Q&A: Jesus Christ, Christ Jesus

QExplain the difference between the names Jesus Christ and Christ Jesus.

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ABoth names refer to the same Person: the Son of God. However the order of the names is different. Jesus was the name the Son was given in manhood (Matt. 1). Christ is the title given to the promised Messiah, who would be Prophet, Priest, and King. The name Christ therefore brings out the Son in His official glories. The Son has not yet been glorified here on the earth, but He has in heaven. Those of faith recognize Him as Christ, exalted at God’s right hand.

When the order is Jesus Christ, the emphasis is often on our Lord’s humanity.

“… Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3)

When the order is Christ Jesus, it often brings before us His position as a heavenly and exalted man. This order is found almost exclusively in Paul’s epistles. When expounding the believer’s position before God, Paul is careful to say “in Christ” or “in Christ Jesus” because our position is a heavenly one.

“… and has raised us up together, and has made us sit down together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6)

The two are brought together in Eph. 1:1. Paul refers to himself as an “apostle of Jesus Christ” and to the saints as “saints and faithful in Christ Jesus”. When it is Paul’s service, it is connected with Christ in manhood. When it is the believer’s position, it is connected with Christ in glory!

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