“Form of God” and “Form of a Servant”
The New Testament begins in Matthew with the introduction to Jesus Christ as He came in His humanity and ends in Revelation with the declaration of the eternal power which is His as deity. The two views are not contradictory, nor did the one develop over time out of the other. The same Gospel of Matthew that declares the humanity of Jesus in His birth also announces Him as Immanuel, “God with us” (Matt. 1:18-24). The same book of Revelation that portrays the deity of Christ also proclaims Him as the “offspring of David” (Rev. 22:16). Throughout the word of God, the humanity and deity of Jesus are presented as co-equal facts. Both elements are seen to exist in unity in the person of Christ. While one may be given emphasis in a particular passage to stress a point under consideration, no writer denies or seeks to lessen either the divine or human nature of Christ while on earth.
Despite the clear teaching of God’s Word in revealing the twofold nature of Christ, men have compiled various man-made doctrines regarding the person of Christ. Colin Brown has an excellent synopsis of such doctrinal conflicts throughout history in his article on the “Person of Christ” in the new ISBE. Some have totally or partially denied the deity of Jesus while others have totally or partially denied His humanity. It is interesting to note that the first dispute in the early church arose over the fact of Jesus’ humanity. Those closest to the eyewitnesses and other pertinent evidence about the life of Christ had no question about His deity. Almost twenty centuries later, the modernists of our time readily accept Jesus’ humanity, but concoct increasingly absurd theories of interpreting the New Testament aimed at denying His deity. In this article, we will concentrate on the plain teaching of the Bible regarding the twofold nature of Christ in the unity of His person. Continue reading » In the Steps of the Savior: The Person of Christ