The Dual Nature of Christ
Parts taken from the tract "One Man, One Spirit" by Pastor Joseph M. Giunta Sr.
Over the next few sessions we will discuss statements that Christ made that have been misunderstood (and misused) to say that the Father and the Son are two separate and distinct persons of the Godhead. Christ never referred to the Father as a separate person. What was He referring to then?
To better understand these statements that were made we will first need to visit the doctrine of Christ's dual nature. Oneness and Trinitarians alike can agree on the fact that Jesus was dual-natured. Both will readily make the statement that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. However, the disagreement arises rapidly when we begin discussing what, or who, these natures are; namely, the God nature.
The belief in only one God is called monotheism, which comes from two Greek words: monos, meaning alone, one, single, and Theos, meaning God. This is an essential doctrine for Christians to believe. The purport of this doctrine is that it not only places God alone, but also unequaled. (The (Oneness of God, David Bernard)
God is a Spirit (Jn. 4:24). This truth is consistent ihroughout the entire bible. He is called "the Father of spirits (Heb 12:9) As a Spirit, God is an intelligent, supernatural being who does not have a physical body (Lk. 24:3''). Not having a physical nature, He was not visible or physically tangible to mankind. This was the main reason for the incarnation.
The bible teaches that there is only one Spirit that makes up the Godhead (Eph. 4:4). There are not multiple spirits in the Godhead of whom one manifested in a flesh body as the Son of God. The Spirit that performed the creation of the universe is not different or distinct from the Spirit that was in Christ, or from the Spirit that is active in the church today. There is but one Spirit of God, and He is immutable, unending, omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. Other references to this truth can be found in (Genesis 1:2; 1 Corinthians 12: 4-13; Ephesians 2:18; Ephesians 4:5) to name a few.
When we see that one Spirit move as the Father, we see the same Spirit that was incarnate in Christ's person. It is also the same Spirit that we see in action in the life of a believer in the church body. Paul described it as "one and the selfsame Spirit" (1 Cor. 12:11). The word selfsame means exact. The essence of the Spirit has been compared to or illustrated by the substance, H2o. When you have water in a cup it is H2o in liquid form. If you freeze the water from the cup, it is no longer liquid but ice, or if you boil it, it will become steam. The form changed, but the substance was always the same, unchanged. So it is with the Spirit, the form may change, but the substance is immutable.
Jesus promised to send "another comforter", or the Holy Ghost. A few verses later He said "I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you" (John 14:18). When you have the Holy Ghost you truly have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in you. Now the Lord is that Spirit (2 Cor. 3:17). We see Jesus clearly being identified with that one Spirit, it is no wonder why He said it was the Father who dwelt in him that did the works (Jn. 14:10).
The centrality of this teaching goes back to the very earliest of time, at creation. Then it was firmly stated in what is known as "the Shema" (Deuteronomy 6:4). This is the core value of Judaism and true Christianity. The Jewish people recognize this as Jehovah or YHVH, and consider pluralizing the Lord's oneness, blasphemy. This is to say there is one Lord (Eph. 4:5).
Acts 10:36 says, "The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (He is Lord of all:)". Jesus on earth was God manifest in the flesh. He was the fullness of God embodied in humanity. He was not a half God half man hybrid. He was 100% God and 100% man. He was the fullness of both natures interpenetrated into one being. He was the Son of God by way of humanity, and God Himself by way of His deity. Simply stated... "For in Him (Jesus) dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. (Colossians 2:9)
These verses of scripture are very clear and explicitly definitive in declaring that Christ is God. If this is so, then where is the problem? The problem arises when we start to probe the trinitarian doctrine for explanation on which of their persons it is that actually embodies this man Christ through the incarnation. The bible is very clear about who dwelt in Jesus making Him God. It was the Father (Is. 9:6, Jn. 2:19, Jn. 8:19-30, Jn. 10:30, Jn. 14:10-11, Jn. 14:13, Jn. 17:21). The scriptures never declare one time that God the Son indwelt Jesus. In fact, the words "God the Son" aren't declared anywhere in scripture. It is a term that is foreign to biblical verbiage.
The dual nature of Christ doesn't even make sense When looking at it as the Son being indwelt by the son. What makes the Son, a son if he were never begotten by the Father? Would He really be the Son, who was never begotten? This shows that the Son is not an eternal being, but that sonship began in the womb of the virgin. This was not the Father in heaven sending the second person (God the Son) to indwell a man and do a work while He and the third person (Holy Spirit) stayed back and watched. This is so far away from biblical truth.
What we really see is a beautiful symphony of God's perfection and wisdom in action at the incarnation. God, who is the Father, placed His seed in the womb of the Virgin Mary and she brought forth a son called Jesus (Mt. 1:18-23). This son would be the savior of all mankind. This was called Emmanuel or God with us (Mt. 1:23).
This Jesus was completely human because He was born of a woman, His mother. He grew both in wisdom and stature as a man (Lk. 2:52). He was both hungry and thirsty as a man (Jn. 19:28). He wept (Jn. 11:35), slept (Mt. 8:24), mourned (Jn. 11:38) and scorned as a man (Mt. 21:12). He did all that a human does in life with the only exception; sin. He was completely perfect, but He was completely human.
This same Jesus was not just a man, but was also completely God. This is so because He was conceived by the Spirit of God (Mt. 1:20). God is His literal begetting Father (Jn. 3:16). We see Jesus do many things that a man could not do even though He be the Son of God. Jesus raised the dead (Jn. 11:43). Who can raise the dead except God? We see Jesus walk on water (Jn. 6:19). Jesus saw Nathanael before He ever even met him in person (Jn. 1:48). He knew what people thought in their hearts without them ever saying a word (Mk. 2:8). These things He did as God. For what man could do these miracles except the Father be with Him (Jn. 3:2)?
The thoughts that Jesus perceived in the hearts of these men without them saying a word (Mk. 2:8) started because of the actions of Jesus prior in the story. They reasoned within themselves because Jesus, the man that stood in front of them, forgave the sins of a man sick with palsy. Their reasoning... "Why doth this man speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?" (Mk. 2:7) Jesus forgave sins. No man can do that in and of Himself, not even the Son of God. This He did as God. We know this is the case because of the first part of the response of the men. "Why doth this man speak blasphemies?" It would not be considered blasphemy to call Himself God's Son. He did that many times and they just thought He was crazy. It was when He, being a man, made Himself Jehovah that they wanted to kill Him for blasphemy. "The Jews answered Him, saying, for a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, maketh thyself God" (Jn. 10:33). Jesus Christ was not only completely man, but also fully God and had no problem making that clear in the ears of all who would listen.
Why would the dual nature seem illogical at all? Think about it, when a child is born to his parents, he is not half from his mother and half from his father. He is not only half his mother's child. He is completely of his mother and completely of his father. I was born to James and Linda Giunta (Hammack - maiden name). I am not a half a Giunta because my mother is a Hammack. I am completely Giunta (Ask my mom, she will tell you). Without my father I could not be born. Without my mother I could not be born. I am completely of both of my parents. Why would this truth be any different in Jesus? He is completely man because of His mother's DNA, and completely God because of His Father's DNA. He was both a God product as well as a human product, both completely and simultaneously. Jesus had both human and God DNA as the makeup of His person. He was completely full of God DNA and completely full of human DNA. This makes Jesus both God and man. This is the dual nature of Christ.
More questions to come…
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Rev. Joesph M. Guinta, Sr.
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