Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Hypostatic Union

My best friend Lionel and I have decided to go through the book of Hebrews chapter by chapter and really dig into the text to see what it means verse by verse. This is great because we are to (Heb 10:24) provoke one another unto love and to good works. This will help us further understand New Covenant Theology and see if it feels the massive holes we have discovered in Dispensationlism and Covenant Theology. I and Lionel alike have not latched on to a position yet but we see it as an essential to get the best understanding of the scriptures. This is somewhat hinged upon the questions, Who is Israel and are they separate from the church? Was all of Israel ever saved? How are we saved? Is salvation based on lineage or circumcision of the heart? I am not going to go here now but I will come back to this topic after I get a better understanding.

Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

The Hypo static Union is a very essential fact about the God we serve. A misconstrued view of this nature of God has been the starting point for many heresies of our day and time past. What is this word and what does it mean?

History of Word? I did some research on the word "hypostasis" in which this is where this term comes from. It literally means "that which stands beneath". In the Nicene Creed of 325 they established the words Hypo static union, where the term is used to describe two realities (or natures) in one person. The term has also been used and is still used in modern Greek to mean "existence". With regard to the doctrine of the Trinity, hypostasis is usually understood with a meaning akin to the Greek word prosopon, which is translated into Latin as persona and then into English as person. The Christian view of the Trinity is often described as a view of one God existing in three distinct hypostases/personae/persons.

Defined: A theological term used with reference to the incarnation(theophany) to express the revealed truth that in Christ one person subsists in two natures, the Divine and the human. Hypostasis means, literally, that which lies beneath as basis or foundation. They are not joined in a moral or accidental union, nor commingled and nevertheless they are substantially united.

In essence Christ is and was 100% God and 100% man. This is a substantial truth and it must be understood. If Christ was not 100% man how could this scripture be true.

Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin.

Christ was tempted just as much as we are tempted but unlike us did not sin because His Godly nature superseded his fleshly desires. It is evident in scripture that Christ got hungry, sleepy, tired, fatigued, sorrowful, weary, and many other humanly attributes but he did not succumb to his human desires. Since Jesus was a man, He knows what men are like and the temptations that we face and He has mercy on us. He was tempted by Satan beyond anything man has ever experienced in Matthew chapter 4.

This is yet another term that I never heard preached from the pulpit up until about 11 months ago. This understanding would have helped me when battling Jehovah's witnesses and so many other false doctrines out there. This is the first target that most heretics attack: The Nature and Sovereignty of God. Short and sweet but I thought this is something we need not to overlook concerning the Nature of the God we serve.

To quote C.H. Spurgeon

“When Christ in past years did gird himself with
mortal clay, the essence of his divinity was not
changed; flesh did not become God, nor did God
become flesh by a real actual change of nature;
the two were united in hypo statical union, but the
Godhead was still the same. It was the same when
he was a babe in the manger, as it was when he
stretched the curtains of heaven; it was the same
God that hung upon the cross, and whose blood
flowed down in a purple river, the self-same God
that holds the world upon his everlasting shoulders,
and bears in his hands the keys of death and
hell. He never has been changed in his essence,
not even by his incarnation; he remains everlastingly,
eternally, the one unchanging God, the
Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness,
neither the shadow of a change.”