One of the most difficult concepts to understand is how Christ could be both man and God at the same time. This idea has sparked much debate and is often considered an illogical contradiction by many. Some have questioned whether Jesus was ever fully human or fully God, and others have concluded that He could not have been both simultaneously. While difficult to comprehend, the Bible does in fact support the assertion that Jesus Christ is both God and man at the same time (Hypostatic Union).

 

Jesus’ HumanityJesus is God and Man

The Bible speaks of Jesus’ humanity through its many references to His human characteristics. Jesus was born (Matthew 18), grew (Luke 2:40), died (Matthew 27:45), and was buried (27:57). Jesus also ate, slept, and cried (Mark 2:15; 4:38; John 11:35). He also experienced amazement (Luke 7:9) and distress (Mark 14:33), and He cried out to God at His crucifixion (15:34). All of these facts lend proof to the Bible’s claim that Jesus was fully human.

In order for Jesus to save humanity, it was necessary for Him to become fully human. The author of Hebrews explains that He became human so that He was able to free us from the power and fear of death (2:14). Only Jesus, who is perfect in holiness and righteousness, could redeem us and save us from our unholy and unrighteous ways, and in order for Him to take our place, He had to become fully human in the flesh.

 

Jesus’ DeityJesus is God and Man

A great portion of the Bible also points to Jesus’ deity, and He Himself claimed to be one with God (John 10:30). The Father spoke at Jesus’ baptism and referred to Jesus as His Son (Mark 1:11), and even the demons recognized Him as the Son of God (Mark 5:7). He also performed miracles (John 11:38), forgave sins (Mark 2:5) and granted eternal life (Luke 23:43). God sent Jesus to do His will (7:28) and Jesus has authority to judge the sins of man (5:22). These verses all give testament to the fact that Jesus is also God.

 

False Views and Myths

There are many objections that have challenged the traditional and biblical view of Christ. For example, Arianism espouses that Jesus was not actually God.[1] Scripture, however, clearly contradicts this claim. Another view, Ebionitism, claims that Jesus was a man who was given the Holy Spirit when He was baptized,[2] suggesting that Jesus was not God from the beginning. From verses such as John 1:1-14, however, it is clear that Jesus has always been God. A third erroneous view, Nestorianism, considered Christ to have two separate personalities and that He could not have suffered a human death.[3] This is negated by the Bible’s claim that Jesus is one person, both God and man at the same time (Romans 1:2-5), and that He did go through human suffering with His death (Matthew 27:27-50). A final incorrect view is known as the Kenotic View, in which Jesus temporarily “emptied” Himself of His own divine power in order to become fully human.[4]  All of these views fail to consider all of the biblical facts about the nature of Christ.

 

Jesus is God and ManThe Hypostatic Union: Jesus Is Fully God and Fully Man

According to a more traditional and orthodox view, the Hypostatic Union is understood not as a combination in which some qualities of each are lost or mixed in the process, but rather as a coexistence of the two natures,
in which both remain complete and unchanged in themselves.[5]

Colossians 2:9 states that “in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form”, which would seem to indicate that all the divine attributes and powers are included in the Hypostatic Union. This provides a better explanation for why Jesus was described as exhibiting omniscience and omnipotence on multiple occasions without the mention of the Holy Spirit (e.g. Matthew 12:25, 14:25, Luke 8:24–25). Since Jesus performed countless miracles while on earth (John 20:30) and only two specifically mention the Holy Spirit being the source of Jesus’ power (Matthew 12:28; Luke 4:14–18). This seems to indicate that Jesus also used His own power.

Since Christ is not just an ordinary human as every other person is, but rather fully God at the same time, then it is not illogical to conclude that He could still possess and have full use of His own divine attributes as a member of the Trinity if He should so choose, even if the ordinary human mind is unable to fully comprehend how this works. Because Jesus is omnipotent, it is possible for Him to be both God and man at the same time.

Jesus is both God and man, meaning that He came to earth in human form (John 1:14) while still remaining God (Romans 1:2-5). This also means that He is one person, and all of his actions He did as God and man, not one or the other separately. Though He was fully human, He was not limited in His power, and though He was fully God, He still went through human experiences.

The recognition of both the deity and the humanity of Christ are essential. Over emphasizing one or the other can lead to the belief that Jesus was either not fully human or not fully God. This is contrary to the Bible’s claims and the orthodox teachings of Christianity and can be extremely detrimental and shaky ground for faith.

 

 

 

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Sources used in this article are not necessarily in agreement with or endorsed by the author(s) of this website, but are rather used for the sole purpose of explaining/supporting the topics with which they directly relate.

[1] R. S. Wallace and G. L. Green, “Christology,” in Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, ed. Walter A. Elwell, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House Company, 2001), 242.

[2] Ibid, 241.

[3] Ibid, 242.

[4] Gregory E. Boyd and Paul R. Eddy, Across the Spectrum: Understanding Issues in Evangelical Theology, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2009), 118­–121.

[5] Ibid.