Welcome and Announcements
Call to Worship
Prayer of Invocation
“How Rich a Treasure We Possess”
“It Is Well With My Soul”
“His Mercy Is More”
“Facing a Task Unfinished”
Text: John 1:1-12:50
Message: “Who Is Jesus? A Review of John’s Gospel“
2 Thessalonians 3:18
Theology is Doxology
Fundamentally, incarnation is a theological assertion that in Jesus the eternal Word of God appeared in human form (John 1). Many theologians picture the incarnation as the voluntary and humble act of the second person of the Trinity, God the Son, in taking upon himself full humanity and living a truly human life. The orthodox (which means “consistent with the historic Christian faith as witnessed to in Scripture”) doctrine of the incarnation asserts that in taking humanity upon himself, Christ did not experience a loss of his divine nature in any way but continued to be fully God.
The hypostatic union is an important christological designation. At the Council of Chalcedon in A.D. 451 the church declared the doctrine of the hypostatic union as an attempt to describe the miraculous bringing together (union) of humanity and divinity in the same person, Jesus Christ, such that he is both fully divine and fully human.
(Definitions above adapted from the Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms)
Church History is Our History
The Council of Chalcedon, A.D. 451
In the first few centuries A.D, the early Christian church dealt with significant theological issues that we today usually take for granted. How Jesus was both fully human and fully God was a primary issue that was dealt with over several centuries, and we’re still feeling the effects today, both positive and negative.
Tertullian said, rightly, at the end of the second century that God is one substance, consisting of three persons.
In the early fourth century Arius said, wrongly, that Jesus was divine and like the Father, but he was a created being and not truly God. In A.D. 325 several hundred church leaders came together at the Council of Nicea and declared Arius to be a heretic. They produced the Nicene Creed that describes Jesus as “true God from true God, begotten not made, of one substance with the Father.” They had declared that Jesus was fully God, but there was still some question about Jesus’ human nature. Jehovah’s Witnesses are one example of a cult that still believes and teaches Arius’s heresy that Jesus is a created being and not fully God.
The Council of Chalcedon came together in A.D. 451 to further determine the relationship between Jesus’ humanity and his deity, and the result was the Chalcedonian formula or definition, which says that Jesus is “one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, made known in two natures without confusion, without change, without division, without separation, the difference of the natures being by no means removed because of the union [of the divine and the human].”
In other words, Jesus is both fully human and fully divine (God), which had to be the case if his sacrifice on the cross was acceptable to God the Father as a full and suitable payment (propitiation) for the sins of all those who would repent and believe on him by faith.