Study 1 THE GLORY OF HIS PERSON
THE PERSON AND WORK OF CHRIST
by Francis Dixon
Scripture Portion: Hebrews 1:1-14; 2:9-18
In this series of studies we have carefully chosen themes which will concentrate our attention upon the Person and Work of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. As we approach each study let our prayer be – look up John 12:21. Because of the greatness and the majesty of the Person we are to consider, and because of the nature, scope, perfection and eternal significance of His work, it is impossible to over-emphasise the importance of this series of studies. The greatest question which can force itself upon us is Matthew 22:42 – and that question faces us now. It is the question of supreme importance, because what we think of Him will determine what we do with Him – look up Matthew 27:22, and what we do with Him will determine what He does with us – look up Revelation 20:11-15.
We begin, then, with a consideration of the unique nature of the Lord Jesus Christ. The question we ask is: Who is Jesus Christ, and what is His nature? With the Word of God in your hands, look up John 5:39; and with the Spirit of God in your heart, look up John 16:14-15; we shall seek to answer this question of questions. There are, of course, many ways of approaching the study of the Person of Christ. For instance, to study any one of the following would reveal something of the glory of His Person and the greatness of His Work:
- He is glorious as the eternal, unchanging One – look up Hebrews 13:8 and Revelation 22:13.
- He is glorious in the names and titles which are ascribed to Him – look up Isaiah 9:6.
- He is glorious in His relationship in the Godhead – look up John 1:18 and 15:26.
- He is glorious in the claims which He made for Himself – look up John 4:25-26; 5:22; 10:9 and 14:6.
- He is glorious in the experience of His people – He is their Saviour, Shepherd, Friend and Lord.
- He is glorious in the perfection of His redeeming work – look up John 19:30 and Jude 24.
- He is glorious in the place of glory which He now occupies, and ever will occupy – look up Hebrews 1:3; Jude 25 and Revelation 19:16.
But in the limited scope of this study let us ask: What is the essential and unique characteristic of the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ? It is this – He is at the same time perfectly human and absolutely divine. He holds within Himself the two natures in perfect poise and balance, and each in full completeness. He is very God and very Man. This is a great mystery – look up 1 Timothy 3:16; but the doctrines of the perfect humanity of Christ and the absolute deity of Christ are clearly stated in the divine revelation. Let us consider these.
1. THE PERFECT HUMANITY OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
Two thousand years ago, He who had ever been with the Father, one with Him in essence and nature, came to earth – look up John 1:1,14, and compare Galatians 4:4 and Philippians 2:6-8. When He came to earth He was born just as other children are born – look up Luke 2:4-7; He grew in wisdom and stature – look up Luke 2:40,52; and was subject to the laws of human development in body and soul – look up Luke 2:46. As He moved among men He spoke like a man and looked like a man – look up Mark 15:34; Luke 24:32; John 4:9; John 20:15 and John 21:4-5. He was subject to the frailties of human nature (apart from sin): hunger – look up Matthew 4:2; Mark 11:12 and John 19:28; weariness – look up Mark 4:38 and John 4:6; pain – look up John 19:3 and 28-30; temptation – look up Luke 4:13; and death – look up John 19:30. But He was the perfect Man – altogether without sin: look up Luke 23:41,47; John 8:46 and 19:4; Hebrews 4:15 and 7:26; and 1 Peter 2:21-22. Yes, He was, and is, truly Man; for although He has been down into death, He has risen again in a perfect human body look – Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:13-34; John 20:14-16 and John 21:1-14, and He has taken His humanity up to the throne of God – look up Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 2:5 and Hebrews 9:24. Turn to 1 John 4:3 and see the solemn and inspired statement recorded there. Thus, we see that He is indeed ‘the man Christ Jesus.’ The scriptures declare, however, that this Man is in very truth God.
2. THE ABSOLUTE DEITY OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
Jesus did not become God. In the fulness of time, and in order to become our Redeemer, He became man – look up Galatians 4:4; but He always was God, one with the Father and the Spirit. See what Colossians 2:9 says of Him.
Turn again to John 1:1, and compare Matthew 1:23, and see again in Isaiah 9:6 that while the ‘child’ was born, the ‘Son’ was given. The Son ever was the Son, but at Bethlehem the Son was given in the form of a child – look up Luke 1:35. Repeatedly in the New Testament He is spoken of (by Himself and by others) as the Son of God – look up Matthew 3:17; 27:40-43; Mark 14:61-62; Luke 22:70; John 5:25; 10:36 and 11:4; and five times as ‘the only begotten Son’ – look up John 1:14, 18 and 3:16. See the wonderful description of Him in Micah 5:2, and compare also John 8:57-58 and Revelation 1:18.
At Caesarea Philippi, Peter made his great confession, which our Lord stated had been given by divine inspiration – He allowed Peter to acknowledge Him as the Christ, ‘the Son of the living God’ – look up Matthew 16:13-17.
Think of His ‘I AM’s’ in John’s Gospel; look them up – 6:35; 8:12; 10:9; 10:14; 11:25; 14:6 and 15:1. What do these mean if He is not God?
Think of His miracles – signs that attested His deity. He turned the water into wine – look up John 2:1-11; healed a son – look up John 4:46-54; made a man whole – look up John 5:1-16; fed a multitude – look up John 6:1-14; stilled a storm – look up Mark 4:35-41; gave sight to the blind – look up John 9:1-38; and raised the dead – John 11:1-46 – all of which demonstrate that He was Lord over time, distance, disease, growth, gravitation, nature’s defects and death. Now look up John 20:30-31. Do you not want to say – John 20:28? He is Creator – look up John 1:3 and Colossians 1:16; the Upholder of all things – look up Colossians 1:17; the Forgiver of sin – look up Mark 2:5-10. Surely you will agree that all this testimony to His deity is overwhelming?