7th September 22
Read — Romans 1:2-6
Message Alan Burke
Today we talk about the Hypostatic Union. If you are wondering what on earth is that, or thinking to yourself it’s not relevant or important for me then think again. The Hypostatic Union is a theological term for the plain teaching of Scripture that Jesus Christ was fully God and at the same time through the incarnation was fully man. The Shorter Catechism it reminds us in Q21 as it asks Who is the Redeemer of God’ s elect? The only Redeemer of God’s elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal Son of God, became man, and so was, and continueth to be, God and man in two distinct natures, and one person, for ever.
This truth of how Jesus was fully God and fully man to many in Paul’s day would have been scandalous, especially to the Romans! To them they could have comprehended if Jesus took on the form of a human for their gods sometimes did that, they took on humanity for a purpose, but to come by birth was to them a humiliation. In their mind no self respecting God would have come in this way but then we care once more confronted with the wonder of the incarnation, that Jesus, who was fully God would give up the riches of glory and condescend, that he would face what we faced, come into the world as we come into the world all that we might know the joy of salvation.
Jesus came with sweat, blood and tears, he cried, filled nappies or what ever they had, he needed fed, there is nakedness of mother and child. In his coming, our God condescended, he came just like us, so that he might do what we could not. Pilate himself during the trial after Jesus was lashed and his bones visible cried to the crowd, ‘here is the man’ (Jn 19:5). The humanity of Jesus is key in our understanding of the atonement, without Jesus being fully man, a decedent of David then there can be no amends made for our sin, Jesus while fully God on our humanity and through his death the Devil’s power has been destroyed. (Heb 2:14-18).
This is something that we should marvel in, that love that God had for his creation that in the midst of the fall, that he promised beforehand regarding the coming of His son, who took on our humanity to our impoverished and lowly estate to exalt us and make us rich in Him! “For it is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for our sake he became poor, so that we by his poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9 paraphrased), and “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:8).
And it was in substitutionary death that as verse four emphasises, in how by the Spirit of holiness that is the Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead. In all the history of the human race Jesus has done enabled by the Spirit what no other man has. In the resurrection Jesus was declare with power to be the Son of God. This Gospel that was promised by God involved all three persons of the Godhead, the Father Son and Spirit in its fulfilment, the Father sent the son, the Son died for us and the Spirit raised the humanity of Jesus from the dead, brining him back to life so that his claim as the Son of God would be shown to be true.
When the Spirit raised the corpse of Jesus from the tomb on that first Lord’s day, that resurrection day it was announced to the world that he indeed was the Son of God. This is good news, in the midst of the news you hear this day as you switch on your telly, scroll through that app, hear on the radio what ever it is, know that Jesus Christ who is the only Redeemer of God’s elect, who, being the eternal Son of God, became man, and so was, and continueth to be, God and man in two distinct natures, and one person, for ever, so that our sin could be dealt with finally and we who are the enemies of God by our nature could be reconciled, forgiven, become the children of the living God through faith.
Q46 What is required in the first commandment?
The first commandment requireth us to know and acknowledge God to be the only true God, and our God; (1 Chron. 28:9, Deut. 26:17) and to worship and glorify him accordingly. (Matt. 4:10, Ps. 29:2)