Sunday, February 18, 2007

Lessons From Theology's Greatest Hits II

Today, I went to a theology class at my church and the teacher (who teaches at a seminary around the area) has some really interesting things to say. The first thing that really stuck out to me was the following passage:
This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop (overseer), he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given (addicted) to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who roles his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice (new convert), lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. I Timothy 3:1-7 NKJV
How tough would it be, as a young man in leadership to follow all those commands? The Bible gives advice and commands, but it also gives the way to complete what God mandated.
How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your Word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from Your commands. Psalm 119: 9-10 NIV
We are, on our own, utterly incapable of carrying out that which He instructs apart from the saving grace of His own Son.

Fully God/Fully Man
The second thing we discussed was the fact that Jesus, while on earth, was fully God and fully man. Of that I have no doubt. However, the teacher also suggested that Jesus, while currently in heaven, is still fully God and fully man and exists in his perfect, resurrected body, while all others in heaven are spirit-souls sans the body. He implied that when we die, our souls will go to heaven while our bodies will remain here. Again, of that I have now doubt. Then, when the new heaven and new earth are here for us to enjoy, we will reunite with our perfected bodies and once again be made complete.

The teacher also mentioned that while we are in heaven, before God “remembers” us and “re-members” our bodies, we will feel incomplete.

How can we feel incomplete in a perfect place?

How can Jesus continue to be fully God and fully man while sitting at the right hand of the throne of God, ruling the earth and acting as the intermediary between us and God?
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV

For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. I Timothy 2:5-6 NKJV
I imagine it would be easiest, at least from a human’s standpoint, for an intermediary to be completely equal to both sides between which he is mediating. It reminds me of the MENSA logic problem (with a little Ache-spin to it):
If all runners are swimmers, and some swimmers are bikers, are all runners bikers?
Well, I don’t really have an answer to the question “Is Jesus still fully God and fully man?” I will undoubtedly do some research within the Scripture to see what I can find (I have a few ideas of where to start looking, including 1) Jesus’ ascension, 2) the transfiguration, and 3) Revelation), but I wonder at the same time: How critical is it to salvation to understand whether Jesus is still fully God and fully man?

The important thing is that He did indeed make “Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” Philippians 2:7-8 NKJV. He came to save me from my sins when I put my trust in Him as my Savior, the answer to my needs, the only filler for my void.

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