This post is part of a series of posts on the basics of systematic theology. Why do we need theology, and what are the essential truths to know about each doctrine? All the posts are archived under the category “Theology 101.”
The importance of thinking rightly about the person of Christ was articulated well by Charles Spurgeon, who wrote,
“If you take Christ out of Christianity, Christianity is dead.…If you leave out Christ, you have left the sun out of the day, and the moon out of the night, you have left the waters out of the sea, and the floods out of the river; you have left the harvest out of the year, the soul out of the body; you have left joy out of heaven, you robbed all of its all. There is no Gospel worth thinking of, much less worth proclaiming, if Jesus is forgotten. We must have Jesus as Alpha and omega…”
So what should we think about Christ? We might think more deeply about the following and we might think more broadly than the following, but we should never think less than the following about Jesus Christ.
First, Christ was fully man in every way (and He maintains His humanity even now in heaven), though He did not sin and did not have a sin nature (Heb. 4:15; 1 Jn. 3:5).
Further, Christ was and is fully God (Jn. 1:1ff; Phil. 2:5-8). He was co-equal in deity with God the Father, and in His humanity, He did not give up that deity, though He did lay aside all the rights and privileges of that position so that He could go to the cross and die as a full atonement for man’s sins.
Additionally, as the God-man, Jesus Christ is neither diminished as God or as man. He is fully God and fully man at all times. To minimize the importance of either part of this union is to destroy the significance of God. So, Christ had two distinct natures: humanity and deity. There was no mixture or intermingling of the two natures. And although He had two natures, Christ was one Person.
Fourthly, we must also affirm the work of Jesus, who died and rose again as a substitute for His people (Is. 53; 1 Pt. 2:24; 3:18; 2 Cor. 5:21).
And finally, Jesus Christ is the means of our life and all that we need for life (2 Pt. 1:3; Jn. 14:6). He is everything for us who believe in Him and He is equally in all who believe in Him (Col. 3:11b).