3.4.3 Jesus Christ, true Man and true God

The teaching that Jesus Christ is true Man and true God–the doctrine of Hypostatic Union–was enshrined at the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451. This doctrine of the dual nature of Jesus transcends the horizon of human imagination and experience. It is a mystery.

In Philippians 2: 6-8 the incarnation of the Son of God is described as self-abasement: "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."

Jesus shared in the full human spectrum of physical and spiritual feelings. In His human existence, the Son of God was, like other humans, bound to a body and its requirements. In Luke 2: 52 it says that Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men. At the wedding in Cana, Jesus rejoiced with the cheerful. He suffered with the sad and wept when Lazarus died. He was hungry during His stay in the wilderness. He was thirsty when He came to Jacob's well. He suffered pain when the soldiers beat Him. Confronted with His imminent death on the cross, He expressed: "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death" (Matthew 26: 38).

The fact that Jesus Christ is true Man is stated in Hebrews 4: 15. At the same time, the difference between Him and all other human beings is made clear here: He is without sin.

Likewise, Jesus Christ is true God.

Both the divine Sonship and the Godhead of Jesus Christ are attested in Holy Scripture. At Jesus' baptism in the Jordan, a voice from heaven was heard saying: "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3: 17). Likewise, at the transfiguration, the Father emphasised that Jesus was the Son of God by saying: "Hear Him!" (Matthew 17: 5).

The words of Jesus–"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him" (John 6: 44) and "No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14: 6)–attest to the equally divine authority of God, the Father, and God, the Son. The Father draws human beings to the Son, and the Son leads human beings to the Father.

It is only as true God that Jesus Christ can declare: "I and My Father are one" (John 10: 30) and thereby state, in simple language, that the Father and Son are identical in essence.

Further biblical evidence that Jesus Christ is true God include:

  • the actions of the Apostles after Christ's ascension: "And they worshipped Him [Jesus Christ]" (Luke 24: 52);

  • the statement in John 1: 18: "No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him";

  • the attestation of Apostle Thomas after He had seen the Risen One: "My Lord and my God!" (John 20: 28);

  • the profession of the nature of Jesus in the Christ hymn: "For in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Colossians 2: 9);

  • the testimony contained in 1 John 5: 20: "And we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life";

  • the statement: "God was manifested in the flesh" (1 Timothy 3: 16).

See also