Christmas and Christological Heresies

Understanding God becoming flesh is not easy for our brains to grasp. How is God the Father one with the Son? What happens with Christ’s divinity when He takes on a human body? How much of Him is God and how much is human?

Throw Mary in the mix and, well, look out!

One of the great confusing verses on the issue is Isaiah 9:6, “ For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

Within this verse we see the complexity of what’s going on. A son is born called The Everlasting Father! How can He who is eternal be born? How can the eternal father be a son at some point? Doesn’t that cancel out the idea of eternal fatherness?!

The best way to describe what is going on is to use biblical words and phrases. Quoting a verse is the best option; trying to use philosophy to explain it will merely lead you into the murky waters of heresy. I may not be able to explain it to your satisfaction, but I know I can quote the One who brought it up!

Church History is filled with heretical views of Jesus Christ. Some thought He was just a spirit that looked human. Some thought He was just a guy God used. There are views more extreme and at every point in the middle of who Christ was.

There are three major heresies regarding the Lord Jesus Christ:

(1) The denial of Christ’s Divinity — which lead to the heresies known as Ebionism, Arianism (Jehovah’s Witnesses), Nestorianism, Socinianism, Unitarianism.

(2) The denial of Christ’s two natures — which created heretical groups such as Monophysitism, Eutychianism, Monothelitism. These all confuse the two natures of Christ; i.e., absorbed one of His natures into the other.

(3) The denial of Christ’s humanity — which gave rise to Docetism, Marcionism, Gnosticism, Apollinarianism, Monarchianism, Patripassianism, Sabellianism (modalism), Adoptionism, Dynamic Monarchianism.

The bottom line is that God in the flesh is who Christ is. If it were not so, there is no Gospel. Beware anyone who tries messing with the person of Christ, denying that He was who He said He was. If they don’t have that part right, they have nothing else right. Guaranteed.

“For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.”

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