Is Christ still incarnate/human?

My lunch buddy (fellow Christian - but not Catholic) and I have a different opinion of Christ and his nature.

I assert that Christ, being human, is still incarnate/human.

My lunch buddy argues that God is “just spirit” and has no body, and is not human. In his view, Christ “took on” human form - and then took it off. While “Christ was living - he was both human and divine - now, he’s just divine.”

I asked my lunch buddy about the human soul of Christ - what happened to it? - he wasn’t sure. I asked about Christ’s post-resurrection body, and he argues that Christ somehow disposed of it by taking it off.

If he’s right, then I’ve been off base for a long time now - so I really want to understand this. If I’m right - can you suggest the best scripture references?

Thanks!!!

Your friend is the one making the assertions – ask him to prove them! :wink:

Seriously, though… he won’t be able to substantiate his claims with Scripture, since nowhere does it suggest that Christ ceased being human. We believe that he is fully human and fully divine; nothing has changed that, even the fact that now he has a ‘glorified body’.

Sounds like your friend is a bit of a Doubting Thomas, and holds to a version of a very old heresy, Docetism.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Docetism

oce.catholic.com/index.php?title=Docetae

John 20:24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27 Then saith He to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God.
29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

The Methodist Charles Wesley (who, despite being a Protestant, wrote some wonderful and completely orthodox hymns…:slight_smile: ) put it nicely in his hymn about the Second Coming called “Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending” :

Those dear tokens of His passion
Still His dazzling body bears;
Cause of endless exultation
To His ransomed worshippers;
With what rapture, with what rapture, with what rapture
Gaze we on those glorious scars!

I did bring up issue of Thomas and the interaction with the glorified body of Christ. He seems to think that the body was somehow discarded after the ascension into heaven. He claims that scripture says that God is “just spirit” - and that is what drives his conclusions. But, I’m not aware of that aspect of scripture.

My lunch buddy did say that he believes Christ to have been human. So, that doesn’t exactly fit the Docetism as it is described in the wiki article. (That error seems to teach that Christ wasn’t ever human - but just appearing to be.) But, in order to say that God is just spirit NOW - he has to conclude that Christ had to shed his “human self” that he “took on” in the incarnation.

I agree. But, he is coming at the conclusion that he has by saying that Scripture claims that God is “just spirit.” That would not be consistent with the nature of being human.

Paraphrasing Saint Paul, if our LORD is not alive forever as a human being, neither can any of us ever hope to be.

We can exist only as human beings, and a human being requires a human BODY. If our human LORD did not overcome bodily death, nobody else will.

ICXC NIKA

“For there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
1 Tim. 2:5

The *man *Christ Jesus, not “the spirit.” Note that it is in the present tense. If he says it was true then but is not now, point out St. Paul wrote this *after *Christ’s Ascension into Heaven.

And what about all the references to Christ’s visible return in the Apocalypse of St. John? For example…

“Behold, he cometh with the clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also that pierced him.” (1:7)

How can every eye see him if he’s just a spirit? I suppose your friend could say it will be a mere apparition, but this theory doesn’t fit the facts any better than the permanence of the Incarnation; and the passage from 1 Tim. rules out such an interpretation.

Perfect.

And what about all the references to Christ’s visible return in the Apocalypse of St. John? For example…

“Behold, he cometh with the clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also that pierced him.” (1:7)

How can every eye see him if he’s just a spirit? I suppose your friend could say it will be a mere apparition, but this theory doesn’t fit the facts any better than the permanence of the Incarnation; and the passage from 1 Tim. rules out such an interpretation.

Yup. 1 Tim is a great reference.

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