The Doctrine of Christology With Biblical Foundations - Paper Example

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  8
Wordcount:  1945 Words
Date:  2021-07-02

Christ has been the central figure in understanding the logical and historical aspects of Christianity. Therefore, it is difficult to study the doctrine of Christ without involving the doctrine of theology as the two concepts are vitally related to each other. However, it is also important to consider the concept of bibliology-the divine revelation and the place of the Bible in theology- when studying the doctrine of Christ. This paper will examine the doctrine of Christology with the biblical foundations through examination of the history of Christology in the past and present that will serve as a guide in this study; this will involve focusing on the concepts based upon scriptures.

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According to Dahl Nils in Jesus Christ: The Historical Origins of Christological Doctrine, the destruction of the doctrine of Christ started a long time ago; however, the ultimate destruction is believed to have emerged in the early 20th Century with the emergence of the liberal theologians. Brown, Harold in Heresies explains that the liberal theologians argued that Jesus was only a myth that existed in the minds of people. Dahl further argued that the concepts of the doctrine of Christ were never to be taken seriously in the theological world. The liberal theologians perceived Jesus to be a historical character. However, of all the debates regarding the Christianity faith, the most significant lies within the one who the faith professes to follow, in this case, Jesus Christ. People have questioned the personality of Jesus and who he was. People have tried to find out the real identity of Jesus Christ; whether he was God or man. Based on the biblical scriptures, Christians are able to know Jesus through the faith in his works. Paul states in 1st Corinthians 15:14 that there is no truth more central to Christians faith than the personhood and work of Jesus Christ; however, yet there are serious disagreements between these principles. Jesus lived as a God and also human. He was born on earth from a mortal being, the Virgin Mary (Gal 4:4). Jesus lived on earth as fully divine and human in the same person. As Paul further states, the death of Jesus Christ on the cross served as a perfect sacrifice for the human kind so that their sins may be relieved from them. Jesus Christ came to substitute the human race from the inevitable punishment of death that all sinners disserve (1st Corinthians 15:14).

The life that Jesus lived on earth can be understood based on the issue of the incarnation. As Erickson, Millard explains in his article The Word became flesh, incarnation means that the word became flesh. The question whether Jesus Christ was human or divine as God can be answered through Johns explanation of incarnation of Jesus. In John 1:14, Jesus Christ was God-man because he possessed both Godly and humanity personalities. Although this might be difficult for people to wrap their minds, Christians need to understand that Jesus paradoxically carried out the divine and human functions simultaneously to show that he was both God and man. For instance, as John explains in chapter 4, in his encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well where he used his supernatural powers to know the womans undisclosed past experiences. However, this is contradicted in other scriptures where Jesus knowledge is limited. For instance, in Matthew 24:36, Jesus argues that he does not know the hour of his second coming; only the Father knows the time. Further, Jesus showed his divine personality through the miracles that he performed. For instance, the calming of the stormy sea in Matthew 8:26 and raising the dead in John 11:43-44. On the other hand, the scriptures show his human personality with the fact that he was born of a mortal woman as recorded in Galatians 4:4.

As Grudem in Systematic Theology explains, the personality of Jesus Christ consists of two sides, the divine and human (543). People cannot understand the Jesus based on one side without the other. Furthermore, Christian worship is based on the language they use to describe Jesus. As McGrath in Christian Theology argues, Christians use different names to describe the same person (276). For instance, as explained in Jon 1:1 and 20:28, Jesus is described as the savior, Lord, son of man, Messiah, and Son of man. All these names describe one and the same person, Jesus of Nazareth. As McGrath explains, the many features used to describe Jesus explain his divine side because he possessed the power and characteristics of God. He features are passed from father to son (McGrath 276).

The worship of Jesus started with the features used to describe him. He was first referred to as savior (Evans 7). The Old Testament scriptures recognize the only one savior who was God or described as Yahweh. However, the New Testament scriptures recognize the savior feature of Jesus. However, this does not mean that God was no longer recognized as the savior as described in the Old Testament scriptures. The New Testament authors recognized God as the only divinity who could save. However, Jesus is indirectly proclaimed to be the savior though the invention of the symbol I-CH-TH-U-S which was used to describe Jesus Christ (McGrath 281). The symbol was invented to differentiate the saving of Jesus from that of God. As written in Matthew 1:21, Jesus saved people from their sins through his sacrifice. In Acts 4:12, Jesus name alone is described as salvation to humanity. Therefore, since Jesus was referenced with the names only known to be possessed by God or Yahweh, he can be regarded as God as well. Speaking of salvation, Jesus is regarded as the link. Jesus was born of Virgin Mary who became the bearer of God and Christ. The birth of Jesus on earth became a substantial presence of God to the humanity (McGrath 295). This, however, influenced the lives of many people today especially through the way they worship.

Another way in which Jesus appeared as God was the way he was worshipped. Jesus was worshipped the way only God was worshipped as the Old Testament scriptures explain. The Jewish culture allowed to people to worship only God. Paul in Romans 1:23 warn Christians of creative worship. As McGrath explains, Christians call upon the name of Jesus Christ, showing that they worship him. As McGrath further explains, the worship in style of a creed significantly contributed to the development of the doctrine of Christology (296). Worshiping of Christ today is based on two events in Christian theological history.

First, modalism event that describes the three personalities of God is one of the events that helped develop the modern Christian worshipping technique. Modalism event consisted of many understandings (McGrath 252); however, the main general understanding was that there was one God who created everything and gave the laws. This was later described as Go the father in theological history. The same God sanctifies and gives eternal life. This was described as God the Holy Spirit. Again, the same God suffered as the son suffered (McGrath 253). Although this personality has been divided based on two main ideas, they all aim at describing the God as the son. The first idea also referred as the chronological modalism explained that at one point God was the father, but later became the son. The second idea also referred to as functional modalism argued that God the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit operated in three different ways (McGrath 254).

The second event was the Tritheism that denied the existence of only one God as modalism explains. The proponents of this theory argued that there are three personalities that make up the divine being, God. In other words, what the tritheism tried to explain is that there are three Gods (Grudem 246). This school of thought has been associated with the ancient pagan religion that believed in diverse gods. However, not many churches or Christian followed this school of thought because it was believed to be influenced by pagan ideas. Worshippers were not regarded loyal as those of the modalism school of thought because they were devoted to more than one God. As Grudem (2007 247) explains that the tritheism idea was widely disregarded because opponents believed that it would divide the unity in worship.

The two events or schools of thoughts explained the concepts that are today used to explain Christians worshipping techniques. According to McGrath in Scientific Theology, Christian worshipping today was drawn from the two events that led to the emergence of Trinity. The trinity concept brought light to the fact of how people should and to whom should they direct their prayers. The two schools of thought emphasized mainly on the relationship within the Godhead. The Father related to the son, the son related to the Father and the Holy Ghost. The three personalities are the key features used today to worship. From the above-mentioned relationship, the two schools of thought agreed that God and Jesus shared the same personality because they are one in nature and not three different people as explained by each school. Therefore, when Christians speak of God they refer not only to the Father, Son or Holy Spirit but instead, they refer to the Trinity as a whole (McGrath 291).

Jesus Christ is also perceived as the gap that was created by the fall of mankind. This is another part of Christology that made a great impact on the lives of Christians and the way they look at Christ. In this regard, Jesus Christ is regarded as the mediator between God and humankind (McGrath 292). Jesus is the presence of Gods love and cares for humankind through which He aimed at reuniting with them.

This mediation can be examined in two main ways; first, mediation of revelation and mediation of salvation. Mediation of revelation is Jesus being the gap that had existed between God and mankind. His presence became the representation of God on earth. God revealed Himself through the person, Jesus Christ. On the other hand, the mediation of salvation refers to the way Jesus saved mankind from the punishment that was about to befall them. Before the fall of mankind, Gods creation was good. Until evil took over the world and people started disobeying God. The minds of people were corrupted by evil thinking and perceptions that man no longer needs Gods intervention. At this moment, the man was considered to lack the element of salvation.

The two natures described above explain the two sides of Jesus; as divine and human. Since mankind could not ascend to God, God Himself chose to descend on the people through the person, Jesus Christ. In this sense, God is regarded the son of man (McGrath 297). From the areas discussed above, it is clear and evident that the Christian Church today is built on the doctrine of Christology. The doctrine of Christology shapes the worshipping styles as it defines the doctrine in which the Church places its roots and basis. The creeds that sum up the doctrine of the Christian church today was put together following the limitations experienced with the identity of the person, Jesus Christ. First, to explain the two side nature of Christ; whether he was God or man or both. Secondly, the creeds helped to explain the involvement of God in the resurrection story. Lastly, to help Christians understand the rules and history of Christianity (Johnson 11).

In conclusion, the confusion and turmoil in Christian churches today can be related with the misunderstanding of the doctrine of Christology. As discussed in this paper, the doctrine of Christology bears the same resemblance irrespective of the denomination. Christian church divided into different denominations based on the confusion and turmoil because of the controversies associated with the personality of Jesus Christ. However, the struggle and wrangles that are witnessed in t...

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