Christology is one of the most important fields of theology. Christology brings a few presuppositions to the table, however, that must be rendered true for any real work to be done in the field. Namely, that Christ exists and existed as a man 2000 years ago along with the writings that we have about his life being trustworthy. If these two points stand then we can begin understanding the nature of the person of Jesus Christ. Bryce and I have just started a series on the podcast titles “Christology”, so I thought an accompanying blog about the importance of Christology would help the For The King community.
What Christology is Not
Christology, because of its presuppositions, does not labor to prove that Jesus was a real person that existed. It also, does not set out to prove that Jesus is the son of God. Christology, as a subject, is under the more broad heading of “theology”. Theology, as many know, is the study of God, and if Christology is going to be considered under that heading then we are already assuming Christ to be God himself. Christology is not an endeavor to know “about” a person in the sense that the world would study Immanuel Kant’s writings, but rather to know the true and living God as presupposed in the field.
What Christology Is
Christology is the study of the person of Christ. The God-man Jesus Christ incarnated into our material world that we might see him and know the true and living God.
“O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”John 17:25-26
He was also incarnated that he might bear our sins as a man, being that blood is the only way for the remission of sins.
“Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.”Hebrews 9:22
Christology however, largely concerned with Jesus’ work as an incarnated man, is also concerned with the pre-incarnate Christ that has existed co-ordinate with the father before time ever began.
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.John 8:58-59
So, it is easy to see from scripture that Jesus, being God himself, has much more to him to understand than what a secular university may describe as “Jesus Christ” in a history of religion course. The world largely recognizes the existence of the person of Christ (see the our podcast episode titled “Q/A With a Friend: Can the Bible be Trusted?“) as a historical figure. You must be a fool to reject that claim. The number of biblical, and extrabiblical resources are a wave of evidence that most atheists drown beneath when they utter such claims. When the atheist passes, there will be more evidence that Christ exists that they themselves ever existed. This is why if we take Jesus, to be who he truly was, then all other pieces of orthodox theology come into place. The question can be framed, is Jesus a liar, lunatic, legend, or LORD?
Christology, concerned with the incarnation of Christ, also looks into the life of Christ and gleans the reality of the second person of the trinity as he reveals himself to us in the incarnation. However, Jesus’ claims about his divinity and being himself God, call us into much deeper study of the person of Christ. This main claim of Christology, makes accurate Christology a matter of orthodoxy, and heresy for those that would attack his deity. This is exclaimed here by the apostle Paul.
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.1 Corinthians 15:12-19
If Jesus is not himself God, having the power over death to be raised to life in victory over death, then we are a people to be pitied. If Jesus is not the Christ then we are did in out sins and mine and your faith is futile and we have believed in vain. This is why I conclude and carry in further detail in the podcast that Jesus our Lord and savior is eternally God, pre-incarnate, incarnate, prophet, priest, and finally OUR KING.
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.1 Corinthians 15:20-28
This is material for EVERY Christian. Our faith is predicated on Jesus Christ. Christology is not for the theologian in the ivory tower but for all of us. The laymen is a reflection of the state of the church. If the church does not know who Christ is, then we will soon forget him in capitulation with the Christ the world delivers us, the antichrist.