“God is exactly like Jesus, since Jesus is identical with God”


I am currently reading Union with Christ by Robert Letham.  Union with Christ is such a crucial Christian truth.  Letham is right when he begins his book “Union with Christ is right at the centre of the Christian doctrine of salvation”.  And so I really want to be able to preach it in a clear and accessible way.  I may well touch on it in my sermon on Sunday on Acts 2 – Peter’s magnificent sermon about the magnificence of Christ in his life, death, resurrection, ascension and identity (as Lord and Christ), proclaimed against the backdrop of the Holy Spirit being poured out at Pentecost and spiritually uniting the believers with Jesus, the one being proclaimed.

I’m only part way through, but so far I can thoroughly recommend Letham’s book.

Chapter 2 is all about the incarnation, the moment when Jesus was born a human being.  Letham’s premise is that the Christian can only enjoy union with God the Son since God the Son was first united with humanity.  Letham, then, spends a lot of time discussing the history of theology on the incarnation – how Jesus can be both fully man and fully God and how the divine nature and the human nature can co-exist in one person.  It’s a fairly heavy and thorough treatment of the topic, but nestled in this history is a moving story to emphasize this most important of points: Jesus is God, therefore God is exactly like Jesus.

The story comes from Thomas F. Torrance, who was serving as a chaplain in Italy during the Second World War and encounters a soldier at the point of death.

“As I knelt down and bent over him, he said “Padre, is God really like Jesus?” I assured him that he was – the only God that there is, the God who had come to us in Jesus, shown his face to us, and poured out his love to us as our Saviour.  As I prayed and commended him to the Lord Jesus, he passed away.”

Letham adds “God is exactly like Jesus, since Jesus is identical with God”.

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