚的心志能力、行在主的前面、叫为父的心转向儿女、叫悖逆的人转从义人的智慧．又为主豫备合用的百姓。” （路加福音1:13-17)。
b. 对于马利亚的启示。“ 天使对她说：马利亚，不要怕．你在 神面前已经蒙恩了。你要怀孕生子、可以给他起名叫耶稣”
c. 以利沙伯的讚美。 “ 她[以利沙伯]一听马利亚问安，所怀的胎就在腹裡跳动，以利沙伯且被圣灵充满．高声喊着说，你在妇女中是有福的，你所怀的胎也是有福的。我主的母亲竟然到我这裡来。这事怎会临到我呢？你看，你问安的声音一进我的耳朵，我腹中的胎儿就欢喜跳跃。
d. 马利亚的讚美歌 。马利亚说：“我心尊主为大，我灵以 神我的救主为乐…” (路加福音1：46-55）。这不是一个已经经怀孕了却要承受羞耻之女人的歌; 这首歌充满了喜悦和对神的讚美，这位神选择了她，将弥赛亚带到世界来。
“在伯利恆之野地裡有牧羊的人，夜间按着更次看守羊群。有主的使者站在他们旁边，主的荣光四面照着他们．牧羊的人就甚惧怕。那天使对他们说：不要惧怕，我报给你们大喜的信息，是关乎万民的．因今天在大卫的城裡，为你们生了救主，就是主基督。你们要看见一个婴孩，包着布，卧在马槽裡、那就是记号了。忽然有一大队天兵，同那天使讚美 神说：在至高之处荣耀归与 神、在地上平安归与他所喜悦的人。”(路加福音2:8-14)
当基督降生时，在天堂发了出讚美的欢呼。这一切会发生在一个私生子的身上吗？当然不会！而耶稣就是圣经所说，是 -主基督！ -从童贞女马利亚所生来到人间。
神的许多敌人是自称为信徒之间的一些人 – 就是那些自称为基督徒，却否认基督为童真女所生的那些人。有人可能会问：“一个人若要得救，他必须相信基督的为童贞女所生才能得救吗？… 这是人必须相信并且明白之后才能得救的一个教义吗？”
这种说法显然不正确，但如果当今的学术研究不反对也无关紧要，因为我们知道“因为以肉体为念的就是与神为仇，既不服从神的律法，也的确不能够服从;”（罗马书8: 7）。未信者的心不认识神，也不认识神的事; 当然，它不会相信耶稣基督是由童女而生的。没有经历重生的学者可能不接受这个神性的真理，但是我们有这个世界的伟大心灵坐在顶尖的学院和大学的席位上 -他们是蒙恩得救了的人 – 他们相信并且见证耶稣是由童女所生。真的，人在相信神和神的话语之前，确实不能算是受过教育的人：“敬畏耶和华是知识的开端”（箴言1:7）。
a. 但是有马可的见证。通过这个见证，我们能提出证明基督生于童贞女的间接证据。裡面并没有对童真女生子的任何反对意见。马可没有记录主的诞生; 那是否意味着他的意思是要说基督从没有存在过吗？当然不是。马可福音将耶稣呈现为完美的僕人;在考虑一个僕人时，没有人会再意特别去关心他的家谱的; 因此马可福音对于基督诞生的记载就省略了。马可福音的第一节经文说：“ 神的儿子，耶稣基督福音的起头。”。任何一位希伯来人都知道这意味着耶稣基督是与上帝同等，并且我们知道这记载告诉了我们耶稣基督他做了其他人所未曾做也无法做到的事。
b. 还有约翰的见证。“太初有道、道与 神同在、道就是 神。…. 道成了肉身、住在我们中间、充充满满的有恩典有真理。我们也见过他的荣光、正是父独生子的荣光。”（约翰福音1:1, 14). 确实这不是关于一个凡人的记载，而是关于人子，神的儿子，神祂自己的记载。
保罗是奉召“传 神的福音 … 论到神的儿子我主耶稣基督．按肉体说、是从大卫后裔生的。按圣善的灵说、因从死裡复活、以大能显明是 神的儿子。… 律法既因肉体软弱、有所不能行的（所做不到的），神就差遣自己的儿子、成为罪身的形状，作了赎罪祭，在肉体中定了罪桉．（ 神差遣自己的儿子成为罪身的样式，为了除掉罪，在肉体中把罪审判了） （罗马书1:3-4, 8:3) “你们知道我们主耶稣基督的恩典、他本来富足、却为你们成了贫穷、叫你们因他的贫穷、可以成为富足。”(哥林多后书8:9). 也请参考腓利比书2:5-7, 加拉太书4:4, 约翰一书4:2 ; 歌罗西书2:8.
a. 使徒信经。这可以追溯到第二世纪。 “信经-creed”这个词来自拉丁语，信条，意思是“我相信。”这些信条首先是口传，然后被写下来的。
c. 感恩贊（Te Deum Laudamus）。这是教会保存的一首古老的贊美诗，证明了早期教会相信基督的由童贞女诞生。
4.他们说这是违反了自然法则。 对于反对由童女出生的这一争辩，我们回答说：“这肯定是违反自然规律的。”因为这不是一个凡人婴儿的诞生，而是神的儿子在肉身诞生。你有没有花时间去思考这是神能以肉身来到人间的唯一方式呢？ – 藉着童女而出生的方式。
神造人的方式有三种是不按照自然法则的：（1）当祂造亚当的时候，并没有男人与女人的帮助; （2）当祂造夏娃时，并没有女人的帮助; （3）当祂造基督的肉身时并没有男人的帮助。
5. 他们说童女生子这事太像希腊神话了。 确实，许多拜偶像之宗教的教导说他们的众神是女性的后代，但不完全是由童贞女而来的; 反而，是这些女人与其他的神有肉体关係而生出他们所拜的诸神。在耶稣基督的诞生和那些希腊神话所传的故事之间能做任何比较吗？当然是不能！希腊神话中被生的男神不是由童真女所生，而是肉体性交的结果。
6. 他们说 当耶稣称自己为人子时，就否认了童贞女生子这件事。… 请记住，主耶稣从来未曾说，“我是一个人的儿子 I am a son of a man”， 而是说，“我是人子. I am the Son of Man”
1. 为要揭示这位看不见的神。“从来没有人看见 神．只有在父怀裡的独生子将他表明出来。 ”（约翰福音1:18). 耶稣基督是神的显明，是神的启示者。如果你想要知道神是什麽样的，就要看耶稣。
a.后裔的例子。创世纪3:15, 耶和华对撒旦说，‘我又要叫你和女人彼此为仇、你的后裔和女人的后裔、也彼此为仇．女人的后裔要伤你的头、你要伤他的脚跟”。女人没有后裔；后裔是从男人而来。但这经文裡提到了“女人的后裔”。这自然是与自然律相反的，当然，这是论到童女生子的预言- 这预言在童贞女马利亚生耶稣基督时，应验了。
b.论到童贞女生子的经文。 “因此、主自己要给你们一个兆头，必有童女怀孕生子，给他起名叫以马内利。” （以赛亚书7:14) 先知在旧约的这预言所指的正是这件事。
3. 为要实现神与大卫所立的约。“从耶西的树干必生出一根嫩芽，从他的根而出的枝条必结果子。… 到那日，耶西的根必竖立起来，作万族的旗帜; 外邦人必寻求他，他安息之所必大有荣耀。 (以赛亚书11:1, 10）。。。 “耶和华说、日子将到、我要给大卫兴起一个公义的苗裔,他必掌王权,行事有智慧、在地上施行公平`和公义。在他的日子,犹大必得救,以色列也安然居住．他的名必称为耶和华我们的义。（耶利米书23:5-6). 。。。“弟兄们、先祖大卫的事、我可以明明对你们说, 他死了,也葬埋了,并且他的坟墓，直到今日还在我们这裡。大卫既是先知，又晓得 神曾向他起誓,要从他的后裔中,立一位坐在他的宝座上．就豫先看明这事,讲论基督复活说,他的灵魂`不撇在阴间,他的肉身`也不见朽坏” (使徒行传2:29-31) 。也请参考撒母耳记下7:4-17, 路加福音1:32-33
4. 为我们的罪被杀献祭。“你们知道主曾显现、是要除掉人的罪．在他并没有罪。”（约翰一书3:6).。。。 “因为公牛和山羊的血不能把罪除去。所以基督到世上来的时候、就说:神阿、祭物和礼物是你不愿意的、你曾给我豫备了身体, … 前面说：祭品和礼物、燔祭和赎罪祭、不是你所要的、也不是你所喜悦的,这都是按着律法献的。后又说、我来了为要照你的旨意行．可见他是除去在先的、为要立定在后的。我们凭这旨意、靠耶稣基督只一次献上他的身体、就得以成圣。 ”(希伯来书10:4-6, 10:8-10). . . . “弟兄们，我如今把先前所传给你们的福音，告诉你们知道。这福音你们也领受了，又靠着站立得住；并且你们若不是徒然相信，能以持守我所传给你们的，就必因这福音得救。我当日所领受又传给你们的、第一`就是基督照圣经所说,为我们的罪死了,而且埋葬了,又照圣经所说,第三天复活了.（哥林多前书15:1-4)”
c. 这被杀献祭必须是一个无限的被杀献祭。不仅必须达到人的层次，为所献上要赎之人的层次；而且必须达到神的层次，必须要让神满意！耶稣，我们的主，祂实现了这一切要求！ “ 他被挂在木头上亲身担当了我们的罪、使我们既然在罪上死、就得以在义上活．因他受的鞭伤、你们便得了医治。 ”（彼得前书2:24）。
5. 以大祭司的身份提供被挽回的。“所以他必需在凡事上与他的弟兄相同，为了要在 神的事上，成为慈悲忠信的大祭司、为百姓的罪献上挽回祭。. . . 因此，同蒙天召的圣洁弟兄阿、你们应当思想我们所认为的“使者”，为大祭司的基督耶稣 ” （希伯来书2:17, 3:1）
6.教相信的人如何活出来。 “人若说他住在主裡面、就该自己照主所行的去行。”（约翰一书2:6) “你们蒙召原是为此．因为基督也为你们受过苦、给你们留下榜样、叫你们跟随他的脚踪行．”(彼得前书2:21)
7. 要成为新造之人的头 “坐宝座的说：看哪！我将一切都更新了。又说，你要写上，因这些话是可信的，是真实的。” “若有人在基督裡，他就是新造的人，旧事已过，都变成新的了。”（哥林多前书5:17)
2. 对于主的大祭司圣职是必要的。“儿女既同有血肉之体、他也照样亲自成了血肉之体．特要藉着死、败坏那掌死权的就是魔鬼．并要释放那些一生因怕死而为奴僕的人。他并不救拔天使，乃是救拔亚伯拉罕的后裔。所以他必需在一切事上与他的弟兄相同，为要在 神的事上成为慈悲忠信的大祭司，为百姓的罪献上挽回祭。他自己既然被试探而受苦、就能搭救被试探的人。”(希伯来书2:14-18). . . .“以前那些做祭司的、人数本来多、是因为被死阻隔而不能长久任职。这位既是永远常存的、他祭司的职任、就长久不更换。凡靠着他进到 神面前的人、他都能拯救到底．因为他是长远活着、替他们祈求。 像这样圣洁、无邪恶、无玷污、远离罪人、高过诸天的大祭司、原是与我们合宜的（正是合乎我们所需要的）。他不像那些大祭司、每日必须先为自己的罪、后为百姓的罪献祭、因为他只一次将自己献上、就把这事成全了。律法本是立软弱的人为大祭司．但在律法以后起誓的话、是立儿子为大祭司、乃是成全到永远的。”（希伯来书7:23-28). . . .“因为基督并不是进了人手所造的圣所,那不过是真圣所的影像,乃是进了天堂、如今为我们显在 神面前．”（希伯来书9:24)我们应当“仰望为我们信心创始成终的耶稣。他因那摆在前面的喜乐、就轻看羞辱，忍受了十字架的苦难，便坐在 神宝座的右边。” (希伯来书12:2)
当他（耶稣）往上升，他们（门徒）定睛望天的时候，忽然有两个人，身穿白衣，站在他们旁边，说：加利利人哪，为什麽站着望天呢？这位被接升天离开你们的耶稣，你们看见他怎样往天上去，他也要怎样回来。” （使徒行传1:10-11) “ 我曾说，你的慈爱必永远建立．你的信实、必坚立在天上。我与我所拣选的人立了约、向我的僕人大卫起了誓。我要建立你的后裔，直到永远，也必世世代代建立你的王位。”（诗篇89:2-4) “到那日，我必竖立大卫倒塌的帐幕，修补它们的破口;我必重建它的废墟，使它像往日一样建立起来。”(阿摩斯9:11) .。。另外参考以赛亚书9:6-7 “因有一婴孩为我们而生、有一子赐给我们．政权必担在他的肩头上．他名称为奇妙、策士、全能的 神、永在的父、和平的君。他的政权与平安必加增无穷．他必在大卫的宝座上、治理他的国、以公平公义使国坚定稳固、从今直到永远。万军之耶和华的热心、必成就这事。” 也参考以赛亚书55:3-4
1.他无罪的生命。 “因我们的大祭司、并非不能体恤我们的软弱．他也曾凡事受过试探、与我们一样．只是他没有犯罪。 ”(希伯来书4:15) “神使那无罪的,替我们成为罪．好叫我们在他裡面成为 神的义”(哥林多后书5:21) 。只有神，在肉体中，才能活出无罪的生命。
2.他的复活。 “现在基督已经从死裡复活，成为睡了之人的初熟果子 ”（哥林多前书15:20）。如果他不是神那道成肉身的儿子，他会从死裡复活吗？当然不会！
“他是谁？”，这一直是两千年来的问题。我们有来自于见过他的人的见证和认定：1-施洗约翰 – 他见耶稣迎面而来，就说：“看哪， 神的羊羔，是除去世人的罪孽的！“ （约翰福音1:29). “ 我看见了，就作见证说：‘这就是 神的儿子。’“(约翰福音1:34); 2-安德烈- “他先找到自己的哥哥西门，告诉他：“我们遇见弥赛亚了！”（“弥赛亚”的意思就是“基督”。）”（约翰福音1:41); 3-腓力 – “ 腓力找到拿但业，告诉他：“摩西在律法书上所写的，和众先知所记的那位，我们已经遇见了，他就是约瑟的儿子拿撒勒人耶稣。”（约翰福音1:45); 4. 彼得- “ 西门．彼得回答：“你是基督，是永生 神的儿子。”（马太福音16:16)
“他是谁？” 这个问题引起当时人们的分歧。（约翰福音7:40-43)“群众人听见这话,有的说,这真是那先知。有的说,这是基.。但也有的说、基督岂是从加利利出来的麽？经上岂不是说、基督是大卫的后裔、从大卫本乡伯利恆出来的麽？！于是众人因着耶稣起了分争。” 。 众人因着耶稣起了分争的记载也从在约翰福音9:17-18; 10:9-20；路加福音5:21 能见到。
人们质问基督的神性，但污鬼（demon)从没有质疑过。污鬼认祂是它们的造物主与要来审判的: (马太福音8:29)”他们喊着说: 神的儿子,我们与你有甚麽相干?时候还没有到,你就上这裡来叫我们受苦麽?。
（马太福音27:11) 耶稣站在总督（省长）面前，总督问他说：你，是犹太人的王麽？耶稣对他说：你说的是。… 又(马太福音26:63) “耶稣却不作声。大祭司对他说∶「耶稣却不言语。大祭司对他说:我指着永生 神、叫你起誓告诉我们,你是 神的儿子基督不是?」 耶稣回答：你说的是。;也请参考路加福音22:67 ,70。
并且当耶稣被挂在十字架上时，’耶稣是谁？“这个问题仍然还让他的敌人不安：“从那裡经过的人，讥诮他， 说：你这拆毁圣殿，三日又建造起来的，可以救自己罢．你如果是 神的儿子，就从十字架上下来罢。”(马太福音27:40)
有了這些看过他的人的见证和认定，我们这些信靠他，又爱他的，有见证者（圣灵）在我们裡面，同证他是基督，是 永生神的儿子：“因圣灵与你住在一起，也要在你裡面。（约翰福音14:17下，新译版）”… “若不是被圣灵感动的, 也没有能说耶稣是主的。”（哥林多前书12:3)
1. 他是完完全全的人。 按这理解，我们的意思是，我们的主`虽然他一直自亘古和和永恆就已存在，但当他成为肉身时，他拥有一个完全是人的身体，有魂与灵。我们知道，人是有身子，有魂，有灵的。(帖撒罗尼迦前书5:23)说：“愿赐平安的 神，亲自使你们全然成圣。又愿你们的灵`与魂`与身子子,得蒙保守,在我主耶稣基督降临的时候,完全无可指摘。”
a. 他的人身肉体。是的，主耶稣在他的人性裡,他有一个身体。(马太福音26:12)耶稣说“她（马利亚）将这香膏浇在我身上、是为我安葬作的。”也见(希伯来书10:5) “基督到世上来的时候、就说:神阿、祭物和礼物是你不愿意的、你曾给我豫备了身体。”耶稣有魂（soul): (约翰福音12:27) 耶稣说，“我现在心裡忧愁、我说甚麽才好呢？父阿，救我脱离这时候．但我原是为这时候来的。” . . . 也看(马太福音26:38) “（耶稣）对他们说、我心裡甚是忧伤、几乎要死“；耶稣有灵(spirit):（马可福音2:8) “耶稣心灵中即刻觉得他们心裡这样议论，就对他们说：你们为什麽心裡议论这些事呢？” . . . 又，路加福音23:46 “耶稣大声呼喊说：父阿，我将我的灵託付在你手裡! 说了这话，就断了气。”.。也参考钦定版KJV路加福音10:21)
b. 他的人形。在水井旁的女人认耶稣是一个人类。（约翰福音4:9)”撒玛利亚的妇人对他说、你是犹太人，怎麽向我一个撒玛利亚妇人要水喝呢？原来犹太人和撒玛利亚人互不相来往。” 在基督复活之后，他仍然保持着人的形象 ; 因为马利亚以为耶稣是看（墓）园的，认他是个人。（约翰福音20:15）：“。耶稣问她说：妇人，为甚麽哭？你找谁呢？马利亚以为是看园的，就对他说：先生，若是你把他移了去、请告诉我，你把他放在哪裡？我便去取他。”(约翰福音20:15)
c. 他的人类生母。虽然神是他的父亲，但主耶稣确实有一位人类的母亲，从而证明他是人。（加拉太书4:4):“及至时候满足,神就差遣他的儿子、为女子所生、且生在律法以下”. 保罗奉召传 神的福音，“论到神的儿子我主耶稣基督．按肉体说、是从大卫后裔生的” （罗马书1:3)… 又根据约翰福音2:1的记载“第三日、在加利利的迦拿有娶亲的筵席．耶稣的母亲在那裡。”。也请看马太福音2:11; 13:55 ; 约翰福音1:14.
d. 他的人身发育。主是完全的人，被生下来，并且成长，如其他的男孩和女孩一样：（路加福音2:40, 52)“孩子渐渐长大、强健起来、充满智慧．又有 神的恩在他身上。… 耶稣的智慧和身量〔年纪〕，并 神和人对他的喜爱，都一齐增长。”
e.他的人身限制。神的儿子耶稣本是神`而降世为人。当他成为人之后，他限制了自己在人的极限领域裡。因此，他带着人的局限，那局限是无罪的软弱。我们这样说，是愿不要误将软弱当成罪。他在肉身裡有人的软弱，但没有犯罪。他会飢饿- （马太福音4:2）（“ 他禁食四十昼夜、后来就饿了”; 他会口渴-（约翰福音19:28）“这事以后、耶稣知道各样的事已经成了、为要使经上的话应验，就说：我渴了。” ; 他会疲倦会累-（约翰福音4:6）“在那裡有雅各井。耶稣因走路困乏、就坐在井旁．那时约有午正。）; 他也睡觉-（马太福音8:24）“忽然海上起了狂风，甚至船都被波涛掩盖，但耶稣却睡着了。）。也参见马太福音26:36-40，因为这些经文充分描述了基督在客西马尼园中的这些考验，只有在人的身子裡才可能因为有限而要去忍受。
如果耶稣不是人，他就不可能死，因为，神在本质上，是不可能死的！ 但耶稣确实死了 “不是用山羊和牛犊的血，而是用自己的血，只一次进了至圣所，就为我们做成了永远的救赎。”（希伯来书9:12）。他从死裡复活了！复活后他仍然是人！。（路加福音24:39)。
a.他超越了所有品格的限制。一切都结合在他裡面。看看人类的所有属性，你会发现某些人拥有一种，而其他的人拥有别的属性;但在他裡面，我们找到了完全 – 人类的所有属性。
(1) 他完美无缺。他从未因害怕而逃跑。没有人曾经让他害怕过。他从未因成功而兴奋高亢;我们却会。魔鬼从未让他感到困惑过。他是超乎万民之上的人。任何人无法与主耶稣同是一个水平。世上的领袖 – 凯撒大帝，亚历山大大帝，甚至是敬虔的人，如穆迪（Moody）和比利桑戴（Billy Sunday） – 他们永远不能达到他的层次。你不能将人的诸神与主耶稣摆在同一个平台。只有一个地方能给我们的救主，那就是宝座！
如果一个人在一生当中都没有犯罪，他仍然不会是完美的。藉着无罪的生活，他只是战胜了一个带罪的本性而已。基督从未带有罪的本性。（路加福音1:35下） “所要生的圣者，必被称为 神的儿子”。在这个世界上只曾有一个圣婴降生到人间，人们称他为耶稣！酒鬼无法帮助酒鬼（戒酒）的。一个人不需要成为窃贼去帮助窃贼（改邪归正）啊。主耶稣并没有让自己带上罪的本性，为要去帮助那些有罪性的人。
当主耶稣在旷野四十天时，他知道飢饿是什麽。当我们挨饿时，他知道我们是如何光景。没有人像他那样死在柱子上，或经历过像他在十字架上受试炼的时刻。他知道受苦的是什麽。在我们身上有些东西想要我们犯罪，但耶稣从不会想要去犯罪 – 那就是他所受的苦：魔鬼试图要造成他想去犯罪。
那古老的问题现在出来了：“如果主耶稣想要犯罪的话，他可能就已经犯罪了，是吗？” 。藉着以下的回答，就能把这个问题丢到一旁去了：“身为神的儿子，他不会想要去犯罪的。”。但是，有人可能会再问，“如果他不可能会犯罪，那为什麽有那诱惑呢？ 如果他不能犯罪，那麽诱惑就是一种嘲弄啊！“ … 这正是答桉！因为耶稣并不是受试验去看他是否会犯罪的，他是受试验去显示（去证明）他是不会犯罪的啊。
以下也是应当要思考的 ：如果主耶稣可能在地上犯罪的话，那麽当他在天上为我们代求时，他也可能会犯罪。 . . . . 但他在地上时没有犯罪，在天上他也不会犯罪/不可能犯罪。他是我们的完美的大祭司。
祂是那位曾说“天地都要废去，但我的话绝不会废去”的神。纵使没有记录说祂在写一本书谈祂的生命 – 但祂的话是真实的，因为它们并没有废去！
基督要不是骗子，不然就是疯子，或是主！没有一位现代主义者说耶稣是骗子 – 他们说耶稣只是认为自己是神。若不是骗子，那他一定是疯子! …当然，他不是疯子。既不是骗子,也不是疯子，那他是谁呢？当然;他是神的儿子！神人！他是主！
1. 神的预言。“耶和华对我主说，你坐在我的右边、等我使的你仇敌作你的脚凳。” （诗篇110:1)；“伯利恆以法他阿，你在犹大诸城中虽为小，将来必有一位从你那裡出来，在以色列中为我作掌权的．他的根源从亘古、从太初就有了。”（弥迦书5:2) 。也参见 以赛亚书7:14; 9:8; 耶利米书23:6; 创世纪3:15
a.他被称为神。 “托马斯回答说，我的主！我神！”（约翰福音20:28）; “基督也是从他们出来的，他是在万有之上，永远可称颂的 神。阿们！“（罗马书9：5）; “我们也知道 神的儿子已经来到，且将智慧赐给我们，使我们认识那位真实的，我们也在那位真实的裡面，就是在他儿子耶稣基督裡面。这是真 神，与是永恆的生命。“（约翰一书5:20）。另见马太福音1:23;约翰福音1:1; 也参照诗篇45:6, 7与希伯来书1:8。
b.他被称为神的儿子。这意味着与神的同一性质。(路加福音4:41)“又有鬼从好些人身上出来, 喊着说:你是 神的儿子。耶稣斥责他们,不许他们说话、因为他们知道他是基督。”… ( 约翰福音5:25)“我实实在在的告诉你们,时候将到,现在就是了. 死人要听见 神儿子的声音．听见的人就要活了。” …(罗马书8:3) “ 律法因肉体的软弱、有所不能行， 神就差遣自己的儿子，成为罪身的形状、作了赎罪祭、在肉体中把罪审判了”。有关于祂被称为神的儿子，请查阅其他的这些经文：马可福音1：1; 马太福音27:40,43; 约翰福音19:7; 10:36; 11:4。
c.他被称为主。 （马太福音12:8) “因为人子是安息日的主。 ” .. (约翰福音13:13) “ 你们称呼我夫子、称呼我主、你们说的对。我本来就是。”. . .（使徒行传16:31) “他们说：当信主耶稣基督，你就必得救，并你的全家。 ”
d.他的其他神性头衔。（启示录1:17) “我一听见、就仆倒在他脚前、像死了一样。他用右手按着我说、不要惧怕．我是首先的、我是末后的.”. 也见启示录22:13 “我是阿拉法（Alpha）,我是俄梅戛（Omega）,我是首先的,我是末后的、我是创始的， 也是成终的”
3.与神同等。 (约翰福音17:5)“父阿、现在求你使我同你享荣耀、就是未有世界以先、我同你所有的荣耀。”.. (约翰福音12:45) ““人看见我、就是看见那差我来的。”.。 （腓利比书2:6上） “他本有 神的形像、不以自己与 神同等为强夺的．[他本来有 神的形象，却不坚持自己与 神平等的地位] ”. . .（歌罗西书2:9）“因为 神本性一切的丰盛、都有形有体的居住在基督裡面．”
4. 与神的关係。他的名与父的名在一起。 “我与父原为一。”（约翰福音10:30）。 “愿主耶稣基督的恩惠`神的慈爱`圣灵的感动,常与你们众人同在“（哥林多后书13:14）; “愿恩惠平安、从父 神和主耶稣基督、归与你们。” (帖撒罗尼迦后书1:2).。。“但愿我们主耶稣基督、和那爱我们，开恩将永远的安慰，并美好的盼望，赐给我们的父 神安慰你们的心并且在一切善行善言上、坚固你们。”（帖撒罗尼迦后书 2:16-17）。
5. 神圣的敬拜/朝拜。敬拜只属于神。基督有得到真正的敬拜。因此，基督是神！ “耶稣生在犹太的伯利恆,有几个博士从东方来到耶路撒冷、说：那生下来作犹太人之王的在那裡。我们在东方看见他的星,特来拜他。… 进了房子,看见小孩子和他母亲马利亚、就俯伏拜那小孩子、揭开宝盒、拿黄金`乳香`没药为礼物献给他。”（马太福音2：2,11）。几个博士不是来敬拜马利亚，而是敬拜基督耶稣。在后来的年岁，耶稣接受敬拜：“在船上的人都拜他，说：你真是 神的儿子了。”（马太福音14:33）。又见马太福音9:18; 路加福音24:52。如果基督不是神，那麽这个敬拜就会是偶像崇拜。神的命令说圣子是应当被敬拜的。 （希伯来书1:6) “再说一次，神使长子到世上来的时候、就说:神的使者都要拜他。”… （约翰福音5:23）“叫人都尊敬子如同尊敬父一样。不尊敬子的、就是不尊敬差子来的父。“（约翰福音5:23）。历来都是如此，基督徒已经敬拜基督是神了。信主重生的人是不会在所敬拜的凡人上，得到满足的。
b.全知（无所不知）。（约翰福音16:30） “现在我们晓得你凡事都知道、也不用人问你．因此我们信你是从 神出来的。”。 （约翰福音21:17） “彼得对说、主阿，你是无所不知的，你知道我爱你。耶稣对他说，喂我的羊“。又见马太福音9:4; 12:25 ;路加福音6:8; 9:47; 10:22; 约翰福音1：48,49; 约翰福音4:16-19; 马可福音2:8。
耶路撒冷犹太人的这一个问题证明了主耶稣的无所不知：“他们就希奇，说：“这个人没有学过，怎会通晓经书呢””（约翰福音7:15）。这经文让我们知道主基督从来没有受教于人。他不需要去学校，也不需要教师。他的门徒坐在他的脚前学习 – 但他坐在谁的脚前学习呢？答桉是，不坐在任何人的脚前！保罗是迦玛列的学生 – 但，是谁教导了耶稣呢？没有任何人！基督说：“你们要学我的样式”（马太福音11:29） – 而他什麽时候说过：“教我”呢？从来没有！我们有时被建议去向有权决定的上级请示，但耶稣向什麽上级权威去请示呢？没有！ 因为他掌握一切的权柄。耶稣何曾说过，“我不记得了，我需要查看看“呢？从来没有！他从来没有措手不及的情况。在马可福音12:13中，我们读到这样的记载：“ 后来，他们派了几个法利赛人和希律党的人到耶稣那裡去，要找他话语的把柄来陷害他。” 他们试图要找他话语的把柄去陷害他，但基督是无所不知的，并且令想要迫害他的那些人陷入溷乱。
d..无所不在。 “我就常与你们同在，直到世界的末了”（马太福音28:20）。 “除了那从天降下仍旧在天的人子、没有人升过天”（约翰福音3:13）。
e. 永不改变。 “天地都要灭没，你却要长存．天地都要像衣服渐渐旧了。你要将天地捲起来，像一件外衣；天地就都改变了，惟有你永不改变，你的年数没有穷尽。』“（希伯来书1:11,12）。 “因为耶稣是永远长存的，就拥有他永不更改的祭司职位。”（希伯来书7:24）。 “耶稣基督、昨日今日一直到永远是一样的”（希伯来书13:8）。耶稣可能改变他的位置，但他本身是永远不会改变的。
f. 永远长存。”太初有道,道与 神同在,道就是 神。这道太初与 神同在。”(约翰福音1:1-2). “伯利恆以法他阿、你在犹大诸城中为小、将来必有一位从你那裡出来、在以色列中为我作掌权的．他的根源从亘古、从太初就有.”(弥迦书5:2)。…（约翰福音8:58) “耶稣说:我实实在在的告诉你们、还没有亚伯拉罕、就有了我。 [没有亚伯拉罕之先、我永在]。[亚伯拉罕出生以前，我已经存在了。]” … (启示录1:17下): “他用右手按着我说、不要惧怕．我是首先的、我是末后的、”.
g. 圣洁。 “他并没有犯罪、口裡也没有诡诈．”(彼得前书2:22). “你们知道主曾显现、是要除掉人的罪．在他并没有罪。”（约翰一书3:5) 另见希伯来书7:26 “像这样圣洁,无邪恶,无玷污,远离罪人,高过诸天的大祭司,对我们本是合宜的。”
i. 正直公义。 “你们弃绝了那圣洁公义者、反求着释放一个凶手给你们”（使徒行传3:14）。
b.保存。 “他是 神荣耀所发的光辉, 是 神本体的真像,常用他权能的命令托住万有,他洗淨了人的罪, 就坐在高天至大者的右边”（希伯来书1:3）。 “他在万有之先．万有也靠他而立。” – 万物都藉着祂维繫在一起（歌罗西书1:17）。
e.改变。（约翰一书3:2） “亲爱的主内啊，我们现在是 神的儿女，将来如何，还未显明．但我们知道主若显现、我们必要像他．因为必得见他的真体。“另见（腓立比书3:21）“他要按着那能叫万有归服自己的大能、将我们这卑贱的身体改变形状、和他自己荣耀的身体相似。”
f. 审判。（约翰福音5:22） “父不审判甚麽人、乃将审判的事全交与子。”另见使徒行传17:31; 马太福音16:27; 马太福音25:31; 罗马书2:16; 14:10; 哥林多后书5:10; 启示录22:12。
g.救赎。 “我又赐给他们永生。他们永不灭, 谁也不能从我手裡把他们夺去。“（约翰福音10:28）。参见约翰福音5:25; 6:47; 10:10; 17:2。
世人无法理解这点。这是一个证据，证明圣经是神所说的话，因为如果圣经是人自己写的，作者必然会将基督的神人二性摈除于记载之外了。但这些是无穷尽的事实，神并不寻求要去解释，而是对事实做一个简单的宣告;基督拥有人性和神性 – 两者都是完整的：是完全的人，也是完全的神。若说基督是‘神与人’（God and man)，那说法不是从圣经来的; 圣经的意思，更多的在说，他是这‘神-人’（the God-Man）。
他的两种性质的样式可以从会幕的这些板看到（见出埃及记26:27-29）。这些板是带有木头和金子 – 是一块板`带有两种材料; 而不是两块板。木头永远不会变成金子，而金子永远不会变成木头。基督只有一个位格，而不是两个。是两个性质（nature)，一个位格(personality)。
5. 亚玻里拿留派（Apollinarianism）。这个错误理论说基督拥有一个不完整的人体。 亚玻里拿留派的人说：罪是被播种在所有人之魂中的;神没有罪; 所以基督没有魂; 于是他有一个不完整的身体。
7. 犹提克主义（Eutychianism） 君士坦丁堡的犹提克修士 ，拿基督的两个性质放在一起，製造了一个新的性质。
（5）利未人献牲畜做为牺牲的制度（利未记1:1 – 7:16）。
（a）他的死。 “因为我们作仇敌的时候、且藉着 神儿子的死、得与 神和好，既已和好了，就更要因他的生得救了。”（罗马书5:10）。另见腓立比书2:8;希伯来书2:9,14; 启示录5:6-12。
（b）他的十字架。 “我们却是传钉十字架的基督，在犹太人看来是绊脚石、在外邦人看来是愚拙、”（哥林多前书1:23）。参见加拉太书3:1; 6:14; 以弗所书2:16; 歌罗西书1:20。
（c）他的血。 “这是我立新约的血，为多人流出来、使罪得赦免的。（马太福音26:28）。又见马可福音14:24;以弗所书1:7; 歌罗西书1:14; 约翰一书1:7; 希伯来书9:12,25; 启示录1:5; 5:9。
（a）替我们成为有罪的。 “神使那无罪的，替我们成为罪．好叫我们在他裡面成为 神的义。“（哥林多后书5:21）。
（b）为那不义的人而死。 “因基督也曾一次为罪受苦，就是义的代替不义的，为要引我们到 神面前。按着肉体说他被治死，按着灵性说他复活了。”（彼得前书3:18）。
因此，我们看到基督为我们遭受了两个死：第一个死，是灵与魂从身体的分离; 第二个死，是他与父神的分离。基督先遭受第二个死，然后受第一个死。当他与父分离时，他遭受到第二个死，为此他喊道：“我的神，我的神，为什麽离弃我？”（马太福音27:46）。耶稣基督，神的 儿子，竟然在六个小时内忍受罪人在永恆中所将忍受的一切痛苦。
1. 说“基督的死是烈士的死” 。 说“他这样死了，来向我们表明真理是值得为之而死的。”… 神的儿女-你如何面对这个说法呢？很简单，用以下的回答：果真如此的话，基督为什麽不这样说呢？保罗为什麽不这麽说呢？彼得为什麽不这麽说呢？约翰和路加为什麽不这麽说呢？如果基督是作为名烈士而死的话，那为什麽使徒们不说：“要信司提反的死而得救，因为司提反是烈士”呢？ 如果基督是作为烈士而死的话，为什麽天父对他的死没有安慰呢？如祂在历世历代以来安慰其他人那样的安慰基督呢？但耶稣在死前大声喊道：“我的神，我的神，为什麽离弃我？”
2. 说基督的死是意外的。批评者使用这句话的意思为‘他是受害于嘲弄下牺牲的”。… 我们知道这不是真的，因为基督对他将要来的死有清楚的意识。在约翰福音裡有七次他说到“我的时辰”，这“时辰”是在将来，而且是在各各他。他不必死。也不是钉子将基督钉在十字架上的，不是钉子，而是他的意愿。 嘲弄的人喊说 “如果你是神的儿子，从十字架上下来吧，”。但基督从天上降世为人，并不是为了要从十字架下来的。（祂来，是为了要上十字架的！）
6. 说基督的死是一个罪犯的死。人的心裡可能会持有这个论点吗？答桉是‘会的！有可能’。而 我们要反驳这个说法，因为彼拉多在耶稣的身上没有找到任何过犯。你只要查考福音书裡所记载有关彼拉多对耶稣审问的记载（约翰福音18:38,19:4)，就能反驳这一个谬误的说法了。
1. 赎罪(Atonement)。这是旧约的一个观念，意思是“去遮盖”。在英文版的新约圣经中可以找到“atonement(赎罪)”这个词的唯一地方是钦定本(King James)的罗马书的5:11，但这在钦定本裡是一个误译;它应该被翻译为“和解reconciliation” ，新钦定版(NKJ)就改正为-reconciliation 了（中文圣经翻译为-和好，复和）。然而，“赎罪”（atonement） 这个词在新约的意思，为（at-one-ment）即“成为合一的状态” – 通过神的儿子的被杀献祭，人与神和睦合一。
2. 被杀献祭(Sacrfice)。 “你们既是无酵的麵，应当把旧酵除淨，好使你们成为新团．因为我们逾越节的羔羊基督，已经被杀献祭了。“（哥林多前书5:7）。另见以弗所书5:2; 希伯来书9:26; 10:12。
3. 献祭（Offering)。 “我们凭这旨意、靠耶稣基督只一次献上他的身体、就得以成圣. . . .因为他一次献祭,便叫那得以成圣的人永远完全。“（希伯来书10：10,14）。
4. 赎价（Ransom)。 “人子来不是要受人的服侍，乃是要服侍人，并且要捨命, 做多人的赎价”（马太福音20:28）。也看彼得前书1:18,19; 提摩太前书2:5-6。我们已经被人用一个代价赎回来（买回）了，那赎价就是耶稣基督的血。
5. 挽回祭/赎罪祭（Propitiation)。 “他为我们的罪作了挽回祭．不是单为我们的罪、也是为普天下人的罪。”（约翰一书2：2）。又见约翰一书4:10;罗马书3:25。在希伯来书9:5中，“protitiation”这个词被翻译为“施恩座”，这是正确的，因为在上述的几个经文中，“propitiation”一词也意味着“施恩座”。律法要求为罪而死;因此，被杀献祭的血被放在施恩座上（出埃及记25:22;利未记16:13,14），表明死已经发生。神看着施恩座，看到血-生命 – 就满足了。自从各各他（耶稣被钉十字架之地）以来，神看着我们的施恩座 -就是基督，神是满意的。因此，‘赎罪祭’这层面下所想到的是“满足”的意思。
6. 和好/和解(Reconciliation)。 “所以我们作基督的使者,就好像 神藉我们劝你们一般．我们替基督求你们与 神和好。“（IICor.5：19）。另见歌罗西书1:20。 “和好”一词意味着去影响或去造成一种彻底的改变。在圣经裡从来没有经文说是神圣需要被改变去与人和好，而是人必须被改变去与神和好; 人是需要一个彻底的改变。
7. 替代(Substitution)。‘替代’不是一个圣经的字词，但它肯定是一个圣经的概念。“ 那知他为我们的过犯受害、为我们的罪孽压伤．因他受的刑罚我们得平安．因他受的鞭伤我们得医治。我们都如羊走迷、各人偏行己路．耶和华使我们众人的罪孽都归在他身上。”（赛5:5-6）。又见彼得前书3:18;哥林多后书5:1。
8. 立遗嘱者(Testator)。遗嘱是在遗嘱人死亡后生效的意志。因此，我们继承的产业是藉着主耶稣的死使我们得到的。“因此，他作了新约的中保，藉着他的死，使人在前约之下的过犯得到救赎，就叫那些蒙召的人，得着永远基业的应许 。凡有遗嘱（或译:“约”），必须证实立遗嘱的人死了；因为人死了，遗嘱才能生效，立遗嘱的人还活着的时候，遗嘱是一点都没有效力的。（希伯来书9:15-17）。参见歌罗西书1:12-14;以弗所书1:1-7。
1.神的品格的彰显。 “但如今 神的义在律法以外已经显明出来、有律法和先知为证．. . . . 好在今时显明他的义,使人知道他自己为义,也称信耶稣的人为义。”（罗马书3:21,26）。
2.神律法公义的伸张。律法是要致人于死的。律法没有怜悯，只有正义。律法判罪人死刑; 基督代替罪人上了刑场; 因此，基督代人偿付了律法的要求。
a.它的普遍性。他的死是为所有人而死 -为对于那些相信的人，也为不相信的人。 “我们看见那位暂时成了比天使卑微的耶稣，因为受了死的痛苦，就得了荣耀尊贵作冠冕，好叫他因着 神的恩典，为万人尝了死味“（希伯来书2:9）。另见提摩太前书2:6; 4:10; 提多书2:11; 约翰一书2:2; 彼得后书3:9。
b. 它的局限性。基督在十字架上的工是有条件的，因为它的果效取决于罪人的悔改并接纳基督。 “我们劳苦努力，正是为此．因我们的指望在乎永生的 神．他是万人的救主、更是信徒的救主。”（提摩太前书4:10）。
a.基督为信徒而死。 “他为我们捨了自己,要赎我们脱离一切罪恶,又洁淨我们、特作为他自己的子民、热心为善。”（提多书2:14）。以弗所书5：2; 加拉太书2:20; 提摩太前书4:10。
c.基督为罪人而死。 “因基督也曾一次为罪受苦、就是义的代替不义的、为要引我们到 神面前．按着肉体说他被治死．按着灵性说他复活了。”（彼得前书3:18）。另见提摩太前书1:15;罗马书5:10。
d. 基督为世人而死。 “他们唱新歌, 说、你配拿书卷`配揭开七印．因为你曾被杀,用自己的血从各族各方,各民各国中买了人来、叫他们归于 神。 “（启示录5:9）。（约翰福音3:16）“ 神爱世人、甚至将他的独生子赐给他们,叫一切信他的,不至灭亡,反得永生。” 参见约翰福音; 1:9; 约翰一书2:2。
a. 提供了一个替代。 “我们看见那位暂时成了比天使卑微的耶稣，因为受了死的痛苦，…. 因着神的恩典,为万人品尝了死亡“（希伯来书2:9）。
c.提供了赎罪祭。由于基督的死，神就“在施恩座上坐着” – 满足了。 他为我们的罪作了挽回祭（赎罪祭）．不是单为我们的罪、也是为普天下人的罪。”（约翰一书2:2）。
f. 提供了救赎。 “神拯救万人的恩典，已经显明出来”（提多书2:11）。
a.与神和好。 “ 一切都是出于 神，他藉着基督使我们与他和好,又将劝人与他和好的职分赐给我们。”（哥林多后书5:18）。
c. 得以称义（被归为义）。 “我们既因信称义、就藉着我们的主耶稣基督、得与 神相和”（罗马书5:1）。
d.得免刑罚。 “所以 如今那些在基督耶稣裡的、就不被定罪了”（罗马书8:1）。
e. 得以归属神。 “岂不知你们的身子就是圣灵的殿麽？这圣灵是从 神而来、住在你们裡头的．并且你们不是属于自己的人。因为你们是重价买来的．所以要在你们的身子上荣耀 神”（哥林多前书6:19,20）。
h.得以进入。“弟兄们，我们既因耶稣的血`得以坦然进入至圣所,是藉着他给我们开了一条又新又活的路从幔子经过,这幔子就是他的身体,又有一位大祭司治理 神的家。并我们心中天良的亏欠已经洒去,身体用清水洗淨了、就当存着诚心,和充足的信心,来到 神面前”．（希伯来书10:19-22）。
j. 得被释放。 “儿女既同有血肉之体,他也照样亲自成了血肉之体。特要藉着死、败坏那掌死权的就是魔鬼．并要释放那些一生因怕死而为奴僕的人。”（希伯来书2:14,15）。
b. 被败坏 “孩子们既然同有血肉之体，他自己也照样成为血肉之体，为要藉着死，消灭那掌握死权的魔鬼.“（希伯来书2:14新译本）。
c.被打败。 “他救了我们脱离黑暗的权势、把我们迁到他爱子的国裡．（歌罗西书1:13）。也见(以弗所书6:12) “因我们并不是与属血气的争战，乃是与那些执政的`掌权的`管辖这幽暗世界的，以及天空属灵气的恶魔争战”。
4. 关係到物质宇宙的。 “因为父喜欢叫一切的丰盛、在他裡面居住。”
2. 复活在使徒见证中的作用。（使徒行传4:33） “使徒有大能力、为主耶稣的复活做见证。众人也都蒙大恩。”。還有使徒行传2:32 “这耶稣、 神已经叫他复活了,我们都为这事作见证”。另见使徒行传 17:18; 23:6。
3. 复活在福音上的绝对必要。如果基督没有复活，就没有福音。“弟兄们,我如今把先前所传给你们的福音、告诉你们知道、这福音你们也领受了,又靠着站立得住．并且你们若不是徒然相信、能以持守我所传给你们的、就必因这福音得救。我当日所领受又传给你们的、第一、就是基督照圣经所说,为我们的罪死了,而且埋葬了,又照圣经所说`第三天复活了。 ”（哥林多前书15:1-4）。
h.第八个声明。 “但基督已经从死裡复活、成为睡了之人初熟的果子。”（20节）。讚美主，他复活了！他是活着！我们被一位活着的救主拯救了。在所有人之中，我们(这些信的人 )是唯一获得拯救的罪人。
2.门徒的辨认。 耶稣复活后“对多马说，伸过你的指头来，摸我的手．伸出你的手来`探入我的肋旁。不要疑惑,总要信。。多马对祂说:我的主！我的 神！”（约翰福音20:27-28）。
4.主他自己的见证。 “于是耶稣教导他们说，人子必须受许多的苦`被长老祭司长和文士弃绝、并且被杀、过三天复活。”（马可福音8:31） 。
5.我们形状之改变的宣告。 “我们却是天上的国民．并且等候救主、就是主耶稣基督、从天上降临。他要按着那能叫万有归服自己的大能、将我们这卑贱的身体改变形状，和他自己荣耀的身体相似。“（腓利比书 3:20-21）
1.说耶稣的身体没有被埋葬。通过这种说法，不信的人坚持认为坟墓从来没有被封住，两个强盗和基督被堆在死人堆裡。然而，这说法被犹太人自己的法律驳倒了。根据（申命记21:22-23）：“人如果犯了该死的罪,被治死了、你就把他挂在木头上。他的尸体不可留在木头上过夜、必须在当日把他葬埋`免得玷污了耶和华你 神所赐你为业之地．因为被挂的人是在 神面前受咒诅的；这样，你就不至于玷污耶和华你的 神赐给你作产业的地了。”
1. 空的墓穴。 福音书裡说人们对基督的复活有两种看法。其中的一群人，是不信者，他们说有人偷走了基督的身体; 另一群人认为基督是被神的大能复活了。空的墓穴证明了后者的看法。耶稣的墓穴一直是由一队罗马兵丁所看守着的，这个卫队由六十个兵丁组成，共四组，每组十五人，他们驻守看守墓穴。每一组兵丁守卫墓穴六个小时。这个护卫是由被罗马政府调来看守墓穴，以防止基督身体被人盗走。我们知道，杀害基督的那些人并不想偷走尸体;他们是想要把他埋葬。而我们知道使徒们并没有偷走尸体，因为他们害怕，甚至在耶稣被钉十字架时，早就逃走了。那些看守墓穴的士兵们被祭司长用银子收买（马太福音28:12-15)，作虚假证词说是被门徒偷走了。你想，如果尸体真是被偷了，而犹太祭司却没有惩罚那些看守墓穴的官兵，这是不是另有蹊跷呢？又，如果是门徒偷走了尸体，那为什麽犹太祭司不去追捕那些嫌疑者，直到抓来承认偷尸体为止呢？他们为什麽一点事都不做呢？原因很简单！因为他们自己就不认为是被偷走的。
2.未被移动/弄乱的殓布。 在东方，死人的尸体被以细麻布缠裹，从颈子到脚，其方式与埃及的木乃伊相似。头部用裹头巾包着。当这缠裹完成后，尸体被放在台子上伸开。当彼得进到墓穴时“他看到细麻布放着，而原来在头上的布巾，在另外一处卷着。”（约翰福音20:6-7)。 他看到那些细麻布没有被移动过/没有被弄乱 – 基督身体从裹头巾与细麻布穿越而出，没有撑破一丝一线。彼得发现细裹尸体的头巾，细麻布并没有被拆动过; 看起来好像仍然是裹着身体 – 只是细麻布裡并没有身体。
3.基督复活后的出现。在哥林多前书15:1-11中，我们有见证人数的记录，他们实际看见主，看见复活的救主了。这个数字不包括那些妇女。在美国的法庭，证实真相所需的证人人数最多七人就够了：谋杀桉需要一名证人；叛国罪需要两名证人; 遗嘱的证人需要有三位; 口说的真伪需要有七个证人作证。圣经记载有超过五百个证人看到复活后的基督。当然，根据公认的判例，这已经有足够的证人 证明耶稣从死裡复活了。
4. 基督的品格。在辩护耶稣的复活所需的证据，没有其他的证据是比他的品格更大了; 很难想像这样一个可耻的结局会临到完美的这一位的身上！当然，神在祂的公义裡是不会允许这世界上唯一无罪的人留在坟墓裡的。
7. 被转变的门徒。复活带来了门徒的转变。在此之前，他们所看到的是基督已经死了，他们的信仰就此粉碎了。门徒中的两个人说：“我们素来盼望要救赎以色列的就是他 ”（路加福音24:21）。多么很悲伤的话 – 没有希望。所有的信心都死了。他们因怕犹太人，聚集时门都关了，他们害怕，为生命害怕（约翰福音20:19)。然后主出现站在他们当中。但即使祂实际已经显现在他们面前了，还是很难令门徒们相信主的复活。可是一旦他们确信基督已经复活了，就没有什麽能改变他们所信的了。
8.扫罗的改变。教会从来没有比大数的扫罗更大的敌人了。他是犹太教裡的一个着名人物，属于法利赛支派 – 法利赛人相信死人在未来要复活，但肯定不是指耶稣的死而复活。是什麽把那个凶残的迫害教会者-扫罗变成了这个捍卫基督的传道人保罗呢？是基督的复活！从通往大马色（大马士革）的那一天起，他就不曾怀疑过耶稣的复活。保罗被自己的犹太同胞迫害，又在外邦人（罗马）的法庭受苦- 皆是因为他相信基督的复活。
a.这是祂他已经获得父神接纳的印记。换句话说，基督的被杀献祭是足够的并且被神接纳了。 “这是神的’阿们’ ，对 他儿子的‘成了’所给的肯定。”
b.这是身份的标志- 基督是神的儿子。“按圣善的灵说、因从死裡复活、以大能显明是 神的儿子。”（罗马书1:4）。被钉在十字架上时，他是被神诅咒的。神不会让他的儿子继续被诅咒;所以神使他从死裡复活。
a. 证明他的称义。 “我们的主耶稣. . . 为我们的过犯被交去处死，为我们的称义而复活。”（罗马书4:24-25）。
b.显示他的大能。 保罗在以弗所书求父神 “…将那赐人智慧和启示的灵、赏给你们, 使你们真知道 . . . 他的恩召有何等指望. . . 并知道他向我们这信的人所显的能力`是何等浩大, 就是照他在基督身上,所运行的大能大力,使他从死裡复活, 叫他在天上坐在自己的右边。”（以弗所书1:17-20）。
c.提供一位大祭司。 “凡靠着他进到 神面前的人, 他都能拯救到底。因为他是长远活着、替他们祈求。”（希伯来书7:25）。另见罗马书8:34; 希伯来书3:1; 7:22。
d。生出一个活泼的盼望。 “愿颂讚归与我们主耶稣基督的父 神，祂曾照自己的大怜,藉着耶稣基督从死裡复活`重生了我们,叫我们有活泼的盼望, 可以得着不能朽坏`不能玷污`不能衰残, 为你们存留在天上的基业。”（彼得前书1:3-4）。
e.保证我们的复活。 “因为知道那叫主耶稣复活的、也必叫我们与耶稣一同复活，并且叫我们与你们一同站在他面前。”（哥林多后书4:14）。另见哥林多前书15:22; 帖撒罗尼迦前书4:14
2. 坐宝座（高昇）的含义。这是神的作为，藉着这作为，他赐这一位复活后又升天的主一切的能力与荣耀，让祂能够坐在神宝座的右边。 “这位耶稣，神已经使他复活了，我们都是这事的见证人。他既然被高举到神的右边，从父领受了所应许的圣灵，就把他浇灌下来，这就是你们所看见所听见的。“（使徒行传2:32-33）。 “得胜的，我必定赐他和我一同坐在我的宝座上，正像我得了胜和我父一同坐在他的宝座上一样。”（启示录3:21）。基督现在不是坐在自己的宝座上，而是坐在他父神的宝座上。
a. 诗篇作者的见证。 “因为你必不将我的灵魂撇在阴间．也不叫你的圣者见朽坏。你必将生命的道路指示我．在你面前有满足的喜乐．在你右手中有永远的福乐。“（诗篇16:10-11）。诗篇68:18; 110:4-5。
c.司提反的见证。“司提反被圣灵充满，定睛望天，看见 神的荣耀，又看见耶稣站在 神的右边。就说：我看见天开了，人子站在 神的右边”（使徒行传7:55-56）。
d.彼得的见证。 “耶稣已经进入天堂,在 神的右边。众天使和有权柄的`并有能力的,都服从他。”（彼得前书3:22）。另见使徒行传3:15, 20-21; 5:30-31。
e.保罗的见证。 “谁能定他们的罪呢? 有基督耶稣已经死了，而且从死裡复活，现今在 神的右边, 也替我们祈求”（罗马书8:34）。参见以弗所书1:20,21; 4:8-10;歌罗西书3:1; 提摩太前书3:16。
1. 他的身体的上升，并且众人都看见。路加所说“ 论到耶稣开头一切所教训的，直到他藉着圣灵，吩咐所拣选的使徒、以后被接上升的日子为止。”（使徒行传1:1-2） 。另见使徒行传1:9-11。
4.他坐在神的右边。 “我们所讲论的重点，就是我们有这样的一位大祭司，他已经坐在众天之上至尊者的宝座右边，”（希伯来书8:1。）。另见以弗所书1:20; 歌罗西书3:1。
1.为了证明他完全的成就。 “神且用右手将他高举、叫他作君王`作救主,将悔改的心`和赦罪的恩,赐给以色列人。”（使徒行传5:31）。“他说，神啊，我来了为要照你的旨意行. . . . 我们凭这旨意、靠耶稣基督只一次献上他的身体、就得以成圣。”（希伯来书10:9-10）。在地上人间的帐幕裡没有椅子，这个没有椅子的事实突显出来那预表要做的工还未完成。而当基督进入天堂，坐在宝座上，就宣告出，那救赎我们的工是完成了。
2.为人类的敬拜提供安排。 “时候将到、如今就是了，那真正拜父的`要用心灵和诚实拜他、因为父要这样的人拜他。 神是灵, 所以拜他的·必须用心灵和诚实拜他”（约翰福音4:23-24）。
4.为祂做教会的头 立宪。 “神又使万有服在祂的脚下，祂为教会作万有之首。教会是祂的身体、是那充满万有者所充满的。”（以弗所书1:22-23） ）。
1.他作为先锋进入天堂。 “耶稣已经为我们作先锋（先行者）进入了幔子裡面的圣所;他是照着麦基洗德的体系，成了永远的大祭司。”（希伯来书6:20）。 “先行者”的另一个词是“队长”，“王子领袖”，是在后面有人跟随的那一位。“主耶稣在我们前头进入了天堂; 当他在天堂停留时，如果死亡临到我们了，我们将会前往天堂与他同在。
2.他进入了天堂，为要将恩赐赏给人。 “经上说：『他升上高天的时候、掳掠了仇敌，将各样的恩赐赏给人。』。 。 。他所赐的有使徒、有先知．有传福音的．有牧师和教师．”（以弗所书4:8,11）。
1.我们有了一位在神面前的代求者。 “因为基督并不是进了人手所造的圣所,（那不过是真圣所的影像）乃是进了天堂，如今为我们显在 神面前。”（希伯来书9:24）。另见希伯来书7:25。
2.让我们能够来到神面前。 “我们既然有一位己经升入高天尊荣的大祭司`就是 神的儿子耶稣,便当持定所承认的道。因我们的大祭司并非不能体恤我们的软弱。他也曾凡事受过试探`与我们一样，只是他没有犯罪。所以我们只管坦然无惧的来到施恩的宝座前，为要得怜恤`蒙恩惠作随时的帮助。”（希伯来书4:14-16）。
3.赐给我们服事的能力。 “我实实在在的告诉你们，我所作的事，信我的人也要作。并且要作比这更大的事。因为我往父那裡去。”（约翰福音14:12）。 “更大的事”并不是指医治或是说方言，而是救赎福音的传播。例如，彼得讲道（传耶稣的死而复活），就有三千人信主（使徒行传2:41);他再次讲道，又有五千人信主（使徒行传4:4)。
4.赐我们信心相信神预定的旨意。 “我们晓得万事都互相效力，叫爱 神的人得益处、就是那些按他旨意被召的人。”（罗马书8:28）。
———– 本章基督论英文稿 ———-
OUTLINE FOR CHAPTER II
I. Names and Titles of Christ.
E. Jesus Christ.
F. Christ Jesus.
G. The Lord Jesus Christ.
H. I Am.
I. The Son of God.
J. The Son of Man.
K. The Son of Abraham.
L. The Son of David.
M. The Son of the Highest.
N. Second Man.
O. Last Adam.
P. The Word.
II. The Incarnation of Christ.
A. The Fact of the Incarnation.
B. The Manner of the Incarnation.
C. The Objections to the Incarnation.
D. The Objects of the Incarnation.
E. The Perpetuity of the Incarnation.
F. The Proofs of the Incarnation.
III. The Two Natures of Christ.
A. The Humanity of Christ.
B. The Deity of Christ.
C. The Blending of the Two Natures Into One Person.
D. The Errors Concerning the Two Natures.
IV. The Death of Christ.
A. The Fact of the Death.
B. The Form of the Death.
C. The Unscriptural Theories Concerning the Death.
D. The Scriptural Names of the Death.
E. The Objectives of the Death.
F. The Extent of the Death.
G. The Results of the Death.
V. The Resurrection of Christ.
A. The Importance of the Resurrection.
B. The Meaning of the Resurrection.
C. The Unscriptural Theories Concerning the Resurrection.
D. The Proofs of the Resurrection.
E. The Result of the Resurrection.
VI. The Ascension and Enthronement of Jesus Christ.
A. The Meaning of the Ascension and Enthronement.
B. The Message of the Ascension and Enthronement.
C. The Nature of the Ascension and Enthronement.
D. The Necessity of the Ascension and Enthronement.
E. The Purpose of the Ascension and Enthronement.
F. The Results of the Ascension and Enthronement.
Christology, fundamentally, is the doctrine of Christ. Blessed is he who knows Him as Lord andSaviour.
Sometimes we are warned that we can preach too much of Christ, in that we may not emphasize enough the doctrines of God and of the Holy Spirit. Let us say here, that one cannot preach too much of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, there is no such thing as jealousy in the Godhead. From Scripture we can see that God would have us emphasize Christ more than we do: “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence” (Col. 1:18).
I. NAMES AND TITLES OF CHRIST
We believe in the verbal inspiration of the Holy Scripture. That is, we believe that every single word in the originals is the direct word chosen by God with which to convey His will to us. Believing thusly, we attach much importance to the titles and names of the Lord Jesus Christ. The most well-known name of our Saviour is:
The name Jesus is found in the Four Gospels 612 times, and it is found in the balance of the New Testament 71 times. The name Christ alone is found in the Four Gospels only 56 times, while in the remainder of the New Testament the name Christ is found 256 times.
Jesus is found before His death, burial and resurrection, while Christ is found after.
Jesus is the personal name of the Lord. It is His earthly name, the name under which He was born, lived, and died. It is the name of His humiliation; of suffering; of sorrow. It is the name of the One who humbled Himself. The name Jesus, at the time of our Lord, was not uncommon,there were many who were named Jesus. Jesus is the Greek form for the Hebrew word Joshua,and both mean “Jehovah our Saviour.” This name, Jesus, was the one which was nailed over Him on the Cross.
Again we emphasize the fact that the name Jesus is prominent in the Gospels, while the nameChrist is mentioned more in the Epistles. The name Jesus was more prominent before salvation was made and completed, while the name Christ is prominent after the work of salvation was finished. A Christian is not a person who believes in Jesus — the whole world believes there’s a Jesus — but a Christian is one who believes in the LORD Jesus Christ. He is Lord! With this knowledge, that a person is saved by declaring Jesus as Lord (Rom. 10:9, R.V.), and believing that God hath raised Him from the dead (and we know by I Corinthians 15:1-3 that the Gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ as the sinner’s Substitute), we state that there is very little “gospel” in the Four Gospels. The Four Gospels give very little of the doctrine of salvation for sinners; only in the last few chapters of each Gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Christ recorded. Hence, the name Jesus is predominant.
The Epistles are the writings which bring out so clearly the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith in the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ. The Epistles are full of the doctrine of salvation; hence the emphasis upon the name Christ and Lord! Before Calvary it is Jesus which is emphasized; after Calvary it is Christ which is emphasized: “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36); “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” (Phil. 2:8-11).
This is interesting to point out: when He was upon this earth (before He was crucified), He was never called Jesus to His face. It was always Lord, Master, or Rabbi by His followers: “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am” (John 13:13); “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).
The reason why the name Jesus is mentioned most in the Gospels (612 times) is that the Gospels emphasize His humility; the reason why the name Christ is mentioned most in the Acts and Epistles is that these writings emphasize His exaltation! There is a reason why the name Jesus is mentioned in the Epistle to the Hebrews eight times: the Holy Spirit would have us know that this Person was a man. The institution of the Lord’s Supper is a perfect illustration of the emphasis on the name Jesus in the Gospels, and on the title Christ in the Epistles: “As they were eating,Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body” (Matt. 26:26); “I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread” (I Cor. 11:23).
Men of the world, the demons of Satan, all addressed Him as Jesus, but never as Lord. Christian Science, Universalism and Unitarianism believe in a Jesus, but they claim that He cannot save, for they state that there is no sin to be saved from. Every false system of religion has the Lord Jesus Christ as the Object of its attack. Every false system reasons away sin; and in doing so, the need of a Saviour is ruled out. It says that Jesus died a needless death; and in doing that, He did not know what He was doing; in doing that, He must not have been the Son of God, for God knows all things. Do you not see that every attack upon the Son of God, Jesus our Lord, whether it be in regard to His blood, His resurrection, His substitutionary sacrifice or His second coming, is nothing but a subtle assault upon the deity of Christ.
We do not get our name from Jesus, but from Christ: we are Christians. Yes, we know that this name Christian was first given to the believers by those who hated God and His Christ; nevertheless, we are proud to take His dear name and to bear His reproach.
Never, remember, did unbelievers call the Saviour Lord, they called Him Jesus; and never did believers call Him Jesus, with one exception (and the exception makes the rule): “He said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done” (Luke 24:19-21). These were the words of the disappointed disciples — “we trusted that it had been he” — all their hopes were shattered when Jesus was crucified. They did not know the Scriptures, nor had they remembered the Lord’s words that He would rise again from the dead, and thus they spoke of Him as a Lost Cause; and they, here, called Him Jesus. If Christ had not risen from the dead, their hopes, and not only theirs, but ours as well, would have been destroyed; He would have been just plain Jesus. “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept” (I Cor. 15:20). He is Christ and Lord! Not mere man, but the God-man.
We have dealt at length with the name Christ as it is used, but let us add these details:
The name Christ means the Anointed One. This is the official title of the Son of God. Whenever we hear the word “anointed,” remember how, and under what circumstances, men were anointed. We know that men were anointed as kings, and prophets, and priests: “Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD” (I Sam. 15:1); “Jehu the Son of Nimshishalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room” (I Kings 19:16); “The LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments, and the anointing oil, and a bullock for the sin offering, and two rams, and a basket of unleavened bread. . . . And he poured of the anointing oilupon Aaron’s head, and anointed him, to sanctify him” (Lev. 8:1, 2, 12).
1. Christ Has Been Anointed Prophet. “Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethen, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people” (Acts 3:22, 23).
2. Christ Has Been Anointed Priest. “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not anhigh priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:14, 15).
3. Christ Has Been Anointed King. “Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:31-33).
In the Gospels Christ is pictured as King of Israel: in the Epistles Christ is pictured as Head of the Church.
“He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias[Messiah], which is, being interpreted, the Christ” (John 1:41); “The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things” (John 4:25).
Messiah is the Hebrew word with the same meaning as Christ, which is the “Anointed One.” The Old Testament is full of the Messiah prediction, while the New Testament is full of Christfulfillment; the Old Testament is written in the Hebrew language, while the New Testament is written in the Greek language.
This is Christ’s title of deity, that of authority. All three names of God, as found in the Old Testament, are compounded into that one name, Lord. In the study of the names of God, we saw that the word “God” in the Authorized Version comes from the Hebrew word Elohim, which is the office of God; and that the word “LORD” or “GOD,” comes from the Hebrew word Jehovah,which is the personal name of God; and that the word “lord,” or “Lord” (small letters), comes from the Hebrew word Adonai, meaning Master.
In the New Testament the word “Lord” comes from the Greek word kurios, which is translated in the Authorized Version as Lord, God, Master, and Sir. This rendering is equivalent to the Old Testament Adonai — Master. And Christ, the Lord, is our Master: “And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him” (Eph. 6:9); “Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven” (Col. 4:1).
As stated above, the title “Lord” also includes another name for God, and that is LORD or Jehovah, and we know this by the way it is used in the New Testament. The New Testament quotes from the Old Testament Scriptures, using the word “Lord,” while the Old Testament word is “LORD,” or “Jehovah”: “Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord [Old Testament: Jehovah] thy God” (Matt. 4:7). In this verse it is also seen that Elohim (God) is ascribed to the Lord, who is the Lord Jesus Christ.
In salvation we must acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Jehovah, God, and Master: “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord [Jehovah, God, Master — all three], and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Rom. 10:9, A.R.V.).
If we have declared Him as Lord (Jehovah, God, Master), then we recognize Him as the One who owns us, the One who determines our walk and life, the One who only has the right to us and everything we possess. We have a great responsibility to Him; His will is to be the will of our lives: “Be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord [Jesus Christ: Jehovah, God, Master] is” (Eph. 5:17). Even in marriage one should abide by the will of the Lord Jesus Christ: “The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord” (I Cor. 7:39). These words take on a deeper meaning as you realize that a Christian should not only marry another Christian, but that he should do so only if it is according to the will of the Lord. And after marriage the will of the Lord should be desired: “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord” (Col. 3:18).
No man can call Jesus Lord, except by the Holy Spirit, for the flesh (sin, carnal nature) does not recognize Christ as Lord: “I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of Godcalleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost” (ICor. 12:3).
E. Jesus Christ.
This is another title of the Lord, which is the combination of His personal name (Jesus) with His official title (Christ). The emphasis is on the first word — Jesus, what He was to what He is. That is, Jesus, who once humbled Himself, is now exalted.
F. Christ Jesus.
The emphasis is on the first word here also — Christ, which means He who was exalted, was once humbled; “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 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” (Phil.
C. The Lord Jesus Christ.
This is the Lord’s fullest title: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3).
H. I Am.
This is an Old Testament title brought forth into the New Testament. Jehovah appeared unto Moses in the burning bush and commanded that he should tell Pharaoh to let the children of Israelgo from the land of bondage. “Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children ofIsrael, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you” (Ex. 3:13, 14).
The Lord Jesus called Himself the great I AM when He was in Gethsemane. As the crowd came with lanterns, torches and weapons, the Lord went forth to meet them, asking, “Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am…” (John 18:4, 5). But, you may add, the Scriptures say, “I am he,” not merely, “I am.” To this we reply, Look at the word “he”; it is in italics, and all italicized words have been supplied by the translators and can therefore be left out. The Lord Jesus actually said, “I am.” When the Lord announced that He was the great I am, what did they do? “As soon then as he had said unto them, I am, they went backward, and fell to the ground” (John 18:6). Still another portion of the Word bears out the fact that Christ Jesus was the great I Am. “Jesus saith unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). “In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9).
I. The Son of God.
This is the Lord’s title of personal glory and deity. “The angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). “The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God” (John 19:7). See also John 5:18.
The Lord Jesus is the Son of God. A Christian is a Son of God. The Lord Jesus is the Son of God by relation and nature; the Christian is a Son of God by regeneration and adoption. The Lord Jesus has been the Son of God from all time and eternity; the Christian becomes a child of God when he trusts in Christ, the Lord.
J. The Son of Man.
This seems to be the favorite title of the Lord, the one by which He called Himself time and again: “Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Luke 9:58).
This is the Millennial title of Christ. Wherever it is recorded, it is used in connection with the coming kingdom reign of the Lord Jesus Christ. Even in the Old Testament the same thing holds true. Some may take issue with this, stating that Ezekiel takes upon himself that same title, the son of man. However, we refer the reader to the passages where it is used; there the comingMillennial Kingdom is in view. For example, in Ezekiel 37 is the prophecy of the Valley of Dry Bones, the whole house of Israel, which shall come to life again when the Lord prophecies unto them to return to the Land of Palestine; that will be the Millennium.
This is the Lord’s title and not man’s. You are a son of man, but He is the Son of man.
The title, the Son of man, is found eighty-eight times in the New Testament: once in Acts; once in Hebrews; twice in Revelation; and eighty-four times in the Gospels; not once in the Epistles. The Epistles concern the Church, not the coming kingdom of the Millennium. Christ is King of the Kingdom, but Head of the Church. And as the Church is not the Kingdom, therefore, the Millennial Title (the Son of man) of Christ is not found in the Epistles to the Churches.
K. The Son of Abraham.
The Gospel of Matthew is described as “the book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matt. 1:1). “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ” (Gal. 3:16).
The Messiah (Christ) was to be a Jew. Christ was a Jew, for He was a Son of Abraham, and thus the Messiah!
L. The Son of David.
This is the royal title of the Lord Jesus: “When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me” (Mark 10:47).
M. The Son of the Highest.
The title of pre-eminence: “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David” (Luke 1:32).
N. Second Man.
“Second Man” indicates that there was one man before Him — only one — and that man was Adam: “The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven” (I Cor. 15:47).
O. Last Adam.
“Last Adam” indicates that there is no man to follow Him. There are only two men in the records of God: Adam and Christ. Thus, the world is divided under these two headships: Adam and Christ. All are of Adam by the natural birth; only those are of Christ who have experienced the new birth.
“It is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit” (I Cor. 15:45).
P. The Word.
“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” (John 1:1, 2).
As spoken words reveal the invisible thoughts of man, so the visible (living) Word reveals to us the invisible God.
“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matt. 1:23). As the Scripture tells us, it means “God with us.” Remember, the Lord Jesus is Emmanuel — God with us; He will never leave nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5, 6).
“Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). Not a helper, but a Saviour!
This comes from the Hebrew word meaning teacher. “Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?” (John 1:38).
This is the same as the word “rabbi,” meaning Teacher, but comes from the Chaldean. “Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master” (John 20:16).
“When the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?” (Matt. 9:11). The meaning here is “Instructor.” The idea of Owner is not here implied, as in the word “Lord” (Adonai). The world today recognizes that Jesus is a great Master (Instructor), but will not own Him as Lord. The Lord Jesus is not merely our Instructor: He is our God, our Jehovah, our Lord!
II. THE INCARNATION OF CHRIST
This is a cardinal truth of Christianity. It is the fundamental foundation upon which our faith rests. Without the incarnation, Christianity could not stand. There is no way of getting rid of the incarnation without getting rid of Christianity. Mere man did not reveal this to us but God Himself did, through the revelation of His Word: “I would that ye knew what great conflict [fear or care] I have for you, and for them at Laodicea . . . that their hearts, might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:1-3).
The word “incarnation” comes from the Latin word meaning enfleshment; thus, when we speak of the incarnation of Christ Jesus, the Son of God, we mean the “enfleshment” of God — God manifest in the flesh.
A. The Fact of the Incarnation.
Two of the Gospels, Matthew and Luke, record the full account of it. Both accounts are different, but both agree in the true facts. Matthew, which portrays Christ as the King throughout the whole Book, describes His birth as: “He who is born King of the Jews,” tracing His line through Solomon to David. Luke, which reveals Christ as the perfect Man, emphasizes the humanity (human nature) of Jesus, showing that His lineage went back through Mary, to Nathan (another son of David), then to David, and on to Abraham, and finally to the first man, Adam.
1. As To the Virginity of Mary. Both Matthew and Luke state she was a virgin. “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost” (Matt. 1:18). “In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. . . . Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” (Luke 1:26, 27, 34).
2. As To Her Discovered Motherhood Before Her Marriage to Joseph. “Joseph also went up from Galilee . . . to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child” (Luke 2:5). See also Matthew 1:18-20.
3. As To the Divine Paternity. If Joseph was not Jesus Christ’s father, then who was? God, of course: “Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his nameJESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David. . . . And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:31, 32, 34). See also Matthew 1:18-20.
B. The Manner of the Incarnation.
The reason why so many do not believe in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ is that they think His birth was the birth of a mere baby, and not the birth of God, the Son. Remember, this is the incarnation — the enfleshment of God, God manifest in the flesh!
1. As Testified By Matthew.
a. In the Genealogy of Christ. Tracing the Lord’s descent from Abraham in chapter one, verses one through seventeen, we notice that the word “begat” is mentioned thirty-nine times, but is omitted after the name Joseph, the husband of the Virgin, Mary. Joseph did not beget Jesus Christ: “Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ” (Matt. 1:16).
Then, one may ask, why is this genealogy mentioned in the first place? The reason is this: the future King of Israel had to come through this line (David, Solomon, etc.); and, in order to prove that Jesus was the rightful heir to the throne of David, it had to be shown that He came from this line. When Joseph married the Virgin Mary, her virgin-born Son became the legal heir of Joseph and first in line for the throne.
Was Christ an actual son of David? Certainly He was, but not through Joseph to Solomon and David. He was a son of David by His mother; she, herself, was a princess in Israel, tracing her lineage through Nathan (another son of David) on to David. By blood Christ Jesus was a son of David through Mary; legally He was a son of David through Joseph.
b. In the Attitude of Joseph. For this let us turn to Matthew 1:18-25: “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: and knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.”
Now if this does not speak of the virgin birth, how would you state it? In his own mind, Joseph was convinced of the impurity of Mary, his espoused wife. He reasoned that if he had not known her some other man must have. Living under the law, a just man, he thought of two things to do: divorce her; or have her exposed and stoned to death. He never once conceived of the idea of taking her and making her his wife; indeed, not until the angel appeared unto him and commanded him to do so; and this he did.
Men today, even some preachers, think it is smart to deny that Jesus was of a virgin birth. They say that Joseph was the father, but Joseph said he was not.
c. In the Worship of the Wise Men. “There came wise men… saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. . . . And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him” (Matt. 2: 2, 11).
These wise men were indeed wise men. They worshiped the Baby, and not the mother Mary. These men were men of God, taught and led by God; they would not have worshiped the Baby if Joseph had been the father.
d. In the Expressions of “the Young Child and His Mother.” Four times is this statement made (Matt. 2:11, 13, 14, 20); never does it say, “your wife and your child.” In connection with this we note another statement: “When they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lordappeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt; and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed intoEgypt: and was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.” (Matt. 2:13-15). My Son. Not Joseph’s, but God’s!
2. As Testified by Luke.
a. In the Enunciation to Zacharias. “The angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:13-17).
Herein Zacharias was told that he was to have a son who would be the forerunner of the Christ, the Son of God.
b. In the Enunciation to Mary. “The angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast foundfavour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS” (Luke 1:30, 31).
Mary became a woman with child out of wedlock, which was evil unto God; but Mary found favor in God’s sight. Thus, if Mary had become with child by man, and God still blessed her while in that condition, then God would be a God of evil. But we know He found favor with her, and she with Him, for she was with child, but by the Holy Ghost.
c. In the Praise of Elizabeth. “She [Elizabeth] spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessedart thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord” (Luke 1:42-45).
Was this the praise to Mary? No!
d. In the Song of Mary. “Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour…” (Luke 1:46-55). This was not a song of a woman that had conceived and was to bear in shame; it was a song filled with joy and praise to God, who had selected her to bring forth the Messiah.
e. In the Prophecy of Zacharias. “Thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways” (Luke 1:76). This is only a portion of the prophecy of the father of John the Baptist concerning the work of John, then just born. He declares that the One whom John shall go before is the Son of God, and not the son of a man.
f. In the Experience of Shepherds. “There were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not:
for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you isborn this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:8-14).
When Christ was born, Heaven shouted a message of praise. Would all this have happened over a bastard child? Of course not! But Jesus was what the Word says He is — Christ the Lord!— the virgin son of Mary.
C. The Objections to the Incarnation.
Many of the enemies of God are within the body of professed believers — those who claim to be Christians, but deny the virgin birth of Christ. Someone may ask: “When a person is to be saved, does he have to believe in the virgin birth of Christ to be saved? Is this one doctrine which one must believe and understand to be saved?” Let us answer by asking this: “Do you believe that it is possible for a saved person not to believe in the virgin birth of Christ?” Of course not! All saved, born-again saints of God will believe that our Saviour was virgin born. The only thing that a lost person has to do to be saved is to repent of his sins and trust Christ as his Saviour, believing that He died for his sins and that He rose again from the dead. Saved people will believe in the virgin birth of our Lord.
Those who say they are Christians, and deny the virgin birth, are mere “professors” and not “possessors.” These enemies within, and those without the professing Church, object to the virgin birth by the following arguments:
1. The Scholarship of the Day is Against It. This statement is not true, but it would not matter much if it were, for we know that “the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rom. 8:7). The unconverted heart knows not God nor of the things of God; and, of course, it would not believe in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ.lJnregenerated scholars may not accept this divine truth, but there are great minds of this world sitting upon the chairs of learning in our leading colleges and universities — saved men – who believe and testify to the virgin birth of Jesus. Really, a person is not indeed educated until he believes God and His Word: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (Pro. 1:7).
2. The New Testament is Silent Concerning It. Certainly Matthew is not silent concerning it; surely Luke is not silent concerning it. God has provided two witnesses, for “in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established” (II Cor. 13:1). God fulfills the Law, thus establishing the truth concerning the virgin birth of our Redeemer. What if there were only onewitness? It still would be true, for it is God who speaketh.
a. But There is the Testimony of Mark. By this we present indirect evidence which proves the virgin birth of Christ. There is nothing said against the virgin birth. Mark does not record the birth of the Lord; does he mean to state that Christ never existed? Of course not. The Gospel of Mark presents Jesus as the Perfect Servant; and when considering a servant, no one cares to know his genealogy; thus the birth of Christ is omitted. The first verse of Mark’s Gospel states: “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” Any Hebrew knows that this means that Jesus Christ was on an equal with God, and we know that the record tells us of things Jesus Christ did which no other man could ever do.
b. But There is the Testimony of John. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . 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” (John 1:1, 14). Indeed this is not the record of a mere man, but the Son of Man, the Son of God, God Himself!
c. But There is the Testimony of Paul. While stating that these arguments are of Mark, John, Paul, and others, let us bear in mind that, while these men penned these words, the words are the words of God, and they express His mind upon the virgin birth of His Son.
Paul was separated “unto the gospel of God . . . concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. . . . 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” (Rom. 1:3, 4; 8:3). “Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” (II Cor. 8:9). See also Philippians 2:5-7; Galatians 4:4; I John 4:2; Colossians 2:8.
3. The Early Church Didn’t Believe It. This is another false argument against the virgin birth which can be refuted easily. The early creeds of the Church plainly declared the virgin birth.
a. The Apostles’ Creed. This dates back to the second century. The word “creed” comes from the Latin, credo, which means, “I believe.” These creeds came first orally, then written.
b. The Nicene Creed. This goes back to the fourth century. When Arius stated that Jesus was a created being, and not the Son from all eternity, a council was called to settle the fact that Christ, though born of the virgin, has existed co-eternally with the Father. The Council atConstantinople (381) was called. This council also refers to the fact of the virgin birth of Christ.
c. The Te Deum Laudamus. This was an ancient hymn preserved by the Church, which proved that the Early Church believed in the virgin birth of Christ.
4. It Is Against the Laws of Nature. To this argument against the virgin birth, we reply, “It most certainly is against the laws of nature.” For this was not the birth of a mere baby, but the birth of the Son of God in the flesh. Did you ever take time to consider that this might have been the only way by which God could have come in the flesh — by the virgin birth?
There are three ways by which God made human beings not according to the laws of nature: (1) When He made Adam without the aid of a man and woman; (2) when He made Eve without the aid of a woman; (3) when He made Christ without the aid of a man.
5. It Is Too Much Like Mythology. It is true that many idolatrous religions have taught that their gods were the offsprings of women, but not wholly of virginity; rather, that these women had carnal relations with other gods which produced the people’s gods. Can there be any comparison between the birth of Jesus Christ and the reported stories of those myths? Of course not! The virgin births of the men of mythology are not virgin, but the result of carnal intercourse.
6. In Calling Himself the Son of Man Christ Denied the Virgin Birth. Remember, the Lord Jesus Christ never said, “I am a Son of a man”; but, “I am the Son of Man.”
7. The Need of a Purification Proved That This Was a Natural Birth. Under the law of Israelall women were unclean. The purpose of this law was hygienic, to save the woman’s health, protecting her from the pleasure of her husband while she was still in a weakened condition, caused by childbirth.
D. The Objects of the Incarnation.
What were the purposes of the virgin birth?
1. To Reveal the Invisible God. “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:18). Jesus Christ is the Exposition of God, the Revealer of God. If you want to know what God is like, look upon Jesus.
2. To Fulfill Prophecy.
a. The Seed as an Example. “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:15). A woman does not have seed; seed belongs to the man. But this Scripture mentions the “seed of the woman.” This is contrary to nature and refers, of course, to the virgin birth — fulfilled when Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ.
b. The Virgin as an Example. “The Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Is. 7:14). This Scripture means exactly what we mean.
3. To Fulfill the Davidic Covenant. “There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. . . . And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious” (Is. 11:1, 10). “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jer. 23:5, 6). “Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; he seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption” (Acts 2:29-31). See also I Samuel 7:4-17; Luke 1:32, 33.
4. To Sacrifice For Our Sins. “Ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin” (I John 3:5). “It is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thouwouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me. . . . Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb. 10:4, 5, 8-10). “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (I Cor. 15:1-4).
a. A Sacrifice of Beast Never Took Away Sin. It is God who instituted animal sacrifice. Yet all the blood for centuries shed upon Jewish altars never took one sin away. Why, then, was it commanded? It was commanded in order to provide a “covering” for sins until the blood of Christ would come and “wash” them away. No, animal sacrifices could never take away sin, for the sacrifice must come up to the level of man, for whom it is sacrificed.
b. The Sacrifice Must Be Sinless. We agree that a “man must be sacrificed for a man”; animals do not come up to the level of man. Yet one sinful man cannot be offered up as a sacrifice for another sinful man, for if the first sinful man must die, he must die for his own sin.
c. The Sacrifice Must Be an Infinite Sacrifice. Not only must the sacrifice come up to the level of man, for whom it is offered, but it must come up to the level of God, whom it must satisfy! Jesus, our Lord, fulfilled all! “His own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, thatwe, being dead to sin, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (I Peter 2:24).
5. To Provide the Redeemed With a High Priest. “In all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. . . . Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus” (Heb. 2:17; 3:1).
Today we have One, even Jesus Christ, who stands for us before God. We have an accuser (Rev. 12:10), who accuses us daily before God, but we also have an advocate with the Father, whomaketh intercession for us.
6. To Show Believers How To Live. “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked” (I John 2:6). “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps” (I Peter 2:21).
7. To Become the Head of a New Creation. “He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful” (Rev. 21:5). See also II Corinthians 5:17; I Corinthians 15: 4, 47.
E. The Perpetuity of the Incarnation.
By this we mean the “everlasting of the incarnation.” God will always be manifested in the flesh in the person of His Son Jesus Christ.
1. Is Essential To the Integrity of Our Lord’s Manhood. Our Lord, now in glory, has His manhood. He is man today.
2. Is Essential To Our Lord’s High Priesthood. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” (Heb. 2: 14-18). “And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: but this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore” (Heb. 7:23-28). “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us” (Heb. 9:24). “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2).
3. Is Essential To Our Lord’s Return and Millennium Reign. “While they looked stedfastlytoward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said,Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:10, 11). “I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever; thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens. I have made a covenant with my chosen. I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations” (Ps. 89:2-4). “In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old” (Amos 9:11). See also Isaiah 9:6, 7; 55:3, 4.
F. The Proofs of the Incarnation.
The proofs of the incarnation are centered in Christ Himself!
1. Such As His Sinless Life. “We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (II Cor. 5:21). Only God, in human flesh, could live the sinless life.
2. Such As His Resurrection. “Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept” (I Cor. 15:20). Would He have been raised from the dead had He not been the incarnate Son of God? Of course not.
III. THE TWO NATURES OF CHRIST
There can be no Christianity without Christ. Orthodoxy of any person, or any church, can be settled upon this question: What think ye of Christ?
We wonder why the modernists of today try to lay Christ low. There are those who try to prove that He never existed. In one great university, a certain professor went to lengths to prove that Christ was only a figment of the mind. After many lectures, he completed his tirade, and then asked for comments. One student humbly asked, “If Christ never existed, why are you attacking Him?”
Why do not the enemies leave Him alone if He never existed? Why have anything to do with Him if He never rose from the dead? But He does exist; He has been resurrected; He ever lives!
Who is He? has been the question for two thousand years. We have the testimonies and confessions of men who saw Him: John the Baptist — “Behold the Lamb of God, which takethaway the sin of the world” (John 1:29); “I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God” (John 1:34); Andrew —“We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ” (John 1:41); Philip — “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” (John 1:45); Peter — “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16).
Among the people there was division caused by this question, Who is He? “Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth, this is the Prophet. Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? So there was a division among the people because of him” (John 7:40-43). See also John 9:17, 18; 10: 9-20; Luke 5: 21.
Men questioned the deity of Christ, but the demons never did. They acknowledged Him as being their Creator and coming Judge: “Behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” (Matt. 8:29).
At the trial of the Lord Jesus, this same question predominated: “Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest” (Matt. 27:11). See also Matthew 26:63; Luke 22: 67, 70.
And as He hung upon the Cross, the question still agitated the minds of his enemies: “They that passed by reviled him…saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross” (Matt. 27:40).
As we have the testimonies and confessions of those who saw Him, we ourselves who trust Him, and love Him, have the Witness (Holy Spirit) within that He is the Christ, the Son of the living God: “For he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:17a); “No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost” (I Cor. 12:3b).
A. The Humanity of Christ.
In other days it was the humanity of Christ which was under attack, and not His deity. No matter what age we may live in, Satan is the common enemy, and it is he who keeps going the continued attack upon our Lord.
1. He was Perfectly Human. By this we mean that our Lord, though He has been from all time and eternity, yet when He became flesh, He possessed a perfect human body, soul and spirit. Man, we know, has a body, soul and spirit: “The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Thess. 5:23).
a. His Human Physical Body. Yes, the Lord Jesus, in His humanity, possessed a body: “For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial” (Matt. 26:12; see also Hebrews 10:5); a soul: “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour” (John 12:27; see also Matthew 26:38); and a spirit;“Immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts” (Mark 2:8; see also Luke 23:46; Luke 10:21).
b. His Human Appearance. The woman at the well recognized Jesus as a human being: “How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans” (John 4:9). And after Christ’s resurrection He still maintained His human appearance; for Mary, supposing Jesus to be the gardener, recognized Him as a human being: “She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away” (John 20:15b).
c. His Human Parent. Though God was His Father, yet the Lord Jesus did have a human mother, thus proving that He was human: “When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Gal. 4:4); Paul was separated unto the gospel “concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David, according to the flesh” (Rom. 1:3); “The third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there” (John 2:1). See also Matthew 2:11; 13:55; John 1:14.
d. His Human Development. Being perfectly human, the Lord was born, and He grew as other boys and girls: “The child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. . . . And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” (Luke 2:40, 52).
e. His Human Limitation. Being God, the Son of God became man, and when He did, He limited Himself to the realm of the human. Thus, He possessed human limitations, which were sinless infirmities. As we thus speak, let us not confuse infirmity with sin. He had human infirmities, but no sin. He hungered (“When he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred” — Matt. 4:2); He thirsted (“After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst” — John 19:28); He becameweary (“Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour” — John 4:6); He slept (“Behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep”—Matt. 8:24). See Matthew 26:36-40, for these verses describe in full the testing of Christ in the garden such as only a human being can endure.
f. His Human Name. His human name was a name common to all of that time: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). See also Luke 2:21.
g. His Human Suffering and Death. His suffering and death was common to that which is experienced by man. The Scriptures abound in the fact that He possessed a human body and suffered as a human (Matt. 26:26-35; John 19:20; Luke 22:44).
If Jesus was not man, He could not have died, for God, in His true essence, cannot die! And Hedid die “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Heb. 9:12). He rose from the dead! And He is still man!
2. He is the Perfect Human.
a. As He Transcends All Limitation of Character. Everything is combined in Him. Look at all the attributes of man, and you will find that some men possess one kind while other men possess other attributes; but in Him we find completeness — all the attributes of men.
We believe that the character of Jesus is free from forgery. It takes a Plato to forge a Plato, and it would have taken a Jesus to have forged a Jesus.
Think of His power compared with His humility: He drives the money-changers out of the temple at one moment, and then washes the disciples’ feet at another.
(1) He Has All Perfection. He never ran for fear. No one ever frightened Him. He was never elated with success; we are. The Devil never baffled Him. He is the Man above all men. You cannot put anyone on the same level with the Lord Jesus. Take the leaders of the world —Caesar, Alexander the Great, yea, even godly men, such as Moody and Billy Sunday — they can never come up to Him. You cannot put the gods of men upon the same platform with the Lord Jesus. There is only one place for our Saviour, and that is the throne!
(2) He Is Without Sin. He is a perfect human being, the only One the world has ever seen. Turn to II Corinthians 5:21 and read the description of Him: “He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” This verse of Scripture does not mean that Christ never sinned, although He never did, but rather that He was without a sinful nature.
If a man lived all his life without sin, he still would not be perfect. By living without sin, he would only be triumphing over a sinful nature. Christ never had a sinful nature. “that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1: 35c). There has been onlyone Holy Baby ever to be born into this world, and they called Him Jesus! No drunkard can help a drunkard. A man does not have to become a thief to help a thief. The Lord Jesus did not take upon Himself a sinful nature in order to help us who do have a sinful nature.
When the Lord Jesus was in the wilderness for forty days, He knew what hunger was. He knows how it is with us when we go hungry. No man ever died at the stake, or went through a time of testing, as He did upon the Cross. He knows what it is to suffer. We have something in us that wants us to sin, but He never wanted to sin — that is what He suffered: the Devil trying to make Him want to sin.
That age-old question may now be raised: “Could the Lord Jesus have sinned had He wanted to?” The question is thrown aside by stating, “He could not have wanted to, being the Son of God.” But, someone may add, if He could not have sinned, then why the temptation? If He could not have sinned, then the temptation was a mockery! That is exactly the answer! For He was not tested to see if He would sin, but He was tested to show (to prove) that He would not sin.
This is something to consider also: if the Lord Jesus could have sinned here upon earth, then it is still possible for Him to sin in Heaven as He maketh intercession for us. But He could not have sinned upon earth, and He cannot sin in heaven. He is our perfect High Priest.
b. As He Transcends All Limitations of Time. He is for all time. His teachings are not out-of-date. They are up-to-date! The books of our colleges and universities are not over ten years old; they are ever changing. But His words stand sure.
He is the One who has said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall never pass away.” But there is no record of Him writing a book of His life — yet His words are true, for they have not passed away!
c. As He Transcends All Limitations of All Nationalities. The Jew was exclusive of all people, and the Lord Jesus came from the most exclusive race of people, yet He belongs to all kindredsand tribes! He belongs to all. The Chinaman thinks of Him as being Chinese; the Englishman thinks of Him as being English. When we are saved, we claim Him as our own, no matter to what race we belong.
Christ was liar, lunatic, or Lord! No modernist ever says He was a liar — He only thought He was God. Then He must have been a lunatic. Of course He was not a liar nor a lunatic; He was the Son of God! The God man!
B. The Deity of Christ.
1. Divine Predictions. “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy foot-stool” (Ps. 110:1); “Thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Mic. 5:2). See also Isaiah 7:14; 9:8; Jeremiah 23:6; and Genesis 3:15.
2. Divine Names.
a. He Is Called God. “Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God” (John 20:28); “Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen” (Rom. 9:5); “We know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life” (I John 5:20). See also Matthew 1:23; John 1:1; compare Psalm 45:6, 7 with Hebrews 1:8.
b. He is Called the Son of God. This implies sameness with God. “Devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ” (Luke 4:41); “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live” (John 5:25); “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” (Rom. 8:3). Look up these other Scriptures: Mark 1:1; Matthew 27:40, 43; John 19:7; 10:36; 11:4.
c. He Is Called Lord. “The Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day” (Matt. 12:8); “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am” (John 13:13); “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31); “He hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” (Rev. 19:16).
d. He Is Called Other Divine Names. “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last” (Rev. 1:17). See also Revelation 22:13.
3. Divine Equality. “Now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which Ihad with thee before the world was” (John 17:5); “He that seeth me seeth him that sent me” (John 12:45); “Being in the form of God, [Christ Jesus] thought it not robbery to be equal with God” (Phil. 2: 6a); “In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9).
4. Divine Relationship. His name is coupled with the Father’s. “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30). “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen” (II Cor. 13:14); “Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work” (II Thess.
5. Divine Worship. Worship belongs only to God. Christ received true worship. Therefore, Christ is God! “There came wise men . . . saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? forwe have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. . . . And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh” (Matt. 2:2, 11). The wise men did not come to worship Mary, but Christ Jesus. In later years he accepted worship: “They that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God” (Matt. 14:33). See also Matthew 9:18; Luke 24:52. If Christ had not been God, then this worship would have been idolatry. It is God’s command that the Son should be worshiped. “And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him” (Heb. 1:6). “That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him” (John 5:23). This is true of all ages, that Christians have worshiped Christ as God. Born-again men would not have been satisfied with the worshiping of the mere man.
6. Divine Attributes.
a. Omnipotence. “Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matt. 28:18). He has power over death: “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (John 11:25, 26). He has power over nature: “By him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist” (Col. 1:16, 17). He has power over demons: “They were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out” (Luke 4:36).
b. Omniscience. “Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God” (John 16:30). “He [Peter] said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him,Feed my sheep” (John 21:17c). See also Matthew 9:4; 12:25; Luke 6:8; 9:47; 10:22; John 1:48, 49; John 4:16-19; Mark 2:8.
This one question of the doctors of Jerusalem proves the omniscience of the Lord Jesus: “How knoweth this man letters, never having learned?” (John 7:15). This leads us to know that Christ was never taught by man. He needed no schooling, nor tutors. His disciples sat at His feet — at whose feet did He sit? At no one’s! Paul was a student of Gamaliel — who taught Jesus? No one! Christ said, “Learn of me” — when did He ever say, “Teach me”? Never! We are sometimes advised to go to a higher authority, but to what authority did He go? To none other, for He had all authority. When did Jesus ever say, “I don’t remember, I will have to look it up?” Never! He was never caught off guard. In Mark 12:13 we have these words: “And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians to catch him in his words.” They tried to trap Him in His words, but He was all wise and put His persecutors into confusion.
(1) How He Taught.
(a) With Simplicity. His illustrations were made on the spot. He drew them from life itself. He had no need of a filing system.
(b) With Authority. You never heard the Lord say, “We may as well suppose” (See Matthew 7:29; Mark 1:22).
(2) What He Taught.
(a) Doctrine. What He taught is not popular today. The modernists substitute ethics for doctrine; they believe in salvation by ethical living.
(b) Ethics. Christ certainly did teach ethics, but doctrine was first. Ethics must have doctrine for its foundation.
c. Omni-sapience. “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Col. 2:3).
d. Omnipresence. “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matt. 28:20). “No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven” (John 3:13).
e. Immutability. “They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail” (Heb. 1:11, 12). “This man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood” (Heb. 7:24). “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Heb. 13:8). Jesus may change His position, but His Person never changes.
f. Everlastingness. “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” (John 1:1, 2). “Thou, BethlehemEphratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Mic. 5:2). “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). “Fear not; I am the first and the last” (Rev. 1:17c).
g. holiness. “Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth” (I Peter 2:22). “Ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin” (I John 3:5). See also Hebrews 7:26.
h. Love. Paul prays that the Ephesians may be able “to know the love of Christ, which passethknowledge, that ye may be filled with all the fulness of God” (Eph. 3:19).
(1) It is Spontaneous.
(2) It is Eternal.
(3) It is Infinite.
(4) It is Inexhaustible.
(5) It is Invincible. See Ephesians 5:25; Revelation 1:5.
i. Righteousness and Justice. “Ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer, to be granted unto you” (Acts 3:14).
7. Divine Offices.
a. Creation. All creation is by the act of God; Christ created: therefore, Christ is God. “Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thy hands” (Heb. 1:10). See John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Ephesians 3:9; John 1:10.
b. Preservation. “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3). “He is before all things, and by him all things consist” — all things hang together (Col. 1: 17).
c. Pardon. “He said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven” (Luke 7:48). See also Mark 2:5-10.
d. Resurrection. “This is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that everyone which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:39, 40).
e. Transformation. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (I John 3:2). See also Philippians 3:21 (R.V.).
f. Judgment. “The Father judgest no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son” (John 5:22). See also Acts 17:31; Matthew 16:27; Matthew 25:31; Romans 2:16; 14:10; II Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 22:12.
g. Salvation. “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:28). See also John 5:25; 6:47; 10:10; 17:2.
C. The Blending of the Two Natures in One Person.
Man cannot understand it. This is one proof that the Bible is the Word of God, for if man had written the Bible he would have left the two natures of Christ out of it. These are infinite facts, and God does not seek to explain, but makes a simple declaration of fact; Christ possessed a human nature and a divine nature — both are complete. It is not Scriptural to say Christ is God and man; rather, He is the God-Man. A type of His dual nature can be found in the boards of the tabernacle. The boards were of wood and gold — one board, with two materials; not two boards. The wood never became gold, and the gold never became wood. Christ had but one personality, not two. Two natures, with one personality.
We try to make John 1:14 read, “The Word became a man”; but it says, “The Word was made flesh.”
If we make Christ have two personalities, then we make the Godhead a Foursome instead of a Trinity.
D. Errors Concerning the Two Natures of Christ.
1. Ebionitism. This error was prevalent during the first century of the Christian Church. It denied the deity of Christ. It stated that Christ had a relationship with God after His baptism.
2. Corinthianism. This was most popular during the days of the Apostle John. According to this error, Christ possessed no deity until He was baptized.
3. Docetism. This error found its way into the Church during the latter part of the second century. It maintained that Christ did not possess a human body. He had a body, He had a celestial body. Thus Docetism denied Christ’s humanity. Such error is the “spirit of anti-Christ” (I John 4:1-3).
4. Arianism. This error denied the divine nature of Christ. Arianism maintained that there was a time when the Son never existed, that God lived and then begat His Son after Him. Thus it denied Christ’s pre-existence.
5. Apollinarianisin. This error maintained that Christ possessed an incomplete human body. The Apollinarians reasoned: sin is sown in the soul of all men; God had no sin; therefore Christ had no soul; therefore He had an incomplete body.
6. Nestorianism. Nestorians took the two natures of Christ and made two persons out of them. That is, God came and dwelt in a perfect man; therefore God was in Christ, instead of Christ being God.
7. Eutychianism. The Eutychians took the two natures of Christ and ran them together and made one new nature.
8. Monothelitism. This error consisted of the belief that Christ had two natures, but only one will.
9. Unitarianism. The Unitarians deny the Trinity. Thus they deny the deity of Christ altogether.
10. Christian Science. This belief is a denial of the humanity of Christ.
11. Millennial Dawnism. This belief denies the personal existence of our Lord Jesus Christ.
IV. THE DEATH OF CHRIST
The Cross is the fundamental truth of the revealed Word of God. By the Cross we do not mean the tree, but the Sacrifice upon that tree.
We see the emblems of Christ and Him crucified in Genesis, and so on through the Old Testament. The only reason for Bethlehem is Calvary. Our salvation depends upon Christ dying upon the Cross.
A. The Fact of the Death.
1. Old Testament Anticipation.
a. In Type.
(1) Coats of Skin (Gen. 3:21).
(2) Abel’s Lamb (Gen. 4:4).
(3) Offering of Isaac (Gen. 22).
(4) Passover Lamb (Ex. 12).
(5) The Levitical Sacrificial System (Lev. 1:1 — 7:16).
(6) The Brazen Serpent (Num. 21; John 3:14, 15).
(7) The Slain Lamb (Is. 53:6, 7; John 1:29).
b. In Prediction.
(1) Seed of the Woman (Gen. 3:15).
(2) The Sin Offering of Psalm 22.
(3) The Vicarious Sufferings of Isaiah 53.
(4) The Cut-off Messiah of Daniel 9:26.
(5) The Smitten Shepherd of Zachariah 13:6, 7.
2. New Testament Revelation.
a. In General. One third of the Book of Matthew, more than one third of Mark, one fourth of Luke, and one half of John deals with the last week of Christ before His crucifixion.
b. In Particular.
(1) The Heart of Christ Must Be Noted.
(a) His Death. “If when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life” (Rom. 5:10). See also Philippians 2:8; Hebrews 2:9, 14; Revelation 5:6-12.
(b) His Cross. “We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness” (I Cor. 1:23). See also Galatians 3:1; 6:14; Ephesians 2:16; Colossians 1:20.
(c) His Blood. “This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins (Matt. 26:28). See also Mark 14:24; Ephesians 1:7; Cobssians 1:14; I John 1:7; Hebrews 9:12, 25; Revelation 1:5; 5:9.
(2) The Three Statements Concerning His Death Must Be Studied.
(a) Made Sin for Us. “He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (II Cor. 5:21).
(b) Died the Just for the Unjust. “Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit” (I Peter 3:18).
(c) Made a Curse For Us. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” (Gal. 3:13).
B. The Form of the Death.
1. A Natural Death. His death was a death such as experienced by man. It had to be a natural death, for He was The Man dying for all men.
2. An Abnormal Death. God cannot die, but God had to die if He was to become man’s substitute. Therefore He became a creature who could die. However, He contracted no sin while He lived.
Man dies today because of sin; but He had no sin. Apart from our sins, He would never have tasted death.
3. A Preternatural Death. Christ’s death was marked out and determined beforehand. Before the fall of Adam, God anticipated it. Before man sinned, God made provision for Calvary, for Christ is the Lamb slain “before the foundation of the world” (I Peter 1:20). Were the sins that man committed before Calvary taken away by the blood of bulls and goats? No! For all sins, whether committed before or after the Cross, were put on Him at Calvary (Rom. 3:25).
4. A Supernatural Death. While we have stated that His death was a natural death, yet it was different from the death of other men. “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, 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” (John 10:17, 18).
His death was of His own volition. He lay down His life Himself; no one took it from Him. Usually it took two days for a man to die by crucifixion, but He died in six hours. Matthew 27: 46 and 50 state that He cried out with a loud voice. His strength had not left Him. He died in His strength. He gave His life; no one took it from Him. He bowed His head in death; He was majestic, even upon the cross.
Thus we see Christ suffering two deaths for us: the first death, the separation of the soul and spirit from the body; the second death, the separation of the individual from God. Christ suffered the second death first, and the first death last. He suffered the second death when He was separated from the Father, for He cried, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46). Christ, the very son of God, was able to suffer in six hours what the sinner will endure throughout eternity.
C. Unscriptural Theories Concerning the Death.
“Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures” (I Cor. 15:3b). Anything that is not of the Scripture is false.
1. The Death of Christ Was a Martyr’s Death. “In this He died to show us that truth is worth dying for.” How does the child of God meet this argument? Simply by the following: Why didn’t Christ say so? Why didn’t Paul say so? Why didn’t Peter say so? And why didn’t John and Luke say so? If Christ had died a martyr’s death, why didn’t the apostles say, “Believe on Stephen’s death and be saved, for Stephen was a martyr?” If Christ died as a martyr, why didn’t the Father comfort Him at His death as He has done others down through the centuries? But He cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
2. The Death of Christ Was Accidental. By the above statement critics mean that He was the victim of a mob. This we know is not true, for He was conscious of His future death. Seven times in the Gospel of John He speaks of “mine hour,” which was in the future, and which was Calvary.He need not have died. Nails did not hold Christ upon the cross, but His will. “Come down from the cross, if thou be the Son of God,” cried the mob; but Christ did not come from heaven to come down from the cross.
3. The Death of Christ Was a Moral Example. This theory holds that a drunkard has only to think on Christ and he will improve. To refute this we ask, “Why didn’t it improve the ones who crucified Him?” If Christ’s example is for the improvement of the world, then Christianity is a failure. Why not look upon the cross of Peter, as he was crucified downward? Man needs more than improvement.
4. The Death of Christ Was an Exhibit of God’s Displeasure with Sin. In other words some people think that God’s displeasure with sin is pictured on the cross rather than in hell. If the preceding statement is true, why the incarnation? Why not crucify a plain sinner, instead of the best Man who ever lived?
5. The Death of Christ Was to Show Man That God Loves Him. God does love man, and the Cross does show that God loves him, but the death of Christ was not only to show God’s love.
6. The Death of Christ Was the Death of a Criminal. Can it be possible that one could hold to this theory? The answer is “yes.” And we refute this theory by stating that Pilate found no fault in Him. A study of the trial, as found in the Gospels, will disprove this theory.
D. Scriptural Names of Christ’s Death.
1. Atonement. This is an Old Testament idea which means “to cover.” The only place that the word “atonement” can be found in the New Testament is in Romans 5:11, but this is a mistranslation; it should be translated “reconciliation.” However, the word “atonement” is a New Testament idea meaning “at-one-ment” — at one with God through the sacrifice of His Son.
2. Sacrifice. “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us” (I Cor. 5:7). See also Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 9:26; 10:12.
3. Offering. “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. . . . for by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified” (Heb. 10:10, 14).
4. Ransom. “The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). Also I Peter 1:18, 19; I Timothy 2:5, 6. We have been redeemed (bought back) by the Price, which is the blood of Jesus Christ.
5. Propitiation. “He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (I John 2:2). See also I John 4:10; Romans 3:25. In Hebrews 9:5 the word “propitiation” is translated “mercy seat,” which is correct, for in the above Scriptures also the word “propitiation” means “mercy seat.” The law demanded death for sin; therefore, the blood of the sacrifice was placed on the mercy seat (Ex. 25:22; Lev. 16:13, 14), showing that death had taken place. God looked upon the mercy seat and saw blood — life — and was satisfied. SinceCalvary, God looks upon our Mercy Seat, which is Christ, and is satisfied. Therefore, the underlying thought of propitiation is “satisfaction.”
6. Reconciliation. “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (IICor. 5:19). See also Colossians 1:20. The word “reconciliation” means to cause, or affect a thorough change. Never in Scripture does it say that God is reconciled. It is man who has to be reconciled; it is man who needs a thorough change.
7. Substitution. Substitution is not a Scriptural word, but it surely is a Scriptural idea. “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Is. 53:5, 6). See also I Peter 3:18; II Corinthians 5:1.
8. Testator. A testament is a will that goes into effect at the death of the testator. Thus, our inheritance is that which we shall receive, which is made possible by the death of the Lord Jesus. “He is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise, it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth” (Heb. 9:15-17). See also Colossians 1:12-14; Ephesians 1:1-7.
E. The Objectives of the Death.
1. The Manifestation of Divine Character. “Now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets. . . . To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Rom. 3:21, 26).
2. The Vindication of Divine Law. The law is unto death. There is no mercy in law, only justice. The law condemns the sinner to death; Christ took the sinner’s place; therefore, Christ paid the law’s demand.
3. The Foundation of Divine Pardon. This statement will go unchallenged in the New Testament. There is one essential feature of forgiveness, and that is: the one who forgives must take upon himself all wrong (or loss) that has been committed. For example, if a person is robbed of ten dollars, and the culprit is found, but is forgiven, who then stands the loss? It is he who forgave.
F. The Extent of the Death.
1. General Statements.
a. Its Universality. His death was for all men — for those who believe, and those who believe not. “We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb. 2:9). See also I Timothy 2:6; 4:10; Titus 2:11; I John 2:2; II Peter 3:9.
b. Its Limitation. Christ’s work upon the cross was conditional, as the efficiency of itdepended upon the repentance and acceptation of Christ by the sinner. “We labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, especially of those that believe” (I Tim. 4:10).
2. Particular Statements.
a. Christ Died for the Believer. “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14). See also Ephesians 5:2; Galatians 2:20; I Timothy 4:10.
b. Christ Died for the Church. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:25-27).
c. Christ Died for Sinners. “Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but: quickened by the Spirit” (I Peter 3:18). See also I Timothy 1:15; Romans 5:10.
d. Christ Died for the World. “They sing a new song, saying, Worthy art thou to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and didst purchase unto God with thy blood men of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Rev. 5:9, R.V.). See also John 3:16; 1:9; I John 2:2.
C. The Results of the Death.
1. In Relation to the Sinner.
a. Provides a Substitute. “We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death … that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb. 2:9).
b. Provides a Ransom. “Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (I Tim. 2:6).
c. Provides a Propitiation. Because of the death of Christ, God is “mercy seated” —satisfied. “He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (I John 2:2).
d. Provides for Non-imputation of Sin. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them: and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (II Cor. 5:19).
e. Provides an Attraction. “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me” (John 12:32).
f. Provides a Salvation. “The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” (Titus 2: 11).
g. Provides a Gracious Invitation. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
2. In Relation to the Believer.
a. Reconciliation. “All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation” (II Cor. 5:18).
b. Redemption. “We have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Eph. 1:7). See also Galatians 3:13.
c. Justification. “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1).
d. Exoneration. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1, R.V.).
e. Possession. “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have received of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (I Cor. 6:19, 20).
f. Sanctification. “We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb. 10:10).
g. Perfection. “By one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified” (Heb. 10:14).
h. Admission. “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and a living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having a high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water” (Heb. 10:19-22).
i. Identification. “The love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that one died for all, therefore all died” (II Cor. 5:14, R.V.).
j. Liberation. “Since then the children are sharers in flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same; that through death he might bring to nought him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver all them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Heb. 2:14, 15, R.V.).
k. Donation. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32).
3. In Relation to Satan.
a. Dethronement. “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out” (John 12:31).
b. Nullification. “Since then the children are sharers in flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same; that through death he might bring to nought him that had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Heb. 2:14, R.V.).
c. Defeat. “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Col. 1:13). See also Ephesians 6:12.
4. In Relation to the Material Universe. “It pleased the Father that in him should all fulnessdwell; and, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven” (Col. 1:19, 20).
Some teach that Philippians 2:9-11 reveals the fact of universal salvation, but this is not so. This passage declares the truth of universal adoration.
V. THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST
A. The Importance of the Resurrection.
In the Bible there are several accounts of people having been brought back to life. These people, however, were not resurrected, but restored, for they died again. But our Lord was resurrected, having died once and for all and having been raised from the dead. He now liveth and abidethforever.
His death was necessary, because He was made sin for us.
1. Its Place in Scripture. There are thirteen or fourteen references in the New Testament concerning the ordinance of baptism, and even fewer Scriptures referring to the Lord’s Supper. However, the fact of His resurrection is mentioned over one hundred times.
2. Its Part in Apostolic Testimony. “With great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all” (Acts 4:33). See also Acts 2:32; 17:18; 23:6.
3. Its Prominence in the Gospel. If Christ be not risen there is no Gospel. “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I have preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (I Cor. 15:1-4).
4. Its Preeminence in Salvation (I Cor. 15:12-20).
a. First Proposition. “Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?” (verse 12).
b. Second Proposition. “But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen” (verse 13). If we are not to be raised from the dead, then Christ is not risen.
c. Third Proposition. “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain” (verse 14). If Christ is not risen, Christianity is a sham.
d. Fourth Proposition. “Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not” (verse 15). If Christ be not raised, every evangelical preacher is a fraud.
e. Fifth Proposition. “For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins” (verses 16 and 17). If He be not risen, He is still dead, and therefore cannot redeem us. The penalty paid for any crime is not fully paid until the one for whom it was paid is free. As long as Christ was in the tomb, the penalty for our sins was not paid; but His resurrection shows that the penalty has been paid. And, remember, this Scripture was written to those who were not in their sins.
f. Sixth Proposition. “Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished” (verse 18). In other words, they have all gone like the beasts of the field, if Christ did not rise from the dead.
g. Seventh Proposition. “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” (verse 19). If all of our hope is staked upon the resurrection of Christ, and if He has not risen, then we are of all men most to be pitied. We have done nothing else to secure salvation, and if our Saviour be not risen, we have no Saviour. We had better look into some other religion.
h. Eighth Proposition. “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept” (verse 20). Praise the Lord, He is risen! He is alive! We are saved by a living Redeemer. We, of all men, are the only sinners who are saved.
B. The Meaning of the Resurrection.
By the resurrection we mean the bodily resurrection, not the spiritual resurrection.
1. Provision of the Tomb. Guards were placed there to guarantee against the removal of His body, not His Spirit. “So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch” (Matt. 27:66).
2. Recognition of the Disciples. “Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God” (John 20:27, 28).
3. Testimony of the Apostles. “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses” (Acts 2:32).
4. A Testimony of the Lord Himself. “He began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again” (Mark 8:31).
5. The Announcement of Our Transformation. “Our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Phil. 3:20,21).
C. The Unscriptural Theories Concerning the Resurrection.
1. The Unburied Body Theory. By this statement unbelievers maintain that the tomb was never filled, that the two thieves, and Christ, were thrust out upon the trash heap. However, this is refuted by the Jew’s own law: “If a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree; his body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt surely bury him the same day; for he that is hanged is accursed of God; that thou defile not thy land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee for an inheritance” (Deut. 21:22, 23).
2. The Unemptied Grave Theory. Those that hold to this say that He is still there. Surely common sense would refute this argument, for if Christ had not arisen, the Devil would have caused His body to have been found sometime during the last two thousand years.
3. The Removal Theory. This is that theory which proposes that Joseph moved the body out of the tomb. Of this argument we ask, “If he removed the body, why didn’t he also remove the clothing?” All will have to admit that if Joseph did remove the body, it would have had to be done in secret. If done in secret, why wasn’t the stone rolled back against the door?
4. The Mistaken Woman Theory. This theory contends that the woman misunderstood what the man in the sepulchre had said. We refute this contention by saying that the Word does not so declare it, and the Word is the only authority and witness we have.
5. The Deliberate Deception Theory. This supposition clings to the idea that Christ did not die at all, but rather that He fainted on the cross and was revived by the cool air of the tomb. If this be the case, where did He go? Surely, as He was an object of interest to the entire populace, He would have been recognized and openly accepted or rejected.
6. The Fraud Theory. This states that the apostles plainly lied and deceived those that heard them. However, all of the apostles, except John, met a martyr’s death. Why? Because of their devotion to Christ and His resurrection. Would they have sacrificed their lives for a lie? Of course not!
7. The Self-Deception Theory. In other words, this speculation declares that the apostles had an illusion; that is, they thought that He arose from the dead, and kept on thinking it, until after a while they believed it. We know, from human experience, that delusions soon fade away, and we awaken to reality. The apostles could not have deceived themselves very long.
8. The Hallucination Theory. This idea supposes that they thought they had actually seen the resurrected Saviour, when it was merely a hallucination caused by nerves and excitement. Can you imagine Peter becoming delirious, and Thomas hysterical?
9. The Recollection Theory. This view sees the hysterical apostles fleeing to Samaria, and while alone in this place, they began to think that Jesus is still with them. That is where we get the idea that He arose from the dead. The Scriptures, nevertheless, declare that they remained inJerusalem behind closed doors until He revealed Himself to them.
10. The Misunderstood Theory. This reasoning admits that the Saviour died, but states that the apostles preached the resurrection of His Spirit, and not His body. However, people took itwrong. The word “resurrection” is never connected with the spirit, but rather with the body, for the spirit never dies.
11. The Spiritual Vision Theory. This supposition maintains that the apostles actually saw something. What they saw was a lying vision, not the Lord. The Devil had fooled them. But, if there was anything the Devil did not want them to believe, it was the resurrection of Christ, whether, a lying vision or the actual thing. Christ Himself dispels this argument by declaring, after His resurrection, that “a spirit does not have flesh and bones.”
12. The Twins Theory. Those who offer this suggestion say that Christ had a twin, and that three days after He had been crucified and buried, His twin showed himself, declaring that he was Christ risen from the dead. We ask, “Where was this twin hidden for thirty-three years?”
D. The Proofs of the Resurrection.
1. The Empty Tomb. The Gospels declare that the people held two views concerning his resurrection. One group, consisting of unbelievers, said that someone stole His body; the other group contended that He was raised by Divine Power. The empty tomb proves the latter. A Roman watch, composed of sixty men with four groups of fifteen each, were stationed to watch the tomb. Each group guarded the tomb for a six-hour period. The watch was ordered to guard the tomb against the theft of the body of Christ. Now the enemy did not wish to steal the body; they wanted it buried. We know that the apostles did not steal it, as they were afraid. Even at His crucifixion they fled. The soldiers were paid by the unbelievers to bear false testimony. Is it not peculiar that the Jewish priests did not prosecute the soldiers, if the body had actually been stolen? Had the disciples stolen the body, would not the priests have hounded them until they admitted such a deed? Why did they not do something? Simply because they did not believe the story.
A new tomb: there was but one body in it, and there is no question as to who rose from the dead when the tomb became empty. It was carved out of the rock — solid rock behind, above, below, and on the side. There were no other entrances.
2. The Undisturbed Grave Clothes. In the Orient the bodies of the dead are wound with grave clothes, from the neck down to the feet, in a manner similar to that used on Egyptian mummies. The head is wrapped with a napkin. When this wrapping was duly done, the body was stretched out on a ledge. When Peter came in to examine the grave clothes, he saw that they were undisturbed — the body of Christ had shot through the grave clothes without bursting a single thread. Peter discovered that the grave clothes were unmolested; the clothes appeared as though they were still wrapped around the body — but there was no body.
As for the tomb, the door was not opened to let Christ out — He was already out! He came out of the tomb just as He had come out of the grave clothes. Yes, He was out of the tomb long before the stone was rolled away. The soldiers had been guarding a sealed, empty tomb for nearly twelve hours.
3. The Appearances of Christ. In I Corinthians 15:1-11 we have recorded the number of witnesses who actually saw the Lord, the risen Saviour. This number does not include the women. The highest number of witnesses required to establish the truth in America is seven: one for murder; two for treason; three for a will; and seven for an oral will. The number of witnesses recorded in the Word is over five hundred. Certainly, according to the accepted jurisprudence, there is sufficient evidence that He arose from the dead.
4. The Character of Christ. No greater proof is needed in contending for His resurrection than His character. To think that such a shameful end would come to Him who was the Perfect One! Surely, God in His justice would not have allowed the only man without sin to remain in the tomb.
5. The New Testament. The twenty-seven books composing the New Testament are the effect;the cause is a risen Christ. Without Christ’s resurrection, there would not have been any New Testament. The death of Christ had sorely depressed the disciples. Their faith was shattered. If Christ had not appeared unto them, they would never have written about Him. The story of His life grew out of His resurrection.
6. The Apostles’ Church. The apostles began preaching at Jerusalem only seven weeks after the crucifixion. Right there in Jerusalem, where Jesus had been crucified and buried, the apostles declared Christ to have risen from the dead. If Christ had not risen, the enemies could have produced the body, for they had crucified Him. The silence of the Jews was as much proof of His resurrection as the writings of the disciples.
7. The Transformed Disciples. The resurrection brought about a transformation of the disciples. Before, they had seen Christ die, and thus their faith was shattered. Two of them said, “We hoped that it was he who should redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21, R.V.) Sad words — no hope. All faith was now dead. They were meeting together behind closed doors, frightened, afraid for their lives, when the Lord appeared. It was hard to convince them of His resurrection, even though He actually appeared before them. But when they were convinced, nothing could ever change them.
How about doubting Thomas? He was not present at Christ’s first appearance before the disciples, and, therefore, he doubted. I am glad that Thomas doubted, for now I am relieved of doubt. His unbelief was removed at the second appearance of the Saviour; consequently, all of our doubts concerning the resurrection should be removed.
8. The Conversion of Saul. The Church never had a greater enemy than Saul of Tarsus. He was a well-known individual in Judaism, belonging to the sect known as the Pharisees, who believed in the future resurrection of the dead, but certainly not in the resurrection of Jesus. What changed this terrible persecutor of the Church into the mighty preacher of Christ? The resurrection of Christ! From the day on the road to Damascus, he never doubted the resurrection. He suffered at the hands of his own countrymen and in the courts of the foreigner because of his belief in Christ’s resurrection.
9. Christian Experience. Since we have been born again hope has been placed in our hearts: that our sins have been taken away and that our own resurrection is assured. This hope could only be guaranteed by a risen Saviour. We are not saved from our sins by a living mother, nor by a dead Jew, but by a Living Lord.
10. The Gospel Record. The Gospels were written or dictated by witnesses, “chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead” (Acts 10:41b). In reading the Gospels, we notice the little details, words and phrases, which prove to us how natural and how true to life the accounts are.
E. The Result of the Resurrection.
1. In Relation to Christ Himself.
a. It Was the Seal of His Father’s Acceptance. In other words, Christ’s sacrifice was sufficient and accepted by God. “It is God’s ‘amen’ to His Son’s ‘it is finished.’”
b. It Was the Mark of His Divine Sonship. Christ was “declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:4). On being nailed to the cross, He was accursed of God. God would not let His Son remain accursed; therefore God raised him from the dead.
c. It Was the Demonstration of His Victory.
(1) Over the Devil. If only the Devil could have kept Him in the grave, complete victory would have been Satan’s. However, Christ arose from the dead, guaranteeing salvation for every believing soul. The believer is commanded to put on the whole armour of God in order to withstand the wiles of the Devil. One piece of that armour is the helmet of Salvation.
(2) Over Death. “Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you” (John 14:19, 20). See also II Timothy 1:10.
d. It Was the Illustration of Incorruptibility. God’s purpose and grace “is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality [incorruptibility] to light through the gospel” (II Tim. 1:10).
2. In Relation to the Believer.
a. Proves His Justification. “Jesus our Lord . . . was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Rom. 4:24, 25).
b. Illustrates His Power. Paul prayed that God might give the Ephesians “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him . . . that ye may know . . . what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places” (Eph. 1:17, 18,19, 20).
c. Provides a High Priest. “He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25). See also Romans 8:34; Hebrews 3:1; 7:22.
d. Begets a Living Hope. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you” (I Peter 1:3,4).
e. Guarantees Our Resurrection. “He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you” (II Cor. 4:14). See also I Corinthians 15:22; I Thessalonians 4:14.
3. In Relation to the World.
a. Gives Evidence of His Truth. All that he spake is substantiated by His resurrection, for God would not have raised a liar from the dead and declare Him to be His Son. His act proved His favor.
b. Gives Evidence of Universal Resurrection. “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (I Cor. 15:22).
c. Gives Evidence of World Judgment. “He hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).
VI. THE ASCENSION AND ENTHRONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST
His ascension is a historical fact. If His resurrection is denied, then His ascension must also be denied. It is hard for some people to grasp the thought that a glorified, living Body is in glory; but He is up there, nevertheless.
A. The Meaning of the Ascension and Enthronement.
1. Of the Ascension. It is that event, after His resurrection, in which He departed visibly from the earth to heaven. “When he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:9-11).
2. Of the Enthronement (Exaltation). This is that act of God by which he gave to the risen and ascended Lord full power and glory, allowing Him to sit down on the right hand of God’s throne. “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses. Therefore, being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear” (Acts 2:32, 33). “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne” (Rev. 3:21). Christ is not now sitting on His own throne, but upon His Father’s throne.
B. The Message of the Ascension and Enthronement.
1. In Prophecy.
a. Testimony of a Psalmist. “Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thy Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16:10, 11). See also Psalm 68:18; 110:4, 5.
b. Testimony of the Saviour. “What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?” (John 6:62). See also John 16:28.
c. Testimony of Luke. “It came to pass, when the time was come that he should he received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51).
2. In History.
a. Testimony of Mark. “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and set on the right hand of God” (Mark 16:19).
b. Testimony of Luke. “It came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven” (Luke 24:51). See also Acts 1:9-11.
c. Testimony of Stephen. “He, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55, 56).
d. Testimony of Peter. “Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him” (I Peter 3:22). See also Acts 3:15, 20, 21; 5:30, 31.
e. Testimony of Paul. “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Rom. 8:34). See also Ephesians 1:20, 21; 4:8-10; Colossians 3:1; I Timothy 3:16.
f. Testimony of John. The entire first chapter of the Book of Revelation declares John’s testimony of the ascended and enthroned Christ.
C. The Nature of the Ascension and Enthronement.
1. He Bodily and Visibly Ascended. Luke wrote “of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen” (Acts 1:1, 2). See also Acts 1:9-11.
2. He Passed Through the Heavens. “Having then a great high priest, who hath passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession” (Heb. 4:14).
3. He Was Made Higher Than the Heavens. This means that He was made higher than all the created beings in heaven. “Such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens” (Heb. 7:26).
4. He Sat Down on the Right Hand of God. “Now in the things which we are saying the chief point is this: We have such a high priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” (Heb. 8:1, R. V.). See also Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1.
D. The Necessity of the Ascension and Enthronement.
1. For the Demonstration of His Complete Achievement. “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31). He said, “Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. . . . By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb. 10: 9, 10). In the tabernacle here upon earth there were no chairs, and this fact signified that the showing work was never complete. He entered heaven and sat down on the throne, and thus declared that the work of our redemption was a finished act.
2. For the Facilitation of Human Worship. “The hour cometh and now is. when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23, 24).
3. For the Bestowment of the Holy Ghost. “I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I goaway: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you” (John 16:7).
4. For the Constitution of His Headship Over the Church. “[God] hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all and in all” (Eph. 1:22, 23).
E. The Purpose of the Ascension and Enthronement.
1. He Entered Heaven as a Forerunner. “The forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made a high priest forever after the order of Melchisedec” (Heb. 6:20). Another word for “forerunner” is “captain,” “prince leader,” one who has others to follow him.” The Lord Jesus precedes us; if death comes while He tarries, we will go on to be with Him.
2. He Entered Heaven as a Gift-Bestower. “He saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive. and gave gifts unto men. . . and he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers” (Eph. 4:8, 11).
3. He Entered Heaven as a Place-Preparer. “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:2, 3).
F. The Results of the Ascension and Enthronement.
1. Gives Us an Intercessor with God. “Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us” (Heb. 9:24). See also Hebrews 7:25.
2. Gives Us Access to God. “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:14-16).
3. Gives Us Ableness for Service. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father” (John 14:12). “Greater works” does not mean healing or speaking in tongues, but the spreading of the Gospel of salvation. For example, Peter spoke, and three thousand believed; he spoke again, and five thousand others believed.
4. Gives Us Confidence in God’s Providences. “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).
5. Gives Us Our Heavenly Position. “[God] hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6).