KNOWING CHRIST AS INFINITE AND FINITE
TEXT FOR SERIES: Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.
TEXT: John 2:23-25 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. 24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, 25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
John 21:17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Mark 13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
Acts 1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
INTRO: These four verses that I have read set forth what are seeming contradictions. In the first two, it is set forth that Christ knew all things. He did not need for anyone to tell him what was in man for he knew all men. In the second, Peter declares that he knows all things. Then, we come to Jesus own admission that he does not know some things. He did not know the time of his return to the earth. In Acts 1:7 he tells his disciples that the Father has reserved some knowledge for himself.
But, how can this be? How can one person be omniscient on the one hand, knowing all things, and on the other not knowing some things? Borrowing a question from A. W. Pink, I ask, "How is it possible that the same person should be at the same time infinite and finite, omnipotent and helpless?"
That is the question I want to try to answer in this message. In the first message of this series, I set forth the Godhood of Jesus Christ. In that message I proved from the word of God the true Deity of Jesus Christ. In the second message I set forth the humanity of Jesus Christ and showed from Scripture that he is truly man, as truly man as though he were not God.
In this message I want us to probe a little more into this union of two natures in the one theanthropic person, the Lord Jesus Christ. We will do so with the subject, Knowing Christ as Infinite and Finite.
I. KNOWING CHRIST BEING GOD AND YET BEING MAN
A. Knowing Christ as being God.
1. David declared him to be God. Psalm 2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
2. Isaiah declared him to be God. 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.
3. John declared him to be God. John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
4. Paul declared him to be God. 1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
B. Knowing Christ as man.
1. Isaiah declared him to be man. Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
2. John declared him to be man. John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
3. Paul declared him to be man. Philippians 2:6-8 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
II. KNOWING CHRIST AS ONE WHO IS CO-EQUAL WITH THE SPIRIT AND ONE WITH THE SPIRIT, YET IN NEED OF AND HAVING THE SPIRIT GIVEN TO HIM
A. As God he is co-equal and co-eternal with the Spirit.
1. In the work committed to in the covenant of grace the Holy Spirit is subject to the God the Son. John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me. John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
2. Note that in both cases the Son is the one sending the Spirit showing their relationship in the Godhead and in the covenant of grace.
B. As man he is in need of the Spirit being upon him to enable him to do the many works given him by the Father. Isaiah 11:1-2 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.
1. The Spirit was put upon the man Christ Jesus. Isaiah 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
2. The Spirit was upon him to give him to declare the gospel. Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.
3. It was the Spirit of God that was upon him enabling him to go about to go about doing all the good he did. Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
III. KNOWING CHRIST AS KNOWING ALL THINGS AND YET NOT KNOWING SOME THINGS
A. As God he was all-knowing, all-wise, and infinite in his under standing. John 2:23-25 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. 24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, 25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
B. As man there were things he did not know.
1. It is obvious he did not know the day of his return to the earth. Mark 13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
2. As man he must be given the spirit of wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Isaiah 11:2-3 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears.
3. As man he must grow in wisdom. Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
IV. KNOWING CHRIST AS ALL-POWERFUL AND YET NEEDING POWER TO DO THE WORK GIVEN HIM BY THE FATHER
A. As God he is the creator of all things, powerful enough to bring a universe into being at the word of his mouth. John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
B. As man, he must be anointed with power if he is to do the miracles and might works given him to do.
1. Isaiah prophesied that he would be given the spirit of power. Isaiah 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
2. God did anoint him with power. Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
3. God was with him in the performing of his miracles. John 3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
4. It was with this God-given power that he was able to command the forces of nature to obey him. Luke 8:25 And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.
5. It was this God-given power that gave him the ability to subdue all flesh and give eternal life to those given to him by the Father. John 17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
6. It may have even been by this God given power that he was able to lay down his life and take it up again. John 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
a. The life that he laid down and took up again was his human life.
b. He could only lay down his human life and take it up again.
c. This he did according to the commandment given him by the Father.
CONC: I want to conclude with some other things that could have been included in this message.
A. As God prayer was to be addressed to him; as man he often resorted to prayer to the Father.
B. As God he is to be feared; as man the spirit of fear was given to him. Isa. 11:1-3
C. As God he is the one who is present everywhere, the one whom the heaven of heavens cannot house; as man he could only be present at one place at a time.
Truly, we can say with Paul, "Great is the mystery of godliness." We may not be able to explain all of it. It is truly unique. There is no way to illustrate it. There is no example of it. This union of the two natures—deity and humanity—in the one theanthropic person of Jesus Christ is a wonderful declaration of the love, mercy and grace of God. Let us give him praise and glory and honor for it.
Click here to go back to the index of this series: INDEX OF SERIES~KNOWING CHRIST
Click here to go to next message in this series: KNOWING THE ABSOLUTE NECESSITY OF THE DEITY OF CHRIST
RETURN TO CENTRAL BAPTIST CHURCH HOME PAGE
Last updated on Tuesday, April 01, 2008