SECTION 2. ? THE PERSON OF CHRIST.
The redemption of mankind from sin was to be effected through a Mediator who should unite in himself both the human nature and the divine order that he might reconcile God to man and man to God. To facilitate an understanding of the Scriptural doctrine under consideration, it will be desirable at the outset to present a brief historical survey of views respecting the Person of Christ.
In the history of doctrine, as we have seen, beliefs held in solution at the beginning are only gradually precipitated and crystallized into definite formulas. The first question which Christians naturally asked themselves was ?What think ye of the Christ? ( <402242>Matthew 22:42). The second question Christians asked was of Christ?s relation to the Father and then, in due succession, the nature of sin, of atonement, of justification and of regeneration. Connecting these questions with the names of the great leaders who sought respectively to answer them, we have The Person of Christ, treated by Gregory Nazianzen (328), The Trinity, by Athanasius (325-373), Sin, by Augustine (353-430), Atonement, by Anselm (10331109), Justification By Faith, by Luther (1485-1560) and Regeneration, by John Wesley (1703-1791) ? six weekdays of theology, leaving only a seventh, for the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, which may be the work of our age. <431036>John 10:36 ? ?him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world? ? hints at some mysterious process by which the Son was prepared for his mission. Athanasius ? ?If the Word of Cod is in the world, as in a body, what is there strange in affirming that he has also entered into humanity?? This is the natural end of evolution from lower to higher. See Medd, Bampton Lectures for 1882, on The One Mediator: The Operation of the Son of God in Nature and in Grace; Orr, God?s Image in Man.
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