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Person of Christ

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In this lesson, Dr. Ware discusses the doctrine of the Person of Christ, which includes his pre-incarnate existence, his incarnation, his deity and his humanity. He also discusses the important Christological passage of Philippians 2:6-8 and what does it mean that Christ “emptied” himself. Dr. Ware concludes this lesson with a discussion of the Council of Chalcedon.


I. Christ’s Pre-incarnate Existence

A. Jesus as the “LORD” of the Old Testament

B. The Testimony of Jesus about His Own Pre-existence

II. The Incarnation

A. Jesus as Prophet

B. Jesus as Priest

C. Jesus as King

III. The Deity of Christ

A. The names of God are applied to Christ.

1. “God”

2. “Son of God”

3. “Son of Man”

B. The attributes of God alone are applied to Christ.

1. Eternity

2. Immutability

C. The works that only God does are done by Christ.

1. Creation

2. Giving eternal life

3. Forgiving sins

D. The worship belonging to God alone is given to Christ.

E. Jesus’ own claims to deity are evidence that he in fact is God.

IV. The Humanity of Christ

A. The Old Testament teaches that the Messiah who would come would be human.

B. Christ’s own life also indicates his humanity.

C. Christ remains human forever.

V. The Emptying (Kenosis) of Christ: Philippians 2:6-8

A. Key Terms

1. “form” (morphe)

2. “equality” (isos)

3. “He emptied himself” (ekenosin)

B. The Meaning of Kenosis: Emptying by Adding

1. Divine attributes “hidden” under Christ’s humanity

2. The significance of the kenosis

VI. The Sinlessness (Impeccability) of Christ

A. Meaning of the term impeccability

B. Support for impeccability

1. Christ did not sin.

2. Christ could not sin.

3. The Reality of Christ’s temptations

a. Christ was fully and truly tempted

b. By never sinning, he endured the full weight of temptation.

c. Key distinction and solution

VII. Hypostatic Union and the Council of Chalcedon in A.D. 451

A. Erroneous views of Christ prior to Chalcedon

1. The Apollinarian View (one nature – divine only)

2. The Nestorian view (two natures)

3. Eutychianism (Divine and human nature mixed together)

B. Orthodox Decision

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