Bible Reading Made Easy

What Does “Christ” Actually Mean?

By Xie Shang

As Christians, we are all familiar with the word “Christ.” Because we pray in the holy name of Jesus Christ every day, we believe the Lord Jesus is Christ. Then why do we call the Lord Jesus “Christ?” What does Christ mean? Some people may say, “Christ means the anointed One.” Some say, “Christ is the Son of man.” Everyone has his own opinion. Regarding these opinions, have you ever thought: According to the records in the Old Testament, Jehovah God called those who were used by Him the son of man. Were those who God used and called the son of man, Christ? Just as the Bible records, “And he said to me, Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you” (Ezekiel 2:1). “And he said to me, Son of man, have you seen this?” (Ezekiel 47:6). Here, Jehovah God called Ezekiel the son of man. Then was he Christ? In the Old Testament, those who were used by Jehovah God to do work were prophets, priests, ect. God called them the son of man. So, were they Christ? The answer is “no.” If we say Christ means the anointed One, then what about all the kings and priests in the Old Testament who were also the anointed ones? Why weren’t they Christ? Maybe we all have many confusions about what Christ means, so let’s discuss this question: What on earth does Christ mean?

God’s words give us clear answers. God says, “The incarnate God is called Christ, and Christ is the flesh donned by the Spirit of God. This flesh is unlike any man that is of the flesh. This difference is because Christ is not of flesh and blood but is the incarnation of the Spirit. He has both a normal humanity and a complete divinity. His divinity is not possessed by any man. His normal humanity sustains all His normal activities in the flesh, while His divinity carries out the work of God Himself. Be it His humanity or divinity, both submit to the will of the heavenly Father. The substance of Christ is the Spirit, that is, the divinity. Therefore, His substance is that of God Himself; this substance will not interrupt His own work, and He could not possibly do anything that destroys His own work, nor would He ever utter any words that go against His own will. Therefore, the incarnate God would absolutely never do any work that interrupts His own management. This is what all man should understand. The essence of the work of the Holy Spirit is to save man and is for the sake of God’s own management. Similarly, the work of Christ is to save man and is for the sake of God’s will. Given that God becomes flesh, He realizes His substance within His flesh, such that His flesh is sufficient to undertake His work. Therefore, all the work of God’s Spirit is replaced by the work of Christ during the time of incarnation, and at the core of all work throughout the time of incarnation is the work of Christ. It cannot be commingled with work from any other age” (“The Substance of Christ Is Obedience to the Will of the Heavenly Father”). “God become flesh is called Christ, and so the Christ that can give people the truth is called God. There is nothing excessive about this, for He possesses the substance of God, and possesses God’s disposition, and wisdom in His work, that are unattainable by man. Those who call themselves Christ, yet cannot do the work of God, are frauds. Christ is not merely the manifestation of God on earth, but instead, the particular flesh assumed by God as He carries out and completes His work among man. This flesh is not one that can be replaced by just any man, but one that can adequately bear God’s work on earth, and express the disposition of God, and well represent God, and provide man with life” (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life”). From these words, we can see that only the incarnate God is called Christ. Christ has a divine substance and He can express the truth and do the work of God Himself. Christ is God who assumes flesh to become a man. From His outward appearance, He seems ordinary and normal like man, so He is also called the Son of man. But the one who is called the son of man may not be Christ. Take the apostles, prophets and priests for example. Though they were called the son of man, their substance was humanity, they were human beings—creations of God. Hence they couldn’t express the truth, let alone do the work of God Himself, because they were not Christ. Besides, Christ is the flesh that God’s Spirit is realized in and indwells in. And although Christ means the anointed One, the anointed one may not be Christ. This is the difference between Christ and man. Christ has the appearance of a man, but His substance is God’s substance. In the Old Testament, why was Jehovah God not called Christ? Because at the time God worked, guided men in their lives and led them to worship Him using the Spirit, and He didn’t become flesh to do work, thus He couldn’t be called Christ. Christ is a special word that refers only to God incarnate. Christ is God Himself living within the flesh. Though in outward appearance Christ is an ordinary person, His substance is different from any of created humans’. Christ is God incarnate, is God’s own flesh and is God putting on the flesh and coming to earth; Satan can’t go near and corrupt Him. Therefore, Christ can do the work of God Himself and can express the truth to redeem and save mankind. This is Christ’s particular divinity. Christ’s substance is a combination of normal humanity and complete divinity and is God Himself on earth.

Now we may understand more about what Christ means, but we need to continuously seek and ponder this aspect of the truth. Only thus can we deepen our understanding of this truth and welcome our groom—Christ of the last days!

Read more: Is Jesus the Son of God? Why Did He Say He and His Father One?

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