Christology

The Preeminence of Christ the Logos in John’s Prologue

Although it is not an annunciation story, it is proper to include here some thoughts about how John begins his Gospel. John self-consciously invokes the creation narrative, but he introduces the “only begotten Son” (Jn. 1:18), Jesus Christ (Jn. 1:17), as the Logos or “Word” as a Principal in the making of the world:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. (John 1:1-3)

Here the Logos1 is no incidental actor in the Creation Project. He is there at the very beginning of everything. Before Adam, before angels, the Word was present, and He was together “with God.” Verses 14 and 18 make it clear that “God” in the Prologue is God the Father, with the exception of the last part of John 1:1—“and the Word was God.” In that place this Logos is apart from God but is Himself designated as deity.

This either means there are two “Gods,” or it means that God is a plurality: one Being but with more than one “expression.” That is, the apostle declares at the start of his Gospel that the God of the OT is at least a plurality of “Persons” in a single essence.2 And this Word, who John will go on to identify as “Jesus,”—although prior to His being born into the world (Jn. 1:17)—is the one through whom God (the Father) made everything.

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Light in the Darkness: A Series for Advent Part Four – Dayspring

Read Part 3.

Light is essential for life, and light is a central subject in the Bible. It literally bookends the storyline, from its creation (Gen. 1:3-4) to the point where it becomes obsolete—aside from the light that emanates from the Son of God Himself (Isa. 60:19-20; Rev. 21:23).

In between, He is “the light of the world” (John 8:12; 9:5; see 12:46). As such, He is “the light of men” (John 1:4), and “the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world” (John 1:9).

The word light is found 180 times in the Old Testament and 98 times in the New Testament—with 20 of those uses appearing in the gospel of John. Truly, we could sum his gospel up in this one verse, which has been our theme in this series: “The light shines in the darkness” (John 1:5).

As God’s people waited for centuries in darkness (Isa. 8:22; 9:2; Matt. 4:16), they often experienced fear and hopelessness (Ps. 88:1, 6, 18; 143:3). Oh, there was certainly light available, as we have seen. At times, it was even brilliant and blazing (Ex. 33:18-23; 34:29-35). The nation of Israel found light for guidance in the law that God had revealed (Ps. 119:105) and in the presence of God Himself (Ps. 27:1). Still, in the grand scheme of history, the darkness was palpable. All of the centuries before the Messiah came were a time of waiting and watching “for the morning” (Ps. 130:5-6).

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Napoleon Syndrome? The Claims Jesus Made

Reposted from a The Cripplegate.

Napoleon Bonaparte delusion is a real thing. When the diminutive Emperor of France was in the heyday of his popularity, people would dress like him and act like him, and some were even institutionalized for their delusion. But what would happen if the real Napoleon ended up in an institution with deluded people who were also claiming to be Napoleon. This is the plot of a novel by Simon Leys, called The Death of Napoleon. 

In the story, Napoleon escapes his exile on the island of Elba by switching places with a look-alike named Eugene. Napoleon leaves the island aboard a ship, disguised as the deckhand “Eugene,” while Eugene, in costume as “Napoleon,” stays behind.

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What Don Lemon’s Declaration about Jesus’ Sinfulness Actually Reveals

"If you go on Twitter (enter at your own risk) you will see many rebukes of Don Lemon. Many Christians responded in shock at Don Lemon’s claims about Jesus’ imperfections. But I wonder if many stopped to think about what his declaration actually reveals about Christianity at large in America." - Cripplegate

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Was Jesus Tempted? Could Jesus Have Sinned? (Part 3)

Read Part 1 and Part 2.

What’s the Relevance to Us?

The questions I’ve raised above are not ivory tower speculations. I believe these questions are important to answer if we are to understand fully the implications Christ’s temptation as well as his victory over temptation for you and me. Consider the following three points of practical application:

(1) Unless the Jesus Christ had faced real temptations and successfully endured those temptations as a real man not yet glorified, He could not be our Savior from sin.

That’s pretty relevant, wouldn’t you say? Is that not the logic of Hebrews 5:8-9?

Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him (Heb 5:8-9).

In order to become “the source of eternal salvation,” Jesus had to be “made perfect.” And in order to be “made perfect,” Jesus had to “learn obedience through what he suffered.” In other words, He had to become like Adam. But where the First Adam failed, the Second Adam had to succeed. That is precisely what He did: “For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous” (Rom 5:19).

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Was Jesus Tempted? Could Jesus Have Sinned? (Part 2)

The Temptation in the Wilderness - Briton Rivière

Read Part 1.

Could Jesus Have Sinned?

In other words, should we refer to Christ during his state of humiliation as impeccable or peccable? The terms “impeccable” and “peccable” do not, in this context, refer to the commission of sin but simply to the ability or susceptibility to sin. Thus, the question is not whether Jesus was born with a sinful nature. Nor is the question whether or not Jesus ever committed any actual sin. The Scriptures in no uncertain terms affirm the purity and sinlessness of Christ (2 Cor 5:21; Heb 4:15; 7:26; 1 John 3:5). The question is, rather, was the human nature of Christ able or susceptible to sin during Jesus’ earthly ministry?

I believe the correct answer is both “no” and (a qualified) “yes.” Let me explain.

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