The Doctrine of Christ is not the mere mortal ministry of the Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. It encompasses more than His time on this Earth as a human until His death. The Doctrine of Christ is from the very foundation of eternity past to the current session as Christ is reigning on the throne as Prophet, Priest and King. I believe that the Doctrine of Christ is not just about the teaching of Christ in His personage - His states, His offices and His work - but it must go deeper to grasp the deity of Christ from eternity past to His current work in heaven. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate a sound and full understanding of the Scriptural teaching concerning “The Christ”.
The Doctrine of Christ begins in eternity past; Christ was with God before the world was formed. He was with God in the beginning and in the beginning He was the Word. This points us in the very direction of Christ being part of the family of God (the Trinity) prior to the world being developed from the nothingness void. As the earth was formed man was made in “our image” referring to the image of the Trinity, declaring that God the Holy Spirit and God the Son are with God the Father before the beginning of the world.
Once the world was created and the inhabitants began to live, sin entered the world through one man. When God confronted Adam about the sin, man was cursed to have the iniquity of the sin passed through him to his offspring from generation to generation. Through this passing of the sin of iniquity (being twisted inside of ourselves) man began to spiral down to its lowest form. God decided to restart the world through one man, Noah. The problem however is that the sin of iniquity and the power of sin continued to be passed from this man to his children so sin remained in the world. Throughout the Old Testament there are adumbrations of the Trinity. Through eternity past, at the beginning of the world, and in the Old Testament God’s revelation has been planned out. There was a plan for Christ to become a man and bear the sins of the world to fix the twisted problem that is within mankind from before the world began. Christ was to become our Redeemer.
This was accomplished when The Word who was fully God, became fully man. In complete humbleness Christ became born of a woman through the virgin birth. The virgin birth reveals that salvation comes from the Lord and it was a fulfillment of scripture. The need for this virgin birth to take place was because of the original sin. The original sin (iniquity) which was from the first Adam and had transferred to generation to generation, this is passed through the father’s seed. When a daughter is born this sin of iniquity has been implanted at the instant of conception. The original sin of iniquity it is not passed from being born of the mother, but rather through the seed of the Father. Therefore Christ never received the sin of iniquity because He was not conceived through the seed of a man, but born of a woman through the virgin birth. This is the significance of the virgin birth: for man to be saved he must be saved from a sinless man. Though Christ was not conceived by the seed of a man the Angel of the Lord came to His earthly father Joseph and told him to name the Child Jesus.
Though Christ is God, He became man and He subjected Himself to humanity and humility. As part of that subjection and humility Christ was born a human baby, totally dependent upon His mother and earthy father for everything. Christ emptied himself and found He was helpless to the fact that He could not feed himself as a baby, change his clothes or even bath himself. God in His human form was completely dependent on one who was not God, but who was created by God. The state of humiliation came not just by His virgin birth, but it was the point of origin. As the Christ’s ministry began it also ended: His humiliation came in His suffering. Christ suffered during His brutal beatings and through the persecution by those who He loved and came to save. The deepest humiliation came through the death of the Christ as He suffered on the cross through a criminal’s execution. The last state of His humiliation was the burial of His body; He was wrapped and placed in a tomb as a man. Through these states He was humbled and completely obedient to the will of God the Father.
Christ became a man for the sole purpose of being the sacrifice which was required to bring salvation to mankind. There was the debt of the original sin that offended God, for which God had to send to us (as part of His will) a substitute that would be a worthy sacrifice (who would suffer as the guilt offering) in atonement for bringing forgiveness for sin and satisfying the law and love of God.
It is important to note that the Word became flesh and was sacrificed as Christ because it was the will of God the Father and that Christ did it willingly. The will of the God the Father was to have a mediator between God and mankind. Christ also became the second Adam to give us an example to live by. Because of the iniquity that we all share from the moment of conception, we can never attain the sinless life which Christ lived. We can, however, become Christ-like in our character. Sin blocks us from having a relationship with God the Father and Christ stands with us, covering us with His robe of righteousness for the penalty of our sin cancelling the sin debt once and for all. This was done through the atonement by Christ Jesus’ death on the cross.
The atonement was God’s divine plan since eternity past to give us His pardon and to satisfy the justice, because it was God’s own law which had to be satisfied. God demanded that a penalty for the sin to take place, for the people to be saved; payment had to come from the life of a substitute without blemish. God the Father became the debt collector to which His Son paid the debt. Everything was placed on Christ’s shoulders and it is here that He stands His ground against anyone that will raise any accusation against His people.
The Resurrection of Christ was a completion statement from God to all people then and in the future that the last enemy has been seized and victory has walked away from the grave. When Christ walked away from the grave in complete personhood, body and soul, this justified us and the penalty for the sin had been met; the punishment has forever been accomplished and freedom for the sinner is now awaiting them. This resurrection it is a symbol how the body of Christ will be like Him one day.
Christ’s ascension occurred forty days after His resurrection from the dead at the Mount of Olives. This was prophesied by the Old Testament prophets, and was predicted in the Book of Psalms and foretold by Christ Jesus Himself. Christ’s ascension accomplished two things. First, Christ’s ascension to heaven proved that the final blood sacrifice was to God, and that God the Father accepted it as righteous, therefore welcoming His Son back to heavenly glory. Second, it connects us to heaven with the prophetic statement which Christ made: He was going to prepare a place for us. The ascension of Christ was prophesied in both the Old Testament and the New Testament and is confirmed by the action in the New Testament. In the Old Testament it is prophesied that Christ would be the King over all the earth, that the Lord would be and His name would be, the only one.
Christ is now seated at the right hand of God the Father; this is His current session. The Body of Christ is present in heaven and God the Father sent the Holy Spirit to his people. It is now the work of the Holy Spirit who convicts those to be saved. Again, Christ predicted His ascension and place of power when He told the high priest that He would sit at the right hand of God. Christ is indeed seated at His proper position, at the right hand of God; this is a place of honor, trust and power. First this demonstrates Christ’s absolute rights. He is the second Adam, whereby He is the redeemer who redeemed mankind and is now the Federal Head. Christ has destroyed the power of sin and death, and now sits in His magnificent power throughout all eternity. Christ is God in the flesh and is omnipotent. His crown rights are over all mankind and His bride, the church. Because of His place in heaven with God it is clear that the current session of Christ is reigning as Prophet, Priest and King.
The very names of Jesus provide us the clear views of Him as the Prophet, Priest and King, which shows the very Deity of God and the offices He holds. His earthly name Jesus connects Him with mankind, the people He came to save. This name also shows Him as the Prophet by the way He taught and by the example of doing the will of God the Father. In the Old Testament Christ exercised His office as a prophet as the Angel of Jehovah. Others also prophesied about Christ being a prophet. As the Prophet, Jesus sees things as they are and receives revelation. He is in the service of God as the messenger, God’s representative to the people.
The name Christ is His Messianic name connecting to the prophecy taught about Him in the Old Testament which He came to fulfill. The name Christ also shows Him as the High Priest. A Priest is of men to be a representative for men to God and is appointed by God. Jesus is prophesied about becoming the priesthood redeemer. In the Old Testament the Priest would offer a blood sacrifice for the sins of the people, atoning for their sin. Christ willingly went to the Cross as the last blood sacrifice necessary for the sins of mankind.
His name Lord as it is in the New Testament is the Greek word Kyrios, translated for the Hebrew word YWWH. The Greek word Kyrios for Lord means “Jehovah God”. His name Lord shows Him ruling over people. This is the claim to Deity. Throughout scripture we find that the jobs of King and Priest are two jobs done by two different men. Both receive their appointment from God, but the priest could not do the job of the king and the king could not do the job of the prophet. Scripture however; combines the two offices of High Priest and King for only one instance, the Christ who is the High Priest sitting on the throne as King.
The second coming of Christ will be at the moment when He returns as the judge of mankind. The purpose of the second coming is judging the world and perfecting the salvation of those who are His children. Those who will be judged are mankind, the living and the dead, and the angels all of whom will appear before Him as King and Judge. Scripture prophesies that in the end every knee will bow and every tongue will confess to Jesus being Lord.
In conclusion, Christ was from eternity past set on mission to be the redeemer of mankind. This was prophesied through the Old Testament Scripture and brought to completion in the New Testament. Christ was born of God a human male through the miracle virgin birth at which time He gave Himself up to do the will of God. Through His humiliation, He was obedient to God the Father. His death on the Cross and His resurrected body clearly demonstrates that He is our Savior and Lord. As Christ in His current session sitting on the throne as the Prophet, Priest and King, He rules over everyone and everything.
God now sends the Holy Spirit to convict those who are in need of being saved (e.g. everyone); it just becomes a matter of being obedient, because one day everyone will bow and confess who Christ is and they will know who the true Prophet, Priest and King is.