Does Theology Transform Me?
Are you aware of the term "hypostatic union”?
“hypostatic union” simply means that Jesus is both fully human and fully divine and that He is one united Person, forever.
Take a little time to read this post to learn the meaning of the word and its value in the life of the church and individuals. The concept appears in Hebrews 1:3, “the Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of his nature.” (HCSB). Here the author of Hebrews uses the word in reference to the unity of God. Both the Father and the Son are of the same “nature.” We find in the Christian faith an obvious truth that God exists in tri-unity. There is only one God, but He exists as three eternal persons identified as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matt 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14). When the second person of the tri-unity God (the Son), took on humanity as Jesus of Nazareth, it involved a miraculous union of two complete natures—one fully human and one fully divine. The practical term used to explain this miracle is “hypostatic union.”
Union with Christ
We become united with God, by faith, through Christ’s union with mankind and the action of the Holy Spirit. In and through Christ we are children of the heavenly Father. In union with Christ, that which is His, becomes ours. His Father becomes our Father. His mission and service to the world become our mission. John Calvin says that this is “the wonderful exchange which, out of His measureless benevolence, He has made with us; that becoming Son of man with us, He has made us sons of God with Him. With Christ, we participate in His hypostatic union, the union of His two natures in His one personhood, “so we may reflect the radiance of God’s glory.” When the Church understands the concept of the hypostatic union, it will no longer be a place to practice social life, or an attractive place for entertainment, but a place to get connected with the Father and the Son by the Holy Spirit. The church is divinely called and empowered, as well as being a human institution having the power of the risen Christ that gives rise and transformation to communities. I see the picture of my Arabic church as a church without walls. A church that proclaims the Good News and helps the Arab refugees that come every week to the Dallas-Fort Worth area due to the turmoil in the Middle East. I can hear the echo of the Scripture, “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed.” (Luke 4: 18). What is the Good News to the sinners? Jesus can forgive their sins. The Good News to the captives is there is freedom in Christ. We as a body of Christ have all the tools and the capacity to pray over the sick and get healed. We have the authority to preach the Gospel and see sinners saved. Therefore, the church model is to participate in His hypostatic union, the union of His two natures in His one personhood. The great miracle that happened in history is that God became a man. “He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death—even to death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8). Christ died on the cross to forgive the sins of the world and to bring a new understanding to the concept of servanthood. He embraced the humble mission, as our Redeemer, to provide an example in order for the church to be a model of Christ in the world. Jesus became a human being in order to identify with us in our struggles. “Therefore, He had to be like His brothers in every way, so that He could become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.” (Hebrews 2:17). In my perspective that is a wonderful scripture that gives a taste to the concept of the hypostatic union. As pastors and ministers we should lead our congregations in this attitude.
As I meditate upon the concept of hypostatic union, I ought to bow down in adoration before you. What a privilege to be united with the Father so I may reflect the radiance of Your glory. Help me as your servant to lead my church to be a missional church and say with John Wesley, “the whole world is my parish.”
Pastor Pierre Bitar