2002-11-19 - Nestorianism
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
This week I believe I will be examined for membership as I transfer from one church to another. It is within the same denomination so it should be an easy switch. However, the one doing the examination for membership is a good friend. Therefore, I must have some fun with him. So I have decided to become a Nestorian during the examination. Nestorius is a controversial figure in the christological debates in the early history of the church. His views were condemned at the council of Ephesus in 431 AD The view was essentially that Christ not only had two natures, divine and human, but also had two distinct persons. We want to affirm the first but deny the later.
It is important for us to both uphold Christ's divine nature as well as His human nature. The standard position of Christians is that Christ was both fully divine and fully human. He maintained His nature as God while taking on the nature of humanity and yet through birth was still untainted by sin. There are many doctrinal issues we could touch on here, but maybe more importantly it is necessary to reflect upon our walk with Christ.
It is very easy to fall into patterns that are unhelpful to our relationship with Christ. It is easy for us to miss a day and not pray or read Scripture and then find that one day stretching itself into a few days, or a week, or three weeks. This begins to make us feel distant from God and yet the truth is that He is ever present and ever ready to meet with us, hear our prayers, and guide us through the power of His Holy Word. The distance that we feel is only in our minds. The Lord is never distant from His children.
Wherever you are in your walk with Christ there is always room for us to deepen our relationship with Him. You don't have to resolve all the doctrinal issues in your head to practice a faithful walk with Christ. The issue for us is not if the Nestorians got it right or were off the wall, but rather the practical issue for us, day in and day out, is do we live faithfully to what we know to be God's will. That struggle is enough for each of us. We live up to the task of faithfulness or fall down to the curse of indwelling sin. In a sense this is where our choice begins. After coming to faith in Christ we either seek to live faithfully or fall into the misery of choosing to go the other way. My hope is that through these devotionals you will be encouraged in your resolve to serve the Lord while He continues to give you breath.
Soli Deo Gloria,