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Divinity of Christ

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Lesson

The incarnation is a foundational teaching of the Christian faith. Since Jesus claimed to be God, it’s not an option that he could be just a good person. Paul teaches that Jesus has the same nature as God and that Jesus created all things. Ebionites rejected the divinity and virgin birth of Jesus. Adoptionism taught that Christ was a good man that was penetrated by God’s nature at his baptism and becomes divine, which treats divinity as an acquired attribute. Arias taught that Christ was not coeternal with the Father. He was more than mere man but he was created so he wasn’t equal with God. The first ecumenical council of Nicea in 325 affirms the divinity of Christ in response to the teaching of Arias. Wesley affirmed that Jesus existed as one person with both a human and divine nature. To affirm the essential equality of Christ with God the Father, Wesley often used the terms, “the only-begotten Son of God,” and “the Word of God.” The Son of God is the creator and sustainer of all things and the redeemer of humanity. The difference in the Godhead is relations, not nature. 

Outline

I. DIVINE NATURE

A. Biblical evidence

1. Isaiah 7:14-15; 9:6

2. John 1:1-4, 14, 18; 3:31-32; 10:30; 8:58

3. Paul's writings

4. The Son created and supports all things

B. Early heresies

1. Ebionism

2. Adoptionism

3. Arianism

C. John Wesley

1. Jesus is both human and divine

2. Only begotten Son of God, and the Word of God

3. The Son created and supports all things

4. The Son of God is the redeemer of humanity

II. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS