So we official reconvened again, and I must say that I really love this group. I know I’ve said it once, and I’ll probably say it again. These ladies are wonderful.
We discussed chapter one of Word of Life today. We spent a lot of time talking about how the Gospel is about a Person, not just a series of ideas. Before anything else, the preaching of the Gospel is the preaching of Christ (Col 1:26).
One of the key points of this chapter is that it defines several basic Christological terms. Three main areas of study in Christology are His Person, His work, and His office. I like Oden’s sentence, which is helpful to remember these terms: The work is done by the person through the office. For a non-theological example, think of it this way, George W. Bush (the person) runs the country (work) through the office of the presidency.
Christ’s Person speaks of who He is. The three points Oden highlighted were:
– He is truly God
– He is truly Man
– The unique, personal union of God and Man in one Person. (This unity of God and Man is called the theandric union. “Theandric” is a contraction of the word, “Theantrhopos”, which simply means “God-man” (Theos = God; Anthropos = human).
The work of Christ speaks of what He does, specifically regarding the broad scheme of salvation. The two things we discussed were:
– The work of Christ, while conceptually distinguishable from His Person, is intrinsically dependant upon who He is.
– The two states, or phases, of Christ’s ministry: Humiliation and exaltation. It’s the basic progression of Philippians 2:5-11, where the uncreated God humbled Himself to the utter depths, and was consequently exalted to ultimate glory.
The office of Jesus, to put it roughly, is His function / job description by which He accomplishes His work. The three offices described in Scripture are the prophet (declaring the words of God, revealing the Father), the Priest (mediation, intercession, atonement for sin — just to name a few functions), and the King (ruling and reigning, the sovereign God).
Oden pointed out a sequence in these offices, saying that Jesus’ propehtic work was in His earthly ministry, leading to His priestly ministry on the Cross, followed by His ascension to rule as King at God’s right hand. There is an element of truth to this — each stage clearly displays the office assigned to it.
However, we ladies had some extensive discussion about how this is not an entirely accurate description of the offices of Christ. True, you can’t get any more prophetic than Jesus’ earthly ministry. However, Jesus is still the Word of God, the Lord’s communication to humanity in these last days (Heb 1:1-2). It’s true that the ultimate priestly sacrifice took place on the Cross. However, Jesus still always lives to make intercession for us (Heb 7:25). And even when Jesus stood before Pilate, battered and beaten beyond recognition, speeding towards the lowest point of His humiliation, He was still a King (John 18:33-37).
We also had a lot of fun discussing our prayer reading passages. Christina was reading Philippians 2, and struck all over again by how Jesus is real — for really real — a real human being who is also God. Shawna was talking about Jesus’ incredible humility in Hebrews 2, how He thoroughly identified with us, even calling us brethren. Deborah was enjoying reading about Jesus being the brightness of God’s glory in Hebrews 1, and I was enjoying meditation on how John 1 says “in Him is life”.
So again, please feel free to comment below. How did the reading in Word of Life go? What about the prayer-reading? Questions/comments/revelations/etc.?
Next week, we’re reading through page 42. Same time, same place. Blessings!