The Five Points of Christology
At Christmastime we celebrate the great gift from God: His word become flesh. When we speak this way we are talking about the incarnation (the in-flesh-ment of God). In order to better facilitate understanding, I have summarized the doctrines of the incarnation and the hypostatic union (the teaching that Jesus is both full divine and fully and perfectly human) in terms of the acronym JESUS .
- John’s Prologue: Before his birth in Bethlehem, the man, Jesus of Nazareth, eternally existed as the Word of God, the second person of the Trinity – equal with God the Father in both power and glory. John 1:1-14
- Emptied: In the incarnation, the divine Word took on/assumed/added a human nature to his own divine nature without ceasing to be God. Phil. 2:5-7
- Somatic: The human nature taken on by the Son is fully human (subject to all natural human frailties such as fatigue, hunger, thirst, and ignorance), yet without the inward temptation, inclination, or desire to sin.
- Unified: Jesus Christ—the eternal Word incarnate—is a single, unified person mysteriously possessing two natures (both fully human and fully divine) in such a fashion that neither is compromised (whether through confusion, mixture, or separation).
- Savior: This union of natures is absolutely essential for the reconciliation between God and man, and for the consummation of God’s purposes for creation. The human nature of Jesus is essential for the fulfillment of God’s kingdom purposes through humanity, while the divine nature is essential because the radical and pervasive effects of sin upon creation made it impossible that any mere human could successfully overturn them.