Sunday, December 5, 2010

God with Us

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us" (Matthew 1:22-23; cf. Isaiah 7:14).

The Bible presents Jesus as being fully God and fully man in one person. Theologians call this doctrine the hypostatic union. Two complete natures are united in one person.
  • Jesus is God the Son.
  • Jesus was always God.
  • Jesus became human.
In the opening chapter of John's Gospel, Jesus is called "the Word." In verses 1 and 14, John writes, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.... The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us."

When John wrote his first epistle (probably between A.D. 85 and 95), a false teaching was circulating in the church, which claimed that Jesus only seemed to have a physical body. This heresy became known as docetism. (The word "docetism" comes from the Greek word dokeo, shich means "to seem" or "to appear to be.") This false teaching about Jesus was what led John to write, "Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of antichrist" (1 John 4:2-3; cf. 2 John 7). John understood that to deny that Jesus had come in the flesh was to deny something at the very heart of Christianity (Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, p. 540).