Monday, July 18, 2016

Truly & Perfectly Human – Part 1 – Fully God / Fully man

John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

I read an article by Pastor Robert Charles Sproul about how much has been written about the deity of Christ, and that is both good, proper and necessary as many people deny that Jesus is the Son of God incarnate. But, this emphasis on Christ’s deity has lead to imbalance in our doctrinal teaching of His humanity. If Jesus was only God and not truly man, He could not be the Savior of the world, fulfilling all righteousness, and taking upon Himself all the obligations of God’s law that must be fulfilled for us to receive salvation and life eternal.

Hebrews 2:14 “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.”

Pastor Sproul explains that Jesus Christ embodied all basic characteristics of humanity. He is born, walks, He talks, He eats, He drinks, He cries, He gets tired, and He manifests every human emotion and every dimension of the physical aspect of mankind. There’s a full identification of Jesus with humanity, except with respect to one vital distinction: the moral distinction. Jesus was without sin. Christ perfectly obeys the Father Creator God, we don’t. Christ’s sinlessness is vital to the biblical understanding of His sacrificial death and redemption. If Jesus is to be our mediator, if he is to be our blessed redeemer, it’s essential that He be sinless. The High Priest of Israel would annually go into the Holy of Holies to first make a sacrifice with the blood of a perfect and innocent lamb without blemish for his own sins, then be able to make the sacrifice for the sins of the people for that year. How could Jesus’ atoning life have any significance if He committed even one sin? He would have to pay for His own sin. He’s called the lamb without blemish because His perfection is integral to His redemptive role as the mediator who offers up a perfect sacrifice (once and for all) to our Heavenly Father to fulfill the old covenant and satisfy the wrath of God against sin.

2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Not only does Christ take what is ours, namely the punishment for sin, but through imputation He gives to Believers (those who are in Him by faith alone) the inheritance He receives for His perfect obedience and we are reconciled to Father God. If there’s anything that binds us together in common humanity and true of all people of all races, it is that we fall short of and transgress our own standards and laws, not to mention the laws of God. Nobody is perfect and there is not anything more common to humanity than sin. But Christ’s entire life was marked by sinlessness. So, how could a sinless Christ be truly human if sinlessness violates what is common to human behavior? But, is sinfulness intrinsic to true humanity. We can only answer in the negative. Everything in Scripture says about human beings and sin suggests that men and women, as originally created, were without sin but nevertheless truly human.  

Genesis 1:26-27, 31 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Sin isn’t a necessary attribute of true humanity; it is a foreign intrusion into humanity as created by God. 

Let's continue this message on the humanity of Jesus Christ tomorrow.
In Christ, Brian

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