“What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?”Matthew 22:42
Jesus asked this question of men in his generation. The same question is asked of us today. Matthew 16, Mark 8 and Luke 9 also record a similar question that Jesus asked of His disciples:
“But who do you say that I am?”
This is the universal question upon which the destiny of each soul depends. The subject of this study is not just a doctrine to be learned, or a history to be admired, but “The Christ, the Son of the Living God”. Like Peter, and all who have come after him, we need afresh the Father’s grace to reveal to us the Person of Jesus.
“Jesus answered and said to 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 16:17 NKJV
It is upon this unchanging and irreplaceable rock of revelation alone that a man can begin to build a life of authentic spirituality and eternal purpose.
“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”Matthew 16:18 NKJV
The Doctrine of Christ has two major divisions:
- The Person of Christ – Who He is
- The Work of Christ – What He has done
In this session we will consider the first of these divisions and in the next Module: The Atonement, we will consider the second.
In this study, we will regard:
- The Pre-existence of Christ
- Old Testament Prophecies concerning Christ
- The Incarnation
- The Deity of Christ
- The Humanity of Christ
- The Sinlessness of Christ
- Jesus Christ: The God-Man
The Pre-existence of Christ
The Bible clearly declares that Christ existed as God before His incarnation. He was not a creation of God, and did not come into existence when conceived in the womb of Mary. He always was, one with the Father and the Holy Spirit, in the God-head.
The Scriptural testimony through John the Baptist declares:
“John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ ””John 1:15 NKJV
According to Luke 1:36 John was born six months prior to Jesus, but John here declares Christ’s pre-existence
John the Apostle states:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”John 1:1 NKJV
“the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—”1John 1:2 NKJV
The Apostle Paul teaches:
“who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”Philippians 2:6-8 NKJV
“He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you”1Peter 1:20 NKJV
Finally, Jesus Himself referred on many occasions to His existence prior to His life on earth:
“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”John 6:38 NKJV
“Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.””John 8:58 NKJV
“And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”John 17:5 NKJV
The activities of the divine pre-existent Christ
He was creating the universe
“All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” (John 1:3 NKJV)
“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:16 NKJV)
He was controlling the created universe
“And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:17)
He was communing with the Father
““Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:24)
The pre-existent Christ is also active in the Old Testament record
In several theophanies (pre-Bethlehem appearances of Christ) Christ appears to various Old Testament Saints.
- Appearances of what the Old Testament refers to as the ‘Angel of the Lord’ [see Module 4: Spiritual Realities: Angels]
- Joshua’s encounter with ‘The Captain of the Lord’s Host’ in the early chapters of Joshua.
- The ‘Fourth Man’ in the fiery furnace in the Book of Daniel.