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Jesus Christ: Fully Human and Fully Divine

Autor:   •  April 5, 2011  •  Essay  •  2,005 Words (9 Pages)  •  2,934 Views

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Jesus Christ: Fully Human and Fully Divine

Throughout the history of Christianity, there have been several fundamental beliefs affirmed through several pivotal ecumenical councils. Of these beliefs, there has been perhaps no greater affirmation than that of Jesus Christ being both fully human and fully divine. Along with its importance, it is arguably the most difficult belief to articulate in a manner that is applicable to Christian believers. Many theologians have offered valuable explanations on this subject, drawing on scripture as well as theologians before them. What does it mean to be fully human and fully divine at the same time? Is it possible to be simultaneously fully human and fully divine? What is the significance of Jesus Christ being both fully human and fully divine? These are the questions that drove, and continue to drive, the minds of Christians across the globe. This paper will aim to answer these questions and to offer both an interpretation and opinion of the relevance of this seemingly difficult concept to every Christian.

When examining the humanity of Jesus Christ, it is important to understand its specific and unique implications. The humanity of Jesus Christ was just like ours, with the exception of sin, and not a form of humanity that suggests that Christ did not completely take on flesh. This is what is meant by the term "fully human." It can be difficult for Christians to affirm that Jesus Christ was "begotten of the Holy Spirit," a divine connotation, while also affirming his simultaneous existence as fully human during his time on Earth. We are well aware what it means to be human and prone to sin, and yet we are called to understand, more importantly believe, that Jesus Christ existed in this way for thirty-three years while remaining perfect. This is asserted clearly in scripture. "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." This verse is clear in stating that Jesus Christ was not merely appearing to be human, as Docetism suggests, but actually assumed the full identity of a man. This is an important distinction that helps us in understanding the dual nature of Christ as it relates to justification. By enduring suffering, thirst, tiredness, and pain, Jesus Christ was fully in position to redeem humanity from sin. Since it has been fully assumed, we can be fully saved. Gregory of Nazianzus writes, "If anyone has put their trust in him as a human being lacking a human mind, they are themselves mindless and not worthy of salvation. For what has not been assumed has not been healed; it is what is united to his divinity that is saved." During his letter attacking Docetism, Gregory makes clear that Jesus Christ took on every possible aspect of human life. When it is said that Christ is fully human, this is

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