WHY CHRISTOLOGY IS IMPORTANT

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A person’s Christology, what he thinks concerning Christ’s identity and work, reveals whether his faith is genuine or not—and more.

 

Jesus is the name given by his parents whereas Christ (Messiah) is a title, meaning anointed or chosen one. Jesus Christ is the perfect God-man. He is 100% God and 100 % man. Any teaching that deviates from this central bedrock truth is suspect.

 

                                         

 

According to the Bible, Jesus Christ is both fully human and fully divine.

Firstly, He had to be a man because He had to die on the cross and pay the penalty for our sins so that the demands of God’s righteousness and justice can be satisfied (Colossians 2:13-14). Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins (Hebrews 9:22). 

Secondly, He had to be a man in order to be identified with man’s vulnerability to temptations—yet without falling into sin (Hebrews 4:15). Christ came to show us that He could fulfil all the demands of the law as a perfect man (Matthew 5:17, 1 Peter 2:22).

Next, He has to be divine, spotless and untainted by sin, so that the ‘once and for all’ sacrifice of His life (Hebrews 9: 11-14) is counted as worthy to redeem man from the penalty of sin—spiritual death or eternal separation from God. 

 

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If Christ is not divine, how could He forgive sins in the course of His ministry on earth? A man filled with the power of the Holy Spirit can perform miracles. But can a mere man forgive sins? Before healing the paralytic who was brought to Him on a stretcher from the roof, Jesus demonstrated His authority and ability to forgive sins (Mark 2:1-11). Jesus also forgave the woman caught in the act of adultery (John 8:10-11). http://bit.ly/1vnWGyq

 

A person’s theology about Christ’s identity and work (Christology) is one of the ways by which we evaluate whether a believer’s faith is genuine or not. It also helps us determine whether a teacher is of God or not.

 

One day, Jesus posed this crucial question to his disciples: “Who do you think Jesus is?” Notice Peter’s reply and its significance.

 

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.

(Matthew 16:13-17)

 

Is it possible for a born again believer, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to say that Christ is merely a great man or miracle worker?

 

A person’s Christology, what he thinks concerning Christ’s identity and work, has important implications regarding the genuineness of his faith. It is God the Father who reveals to Peter that Christ is divine. Isn’t it logical to infer that whoever who fails to see Christ as divine but merely as a great man, teacher or prophet does not have God’s revelation and therefore does not belong to God?

If he belongs to God, and the Holy Spirit is in him, he would have been enlightened about His divinity (Matthew 16:13-17).

 

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Just as no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3), no one can say Jesus is divine except by the Holy Spirit. Conversely, no one with the Holy Spirit would say that Jesus is merely a great man, teacher or prophet.

Anyone who teaches that Christ has come in the flesh is from God. That means God has become incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ.

 

“By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already” (1 John 4: 2-3).

 

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

 

Teachers who profess to be believers but fail to see Jesus as the Christ (Messiah) but view Him as merely a holy man or great teacher do not know God. This is because enlightenment about Christ’s God-man uniqueness is not based on one’s intellect but through the revelation of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 16:13-17).

 

“Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2: 22).

 

So whoever denies Christ’s deity is condemned.

What will be your response as a believer if a so-called Christian leader comes and shows you that he is able to perform miraculous acts—great signs and wonders—but does not believe that Christ is fully man and fully divine? http://bit.ly/1vnWGyq

 

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Here are the answers:

“For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son” (2 John 7-9).

 

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:21-23).

 

From the above two passages in 2 John and Matthew 7,  we realise that it is possible for believers to be deceived by those who can perform signs and wonders but do not genuinely know Christ—God who became incarnate, fully divine and fully man.

One of the purposes of sound doctrine is that it warns us about deception; it keeps us from being deceived. Doctrine can be likened to road signs that help us travel safely, stay on course, without crashing out. It is easy to be mesmerised by miracle workers but if we would just pause to examine their Christology, we would have been sufficiently warned about the danger of deception. http://bit.ly/1vnWGyq

 

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What a person thinks concerning Christ’s identity and work (Christology) has important implications. A person’s Christology reveals to us whether his faith is genuine or not and also tells us whether he is a teacher come from God or not.

Failure to see Christ as fully God and fully man is not merely something academic. It shows that the person’s faith is not genuine or that he is not a teacher come from God.

 

RELATED POSTS

DID JESUS SET ASIDE HIS DIVINITY?

Is it biblical for a Christian leader to teach that Jesus set aside his divinity and performed miracles as a MAN empowered by the Holy Spirit?

WHAT IS CHRISTOLOGY?

Christology is the study of the Person and work of Jesus Christ.

 

Note: Dr Lim Poh Ann is a medical practitioner. He was the former editor of Asian Beacon magazine (Dec 2008 – Oct 2011). He can be reached at his Facebook pagewww.facebook.com/AskDrLim and blog, Porridge for the Soul: http://bit.ly/1ijiXHp 

 

SOURCE OF ARTICLE: http://limpohann.blogspot.my/2016/12/why-christology-is-important.html

 

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