In the first part of this two-part book review, I mentioned that there are two main concerns in the book, His Robe or Mine, that we are addressing. The first concern, covered in last month’s blog, dealt with the topic of original sin. In part two, we will address the second major area of concern which deals with the nature of Christ, or what kind of “humanity” He assumed when He came to this earth.
The nature of Christ is one of the most hotly debated topics in the Christian world today. This is unfortunate, because the Bible is so clear in its teaching on the subject. Because this topic is so huge, I will give only a brief overview, and then provide some resources that will help in a deeper study on this very important subject.
A natural outflow of the teaching of original sin is, among other things, that Jesus must have had a human nature unlike ours. Here’s why: if He had taken the SAME nature as we have, and we inherited guilt by virtue of our birth (the core of the original sin teaching), then so, likewise, must Jesus have inherited guilt. Since the atonement for sin required a perfect sacrifice, this would have disqualified Jesus for being that sacrifice. So, in this teaching, Christ MUST be of a different sort of human nature than you and me. But, is this what the Bible teaches about the nature of which Christ became a partaker so long ago?
Look first with me at the word translated “flesh” in Scriptures dealing with Jesus in places such as, John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…”; Ephesians 2:15 “Having abolished in His flesh the enmity….”; Ephesians 5:30 “For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.”; Colossians 1:22 “In the body of His flesh through death….”; Hebrews 2:14 “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same….”; Hebrews 5:7 “Who in the days of His flesh….”; Romans 1:3 “Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.”; Romans 8:3 “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.”. These passages all use the Greek word “sarx” for flesh, (#4563 in the Strong’s Greek Concordance of the Bible), and the word “sarx” means fallen, sinful flesh. These passages, read with this understanding, make it clear that Christ came to this earth in the fallen, sinful flesh like you and I have.
Think through something with me. Since Jesus took the “seed of Abraham” (Hebrews 2:16) and was, “made of the seed of David according to the flesh” (Romans 1:3), then it becomes patently clear that He took human nature long after sin ever entered the picture, and human nature became contaminated!! Consider too, how emphatic the Lord is to express His oneness with us in His humanity here in Hebrews 2:14 “Forasmuch then as the children (you and I) are partakers of flesh and blood, He ALSO Himself LIKEWISE took part of the SAME….” The emphasis is, to me, so touching. The Lord Himself is reaching over the abyss of sin to embrace us! What love! We know what partaking of this “flesh” means to us…it meant the same thing to Him! Yes, He knows JUST how we feel!
At this point, there are probably questions or arguments in the minds of many! This portion of our review is not intended to be a thorough-going dissertation on the nature of Christ, but more of a catalyst to encourage further study. For that purpose, I encourage you to avail yourselves of a free online Bible study course offered at www.dennispriebe.com. There is a tab labeled “Bible Study Course”. It is excellent! Also, under the “Free online documents”, there is a document about the importance of the human nature of Christ. A book, which we have available in our resource materials is, Cleanse and Close, by Larry Kirkpatrick. These resources offer a deeper insight into the topic of the nature of Christ, and why it is so important.
I am thankful for those of you who have contacted me in regard to this review. Your encouragement is very much appreciated! Please consider this very touching passage from my favorite book on the life of Christ, Desire of Ages, page 48. “It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man’s nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin. Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life.”
Also, please consider this excellent article: http://www.greatcontroversy.org/gco/rar/pau-phillips.php
I encourage feedback for all of our updates, but especially this one. If you wish to comment, but do not want your comment published, just say so in the comment itself. None are published until I review them.
Until next time, the Lord bless each of you!