Conceptualizing the Two Natures of Jesus

by Max Andrews of Sententias blog

Reduplicated predication is means of understanding the relationship between the natures of Jesus Christ.  When Scripture attributes human qualities to Jesus they must be predicated to his human nature.  Likewise, when Scripture attributes divine qualities to Jesus they must be predicated to his divine nature.

With this notion, we may be able to solve the issue of predicates to the Person.  The predicate property of the person is with respect to one nature (i.e. ignorance with humanity and omniscience with divinity—hunger and fatigue with humanity, necessity with divinity).

But now there is a problem.  Once we apply this to Jesus, such predicates like omniscience and ignorance, and impeccability and humanity seem to be incompatible.  It poses a problem with limitations.  Is this irremediable?  I don’t believe so.

Further qualification—We may postulate that divine aspects of Jesus were largely subliminal during humiliation (ministry before death).

What grounds are there to support this qualifier? —This actually qualifies Jesus’ humanity even more.  Psychoanalysis has confirmed the existence of a subconscious.  This is evident in schizophrenia and hypnosis.  With schizophrenia there is one waking conscious and one (or many) that are not, yet the subliminal subconscious may still become a reality.  There is one governing controller of conscious.  With hypnosis, one may be hypnotized and instructed to not see, say, a table.  If he were instructed to walk to a door while the table was in between him and the door, he would walk around the table, even though he does not literally see it, he still possesses the knowledge that it exists in his subconscious.

During the Incarnation, the Logos allowed only certain aspects of Christ’s Person conscious which were compatible of typical human experience.  The gives much more light to His genuine temptation, the Spirit’s anointing and filling, the Spirit’s drawing Him to the wilderness, His prayer to the Father (these are not just show).  Jesus, at age 3, would not be contemplating Newton’s infinitesimal calculus or quantum mechanics; He was a genuine Jewish child that grew in wisdom and stature.  So in essence, it was a self-limitation of practical humanity with simultaneous divinity in one Person.  This is different from kenotic Christology in that He did not relinquish certain attributes and so did no longer possess them.  In this view, He still maintained every human and divine aspect with voluntary limitation.

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I prayed for faith

by D Moody

I prayed for faith and thought that some day faith would come down and strike me like lightning. But faith did not seem to come. One day I read in the tenth chapter of Romans, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” I had up to this time closed my Bible and prayed for faith. I now opened my Bible and began to study, and faith has been growing ever since.

Hymn Stories: Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus

by Tim Challies

Few of the hymns I have covered in this series were written in connection to particular events that occurred in their authors’ lives. “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus” is an exception as it was composed in the aftermath of the untimely death of the author’s beloved friend.

In the spring of 1858 revival was taking place in Philadelphia. The movement grew out of midday prayer meetings coordinated by the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). Rev. Dudley A. Tyng, a young Episcopalian minister, soon came to be recognized as its leader. Though there was some controversy over his anti-slavery preaching, Tyng was known and loved for his zeal for the work of God. Among the interdenominational leaders who gathered around him was the Presbyterian minister George Duffield, Jr.

On Tuesday, April 13th, 1858, Rev. Tyng was studying at his country home when he went to the barn to check on his mule which was driving a machine that shelled corn. As he patted down the animal, the sleeve of his gown got caught in the cogs of the machine, and his arm was severely injured. The the arm was soon amputed, the wound became mortal, and Tyng died the following week.

Before he died, however, he was asked by friends if there were any messages he would have them give to those who had participated with him in the revival work. Tyng responded briefly, beginning with the words, “Tell them, ‘Let us all stand up for Jesus.’”

In the days and events following Tyng’s death, these final words were invoked several times and became a resounding exhortation to all who had been affected by his ministry. When George Duffield, Jr. preached to his own congregation the next week, he focused on Ephesians 6:14 (“Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth…”) and concluded his sermon with a hymn he had written. It began with the line, “Stand up, stand up for Jesus.” The hymn was soon picked up by Presbyterian and Congregationalist publishers, and it quickly became an established work.

Similar to “Onward Christian Soldiers,” it became popular among soldiers of the Civil War, most likely because of its militaristic imagery and language. But, as we noted with that hymn, the connection to worldy battles was not the author’s intent; Christians have often sung soldier songs, because, as God tells us in Ephesians 6 and elsewhere, our lives in Christ are a fight for faith in the midst of spiritual enemies. We are called to stand in the strength he supplies.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross;

Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss.

From victory unto victory His army shall He lead,

Till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the solemn watchword hear;

If while ye sleep He suffers, away with shame and fear;

Where’er ye meet with evil, within you or without,

Charge for the God of battles, and put the foe to rout.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the trumpet call obey;

Forth to the mighty conflict, in this His glorious day.

Ye that are brave now serve Him against unnumbered foes;

Let courage rise with danger, and strength to strength oppose.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in His strength alone;

The arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own.

Put on the Gospel armor, each piece put on with prayer;

Where duty calls or danger, be never wanting there.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, each soldier to his post,

Close up the broken column, and shout through all the host:

Make good the loss so heavy, in those that still remain,

And prove to all around you that death itself is gain.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long;

This day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song.

To those who vanquish evil a crown of life shall be;

They with the King of Glory shall reign eternally.

(I have one delightfully awkward memory of this hymn. We occasionally sang this song in a church I attended many years ago; one Sunday we sang it but it was during a part of the service where we all sat. Everyone was wondering how we could sing “Stand up for Jesus” when we were all instructed by the bulletin to sit; finally one brave lady stood up and the rest of us soon joined her.)

In Faith, Celebrating Victory

by afriendforever54

Praise God! In faith, we are celebrating our victory! Today, in faith, we are believing God for _______________! Each of us were standing in faith for ____________! Let our victory dance begin!

 

praiseGod

Isaiah 55:11 – So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:6 – But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

 

Mark 2:17

  by zecqi at Re-Versing Verses

sick

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Mark 2:17 | NIV | Other Versions | Context

Brief

This is a remarkable verse. A remarkable statement that Jesus declared, recorded in the Bible in Matthew 9:12, Luke 5:31 and Mark 2:17. He said this seemingly as a response to the charge and the insinuations of the Pharisees, but perhaps it was more for the sake of the disciples who were present that he declared this. This is a proverbial statement, and like most other proverbial verses it can almost as easily be interpreted in one way or another vastly different way. In today’s study, we will be looking into who exactly the sick refers to.

Analysis

On hearing this – context is very important here, for Christ did not say this out of nowhere. He said this strategically for a purpose, for two audiences. Firstly the sick, and secondly the sick. Both audiences were sick, indeed, but they were very different kinds of sick people. One of them was sick but would not respond to the doctor. The other type was sick, but understood that he was sick and responded to the doctor. Yes, indeed, the first group did not believe in the doctor, did not trust him, did not think that they were sick. What was the scenario that prompted Jesus to make such a statement? Mark 2:15-16 tells us that Jesus was eating with the tax-collectors and sinners at Levi’s house, and the Pharisees asked why.

Jesus said to them – the Pharisees asked the disciples why, and did not pose the question directly at Jesus. We are not told whether Jesus overheard the question, or was in turn asked by his disciples who had delivered the question. We are not told if he was answering the question in addressing the Pharisees or his disciples. I would like to think that both the Pharisees and the disciples heard his answer, but had different responses.

It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick – in life this is a very simple notion. We call it common sense. If you are sick, you need to see the doctor. If you’re not, then don’t see a doctor. If we translate it to the spiritual aspect of our lives, it should be common sense as well. If we are spiritually ill, we need to seek spiritual healing. If we have turned away from God, we need to return to God. Yet, while it is often easy to notice if we are physically ill, spiritual illness often escapes our notice until it’s very very late. Much like emotional illnesses.

The real question here is, who is healthy and who is sick? Admittedly I once assumed that the healthy referred to we who are Christians, we who have been saved. In this regard, those who are yet to be saved and did not believe in Christ are the sick ones. There are probably way too many loopholes in this very perspective. And then there was once when I thought that the healthy referred to the Christians who were following God’s words, and the sick were the Christians who had strayed away from God’s words. Again, this is probably a very flawed perspective.

Let us refer to Jeremiah 8:22 – Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people? There was balm – the most excellent ones, in Gilead. There were physicians, the most skilled ones, in Gilead. But there was no healing for the wounds of the people. The Israelites were metaphorically referred to as a diseased people, spiritually and morally diseased, sinning against God. They can choose to repent and turn back to God – the cure is there – but they didn’t, and instead provoked the Lord’s wrath. In Lamentations 2:13, Jeremiah cries, What can I say for you? With what can I compare you, Daughter Jerusalem? To what can I liken you, that I may comfort you, Virgin Daughter Zion? Your wound is as deep as the sea. Who can heal you?

I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners – this gives us a huge hint of who’s sick and who’s healthy – the righteous are healthy, the sinners are sick. We have been told (by Paul) that there is no one righteous, not even one [Rom 3:10] and all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God [Rom 3:23|Article]. We are all sinners, and none of us are righteous. In other words, we are all sick. In other words, we need the doctor. In other words, Christ came for us. Perhaps this verse is not so much to divide the people into who’s sick and who’s healthy – but really to show us that we, all of us – Pharisees or disciples, need God equally, because we are sinners. Let us not rest on our laurels and be satisfied in knowing that as Christians, we no longer need the doctor – because that is entirely untrue.

When we turn to God, when we call on his name, we become justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ [Rom 5:1] and we are no longer condemned [Rom 8:1].

Conclusion

I’d like to think that when Christ said he came not for the healthy but for the sick, not for the righteous but for the sinners, it doesn’t really mean that there’s a select group of people who doesn’t need to call on his name. I would like to think that he really just declared, all of you need me, whether you are Pharisees, tax-collectors or my disciples. All of you can call on my name. All of you need the doctor, because all of you are sick. All of you need me.

All of us need the Lord.

God bless,
Z.

The church, for the believer, is now our “first family.”

From The Emotionally Healthy Church by Scazzero

The church, for the believer, is now our “first family.” In fact, family is the most significant metaphor used in Scripture to describe the church. Anderson and Guernsey say it best:

The church is the new family of God …Through spiritual rebirth, we each become brother and sister of Jesus Christ through adoption into the family of God. consequently we are brother and sister to each other. Husbands and wives are first of all brothers and sister in Jesus Christ before they are husband and wife. Sons and daughters are also brother and sister to their father and mother before they are sons and daughters. p.1o1

The critical factor that most significantly determines my new identity as a Christian is not the blood of y biological family but the blood of Jesus. We are given a new name (Christian), a new inheritance (freedom, glory, hope, resources a hundredfold), and a new power (the Holy Spirit)to live in this new life. We become partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1.4), able to enjoy the absolute security and stability, freedom, intimacy, and confidence in prayer (Luke 11.5-13) of children in God’s family. There exists a new dynamic in the life inside me, the life of Jesus.

Without hesitation, Jesus called men and women to himself over their biological families, saying that “anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worth of me” (Matt. 10.37).

The New Testament world is unable to imagine living out healthy family life apart from the context of a healthy church life. The local church becomes the place where I am, in a very real sense, reparented. p. 102

Discipleship, then, must include honest reflection on the positive and negative impact of our family origin as well as other major influences in our lives. This is hard work. Following Jesus is a process that takes time. But the extent to which we can go back and understand how it has shaped us will determine, to a large degree, our level of awareness and our ability to break destructive patterns.

God’s invitation is to welcome him into those areas so we might break free to live life as joyfully and freely as he intends. p.102-3

Christians Get Depressed Too

by Reformed Reader

Christians Get Depressed Too Around one year ago I did a short review on an excellent book: Christians Get Depressed Too by David Murray.  In this book, Murray rightly notes that depression is caused by a variety of things, from biological factors to spiritual factors to “life” factors.  He also talks about the cures of depression.  One of the preliminary ways to fight depression is to assess wrong/unhelpful feelings and thoughts and seek to correct them.  Murray continues,

“If assessing your feelings and thoughts does not work or you can’t even get started, then I would suggest that you seek out trained medical personnel for diagnosis and possibly prescription of appropriate medication.  And please do not wait until things have gotten so bad that you ‘crash’ to a halt.  The farther you fall, the longer it will take to return.  Even a low dose of anti-depressant is sometimes enough just to begin to restore depleted brain chemicals and pick up your mood sufficiently to enable you to begin to take the steps necessary to correct your lifestyle and thoughts.  However, more serious depressions sometimes require medication for two to five years in order to permanently restore the brain’s chemistry and processes.”

“If you go to your doctor, you may find it helpful to write out some of your symptoms, how you have tried to manage them, and also what you think may have caused them.  Sometimes that initial visit can be rather emotional, and you may forget important facts.  Make a list of questions you want to ask, especially about medications.  There are a number of myths and false ideas about anti-depressants: ‘If I take antidepressants I won’t be my true self….  There will be horrible side effects….  I might get addicted…. People will look down on me….  It will mean I am crazy.’  Your doctor should be able to refute these myths and reassure you.  However, as mentioned, anti-depressants should not be viewed as a cure-all.  You will still need to work at changing false and unhelpful thinking and harmful behavior” (p. 79).

As I’ve said before, I highly recommend this short booklet on what it means for Christians to fight depression.  It’s a clear, biblical, and pastoral book written from a Reformed perspective, and I honestly believe it is one of those “must have” resources for those who suffer depression or for those who minister to people dealing with depression.

David Murray, Christians Get Depressed Too (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2010).

shane lems