The Planks of the Faith: Remembering for Re-Membering, Part 13
Good day, pull up a chair, and let’s chow down on some soul-, heart- and strength-nourishing fare!
Today’s feast is one of those morsels that one could describe as “the occasion and truth that changed all of history, all issues surrounding our present day, and all things to come”. Other than that, the subject matter has little import… ;>)
“Life is All About Keeping the Main Thing, the Only Thing” (Stephen Covey)
Today’s plank of the faith uses a previous plank, “The Incarnation” as a springboard for substantiating and magnifying what is the core belief of the Christian faith, “The Two Natures of Christ”.
Even though one could fill a library with the content written on our subject matter today, please allow me to offer one preface to The Belgic Confession’s article.
The Truth or Falsehood of the “Lewis’ Trilemma”: “Riddle Me This!”? OR, “The Pass-Fail Test for All Time and Eternity”?
C. S. Lewis was an Oxford medieval historian, popular writer, and Christian apologist. He popularized the argument outlined above in a series of BBC radio talks later published as the book Mere Christianity.
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him (Jesus Christ): ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God’. That is the one thing we must not say.
A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.
You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.
Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.” (CS Lewis, Mere Christianity—emphasis added)
Jesus’ Claims Clamor for His Deity… AND Our Salvation and the Lordship of Our Lives!
- The seventy-two [disciples sent by Jesus to evangelize] returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:17-20).
- [Jesus said,] “All things have been handed over to Me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Luke 10:22).
- [Jesus said,] “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).
- [Jesus said,] “Whoever hates Me hates My Father also” (John 15:23).
- Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked Him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”(Mark 14:61-64).
Article 19: The Two Natures of Christ (In Context: Article 18: The Incarnation)
“We believe that by being thus conceived the person of the Son has been inseparably united and joined together with human nature, in such a way that there are not two Sons of God, nor two persons, but two natures united in a single person, with each nature retaining its own distinct properties.
Thus his divine nature has always remained uncreated, without beginning of days or end of life, (Heb. 7:3) filling heaven and earth.
His human nature has not lost its properties but continues to have those of a creature– it has a beginning of days; it is of a finite nature and retains all that belongs to a real body. And even though he, by his resurrection, gave it immortality, that nonetheless did not change the reality of his human nature; for our salvation and resurrection depend also on the reality of his body.
But these two natures are so united together in one person that they are not even separated by his death.
So then, what he committed to his Father when he died was a real human spirit which left his body. But meanwhile his divine nature remained united with his human nature even when he was lying in the grave; and his deity never ceased to be in him, just as it was in him when he was a little child, though for a while it did not show itself as such.
These are the reasons why we confess him to be true God and true man– true God in order to conquer death by his power, and true man that he might die for us in the weakness of his flesh.” (Article 19, The Belgic Confession of Faith, 1561—emphasis added)
The God-Man Jesus Christ stands alone not only as the only person Who is uniquely qualified to be the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world (Romans 3:24-25), but also Who reigns as King not only in deity as the Lord of our lives, but in grace, mercy, friendship, Brotherly, and an undying love of our heart—Jesus does not need us in order to fulfill His happiness or that of the Trinity, but there’s nothing else in all the universe than Jesus that we need to be full of the most joy attainable… for time and eternity (Hebrews 1)!
Until we sup’ again next week, “Run On!” (1 Corinthians 9:26; 2 Timothy 4:7),