The Person of Christ

THE PERSON OF CHRIST

“Our Lord, speaking in the most solemn manner, not only presents Himself, as the Son, as the sole source of knowledge of God and of blessedness for men, but places Himself in a position, not of equality merely, but of absolute reciprocity and interpenetration of knowledge with the Father. ‘No one,’ He says, ‘knoweth the Son, save the Father; neither doth any know the Father, save the Son…’ varied in Luke so as to read: ‘No one knoweth who the Son is, save the Father; and who the Father is, save the Son…’ as if the being of the Son were so immense that only God could know it thoroughly; and the knowledge of the Son was so unlimited that He could know God to perfection. The peculiarly pregnant employment here of the terms ‘Son’ and ‘Father’ over against one another is explained to us in the other utterance (Matt. 28:19). It is the resurrected Lord’s commission to His disciples. Claiming for Himself all authority in heaven and on earth–which implies the possession of omnipotence–and promising to be with His followers ‘always, even to the end of the world’ which adds the implications of omnipresence and omniscience–He commands them to baptize their converts ‘in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.’ The precise form of the formula must be carefully observed. It does not read: ‘In the names’ (plural)—as if there were three beings enumerated, each with its distinguishing name. Nor yet: ‘In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost,’ as if there were one person, going by a threefold name. It reads: ‘In the name [singular] of the Father, and of the [article repeated] Son, and of the [article repeated] Holy Ghost,’ carefully distinguishing three persons, though uniting them all under one name. The name of God was to the Jews Jehovah, and to name the name of Jehovah upon them was to make them His. What Jesus did in this great injunction was to command His followers to name the name of God upon their converts, and to announce the name of God which is to be named on their converts in the threefold enumeration of ‘the Father’ and ‘the Son’ and ‘the Holy Ghost.’ As it is unquestionable that He intended Himself by ‘the Son,’ He here places Himself by the side of the Father and the Spirit, as together with them constituting the one God. It is, of course, the Trinity which He is describing; and that is as much as to say that He announces Himself as one of the persons of the Trinity. This is what Jesus, as reported by the Synoptics, understood Himself to be.” (B.B. Warfield)

For more on the subject, visit the Systematic Theology page.

 

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