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Bible verses about Fully Man and Fully God
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Genesis 3:15   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Important to us is the prediction that Messiah would be the child of a woman, and arguing from silence, that His father would not be a man.

The apostle Paul writes of this prophecy's fulfillment in Galatians 4:4: "But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman" (see Matthew 1:24-25; Luke 2:7). All humanity has been "born of a woman," and because of this fact, we all share this trait with our Savior. Like us, He was a human being.

Inasmuch then as the children have partaken in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (Hebrews 2:14-15)

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Born of a Woman


 

Psalm 2:7   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Jesus' most important descent, of course, is from God the Father: "The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, today I have begotten You'" (Psalm 2:7; see I Chronicles 17:11-14). The angel Gabriel tells Mary, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35). Later, after Jesus' baptism, "a voice came from heaven, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased'" (Matthew 3:17).

This fact has so many meanings to us, but maybe the most wonderful is found in I John 5:20: "And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life." Because Jesus is the Son of God, we can have a relationship with the Father and thus understand and receive eternal life.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Born of a Woman


 

John 2:19   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Some have interpreted this verse to mean that Jesus Christ raised himself from the dead, which is based in Gnosticism—particularly Docetism, the belief that Jesus was a human, but Christ was a separate, spiritual being. This false belief manifests itself in the notion of Jesus being "fully man and fully God." This interpretation overlooks the plain meaning of "temple" in the Greek. The word "temple" also appears in verse 14, but it derives from a different Greek word, hieron, meaning a "shrine" or "holy building." In verses 19-21, John uses the word naos, signifying the "dwelling place" of deity.

In the New Testament, naos is used metaphorically of the bodies of believers (I Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19). Whereas the Jews of John 2:19 were thinking in terms of a building, the Temple, Jesus was referring to His body, the church.

During Jesus' trial, the Jews brought up what He said in John 2:19 as an accusation against him. However, Mark 14:58 adds two significant phrases that clarify what Jesus said beyond a shadow of doubt: "We heard Him say, 'I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.'"

To understand what He meant, we must consider what occurred as a result of His death and resurrection. The instant God the Father raised Jesus from the dead, the church—the "body" in which God dwells—became an accomplished fact. Jesus Christ is its first member and Head. This is also one of the senses of Matthew 16:18: "On this rock [Jesus Himself] I will build My church, and the gates of Hades [the grave] shall not prevail against it."

The true meaning, then, of John 2:19 is that Jesus makes a parable-like statement about His nature then and in the future. His physical body at that time represented the extent of His church; He was the only believer, its only member. But once the Father resurrected Him and He became Mediator and High Priest, He indeed raised up a body of believers, the Temple of God, of which we are part.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Fully Man and Fully God? (2001)


 

John 17:5   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Whatever this glory is that He asks to be restored, it is something He did not have as a human, but He did have when He truly was fully God. He had it before He was born of Mary, did not have it during His physical life, and had it returned to Him upon His resurrection and ascension.

In the New Testament, glory is used in the sense of anything that brings honor and praise upon a person. It can be one's works, attitude, manner of living, skill, strength, wisdom, power, appearance, or status. Some or all of these could be included within the framework of Christ's request. The Bible does not clarify or expand on what He specifically meant, but whatever it was, it was lacking in Him while He was human. Therefore He could not have been "fully man and fully God."

John W. Ritenbaugh
Fully Man and Fully God?


 

Philippians 2:5-7   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Can anything that has some part removed from it still be as much as it was before? In the Word's case, He surrendered a level of existence never experienced by any human being, since only God lives at such a level in terms of both quality and length. We should not forget that what He gave up included immortality. If this is the case, was He as fully God as a human as He was before?

Of course, the other side of this picture is His humanity. In Philippians 2:5-7, Paul is saying that God exchanged one form of expression for another. Therefore, He never ceased being what He originally was, just the expression of what He was changed. Therefore, He was not a man in the strictest sense of what a man is—as we are. He was the Word of God manifest in the flesh and nature of a man. Can we then say He was fully man?

John W. Ritenbaugh
Fully Man and Fully God?


 

Philippians 2:7   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

The clause, "He made Himself of no reputation," more literally reads, "He emptied Himself." Instead of asserting His rights to the expression of the essence of Deity, He waived His rights and relinquished them. Compared to the fullness of God, He must indeed have felt empty once He gave up "the form of God"!

The word form in verse 7 is the same Greek word as in verse 6. The grammatical structure of the sentence demands that the "taking the form of a servant" preceded and caused His "making Himself of no reputation." Remember, form is the outward expression of inner nature. The sentence, though, indicates an exchange of such expression. Therefore, being a servant was not something of His inner nature that had been previously expressed. It was not His usual mode of outward expression. Before, He conveyed glory and sovereignty over all things, but afterward, He manifested servanthood.

An event in the life of Jesus may help explain this exchange of expressions. What happened in His incarnation was the exact opposite of what occurred at the transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-5; Mark 9:2-7). Luke writes that His "appearance . . . was altered" (Luke 9:29), and Peter, James, and John "saw His glory" (verse 32). On the Mount of Transfiguration, He was changed from His normal, human outward expression as a servant to the outward expression of Deity.

Of what did He empty Himself? He did not empty Himself of His Deity, but rather the outward expression of His Deity and all it implies. As one author puts it, "He emptied Himself of His existence-in-a-manner-equal-to-God." He set aside His legitimate and natural desires and prerogatives as Deity so that He might express Himself as a servant.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Fully Man and Fully God?


 

Colossians 2:9-10   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

At every turn, it seems, the main object of Gnosticism was to twist the nature of Christ. Some Gnostics believed that Jesus was a man, but that Christ entered into Jesus when He was baptized and left Him right before He died. Other Gnostics believed that Jesus did not really die - because, after all, if He died, then He was not really God. Others believed that He could not have been perfect and sinless because He created matter, which Gnostics believed to be evil. And there were also those who believed that Jesus Christ was a created being - an idea that is still affecting the fringes of the church of God today.

So if we want to counter Gnosticism, we must begin with the truth of Jesus Christ. Paul emphasizes this in verses 9-10: Jesus was the fullness of the divine nature in bodily form, and He is the head, the leader, the sovereign, of every principality and power. Though the Gnostics in their various views always twisted or denied some aspect of the nature and role of Jesus Christ, these truths brought out by the apostle are bedrock beliefs for true Christians.

Also foundational to countering Gnosticism is the truth that Jesus brought. To combat the false knowledge that threatens to plunder our spiritual riches, we must take the Bible as the complete and inspired Word of God, against which we can test any concept, tradition, doctrine, or philosophy, no matter how good it sounds on the surface. Gnostics would not readily accept the Bible as God's inspired revelation, or if they did, they also held that other ancient, secret writings were on par with Scripture, and could be trusted to provide greater insight.

In addition, Gnostics were also avid proponents of "progressive revelation," the belief that God is continuing to reveal His will to mankind, but with the implication that Holy Scripture is not as important as hearing directly from the spirit world. Thus, some today, while not entirely rejecting the Bible, believe that "God" is personally revealing things to them - things which often contradict what He has already given to mankind in the His written Word.

David C. Grabbe
Whatever Happened to Gnosticism? Part Two: Defining Gnosticism


 

1 John 1:1   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

As a witness to Jesus Christ's entire ministry, John shows how He was not an apparition or a phantom. The apostles had heard His voice with their ears, seen Him with their eyes, and touched Him with their hands. He is writing to leave no doubt that Jesus Christ was a physical human being but at the same time the very Word of God.

Earl L. Henn (1934-1997)
For the Perfecting of the Saints


 

 




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