What is the doctrine of hypostatic union?

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By BibleAsk Team


The Hypostatic Union

The doctrine of hypostatic union explains how God the Son became incarnate. The Son of God always existed (John 8:58, 10:30). However at the appointed time, He took on a human body (John 1:14). And in the flesh, He was fully God and fully man. This is a divine mystery. When the angel told Mary of the good news of Christ incarnation, she wondered saying, “How can this be” The angel answered her saying, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you” (Luke 1:34,35). The human mind is so limited and can’t comprehend this act.

Jesus Became a Man to Save Us

Jesus became a human being in order to save humanity from the penalty of their sins (Philippians 2:5-11). Jesus had wear a flesh in order to experience death on behalf of the guilty. He could not die as God. He had to put on a nature that was capable of dying. If He had taken Adam’s unfallen nature, He could never have died UNLESS HE HAD SINNED! That nature was not subject to death until after it was weakened by sin. Jesus could taste death only by being born into the fallen family of Adam’s descendants.

Paul emphasized this point when he described how Jesus “was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8). It was humiliation indeed for God to become man; and then, being man, to die a shameful; death on the cross.

And as a human being, Jesus was limited by His flesh (John 4:6, 19:28). At the same time divinity shone from His acts (John 11:43; Matthew 14:18-21). For He accepted the dangers and sufferings of a man. Satan constantly tried to tempt Him to using His divinity to deliver Himself from suffering, and it must have been the Master’s strongest test not to use His own omnipotence during His final painful hours on earth. Had He done so, the plan of salvation would have failed. Thus, even in His death, Jesus yielded to the conditions imposed by His human nature.

Our Response to His Love

Christ’s obedience was of the same nature as ours must be. It was “in the flesh” (Romans 8:3) that Christ rendered this obedience. For He was a man, subject to the same desires to preserve His life as we are. Although He was tempted by Satan, He overcame the evil one by the power of the Holy Spirit, even as we may do. He exercised no power in His own behalf that we may not employ. Thus, He identified with our trials (Hebrews 2:17).

Today, in response to His call of love and gift of salvation, believers should choose to accept His forgiveness and eternal life. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). To become a child of God is to enter into daily relationship with God (Hosea 1:10) by the new birth (John 3:3).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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