True Doctrine Is Vital
Doctrine and theology matters immensely for the health of the church. You cannot have a true church without true doctrine. You cannot have biblical preaching without true doctrine. Paul commanded Titus, “But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine (Titus 2:1).” He also wrote to Timothy and said, “If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain (1 Timothy 6:3-5).” Therefore, doctrine is imperative to the life of the church. This fact means that deep and pressing concerns come to the surface when the many professing evangelicals begin straying into heresy.
30% of professing evangelicals in America believe Jesus is a great teacher but not God.1 To put this in perspective, for a normal church of 200 people, 60 of them do not believe in the deity of Christ. This brings up the pressing question, is Jesus God? Is He just a great teacher or is He truly God? What is the relationship between Christ’s divinity and His humanity? Let’s examine the biblical teaching and see the answer of Scripture.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
This passage clearly asserts that the One called the Word not only was in the beginning and not only was with God, but in fact, God Himself. The question now becomes, who is the Word? John 1:14 tells us and says, “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.” The passage demonstrates that the Word is none other than the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. John 1 is clear regarding the deity of our Lord. He truly, absolutely, and unequivocally is God.
Yet another passage which demonstrates the deity of Christ is found in John 20:28. That passage states, “Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’” Here, Thomas plainly asserts the divinity of Jesus. The text explicitly pronounces the truth that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is, in fact, truly divine. John 5:18 also says, “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.” John, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, declares Christ was making Himself equal with God. Unmistakably this was the clear teaching of Jesus, and so He was divine and therefore a great teacher. As we have just seen, the clear testimony of Scripture is that Christ truly is divine.
What About The Humanity of Christ?
Of course, Christ not only is divine, He really did come and take on human flesh as well. Did you notice the first part of John 1:14 said, “And the Word became flesh” thereby showing the humanity of Christ? The reality is that the One who Created humanity truly did become human. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were all involved in Creation (Genesis 1:1-2, John 1:3, and Colossians 1:16). The Lord who reigns supreme over all things humbly took on human flesh. This is the meaning of Philippians 2:6-7 when it says, “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” Christ truly is equal with the Father, and He willingly robes Himself in humanity and for a time forgoes the full heavenly privileges of His deity. He went from the throne room to the cross for the sins of His people.
Therefore, since Christ really did take on flesh and actually lived growing as a human. He went from being a babe to being a man. He actually learned and studied knowledge as touching his human nature while at the same time being truly God. This fact is why Luke 2:52 says, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in statureand in favor with God and man.” As concerning His humanity, Christ genuinely did learn and grow. He also did not know the exact day or hour as concerning His humanity (Mark 13:32). However, since He is God, in His deity, He knows all things (John 16:30). Therefore, we see the true humanity of Christ and the true deity of the Lord.
The Wondrous Depths of Theology
Do you see the importance of understanding, professing, and submitting to Christ’s deity and His humanity? As concerning His deity, we see that He truly is God and therefore has complete authority on heaven and earth as He tells us in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). He is able to make the perfect sacrifice and appease the wrath of God towards the sins of His people. Since He is the God-man Christ can represent man to God and bear the wrath due to those who are His. He is able to represent God to man since He is truly divine. The depths, wonder, and beauty of the Gospel are dependent upon these truths. We must fight for them against heresy and defend them against false teaching. We must cherish them, rejoice in them, and praise God for them. Christians must take joy in their Lord, who came and bore their sins. They must delight in and submit to this Lord, who is divine and supreme above all. A true Gospel cannot be preached if Jesus is assigned merely the role of a creature or is in any way seen as less than divine. At the same time, His humanity must also be asserted if the truth is to be heralded. Let us then mine the depths of Scripture on these issues and stay on the path of biblical truth. We must do so if we are to be found faithful to our King!