Week 3 - Everlasting Father
Pastor David did a great job this weekend showing us that JESUS, sharing all of the attributes of GOD--especially eternality, is himself fully GOD. Today’s study will cover a different, yet very closely related topic--JESUS’ being fully human. Both natures of JESUS, Him being fully GOD and fully human, are referred to as the hypostatic union. Let’s investigate this term more closely.
As a group, turn to and read Phil. 2:5-8. This passage summarizes two very important doctrines in the CHRISTian faith: 1) the hypostatic union and 2) the incarnation. The intent of today’s study is to understand the concept of the hypostatic union--but it is essential to understand the incarnation before we can fully understand the hypostatic union. Let’s start with defining these terms. Hypostatic union refers to CHRIST possessing a fully human nature while at the same time, possessing a fully divine nature. Incarnation refers to CHRIST becoming flesh--JESUS becoming human.
1. As a group, take some time and discuss these terms. Are these terms related to each other? Can we have one without the other?
2. What is your reaction when you see terms like this? Are you curious and inspired to learn/understand them or do you become intimidated and dismiss them as being to difficult to understand? Why?
Now that we have defined these terms, let’s look for them in Phil. 2:5-8.
3. Where in Phil 2:5-8 do we see Paul talk about the hypostatic union of CHRIST?
4. But v8 tells us that JESUS was found in human form. What is Paul teaching us here with these verses?
5. Where in Phil 2:5-8 do we see Paul talk about the incarnation of CHRIST?
6. We also see in v7 where it says that CHRIST, “emptied” Himself in order to become a servant. Does this mean that CHRIST ceased being divine?
So why is this important? Why do we need to understand that JESUS is both fully GOD and fully man? Because it is essential to our faith. 1 John 4:2 says that it is how we will know people have the Spirit of GOD…if they confess that CHRIST came in the flesh.
7. As a group, turn to and read 2 John v7. This verse says that the antichrist will not confess (but conceal) that JESUS came in the flesh. Why would this person not speak of or conceal JESUS’ coming in the flesh?
8. As a group turn to and read Heb. 2:17 How does this passage explain the power of incarnation?
We are all born in sin, therefore we are in need of a Savior. But we are a fallen, sinful race; and as such, we cannot produce our own Savior. This is why CHRIST had to become flesh…He had to become like us in every respect but remain sinless in order to be our Savior. We needed someone who was fully human, in the flesh, to be an appropriate sacrifice, but we needed someone who was not born in sin, this is the divine nature. This is why the hypostatic union of CHRIST is of such importance, we needed both natures, and we received both in one person…JESUS CHRIST!