Class Notes: 12/13/2009
The doctrines of Christmas: Part 3 The Virgin Birth, The Hypostatic Union, Kenosis
John 1:14 - And the Word (undiminished deity) became flesh (true humanity), and dwelt among us (the Incarnation), and we (James, Peter, and John) beheld His glory (the visual manifestation of the Uniform of Glory), glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth (Bible Doctrine).
Since we are in the Christmas season it is appropriate to review the doctrines that relate to TLJC in his first advent or incarnation via the virgin birth.
Christmas is about how God so loved the world so much that he gave his uniquely born son. It is about how God became human in order to solve man's problem of separation from God. Christmas is about what God did to resolve man's problem and how he did it while maintaining his perfect integrity that is composed of his perfect righteousness, his perfect justice and his perfect love.
We started with a discussion of the virgin birth that was necessary for there to be no transmission of the OSN and then took up the doctrine of the hypostatic union that explains the mechanics of how undiminished deity and true humanity reside in the person of TLJC.
We saw that the definition of the Hypostatic Union is as follows:
In the person of the incarnate Christ are two natures, divine and human, inseparably united without mixture or loss of separate identity, without loss or transfer of properties or attributes, the union being personal and eternal.
The dispensation of the hypostatic union began at the moment of the virgin birth that is also classified as the first Advent of Christ or the Incarnation.
We left off last time where we beginning to discuss the doctrine of kenosis that defines how his attributes of deity functioned in the hypostatic union.
The fact that some of the attributes of his deity were not used by TLJC during the dispensation of the hypostatic union does not imply that these attributes of deity were either surrendered or destroyed.
The doctrine of kenosis teaches that the humanity of Christ was absolutely necessary for salvation.
According to the doctrine of kenosis, our Lord became true humanity in order to fulfill the salvation plan of God using the great power experiment of the hypostatic union.
In the fulfillment of the Father's plan, our Lord Jesus Christ did not exercise His own attributes of deity to benefit Himself, to provide for Himself, or to glorify Himself, instead as it says in 2Cor 8:9; that being rich he became poor that we might through his poverty become rich.
In taking on true humanity, our Lord veiled His preincarnate glory as eternal God. This means that eternal glory of the deity of Christ was veiled but never surrendered.
Occasionally, this glory was manifested, such as at the Mount of Transfiguration, Matt 17:2; or at the garden of Gethsemane, where there was a flash of His glory, John 18:6.
While the deity of Christ was united with His perfect and impeccable humanity, He was subject to temptation, distress, weakness, pain, sorrow, and limitation until His resurrection.
Through it all he never gave in to temptation even though He was tempted far beyond anything we will ever know.
The deity of Christ is always in a state of glory and the humanity of Christ stayed inside the prototype spiritual life, resisting every temptation using the power of the Holy Spirit.
From His own sovereignty and from His own free will, our Lord chose not use his own attributes of omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence, to benefit Himself.
But at the same time, Our Lord did not surrender or change these attributes; He couldn't, because as God, Jesus Christ is immutable. Heb 13:8;
This means that He voluntarily, from His own sovereignty, restricted the use of His divine attributes in compatibility and compliance with the Father's plan for the dispensation of the hypostatic union after his incarnation through the virgin birth.
Therefore, during the first Advent, our Lord gave up the independent exercise of certain divine attributes in living among men with their human limitations.
This became evident during His evidence testing when he was tested by Satan to use his deity to help his humanity. Matt 4:2-4;
The humanity of Christ was sustained by the filling of the Spirit because the humanity of Christ continued to reside inside the prototype spiritual life that God the Father had designed for him.
Consequently, in keeping with the Father's plan, during the dispensation of the hypostatic union, our Lord, voluntarily restricted the independent use of His divine attributes. He did not use His attributes contrary to the Father's plan for the incarnation.
Phil 2:5-8, "Keep on thinking this in you which (was) also resident in Christ Jesus, who, though He existed in the essence of God, He did not think equality with God a thing to be seized, but laid aside His privileges (the privilege of the utilization of His deity), taking the form of a servant, having come to be in the likeness of mankind, and being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross."
Instead of relying upon His own divine power, our Lord's humanity relied on the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit, John 3:34.
Jesus Christ became true humanity to do the will of the Father. Heb 10:5-10,
"Therefore, when He entered the world (at virgin birth), He said quoting (Psa 40:6-8), `
v5 You (God the Father) do not desire sacrifice and offering (the ritual plan of God for the dispensation of Israel), but You have prepared for Me a human body;
v6You have not been propitiated by whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin (sin offerings).
v7 At that time ( the moment of the virgin birth) I said (from His deity), "Behold, I have arrived; (in the scroll of a book it stands written about Me ( the Old Testament prophesies)) to accomplish Your will, O God."'
v8 After saying the above, `Sacrifices and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have not desired, nor have You been propitiated by them' (which sacrifices are offered according to the law), then He said,
v9 `Behold, I have arrived to execute Your will.' He has abrogated (taken away) the first (the Mosaic Law) that He might establish the second (protocol plan of God for the Church).
v10 By which will (purpose, plan) we (the new spiritual species, the royal family of God) have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all."
The ritual plan of the dispensation of Israel used animal sacrifices to portray the salvation work of Christ on the cross. But these animal sacrifices were shadows, not capable of actually propitiating or satisfying God the Father. Col 2:16-17;
The words "I have arrived to accomplish Your will, O God" was spoken from the deity of Christ in hypostatic union. It refers to the election of Jesus Christ into the incarnation plan of God in order to provide salvation for all mankind.
The protocol plan of God for the Church Age supersedes the ritual plan that God gave to Israel.
During the church age, all believers form a new spiritual species that supersedes the new racial species of Israel until the second Advent, when Israel will again become a client nation to God and the protocol for the millennium begins.
The substitutionary spiritual death of Christ on the cross and the resultant efficacious unlimited atonement fulfills and rescinds the ritual authorization of the Mosaic Law. Rom 10:4;
Jesus Christ had to become true humanity to be the Savior of the world, Heb 2:14-15.
As God, Jesus Christ could not have anything to do with sin except to judge and reject it. Eternal life cannot die.
Only humanity could bear our sins. So Jesus Christ had to become true perfect humanity in order to receive the imputation and judgment for our sins on the cross, 1Pet 2:24. and not ours only but the sins of the whole world. 1John 2:2;
Jesus Christ had to become true humanity to be the mediator between God and man, Job 9:2; Job 9;32-33; 1Tim 2:5-6;
He had to be equal with both God and mankind to be a mediator between both parties. Therefore, Jesus Christ had to be both undiminished deity and true humanity in one person forever.
Jesus Christ had to become true humanity to be a priest. A priest must be a man in order to represent man before God. Jesus Christ became true humanity to be our high priest after the order (or pattern) of Melchizedek, Heb 7:4-5; Heb 7:14,28; Heb 10:5, Heb 10:10-14;
Jesus Christ had to become true humanity to be a king and rule forever. He had to be the son of David to fulfill the Davidic covenant to Israel, 2Sam 7:12-16; Psa 89:29;
Solomon's line goes down to Joseph as described in Matthew and Nathan's line goes down to Mary as described in Luke.
As we have seen, the great power experiment of the hypostatic union changed the person of Jesus Christ forever.
During the incarnation, our Lord occupied the prototype spiritual life and fulfilled the learning process of humanity. Because He was always filled with the Holy Spirit and inside the prototype spiritual life, He rapidly advanced to spiritual maturity.
It was only during the incarnation in his unglorified humanity on earth that there were there limitations on our Lord's humanity as He learned and advanced.
This was necessary to establish the precedence for the operational type spiritual life that we now have in the Church Age so that we can function as His royal family.
The omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit in the prototype spiritual life sustained the humanity of Christ during the hypostatic union.
The filling of the Holy Spirit was a problem-solving device for our Lord during the first Advent.
He used the filling of the Holy Spirit to keep the outside pressure of adversity from being converted into the inside pressure of stress in the soul.
As the author of the divine plan for the great power experiment of the hypostatic union, God the Father actually invented the prototype spiritual life to sustain the unglorified humanity of Christ during His first Advent.
As we have seen, at the virgin birth, the humanity of Christ was entered into the prototype spiritual life because He was born as Adam was created. trichotomous, with a body, soul, and spirit.
So TLJC was filled with the Spirit from birth in side the prototype spiritual life.
To remain perfect, our Lord had to stay inside the prototype spiritual life. However, He had greater temptations to exit the prototype spiritual life than we will ever know.
God the Holy Spirit sustained the TLJC under this pressure through the entire thirty-three years of his life in unglorified humanity.
John 3:34; "For He (the Lord) whom the Father has sent communicates the proclamation from God; for He gives the Holy Spirit without limitation."
There was no limitation of the ministry of God the Holy Spirit because Jesus Christ's humanity was born into the prototype spiritual life, and He remained filled with the Spirit from the point of His birth.
Inside the spiritual life, there is no limitation on the omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit,
This ministry of the Holy Spirit was prophesied in Isa 11:2-3, Isa 42:1, and Isa 61:1-2.
One of the subjects in Isaiah's prophecies regarding the Messiah is our Lord's function in the prototype spiritual life and the ministry of God the Holy Spirit to Him.
This ministry of the Holy Spirit was the same enabling power as we have in the operational spiritual life of the church age.
Remember, Isaiah did not prophesy about the Church Age, because it was a mystery. He prophesied about our Lord who lived in the Age of Israel .
Inside the prototype spiritual life, the Holy Spirit guaranteed to sustain the humanity of Christ during His earthly ministry, which began at the point of our Lord's baptism, Matt 3:16.
Therefore, inside the prototype spiritual life, the Holy Spirit provided enabling power for the humanity of Christ during His earthly ministry, Matt 12:18,28; Luke 4:14-15,18;
We must always remember that the Lord Jesus Christ did not rely upon His deity. He voluntarily refused to use His own deity to sustain Himself. This became the basis of a test that the devil presented to him.
In Luke 4:1 we see the TLJC while residing n the prototype spiritual life being led by the Holy Spirit out into the desert, in order that He might be tested by the devil.
We see that after this testing he remained inside the spiritual life.
Luke 4:14; "And Jesus returned to Galilee in the omnipotence (power) of the Spirit."
From the virgin birth to the cross, resurrection, ascension and session, the humanity of our Lord functioned in the virtue of the prototype spiritual life.
Inside the spiritual life is purity. As long as one remains inside the spiritual life, there is no sin.
Jesus Christ during the incarnation remained inside the prototype spiritual life and therefore, He did not sin, though the pressure from his temptation was many times greater than the pressure we face in temptation. Heb 4:15;
Though He had no old sin nature inside to tempt Him, Satan tempted Him personally. Luke 4:2;
His temptations were real and far greater than anything we could ever face. After forty days of no food, He was tempted to turn stones into bread. But to do so, He would have had to act independently of the Father's plan.
The human nature of Christ was temptable, but in the spiritual life, His perfection was always intact. For thirty-three years inside the spiritual life, our Lord functioned in the highest virtue that would ever exist in a human being.
The divine nature of Christ was not temptable because as deity, immutability demands impeccability and divine sovereignty cannot choose to sin.
The union of undiminished deity and true humanity in one person, plus the fact of His humanity residing in the spiritual life, emphasizes the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ during His First Advent was "posse non peccare", able not to sin in His humanity, and "non posse pecarre", not able to sin in His deity.
The humanity of Christ was temptable and peccable, but He remained in the perfection of the spiritual life. He had human volition, but always used his volition to remain inside the spiritual life.
Inside the spiritual life he was sustained by the omnipotence of the Father in logistical grace and the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit inside the prototype spiritual life.
In doing this He set the example for church age believers 1Pet 2:21-23;
Temptation implies the possibility of sin. Because of the humanity of Christ, there was the same potential for sin as with the first Adam in the Garden.
However, for both Christ and Adam, temptation had to come from outside of the body, since in their case, there was no old sin nature resident inside the body.
Because volition guards the soul, temptability does not imply susceptibility.
Our Lord's temptations were real. But His deity was not able to sin, and His humanity in the prototype spiritual life had the power system by which He always resisted temptation.
Jesus Christ as God cannot sin, cannot solicit sin, cannot tempt, or have anything to do with sin except to judge and condemn it so our Lord's deity rejected sin, human good, and evil.
In Hypostatic Union, not once did our Lord sin, perform an act of human good, or become involved in evil.
His impeccability was the direct result his residing inside the prototype spiritual life and relying on the omnipotence of God the Father to sustain Him through logistical grace, and the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit to empower his humanity to resist temptations far greater than anything we have ever known.
The impeccability of Christ is the basis for His strategic victory in the angelic conflict, that was accomplished entirely through the omnipotence of God the Father and the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit.
Heb 2:14, "Since therefore children (people) share blood and flesh, He Himself likewise partook of the same (humanity), that through death, He might render powerless the devil who had the power of death."
Remember that the whole purpose of the virgin birth was to allow our Lord to be born perfect into the spiritual life. His purpose while on earth was to remain in that state of perfection so that, when He arrived at the cross, He was still perfect humanity and therefore qualified to be judged for the sins of the world as our substitute and Savior.
After our Lord's resurrection and just before He ascended, He prophesied the extension of the Holy Spirit's power for every church age believer. Acts 1:8, "But you shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit has come upon you."
The mandate for church age believers is found in Eph 5:18;, "Keep on being filled with the Spirit," is our mandate to remain inside the operational spiritual life.
The same power that sustained Jesus Christ on the cross is now available to every Church Age believer, but only when they reside inside the operational type spiritual life.
The dispensation of the hypostatic union therefore becomes the precedence for the Church Age.
The same perfect happiness as a problem solving device that sustained Jesus Christ on the cross now belongs to every Church Age believer who attains the three stages of spiritual adulthood.
Sharing the happiness of God is, along with occupation with Christ, the ultimate in problem solving devices. Heb 12:2;
God sent his son to provide all of this for us. Gal 4:4-5; John 1:14;
© Copyright 2019, Michael Lemmon Bible Ministries. World Rights Reserved.