Galatians And The Lord Jesus Christ

Hello everyone. We’re going to continue our study of the doctrine of the Trinity as it is revealed in Scripture. I’d like to point out something based on something I heard this morning. I heard a speaker talking about a doctrine and told us how it was more systematic than biblical. There won’t be any explicit statement of the doctrine. I was concerned with that statement as to say a doctrine is systematic is not to say it is biblical. Very few doctrines are based on explicit statements. Your soteriology, eschatology, ecclesiology, etc. will often be based on the whole of Scripture. So it is with the Trinity. Now our task would be a lot easier if there was one chapter and verse, but there is not. We look at the Bible as a whole.

Tonight, that look at the whole will wrap up the book of Galatians. I’d like to read Galatians 6:11-18.

11See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!12Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13Not even those who are circumcised obey the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your flesh. 14May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation. 16Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God.

17Finally, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.

18The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.

These are the words that Paul is to have written with his own hand, as he often used a scribe for his writing. I find it extremely relevant that he refers to Jesus as the Lord Jesus Christ, which is a phrase that has not been used since the opening of the gospel.

What all does this entail? It entals first off that he is deity. He is the Lord and this has been seen to be the understanding of Paul thus far in the epistles. To call Jesus Lord was to include him in the divine identity and give him ontological equality with YHWH.

Now we do realize that it is a heresy to deny the deity of Christ, but we often forget that it is just as much heresy to deny his humanity. If you have a Jesus who is not God, he cannot save. If you have a Jesus who is not human, he cannot save as he cannot be our representative that grants us that salvation. Jesus had to be made like us in order to bring about our salvation. The name of Jesus was common in the time of Jesus and this reminds us that Jesus is fully human.

The final term is Christ. We are to be reminded that Jesus is the Christ, the messiah. All of these would have been relevant in the Galatians debate. Jesus as Lord would have meant that he is the source of salvation. Jesus as human would have meant that he was the one who bore the curse for us. Jesus as Messiah would have meant that he was the fulfillment of the promise of salvation to Israel.

For Paul, all three are needed. We need a Jesus who is Lord, human, and messiah. Should we settle for anything less?

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