Example Of Research Paper On Christology Person And Work Of Christ
Type of paper: Research Paper
Topic: Jesus Christ, Death, Human, God, Christians, Sin, Life, Humans
Christology involves the study of Christ. Christology refers to the externality and the pre-existence of Christ. The Old Testament offers prophecies about the Christ’s deity and humanity, incarnation, his death, and resurrection. With such assumptions, Paul experienced the risen Christ on his way to Damascus. Such experience altered Paul’s perception on his understanding on Jesus. Paul begins to identify Jesus as messiah, and he thinks that Jesus is the Messianic pretender whose actions refute to be Israel’s Messiah. With the Paul’s views on his understanding about Jesus Christ, this research paper focuses on Paul’s Christology and his views on the Death of Christ. The paper begins by providing clear understanding about Paul’s Christology, and the last section argues on the death of Christ according to Paul.
With respect to Paul’s Christology, Paul as Christ assumes that Christ is a human being, which was contested by the Jewish contemporaries of Paul. In expressing the idea of Jesus Christ as a human being, Paul explores different anthropological terms to describe Jesus and his salvation work. In comparison and contrast to Adam, Paul refers him as a man2. Paul expresses his understandings by stating that Jesus Christ is the second man from heaven as oppose to the first man from the earth. Besides, Paul uses flesh to describe the humanity of Jesus Christ. He uses such term to explain the physical and bodily existence of Christ. Paul states that God sent Jesus Christ in the likeness of flesh, and this refers Jesus Christ as a human being1. Paul affirms that Christ as a human being is a Jew. In relation to the physical descent, Paul believes that Jesus Christ is the descendant of David.
In overall, Paul holds Jesus Christ as the human being. Form his experience, he does not understand sin in the sense that he did not encounter any sin; therefore he is sinless. Instead he is described as obedient and righteous to God1. In relation to the Christology on the preexistence of Jesus Christ, Paul shows that the existence of Jesus is evident in the historical appearance. With respect to the book of Galatians 4:4, Paul states that God sent Jesus who was born under law, and this implies the pre-existence of God’s sent. In the fact that God sent Jesus Christ in the likeness of sinful flesh, Paul uses his assumptions to explain the Christ’s pre-existence. Besides, Paul explains how Jesus, through his richness, became poor so that all the believers may become human being. Therefore becoming poor identifies Jesus as the spiritual rock and Christ is considered to exist in his pre-historical appearance1.
Paul’s participatory understanding of the death of Christ
According to Paul’s understanding, the death of Christ is participatory. All humans participated by the virtue of the humanity that was shared between them and Christ. the death of Christ was shared by the active members of Jesus community in a different and effective manner by celebrating baptism and Eucharist. According to Paul these events were of no signifance in that through them God is acting in the world and Gods hands was active in events that are natural and social events .The death of Christ according to Paul was not significant because of their origin but was significant because of its important.
In respect to Paul theology, Christ was significant for what he was and not what he neither did nor said during his life. He believed that Christ was the same but he only did not accept to become human. For Paul’s argument to make sense Christ Jesus was a must to be like human and this was because they shared a common feature that was important, they both have flesh. According to Paul, the easiness of Christ to death was only important and of help when he dies like human beings does3. Christ death was required because being Adams humanity member, death was unavoidable .Because of the unity of Christ with sinful humans, he had to suffer and this was as a result of the consequences of sin. With respect to the book of Matthew 27:46, Christ died a physical death which is a proof that he was different from God. According to Paul, Christ suffered all the consequences which were associated with sin.
In pauls view, God loves and he also forgives but he is not happy with sin. God does not allow or let evil go unpunished because if left unpunished it will be against the justice of God. in Paul God uses Christ to show his fury through Jesus and not Christians in order for those who have faith were to able live freely and without fearing the consequences of sin3. The impact of Christ death is beyond the relationship of humankind to God in that his death changes humans in ways that are significant. Humans who are Christians are in him meaning that what is true of Christ is also true of them and this unifies them completely. They are attached by spiritual ties which make them one in purpose, aim and emotions and they act as one and not two people. This union does not make any of the parties to diminish their self distinct5.
However, Paul clarifies that Adams action had spiritual effects that was dangerous to human in that they are all sinners and they must die but because Jesus was a part of human race he did live in accordance to the rules that govern that life in order for humans to be able to participate in life that Christ leads4.They have the opportunity to share in Christ by doing the same thing that Christ did in his lifetime .for Paul, for one to be part of Christ community it was difficult in that one was required to undergo trials in order to be part of that kingdom of God that was to come. Christians had to play part not only in sufferings but also in death of Christ Jesus which is a very important aspect of their sharing. By Paul calling Jesus the Christ, he actually means that Christians shares his death. According to Paul, death is a turning point for Christians and not an end, it’s the beginning because Christians death is tied to the future that he shares in Christ’s death meaning when Christians are dead they die in Christ3. Dying in Christ has significance in that when Christians are dead in Christ it means they are going to rise again.
Therefore Paul concluded that punishment for sin is not for ever because humans die in Christ and Jesus went through the fury of God by suffering and dying. As much as humans participate in last days of Christ, God did give humans fair punishment and they are free to enter Gods kingdom .in respect to Hebrews, Paul did suggested an arrangement by God of diverting punishment for sin by practicing animals sacrifice as Gods offerings4.
3 Lightfoot, Joseph Barber. Saint Paul's Epistle to the Philippians. Whitefish, Montana Kessinger Publishing
4 Toews, Joseph. E. (2004). Romans. Scott dale, Pa: Herald Press
With respect to the book of Leviticus 4, the practice of animal sacrifice as a type of Hebrew offering was important as it was a sin offering.
Paul believed that when an animal is slaughtered, his blood is considered life and the sin is transferred to the animal when the blood is spread on the altar of God4. Thus this shows that the punishment of sin is death but is not eliminated by its transferred. Another sacrifice that Paul believed is the sacrifice done on atonement day in which all the sins of people were driven to scapegoat and then sent away to wilderness and the scapegoat symbolizes Christ Jesus. Christ was sent by God to earth to die for humans. By the participation of Christians in the suffering and death of Christ they do live and die in Christ5. Christ’s death compared to that of Adams community is different in that his death led to resurrection from the dead.
4 Toews, Joseph. E. (2004). Romans. Scott dale, Pa: Herald Press
5 Westerholm, Stephen. (2004).Understanding Paul: The early Christian worldview of the letter to the Romans. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Academic
Feinberg, John S. No One like Him. Wheaton: Crossway Books. 2001. 387-388.
Kevin J. Vanhooser. “Nothing Greater Nothing Better.” Cambridge: Wm. B. Eerdman’s Publishing. 2001
Lightfoot, Joseph Barber. Saint Paul's Epistle to the Philippians. Whitefish, Montana Kessinger Publishing
Toews, Joseph, E. (2004). Romans. Scott dale, Pa: Herald Press.
Westerholm, Stephen. (2004).Understanding Paul: The early Christian worldview of the letter to the Romans. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Academic