Jesus did not come and die to create a fractured, denominated kaleidoscope of organizations. He came to save people from their sins. The path of Christ is not found in a denomination or an anti-denomination; we must transcend denominationalism entirely if we would become one with God and His people.
Jesus is both fully human and fully divine. How, exactly, did that work out in practice? Thus went arguments in the middle of the first millennium regarding Nestorianism, Monophysitism, and Chalcedon. What does Scripture say?
Claim: Jesus’ human and divine natures were so fully distinct as to seem to be two people (dyophysitism).
Difficulty: Jesus was both human and divine and yet considered one person throughout Scripture.
Also known as: Eutychanism, Miaphysitism
Claim: in response to Nestorianism, the belief that Jesus’ human nature was subsumed into His divinity, thus expressing the unity of Jesus’ nature to the detriment of His humanity.
Related: Apollinarism, in which Jesus featured a human body and divine soul; monergism, in which Jesus maintains humanity and divinity but features one energy; monothelitism, in which Jesus maintains humanity and divinity but has only one will
Difficulty: Jesus was both divine and human in one person and yet His humanity persevered (1 Timothy 2:5); Jesus as fully experiencing humanity, mind, body, and soul (Hebrews 4:15, 5:7-8); Jesus’ human will as crying out (Matthew 26:39).
According to the revelation of God in the New Testament, Jesus was the Son of God and God the Son, fully God, fully man. How was that possible? What did that mean? A lot of controversy took place over the nature of Jesus in the first few centuries after His death and resurrection. We explore three of them in this lesson: Adoptionism, Docetism, and Arianism.
Also known as: dynamistic monarchianism, adoptianism
Claim: Jesus was not born the Son of God, but was a good person, adopted as the Son of God at His baptism.
Difficulties: Gabriel’s announcement of His Messiahship (Luke 1); Jesus as child prodigy (Luke 2); Jesus as Word becoming flesh (John 1).
Inherent in Gnosticism; part of Islamic view of Jesus
Claim: Jesus only seemed to be human and/or to die.
Difficulties: Explicitly considered heretical in 1 John 4:1-5, 2 John 1:9-11; if Jesus did not really die, He was not really raised; the dead are thus not raised, and we are lost in our sins (1 Corinthians 15:1-20)!
In modified form, present today among Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Claim: the Son not equally divine with the Father, but created by the Father (Proverbs 2:7, 8:23-24, John 14:28, 17:20-26, Hebrews 1:5).
Difficulties: Jesus accepted worship, which is not due the creation but the Creator (Matthew 28:20, John 20:28, Romans 1:18-25); Jesus as fullness of deity in bodily form (Colossians 2:9); how can the Word be God if there were a time when the Word were not?