Homoousios or Homoiousios?: Notes on the Deity of Jesus

 

Homoousios or Homoiousios? The same substance or a similar substance? This is the major question that arose in the 4th century and prompted the first Council of Nicea in which Arius defended his view that Jesus was a creature and that there was, therefore, a time when the Son was not. Athanasius, who wrote On the Incarnation,  was also present and helped defend the orthodox position of homoousios—that Jesus is of the same substance or consubstantial with the Father.

So, Is Jesus like the Father or is Jesus of the same substance of the Father?

Jesus is fully Divine. Whatever characteristics God the Father has, God the Son has as well. The Nicene Creed stated,

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.[1]

This statement was followed by the Symbol of Chalcedon which stated:

We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body; consubstantial [coessential] with us according to the manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the mother of God, according to the Manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning him, and the Lord Jesus Christ himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.[2]

 

  1. The NT writers affirm Jesus Christ’s divinity
    1. Hebrews 1:8 (ESV) — 8 But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.
    2. Psalm 45:6 (ESV) — 6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness;
    3. John 1:1–2 (ESV) — 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.
    4. John 1:18 (ESV) — 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
    5. Romans 9:5 (ESV) — 5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.
    6. Philippians 2:6 (ESV) — 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
    7. Titus 2:13 (ESV) — 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
    8. 2 Peter 1:1 (ESV) — 1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
  2. Statements which imply Jesus Christ’s divinity
    1. Matthew 1:23 (ESV) — 23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
    2. Isaiah 7:14 (ESV) — 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
    3. Luke 1:35 (ESV) — 35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.
    4. Colossians 1:15 (ESV) — 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
    5. Colossians 2:2 (ESV) — 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ,
    6. Colossians 2:9 (ESV) — 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,
    7. 1 Timothy 1:17 (ESV) — 17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
    8. 1 John 5:20 (ESV) — 20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
  3. Jesus Christ’s names and titles point to his divinity
      1. Jesus Christ as judge
        1. In the OT, final responsibility for judgment is assigned to God.
        2. John 5:27 (ESV) — 27 And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.
        3. Matthew 25:31–33 (ESV) — 31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.
        4. Mark 8:38 (ESV) — 38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
        5. Acts 17:31 (ESV) — 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
        6. Romans 2:16 (ESV) — 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.
        7. 2 Corinthians 5:10 (ESV) — 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
    1. Jesus Christ as “I am”
      1. “I am” is the meaning of God’s name in the OT (see Ex 3:14).
      2. John 11:25 (ESV) — 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.
      3. John 6:35 (ESV) — 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
      4. John 8:12 (ESV) — 12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”
      5. John 10:7 (ESV) — 7 So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
      6. John 10:11 (ESV) — 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
      7. John 14:6 (ESV) — 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
      8. John 15:1 (ESV) — 1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.
      9. John 18:5–6 (ESV) — 5 They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6 When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
    2. Jesus Christ as Savior
      1. According to the OT, God alone can save.
      2. Acts 5:31 (ESV) — 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
      3. Acts 4:12 (ESV) — 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
      4. Ephesians 5:23 (ESV) — 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.
      5. Hebrews 7:25 (ESV) — 25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
    3. Jesus Christ as Lord
      1. “Lord” was equivalent to God’s name in the OT.
      2. Romans 10:9 (ESV) — 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
      3. Luke 1:43 (ESV) — 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
      4. Luke 2:11 (ESV) — 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
      5. John 13:13 (ESV) — 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am.
      6. 1 Corinthians 12:3 (ESV) — 3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.
      7. 2 Corinthians 4:5 (ESV) — 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
      8. Revelation 19:16 (ESV) — 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
    4. Jesus Christ as creator
      1. Colossians 1:16 (ESV) — 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
      2. John 1:3 (ESV) — 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
      3. John 1:10 (ESV) — 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.
      4. Acts 3:15 (ESV) — 15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.
      5. Romans 11:36 (ESV) — 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
      6. 1 Corinthians 8:6 (ESV) — 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
      7. Hebrews 1:2 (ESV) — 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
      8. Hebrews 1:10 (ESV) — 10 And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands;
      9. Psalm 102:25 (ESV) — 25 Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.
    5. Jesus Christ as shepherd
      1. “Shepherd” was a well-known OT name for God.
      2. Hebrews 13:20 (ESV) — 20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant,
      3. John 10:11–16 (ESV) — 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.
      4. 1 Peter 2:25 (ESV) — 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
      5. 1 Peter 5:4 (ESV) — 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
  4. Those who recognized Jesus Christ’s divinity
    1. The disciples
      1. John 20:28 (ESV) — 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
      2. Matthew 16:16 (ESV) — 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
    2. The demons
      1. Mark 3:11 (ESV) — 11 And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.”
      2. Luke 4:41 (ESV) — 41 And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.
    3. The consequences of recognizing Jesus Christ’s divinity
      1. Jesus Christ is worshipped as God
        1. The fact that no-one but God may be worshipped is fundamental to Judaism.
        2. Luke 24:52 (ESV) — 52 And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
        3. Matthew 2:11 (ESV) — 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
        4. Matthew 28:9 (ESV) — 9 And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.
        5. Matthew 28:17 (ESV) — 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.
        6. John 9:38 (ESV) — 38 He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
        7. 2 Timothy 4:18 (ESV) — 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
        8. 2 Peter 3:18 (ESV) — 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
        9. Revelation 1:5–6 (ESV) — 5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
        10. Revelation 5:12–13 (ESV) — 12 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” 13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
        11. Revelation 7:10 (ESV) — 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
        12. Prayer is addressed to Jesus Christ
          1. Acts 7:59–60 (ESV) — 59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
          2. Acts 9:13 (ESV) — 13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem.
          3. 1 Corinthians 16:22 (ESV) — 22 If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come!
          4. Revelation 22:20 (ESV) — 20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
  5. Jesus Christ’s unity with the Father and the Holy Spirit in the Godhead
    1. Matthew 28:19 (ESV) — 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
    2. John 14:16 (ESV) — 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,
    3. 2 Corinthians 13:14 (ESV) — 14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
    4. Ephesians 1:13–14 (ESV) — 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
    5. Ephesians 2:18 (ESV) — 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
    6. Ephesians 2:22 (ESV) — 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
    7. Ephesians 3:14–17 (ESV) — 14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
    8. Ephesians 4:4–6 (ESV) — 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
  6. Jesus Christ’s eternal nature indicates his divinity
    1. Jesus Christ precedes creation
    2. Colossians 1:17 (ESV) — 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
    3. Micah 5:2 (ESV) — 2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.
    4. John 17:5 (ESV) — 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
    5. John 17:24 (ESV) — 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
    6. 2 Timothy 1:9 (ESV) — 9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,
    7. 1 Peter 1:20 (ESV) — 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you
    8. 1 John 1:1 (ESV) — 1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—
    9. 1 John 2:13 (ESV) — 13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father.
    10. John 8:58 (ESV) — 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”
    11. Hebrews 1:12 (ESV) — 12 like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end.”
    12. Psalm 102:27 (ESV) — 27 but you are the same, and your years have no end.
    13. Hebrews 7:3 (ESV) — 3 He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever.
    14. Hebrews 7:24 (ESV) — 24 but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever.
    15. Hebrews 13:8 (ESV) — 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
    16. Revelation 1:8 (ESV) — 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
    17. Revelation 5:13 (ESV) — 13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
    18. Revelation 22:13 (ESV) — 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
    19. John 6:62 (ESV) — 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
    20. John 3:13 (ESV) — 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man
    21. John 3:31 (ESV) — 31 He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all.
    22. John 6:41–42 (ESV) — 41 So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
    23. John 13:3 (ESV) — 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God,
    24. John 16:28 (ESV) — 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”
  7. Jesus Christ’s manifestation of God’s glory indicates his divinity
    1. Hebrews 1:3 (ESV) — 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
    2. Matthew 17:2 (ESV) — 2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light.
    3. John 1:14 (ESV) — 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
    4. 1 Corinthians 2:8 (ESV) — 8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
    5. 2 Corinthians 4:4 (ESV) — 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
    6. James 2:1 (ESV) — 1 My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.
  8. Jesus Christ’s divinity in the OT
    1. The divinity of the coming Messiah
      1. Isaiah 9:6 (ESV) — 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
      2. Isaiah 40:3 (ESV) — 3 A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
      3. Jeremiah 23:6 (ESV) — 6 In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’
      4. Malachi 3:1 (ESV) — 1 “Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts.
    2. NT passages which apply OT passages about God to Jesus Christ
      1. Romans 10:13 (ESV) — 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Joel 2:32 (ESV) — 32 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.
      2. John 12:40–41 (ESV) — 40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.” 41 Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him.
      3. Isaiah 6:10 (ESV) — 10 Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”Romans 9:33 (ESV) — 33 as it is written, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
      4. Isaiah 8:14 (ESV) — 14 And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Ephesians 4:8 (ESV) — 8 Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” Psalm 68:18 (ESV) — 18 You ascended on high, leading a host of captives in your train and receiving gifts among men, even among the rebellious, that the Lord God may dwell there.
    3. Jesus Christ’s claims to divinity
      1. He claimed to be one with the Father
        1. John 5:17–18 (ESV) — 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” 18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
        2. John 10:30–33 (ESV) — 30 I and the Father are one.” 31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” 33 The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.”
        3. John 10:36–38 (ESV) — 36 do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”
        4. John 12:45 (ESV) — 45 And whoever sees me sees him who sent me.
        5. John 14:7 (ESV) — 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
        6. John 14:9–11 (ESV) — 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.
        7. John 17:11 (ESV) — 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.
        8. John 17:21 (ESV) — 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
      2. He demonstrated his authority to forgive sin
        1. Luke 5:20–24 (ESV) — 20 And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” 21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22 When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.”
        2. Luke 7:47–48 (ESV) — 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
      3. Jesus Christ’s actions imply his divinity
        1. Matthew 8:26–27 (ESV) — 26 And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”
        2. Matthew 12:8 (ESV) — 8 For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”
        3. Luke 8:39 (ESV) — 39 “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.
      4. Jesus Christ’s resurrection confirms his divinity
        1. Acts 2:36 (ESV) — 36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
        2. Romans 1:4 (ESV) — 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,
        3. Philippians 2:9–11 (ESV) — 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

THE HUMANITY OF JESUS

The Scriptures have stressed the deity of Jesus, but they also emphasize the humanity of Jesus. The Word became flesh (Jn. 1:14). The humanity of Jesus was denied by the Docetists who taught that Jesus only appeared to have a body.

The full humanity of Jesus is seen in the conception of the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary and his subsequent physical birth (Matthew 1:18). He became hungry (Matthew 4:2) and he was thirsty (John 19:28). He grew tired (John 4:6).

The incarnation of the Divine Word was necessary to fulfill the purposes of the Messianic mission. “It was requisite that the Mediator should be man, that he might advance our nature, (Heb. 2:16) perform obedience to the law, (Gal. 4:4) suffer and make intercession for us in our nature, (Heb. 2:14, Heb. 7:24–25) have a fellow-feeling of our infirmities; (Heb. 4:15) that we might receive the adoption of sons, (Gal. 4:5) and have comfort and access with boldness unto the throne of grace. (Heb. 4:16)[3]

The humanity of Jesus is taught in Hebrews 2 as necessary for Jesus being the Redeemer of mankind. Psalm 8 refers to mankind in general, but also to Christ as the perfect man and representative of mankind.

THE HYPOSTATIC UNION

The hypostatic union is “A term used to denote the union of a perfect human nature with the eternal Logos without confusion of natures in the person of Christ.”[4]  The humanity and deity of Christ are fully present in his person. This leads to the reality that “So, in a real sense, it is God, a divine and human person, who hungers and thirsts, who suffers and dies for us.”[5]

The Athanasian Creed declared that Jesus is fully God and fully man.

Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man. God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of substance of His mother, born in the world. Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood. Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of that manhood into God. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ;[6]

The Chalcedonian Creed says:

according to the Manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning him, and the Lord Jesus Christ himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.[7]

Article X of the Belgic Confession continued that classic understanding of Jesus character saying: “We believe that Jesus Christ according to His divine nature is the only begotten Son of God, begotten from eternity, not made, nor created (for then He would be a creature), but co-essential and co-eternal with the Father, the very image of his substance and the effulgence of his glory, equal unto Him in all things.”[8]

[1] Historic Creeds and Confessions, electronic ed. (Oak Harbor: Lexham Press, 1997).

[2] Historic Creeds and Confessions, electronic ed. (Oak Harbor: Lexham Press, 1997).

[3] The Westminster Larger Catechism: With Scripture Proofs. (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).

[4] Alan Cairns, Dictionary of Theological Terms (Belfast; Greenville, SC: Ambassador Emerald International, 2002), 218.

[5] John M. Frame, Salvation Belongs to the Lord: An Introduction to Systematic Theology (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2006), 144.

[6] Historic Creeds and Confessions, electronic ed. (Oak Harbor: Lexham Press, 1997).

[7] Historic Creeds and Confessions, electronic ed. (Oak Harbor: Lexham Press, 1997).

[8] Historic Creeds and Confessions, electronic ed. (Oak Harbor: Lexham Press, 1997).

The Scriptures were helpfully curated by Logos Bible software.

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