Daddy, Can You Explain the Hypostatic Union?

by Alex on July 9, 2012

We are very blessed with our children.  Now, don’t get me wrong, we struggle with their sin (its especially convicting when we see them commit the sins of their father and mother) and their immaturity.  But at the end of the day I know we are very blessed.

But one thing I never considered having to deal with as a father was answering those hard questions.  I’m not talking about the birds or the bees or anything of the sort.  No, I’m talking about those questions we struggle to wrap our minds around.  Those questions that we start as adults to understand, catch a glimpse of the eternal truth and think we understand, and then next thing we know are gone in an instant.  It’s difficult enough to try to answer this question in front of adults; its yet another to have this 8, 7 or 5 year old looking into your eyes, confused but inquisitive, looking for daddy to explain the answer in terms that she can understand.

Let me give you some examples – from just this past week (some are easier than others, of course):

  • As Goliath was a giant and assuming he had children, where are the giants today?
  • Hebrews 13:8 says that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever”.  How do we describe when he took on flesh and dwelt among us?
  • God created man in His own image.  How do we understand that if “God is a Spirit and has not a body like men”?
  • Did God sin when He created man? (In other words, because God made man able to sin, did He Himself sin?)

Did we mention these are just from this past week?

This is where being a homeschool dad and mom can be a blessing because we have to be on our toes and studying to give an answer that is both Biblical, yet easy enough for our children to understand.  And I’ve learned from past experiences in life that the more you understand a subject, the simpler you can explain it.  In other words, to explain these things to our children in a way they can understand we really need to understand it well.

You see, one thing that we believe in our home is that we do need to give an answer for the hope that lies within us – yes, even (and especially) to our children.  I don’t want our children to grow and mature thinking that there are just some truths that we’ll never understand and that we just need to keep our mouths shut and never consider.  I don’t want them to doubt the truth of His Word just because I don’t have the answer to their deep question on the tip of my tongue.  Some questions I can just answer.  Other questions require intense study.

That brings me to this sermon by Rev. Joe Morecraft, III on The Impact of the Incarnation on the History of Mankind.  I have been blessed in learning about this doctrine in previous studies, but this sermon seems to break down the hypostatic union down wonderfully and simply – that blessed doctrine that refers to those “two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. Which person is very God, and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man” (WCF 8:2).

Cassie and I listened to this on Sunday and highly recommend it.  Not only for the beautiful exposition of Phil 2:5-8, but for such a clear explanation of the understanding how the Incarnation impacts our society as well.

So in our time of family worship today, we discussed that passage and talked about it.  We discussed when Christ took on flesh, He did not lose any of His attributes as God, but rather that the Incarnation was an addition – not a subtraction.  At the time of the Incarnation and even today, Jesus IS just as much God as He has been for all eternity, and is truly the same yesterday, today and forever.

And just for a moment, we all seemed to understand – even if just for a moment – including the children.  And we worshiped!

God, grant me the grace and knowledge to understand Your word well enough that I may pass these truths on to my children, that they may know them, hope in You, and keep Your commandments (Ps 78:6-7).  Amen.

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