The Definition of the Gospel, pt. 2

At the heart of the Gospel is the person and work of Jesus Christ. Today, we’ll take a look at the doctrine of Christ’s person (who he is), and tomorrow, Lord willing, we’ll examine the doctrine of his work (what he did). As we do, keep in mind how important these doctrines are to the full definition of the Gospel we looked at yesterday.

Jesus Christ is the God-Man mediator; he is fully God, and fully Man. The Christian Confession of Faith has this to say about the nature of Christ:

Jesus of Nazareth is really and truly God as well as really and truly human. He is the only descendant of Adam with two natures, human and divine. These two natures are continually without confusion, without change, without division, and without separation. Scripture rejects the lie that Jesus Christ was merely human and not fully divine. It likewise rejects the lie that Jesus Christ was a supernatural being but not fully human. [Deu 18:15; Psa 2:7; 110:1; Isa 9:6; Luk 2:7; Joh 1:1,14,18; 3:16,18; 5:18; 8:58; 10:30-33; Act 20:28; Rom 1:3; 1Co 15:47; Gal 4:4; Phi 2:6-8; Col 1:15; 1Ti 3:16; Tit 2:13; Heb 1:1-5; 5:5; 1Jo 4:9,15; Rev 1:17-18]

Christian Confession of Faith IV.A.2

Note that in this section, the Confession firmly rejects two prominent errors regarding the nature of Christ. The first error is that he was merely human, and not also divine, and the second error is that he was merely divine, and not also human. Both errors are to be rejected, because both are destructive to the Gospel: if Jesus did not partake of both the nature of man and the nature of God, then he could not be an effective mediator, because he could not “lay his hand” upon both God and Man (Job 9:33). If Jesus were not really and truly man, then he could not sympathize with our weaknesses (Heb 4:15), and if he were not really and truly God, then his sacrifice of himself on the cross would not have been of infinite value, and thus could not have atoned for the sins of his people (Heb 9:11-12). Therefore, Jesus Christ had to be God, in order to fulfil God’s promise to remove the sins of his people (Psa 130:7-8) by the work of the coming Messiah (Isa 53:1-12).

A correct doctrine of the nature of Christ is therefore foundational to the doctrine of the Gospel. Without it, there is no Gospel. For more information on this vital doctrine, please see An Open Letter to a Jehovah’s Witness, and A Christian View of the Messiah.

I’ll end this post with an excellent quote from the first article:

God is an infinite God and an infinitely righteous God. Therefore, all sin is an infinite offense to him (Exodus 20:5, Habakkuk 1:13). Therefore, any sacrifice that is intended to atone for sin must be an infinite sacrifice. Anything less would be insufficient to turn away God’s wrath against the sins of his people. It is only as Jesus Christ partakes of the two natures, human and divine, that he is able to become the Mediator between God and Man (Job 9:33; Hebrews 2:17), able to “lay his hand” upon both at once. Therefore, the Gospel absolutely requires that Jesus Christ not only be a real human being but also be God incarnate, God in the flesh.

I couldn’t have said it any better myself.

See Also:

Response to a Critique of “A Christian View of the Messiah”

IV. Christology – The Doctrine of the Person and Work of Jesus Christ

The Person of Jesus Christ