[12]    Christ: Incarnation and Dual Nature

42.    What do we know about the incarnation of Christ in the Bible?

a. Definition of incarnation: b. Virginal birth (Isa 7:14; Mt 1:23, Lk 1:34-37) c. Sinlessness of Christ (Heb 4:15): Christís temptations were real. He experienced struggle while facing death (Mt 26:36-46). But Christ did not sin (2Co 5:21; Heb 7:26; 1Pe 2:22; 3:18; 1Jn 3:5).

43.    What is the meaning of Christ being fully God and fully man?

a. When Jesus Christ lived in this world, He was both fully (100%) God and fully (100%) man. He possessed all the characteristics (attributes) of God and of man.   b. The divine nature of Christ while on Earth:
  (1) Possesses divine attributes: eternal (Jn 8:58; 17:5), omniscient (Jn 16:30; 21:17), omnipotent (Jn 5:19), immutable (Heb 13:8)

(2) Possesses divine prerogatives: forgives sin (Mt 9:2; Lk 7:47), raises the dead (Jn 5:25; 11:25), executes judgment (Jn 5:22)

(3) Identified with the OT Yahweh: "I AM" (Jn 8:58), seen by Isaiah (Jn 12:41)

(4) Possesses divine names: "Immanuel" (Mt 1:23), "Son of man" (Mt 9:6; 12:8), "Lord" (Mt 7:21; Lk 1:43), "Son of God" (Jn 10:36)

(5) Possesses divine relations: one with the Father (Jn 10:30)

(6) Accepts divine worship (Mt 14:33; 28:9; Jn 20:28-29)

(7) Claims Himself to be God (Jn 8:58; 10:30; 17:5)

c. The human nature of Christ while on Earth:
  (1) Had a human birth: born of a virgin (Mt 1:18-2:11; Lk 1:30-38)

(2) Had a human development: continued to grow and become strong (Lk 2:52)

(3) Had the essential elements of human nature: human body (Mt 26:12; Jn 2:21), reason and will (Mt 26:38; Mk 2:8)

(4) Had human names: Jesus (Mt 1:21), son of man (Mt 8:20; 11:19), son of Abraham (Mt 1:1)

(5) Had the sinless infirmities of human nature: became weary (Jn 4:6), became hungry (Mt 4:2; 21:18), became thirsty (Jn 19:28), was tempted (Mt 4:1-11; Heb 2:18)

(6) Was repeatedly called a man (Jn 1:30; 4:9; 10:38)
d. Importance of Christís humanity: (1) to fulfil the Biblical prophesy, (2) to be the Messiah, (3) to reveal Godís love, (4) to die on the cross, (5) to act as Mediator between God and man.

e. Unity of two (dual) natures:
44.    What is the meaning of "Christ emptying himself" (Php 2:7)? a. Php 2:7 -- "emptied Himself" (NRSV, NASB) or "made Himself nothing" (NIV); supporting verses: 2Co 8:9; Jn 17:5

b. Self-emptying (Gr. kenosis):

c. Analogy: Christ simply covered His original glory like a veil (Jn 17:5; 18:6); this fact is proved by the transfiguration (Mt 17:2) which represented a momentary lifting of the veil.

d. Other theories of self-emptying: There are many kenotic theories about what was being emptied. The following are the more commonly accepted theories among some evangelical theologians.

e. There are many dangers in such theories. One such danger is the destruction of the doctrine of the immutability of God. If God laid aside one of His attributes, the immutable undergoes a mutation, the infinite suddenly stops being infinite.