Summary of Lewis Chafer’s Systematic Theology Volume V Chapters IV-VII

In these chapters of Lewis Chafer’s Systematic Theology we find the following subjects: the baptism of Christ incarnate, the temptation of Christ incarnate, the transfiguration, and the teachings of Christ incarnate. To provide a proper summary of these subjects it is important that we look at each one individually.

First, we see the baptism of Christ incarnate. Chafer gives us the following outline in dealing with this issue: 1. The baptizer. 2. The need. 3. The mode. 4. Christ baptism and the Christian baptism. 5. Other baptisms. Chafer gives a careful examination of John who was the baptizer of Jesus. John is seen as the one preparing the way for Jesus to begin His ministry. The need of the baptism of Jesus can be the center of much debate. Chafer points out the fact that Jesus did not need to be baptized in order to be cleansed or to be a part of the church. It must be noted that the church did not exist at this time. However, the baptism of Christ was of necessity in order for Him to fulfill His role as the great High Priest. The mode of the baptism of Jesus also has various views as Chafer points out. It is likely that Jesus was not baptized by immersion; however, this is a mute point due to the fact that His baptism was of a totally different kind than that of the Christian. Chafer continues his thoughts on the baptism of Christ by comparing the baptism of Christ with the baptism of believers. It is thus shown that Jesus was baptized for a different purpose. As Christians, we are baptized as a symbolic showing of what Christ has done for us. Chafer also briefly mentions other baptisms found in scripture and those are listed as follows: The baptism by the Holy Ghost and the Cup baptism.
Secondly, Chafer deals with the subject of the temptation of Christ incarnate. Within this sphere there are three fundamental factors given: the meaning of the word or term: to tempt, the idea that God may be tempted, and the fact that His temptation dealt with His humanity and not His Deity. Chafer concludes his thoughts on this particular subject with the thought that the temptation of Christ was made for the purpose not of showing whether Christ would fail but to prove that he could not fail.
The third subject we see in these chapters is the transfiguration. Here Chafer deals in respect of the following outline: 1. The importance. 2. The reason. 3. The Reality. 4. A representation of the kingdom. 5. The divine attestation. Though great detail is spent on the transfiguration of Christ, Chafer concluded that there is but one meaning concerning it. The conclusion is that the transfiguration show the power and coming of Christ in His kingdom and is in no way related to the church.
The final subject in this section of Systematic Theology is the teachings of Christ incarnate. Chafer spends a great deal of space dealing with the teachings of Christ especially concerning the major discourses. Of these discourses we see the Sermon on the Mount, the Olivet discourse, and the upper room discourse. Concerning the first two it must be understood that it deals specifically with the kingdom and the nation of Israel. The latter of the three deals with the church. Chafer points out clearly the fact that the basic application of the first two discourses are for the nation of Israel though the principle lessons that are learned can be applied to believers.

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