Education Program in Christian Counseling: The Incarnation as the Cornerstone of Christianity.
The central theme of Christianity is Christ and the historical event known as the Incarnation. Without this event, Christianity would be merely a social philosophy without any theological and spiritual meaning. Christian Counselors must emphasize the centrality of the Incarnation as the cornerstone of our faith.
Christ Became Man
Emmanuel, means “God with us”. The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity became fully human to redeem us. If the Logos did not become fully human, then the Redemption could not happen because man required a fellow man to offer to God an atonement for our sins. Only a God-man could accomplish this and hence Jesus Christ.
Heretical Ideals Against the Humanity of Christ
The Church and the Apostles understood the natures of Christ. The apostles realized he was both God and man. The early Church would face heretical propositions that would attack Christ’s humanity and divinity. The earliest confusion regarding the Christology of Christ and his human nature occurred in the first centuries. The Gnostics contended that the Logos did not take upon a true human form but was merely a phantasm or a spiritual form. Other groups later would deny this but reduce Christ’s human nature to a shell without a human soul. The Monophisites contended that Christ had one nature and his body was an incomplete shell. This was fiercely condemned by the Church at the Council of Chalcedon and Constantinople in the Fifth Century. Later, a compromise attempted to dilute the true human nature of Christ by accepting a human nature but making it still incomplete by denying a independent human soul that existed side by side with the Logos. This was also condemned. The most convincing statement came from Pope Leo at Chalcedon when he boldly stated, one person, two natures. In that, the Church accepted the idea that the Logos became flesh and while retaining his divine nature, fused the human nature with it in perfect harmony. This confirmed a true representation of the Incarnation. One person, two natures, two wills, but one God. Hence, when we worship the human nature of Christ, we worship the Logos. When we worship the Logos, we worship the human nature of Christ as well. This is why at the Council of Ephesus, Mary was proclaimed ‘Theotokos” and not “Christokos” because Mary while not the origin of the Divine element of Christ, was nevertheless the mother of the person of Christ and in that was the Mother of God.
From this, we clearly understand that the Church has ardently defended the full human nature of Christ. Why? Because if Christ is not fully human and born as any man, then he cannot represent mankind as it’s High Priest.
Christ Lived As Any Man
Through this gift of Christmas, the Incarnation, Christ lived fully as a man (except as Paul says, in sin). In this, he not only redeemed us, but taught us how to live. He endured every temptation, suffered and dealt with everyday things we all encounter. He served as a perfect paradigm for humanity and instead of judging us from a far away throne, he instead lived and walked in our shoes as a compassionate and loving God. Only Christianity and its truth gives its people a God who suffers with us! This suffering was not inherent or deserving of the Trinity, but an open gift, where the Trinity, allowed the Second Person to open himself to us in such a special way; a special way that allowed him to become vulnerable to our rejection but also open to our love. This is an amazing miracle from God and it is accomplished through his gift of Jesus Christ.
Christ is Born, Glorify Him!
If you are interested in learning more, please review our Chrisitan Counseling Courses and see if they can help you bring Christ to others. Also please review our education program in Christian Counseling that leads to certification
Mark Moran, MA