A Trilogy of The Story of God and Man
This is part 1 of a trilogy of God and His relationship with man. This part is the foundational principle of the trilogy. It explores what is a universally unexplained doctrine – Christ, is He fully man and fully God? Without knowledge of this post you will not understand the whole of the essence of Christ ,or the purpose of man on earth, which will be explored and explained in the coming posts.
This post will demonstrate the greatness of Christ and His atonement for us. Dare we not explore this truth?
Can Jesus be fully man and fully God?
Many profess that Jesus is “fully man and fully God”. But does scripture and reason support such a notion? The truth of the matter sheds light on the What of Who we hope in as our eternal Savior. Reading the whole of this post with an honest heart is bound to change your way of thinking on this matter, and give you a much better appreciation of the eternal price God paid for our reconciliation.
Test all things before you pass judgement!
I want you to judge what I say with righteous judgement (John 7:24). This means that you should judge not with the intention of justifying your own stance, but will judge with truthfulness in the pursuit of truth wherever it will lead you. This is what Christ expects from you.
What I present is orthodox to early Apostolic Christianity (first generation Christianity). But because of contamination by uninspired men who could not grasp some of the truth as presented by the early apostles, much of church doctrine has been contrived after men’s own hearts. Therefore, what follows will be heterodox to what early Church Fathers have adopted and labelled as orthodox. Albeit, much of their orthodoxy was not the truth that God presented in scripture by those He entrusted to write it. Hence the horrific evil demonstrated by the church throughout its history.
An important note of caution:
Some with little understanding of the truth of God’s Word would like to quickly jump to labelling what follows as a form of Docetism. Don’t do that. Be careful of trying to fit presented truth into stiff labelled boxes. Truth does not fit human defined boxes. It is what it is.
John Wycliffe said that we should read the Bible for ourselves. He knew and taught against the errors of the prevailing doctrines in the church of his day. And even though he served within it, he read scripture for himself and for itself.
The false doctrine of Docetism:
Docetism (from the Koinē Greek: δοκεῖν/δόκησις dokeĩn “to seem”, dókēsis “apparition, phantom”) is the false notion that Jesus was a phantom or illusion of sorts without a body, and therefore He could not suffer the pains of his persecution and death.
Marcionism, which influenced much of Augustine’s doctrines (which were later accepted as orthodox by the Catholic church – and the Protestants adopted much of that also), states that seeing that God had no body, Jesus, being of God, appeared as a phantom only and therefore could not suffer physically. (NB. The Catholic and Protestant churches do not believe this part of Marcionism, and holds to view that the body of Christ was at least material / flesh).
Other groups accused of Docetism believed that Jesus was just a man and that the Spirit of God entered His body at His baptism. Both of these trains of thought are unbiblical and heretical.
Origin of the term “fully man and fully God”
In the fourth century, the Catholic church (initially, Apollinaris of Laodicea) borrowed a Greek philosophical (Stoicism) term in the attempts to understand and come up with a description of the essence of Christ’s incarnation. But just because one has difficulty understanding the truth of a doctrine of God, it does not give them the right to make theoretical assumptions as policy. Nevertheless, this is precisely what they did. (Those who shout the loudest and with influence are the ones more likely to be heard, and not because they are necessarily right). Consequently, the term “hypostatic union” was invented and adopted, and the phrase “fully man (human) and fully God (deity)” was born. I will answer this difficulty of theirs later.
Is Jesus “Fully Man and Fully God” According to Reason?
Here is a full cup of Cappuccino coffee. If it was half full, the other half would consist of air. Reason dictates that if the cup is full of coffee, then it would be void of anything else. Consequently, if it is full of air it would be deemed empty of coffee. However, it cannot be filled with coffee and air. For the statement of it being so would be a contradiction, making it an absurdity. And this principle goes for anything in the natural and spiritual realms.
The teaching that the body of Christ is fully man through Mary and fully God through the Holy Spirit is not reasonable in the common sense of the word. For that would make Him only half human and half God in body at best.
For if Jesus was “fully man” (human) –
1. Then Jesus would be a sinner
According to the “born sinners” advocates, the original sin doctrine would put Jesus as having inherited a sinful nature (on His “human” side), making Him a sinner through birth. But scripture explicitly declares that there is no darkness (sin) found in Christ (1John 1:5). Therefore, to cover this difficulty, Catholic Church Fathers (initiated by Augustine) contrived the idea of the Immaculate Conception. They purport that sin is genetically passed on through the males only, freeing Jesus from so-called “inborn sin”, as He never had an earthly father. But for those who choose not to believe the absurdity of males-only sin-carriers, Mary was a sinner also according to scripture (Rom. 3:23). No one is exempt from the guilt of sin.
(for the unveiling of the born-sinners doctrine go here)
2. Then He would be barred from heaven
He would not have been allowed into heaven in His bodily state because scripture says that flesh and blood (of humans) cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1Co 15:50). And seeing that He rose from the dead in the same fleshly body that He died with, then ascended into heaven, the notion of Jesus having a human body is therefore nullified by His ascension.
But the common objection here would be that Jesus was raised with a glorified body (something that does not appear in scripture). And, if the glorified body was different from His “human” body then what happened to His “human” body? Scripture said that His body would no undergo decay and would therefore be preserved. The refutation of the scapegoat argument of Jesus’ body being glorified therefore supposedly nullifying my point herewith presented will be obvious with further reading.
3. Then He couldn’t have appeared to Abraham
Whose flesh and blood did He have when He appeared to Abraham? For Abraham rejoiced when he saw Jesus in the flesh (Joh 8:56). If Jesus had a human body only because of His incarnation, inheriting His bodily form from Mary, then how did He appear in bodily form to Abraham hundreds of years before His incarnation?
Scripture tells us that He also ate and drank with Abraham (Gen. 18:8) before He went on His way to condemn the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, just as He ate and drank before and after His resurrection with the disciples (Luke 24:41-43).
Further; scripture tells us that we must be careful to welcome strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. (Heb.13:2) The angels that came with the Lord when He visited Abraham also sat at the table and ate and drank.
Therefore, if angels can appear as men of flesh, and without having to be partakers of the flesh of men, then certainly God almighty can through Christ!
4. Then Scripture would have told us
If Jesus inherited humanity then scripture would have stated such a signal doctrine plainly, and with multiple texts. For any doctrine to be true, it must be true to scripture which will therefore have a number of texts reinforcing the truth of which it intends for us to believe and follow. Example doctrines:
– God is infinitely holy, lovely, gracious, etc.
– We are to follow suit and be likewise.
– All have sinned and need a Savior.
– Jesus is infinite and absolute deity.
However, scripture is silent on any hint of Jesus being fully man and fully God in combined essence (hypostatic union), or in any way human at all. And the scriptures that have been used to support their claims require a far stretch of the imagination to make them fit. I will demonstrate this with their favorite scriptures further on.
5. Then God is not almighty
But scripture tells us that God prepared a body for Jesus (Heb 10:5). And Jesus said that God can even raise the stones up to praise Him. After all, didn’t He make man out of dust?
God does not need the medium of man (or a woman) to create a body for His Word. Nor did He choose to do so. It was His Word that created all things in the first place! In fact scripture specifically says that ” apart from Him (Jesus), nothing came into being that has come into being”. (John 1:3) . How then do some say that the Christ could only be incarnate by necessitating the assistance of that which He Himself created? It is an insane paradox.
Jesus appeared to Abraham in bodily form just as easily as He did to mankind through the incarnation. God is not limited in power. Not only did Jesus appear “as a man” in the incarnation, but He also appeared and disappeared at will before His disciples after His resurrection. Scripture never said that the risen Christ walked through walls, or travelled through space at the speed of light. It said that He simply appeared (Luk 24:36) or disappeared (Luk 24:31). His ability ascends far above the laws of nature.
6. Then Christians have no hope in Christ as the eternal atonement
Then we have no eternal sacrifice / atonement paid on our behalf and therefore have no hope of salvation.
Sin causes eternal separation from God, but through His grace, He offered up Himself as the Eternal Word of God, incarnated in “the appearance of a man” (Phil 2:8) to become the atoning eternal sacrifice in order to win our reconciliation – those who come to the obedience of faith in Christ (Rom. 1:5; 16:26).
An eternal debt (through sin) can only be atoned for by an eternal propitiation (like exchange). Therefore, if Christ died in His “humanity”, which He would have done had He descended from Mary genetically / biologically, then no eternal propitiation was made, and we are left unreconciled to God and without hope of eternal life.
However, scripture plainly states:
“yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach” (Col 1:22)
This fleshly body is of eternal not human substance! It therefore is the efficient atonement for mankind.
I do not suggest Gnosticism, Docetism (Phantomists) or Marcionism, Unitarianism, etc. These false doctrines advanced the false notion that Jesus did not exist in bodily form, but rather as an illusion. In Docetism particularly, He supposedly appeared as a phantom / ghost. (Hence the word’s literary translation – “phantom”). This is unbiblical and contrary to reason. John’s chief purpose for writing his first epistle was to refute and silence such doctrines. (See also A license to sin? for further details).
7. Then God would have to break His word and share His glory
To become part of man, God would have to share His glory with man. For if God was part (or “fully man”) this would mean that man (humanity) was part of God (or ‘fully God”), thus God would be sharing His glory with His creation. This is contrary to scripture where He says that He will not share His glory with another (Is. 42:8; 48:11); and it simply defies reason.
Some may want to raise the objection that we will be partakers of God’s glory, and thus God would be sharing His glory. But they fail to realise that when we become partakers of God’s glory it does not mean that we share any part of His glory of being God; rather, we enter the universal glory of God of which the angels and all the heavenly hosts are also partakers.
To appear as a man does not necessitate Jesus being any part human.
- He appeared as the flint Rock that followed the Israelites for forty years in the wilderness to give more than two million people water to drink and in which to wash every day (See 1Cor. 10:4). But He did not become a rock to do so!
- He appeared as a burning bush to Moses, yet He was not fire and the bush never burned.
Is Jesus “Fully Man and Fully God” According to Scripture?
For a Christian doctrine to be true it must be supported by a number of scriptures. (See also Discerning truth by the Principles of Truth)
As mentioned above; there is no place in scripture, either Old or New Testament, that portrays Jesus as having a body of humanity. But scripture does explicitly say what the essence of Jesus is, so that we can understand upon Whom it is that we have cast our hope.
Scripture says that Jesus was and remains:
The Word Of Life
The Word of Life (1John 1:1-2). This is the incarnate Word of Life, through which all things came into being (John 1:3) He is the Word of God – again in incarnate form. This Word of life not only caused all things to be, but also upholds / maintains all things in existence (Heb. 1: 3; Col. Col. 1:17). Without the continuance of the Word of Life (Jesus) nothing would exist.
He Is God
This is a difficult one to understand based on many people’s understanding through poor doctrine. However, He is God in the flesh – the express image of the omnipresent God. (Heb. 1:3 KJV) (Col. 1:15)
The Fullness Of Deity
The fullness of deity dwelling in bodily form (Col. 2:9).
Did you see that?
Scripture says Jesus is the fullness of deity (God) dwelling in bodily form. It DID NOT SAY that the fullness of deity dwells in a body; but that the bodily form was itself the “express image” (Heb 1:3KJV) of God – the fullness of deity!!! And I do not mean that the omnipresent God dwelt in a body, but that the bodily form of Christ was the express substance of God alone (fullness of deity). There is no place for the notion of human substance / essence to be mixed with the eternal essence of Christ.
An analogy – in the attempts to explain the fulness of deity dwelling in bodily form:
If a bath of water outside freezes overnight and you empty the bath to reveal its appearance you could say that the frozen water is in the bath’s form. It is pure frozen water with nothing added. It is not part bath and part water. All of it is water in the form of a bath – the fullness of water existing in the form of a bath!
Appearance As A Man
He was found in appearance (only) as a man. (Phil 2:8) See later why He had to be found in the appearance as a man.
For one to apply the reasoning that the terms “appearance as a man”, “the form of a bond-servant”, “the likeness of men”, “bodily form”, “like the son of man”, etc., means that He was of human flesh, one would then by that same line of reasoning, call Jesus a sinner, because scripture said that Jesus “appeared in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Rom. 8:3).
Eternal Blood Of God
Scripture specifically states that the blood of Jesus was in fact the eternal blood of God (Acts 20:28). This will apply to His flesh as well.
“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. (Act 20:28)
And for one to suggest that the blood of Christ was of God but the flesh was of man suggests a plain absurdity. (However, this verse is a telling eye-opener for part 2 in an upcoming post, which explores the relationship between the titles Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Here’s a clue: Note that the verse said the blood of God and not of Christ specifically. Remember it for Part 2. You will be amazed at what we unfold).
What Jesus said about John the Baptist:
It is interesting to note what Jesus said about John the Baptist:
“Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. (Mat 11:11)
Jesus here is speaking about the natural birth of man from woman and of woman (humanity). If Jesus was of woman then He would be saying that John was greater than He was, and therefore He would not be of God. However, He states that John was the greatest of all humans because of his ministry. This excludes Jesus from humanity.
What John the Baptist says of Jesus:
“He who comes from above is above all, he who is of the earth is from the earth and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.
John plainly states that Jesus, as we saw Him, came from heaven. If Jesus had any earthly humanity then John would have exaggerated the essence of Jesus by claiming that He was from above and not mention that He was of mixed substance. This, scripture will not do.
It is also interesting to note that Paul reiterates this sense by saying:
The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.
Could the infinite Christ come through the finite “seed” of man?
Here is a scripture that is often used as a “proof-text” that Jesus had a human body:
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.” (Gen 3:15)
However, the above scripture is not referring to the seeds or progeny of men, but referring singularly to that which is to come. It is figurative speech. For Satan is spirit and therefore cannot be from the seeds / progeny of the serpent. In like fashion, Jesus was not the natural progeny of man. (Read on to see what Jesus said later).
Further; Jesus bruising the serpent on the head and him bruising Christ on the heel demonstrates the figure of speech in discussion. The portion of scripture was prophesying the incarnation of Christ; not suggesting that Jesus was going to be a “fully man and fully God” manifestation.
Paul used a similar line of speech
Paul said: “Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ.” (Gal 3:16) Here he does not talk about the progeny of man, which he would have referred to as “seeds” as in many, but to the one seed, i.e. Christ, and to those who would be in Christ, through the likeness of Abraham’s faith. (See Dr. Adam Clarke on Gal. 3:16) Paul demonstrates that scripture is talking spiritually of the coming Christ and those who will be renewed in Him.
The lineage of Christ “according to the flesh” (Rom. 1:3)
Firstly; the term: “according to the flesh” does not necessitate that one is human, but rather of fleshly substance. But the term has several other meanings too: It also means
- of the same tribe / nation (Rom. 9:3)
- physical strength as opposed to spiritual strength of God (2Cor. 10:2)
- the will of man as opposed to the will of God through the Spirit (Gal. 4:23; 4:29)
- according to man’s perspective (1Cor. 1:26) (John 8:15)
- carnal / sinful inclination (“nature”) (Rom. 8:5)
- human descendancy
“…GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM WITH AN OATH TO SEAT one OF HIS DESCENDANTS ON HIS THRONE, (Act 2:30)
Scripture talks of the genealogy through which the Christ would enter the world, but it never mentions a ” blood-line” as some like to claim. Jesus came “as a man” (Php_2:8 ) and as far as men were concerned, His father was Joseph (Joh_6:42; Luk 3:23 ). Because of this supposed descendancy He could come as the “Son of Man”. Joseph took Mary (already with child) as his wife to sanctify the Child according to the flesh (according to men) (see 1Cor 7:14 ). However, scripture is very clear that the so-called “blood-line” (or lineage) of Jesus has no beginning, nor has it an end. I will demonstrate this scripturally further on.
Jesus nullifies this fallacy of being “fully man and fully God” as a descendant of David
Jesus asked them whose son they thought He was, and they said that He was the son of David. But He said to them,
“Then how does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying, ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I PUT YOUR ENEMIES BENEATH YOUR FEET”‘? “If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?” (Mat 22:43-45)
But what about Revelations 22:16?
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” (Rev 22:16)
It says that Jesus was the root of David as well as the descendant. If He was the root (originator, foundation, support – see Rom. 11:18) of David, and according to scripture is the originator of all things, then how could He be more than a descendant as to the flesh (i.e. that He came through the flesh of man)? For He cannot be the originator of Himself!
Jesus had no genealogy
Jesus, the man, had no genealogy. He was made like the son of man (Heb 7:3) for the sake of man’s reconciliation with God. Jesus said that Abraham rejoiced to see His day (John 8:56). This was recorded in Gen 14:18 and explained in Heb. 7:1 regarding Melchizedek.
But was Melchizedek really Christ?
Now some people say that Hebrews was certainly not referring to Jesus as being Melchizedek. But the writer of Hebrews says that it was hard to explain to them the truth of the matter because they were “dull of hearing” (Heb 5:11). But let the writer of Hebrews speak for himself:
- God said that Jesus was a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek (“to the order of” = in the same way) (Heb 5:6; 5:10), and not of Levi (according to human priesthood).
- Melchizedek was king of Salem (which means King of peace) (Heb 7:1-2). (Remember that God will not share His glory with another and therefore none other than God in Christ would be “King of Peace”).
- His name was translated King of righteousness (Heb 7:2). There is only One who is righteous.
- He was without father and mother, (Heb 7:3) i.e. no genealogy!(Heb 7:6)
- He had no beginning or end of days (Heb 7:3)
- He (still talking about Melchizedek) was made like (resembling – ESV) the Son of God (Heb 7:3)
- Melchizedek is (remaining to be) a high priest forever (Heb 7:3). And He lives on (Heb 7:8).
- Melchizedek being Christ, who appeared in the form of man and for the sake of man, did not come to being by the law of nature / physical means (i.e. human), but “according to the power of an indestructible life” (Heb 7:16)!
Please note: When I emboldened the “like” in the sixth description it was because Jesus came as a Son. Before His incarnation He existed as the eternal Word of God (John1:1). But He came in the form of a man for the sake of the atonement (as explained above). This will be further explained in Part 2 of the Trilogy.
Understanding Mary’s conception
Mary was a sinner like the rest of us (Rom 3:23), and therefore she was also in need of redemption as the rest of us. God chose her for her faithfulness and humility to bear the incarnate Word (John 1:14), as was Elizabeth to bear the forerunner of Christ, i.e. John the Baptist (“the greatest man born of woman”). The difference was that the birth of John the Baptist’s occurred through blessed nature. Whereas, with the eternal Christ, scripture said that the Word of Life, which was with the Father (1John 1:1-2), became flesh… as of the ONLY BEGOTTEN FROM THE FATHER (John 1:14). Mary is not a contributing factor other than being a surrogate mother.
Look again at John 1:14. It says that the Word became flesh. It did not say that the Word “took on flesh” or enjoined itself to the flesh of Mary in any way to make her conceive. The conception was miraculous; (not half miraculous and half natural), in that God did not need the body of Mary for her to conceive. The notion that God could miraculously overshadow Mary and make her conceive, yet could not do it alone and without taking her flesh upon His Word, is without reason, and belittles God’s power.
What did Jesus think of Mary as His supposed natural / human mother?
The law said that one was to honour one’s parents. Paul continued this law as a law of righteousness to always be followed and reminded us that the fulfilment of that particular law came with a promise:
HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise), (Eph 6:2)
Now Jesus obeyed the law completely, and was never found to be a transgressor of it. However, the scriptures reveal how Jesus regarded Mary as His “mother” in verses like the following:
- … “Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed.” (Luk 11:27)
But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” (Luk 11:28)
- … the mother of Jesus *said to Him, “They have no wine.” (Joh 2:3)
And Jesus *said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.” (Joh 2:4)
- Someone said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.” (Mat 12:47)
But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” (Mat 12:48)
And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers! (Mat 12:49)
There is not one instant that Jesus regards Mary as His mother in the flesh; but there are several that reveal that He regards her as a woman. He cared for her as He cared for others, and not noticeably more other than inviting John to be as a son to her when He was crucified (John 19:26-27).
God is not a respecter of persons
The Bible is clear on the fact that God is not a respecter of persons. He regards all of equal intrinsic human value. And even though Mary was of all women ever to live the most blessed, it was only because she bore the Messiah, and definitely not because she was the “mother of God” in the spiritual or biological sense. And definitely not because she was innocent of sin, because scripture reveals that no one is without the guilt of sin.
Why did Jesus claim to be the “Son of Man”?
Multiple times in the gospels Jesus states that He was the “Son of Man.” However, this does not mean that He is of the essence of man, as the many points above explain.
The Jews of the time understood the term “Son of Man” to mean the promised Messiah (Christ) as prophesied by (Dan 7:13 – 14). They believed that the Messiah would come and reign forever on His earthly throne and free Israel from its enemies. John demonstrated this in John 12:12-15. Jesus rode on a donkey’s colt and they lay palm leaves on the ground before Him in honor of Him, intending to make Him king. Then later the Jews said: “We have heard out of the Law that the Christ is to remain forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”
The Jews were confused at Jesus’ claim of having to be lifted up (crucified) because they knew that the Messiah would reign forever. But they just did not understand that He first had to die as the atoning propitiation for man’s sin.
One Like The Son Of Man
Daniel said that he beheld “One like a Son of Man” coming to be presented before the “Ancient of Days” (God). See Dan 7:13-14. This was the Christ appearing in the form of a man for the sake of being the perfect atonement, appearing before God to justify those who would turn their hearts to God through Him.
And in the gospels He confesses to be this Son of Man who came from God (John 16:30). But this was
a) to conceal from the depraved that He was God revealed in the flesh.
b) to give the true reason for His appearing to those who would perceive His purpose of being the atonement.
What Jesus said about the “Son of Man”
Jesus said: “No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man.
Darby’s literal translation:
And no one has gone up into heaven, save he who came down out of heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven.
- For the Son of Man came down from heaven, having already been in heaven. He uses the past tense declaring that He came down already as the Son of Man – that which He was before His incarnation. To reiterate: the verse says that Jesus as the Son of Man was in heaven prior to His coming to earth as the atoning Christ. Nevertheless, it was for the eternal purpose of the atonement for mankind that He was the Son of Man before.
- The literal translation says: “… the Son of Man who is in heaven.” Now how can the Son of Man (human) be talking to Nicodemus on earth and be in heaven at the same time? (Oneness Pentecostals like to use this verse as a proof-text to show that Jesus is all of God, but still cannot explain the how’s of it. For if Jesus was all of God, who was running the universe while Jesus was on earth? – They don’t know).
Why did Jesus need to be incarnated in the form of man?
To be the representative of man
Jesus had to come in the form of man so that He could become man’s eternal high priest. For the high priest by necessity is a member for that which he is priest (Heb 2:17). He could not come as an animal or inanimate object, or God in omnipresent form, but had to come as that for which He represented.
To show the way to God through faith
The Word of God came to earth to dwell among men. He could only partake of the life of man by becoming like a man. But He had to do it completely as the last Adam (1Cor 15:45). The first Adam was a created soul; but the last Adam was an eternal life-giving Spirit. He was without sin so that His eternal atonement could be worthy to pay for our eternal debt by decree. Therefore, He had to enter the world as a man. Nonetheless, not as human, (as the many scriptures and reasoning above demonstrate) but in His eternal essence, so that He may be the perfect (as a man) and eternal (being God in the flesh) propitiation. An eternal price of God paid for an eternal debt of man due to his sin.
Incarnated in the form of man, He was subject to live as man:
He came as man for the sake of man. This included Him coming in the form of “sinful flesh” even though He had no sin. This was so that He could be the perfect propitiation for mankind.
- This likeness included the limited ability of natural man; albeit faith to move mountains, and walk on water, healing, etc. is available “to all who believe” (Mark 11:23).
- He grew in wisdom and stature.
- He possessed the five senses of man.
- The natural emotions of men were also His.
- Jesus lived by faith that is available to all men should they exercise it with holiness of heart. (Peter demonstrated the latter by walking on water, healing the sick, announcing judgement causing death, raising up the dead etc.). However, man can only do this to glorify God for the specific purpose of God. Scripture does not say that Peter continued healing etc. but as Acts 4:30 says: “while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” (Note: This very verse nullifies the falsehood of TV and big name evangelists’ “miraculous works”).
Christ’s limited ability explained
- Like a man, He was limited in knowledge. The things that were not pertaining to His ministry He did not need to know at that time on earth. (Mar 13:32). He said that He spoke what He heard from the Father, and did what He saw the Father doing. He did nothing apart from God’s eternal purpose in Him. This accounts for Him not knowing the day of His return. It was beyond the need of Him knowing at the time because it wasn’t given to Him to share. (This specific case was because God wants us all to be ready for His return at all times and not just before He comes. Hence the parable about the ten virgins).
- Because He walked in faith He would need to maintain His faith by the same power that was available to man. That is why He prayed and fasted often alone. He loved the presence of His Father, even though He was of the Father. The Father’s love for righteousness was Jesus’ love also.
- He said that the Father was greater than He was as concerning His representative state as man. An ambassador for a country is of that country, yet is not the whole of the country. So too, Jesus was the ambassador of God while on earth, yet was not manifest as the whole of God in His omnipresent and omniscient form. This in no way makes Jesus inferior to the Father in essence.
In the likeness of sinful flesh
For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,(Rom 8:3)
It was because we exist as flesh and blood that Jesus had to partake of the same (Heb. 2:14). This was so that He could be the eternal atonement for man. Some religions have hideous animal-like creatures as their gods, but reason dictates that these could never atone for man, not being in the likeness of man. But God made us in His image, and therefore by that image He had to atone for us. Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil (Heb 2:14).
Jesus wasn’t just the atonement for our reconciliation; He was the eternal SOURCE of our salvation. The flesh of man can not be the source of our salvation, for the source of salvation is God. (Heb 5:9)
Christ entered the holy place once for all through His eternal blood, having obtained eternal redemption for us (Heb 9:12). The blood of human origin coupled with the eternal origin of God (as in “fully man and fully God”) can never suffice to cover our eternal judgement. The flesh and blood of our Lord Jesus is eternal in essence. It has to be, for through it He inaugurated our access to the Father forever ( Heb 10:20) which, human sacrifice in any part could never do.
So what substance was the bodily form of Christ?
The essence / substance of the bodily form of Christ was eternal. It was the same form as seen by Abraham. And the form that man saw in Jesus will continue to be forever. For it was this bodily form with which He lived, died, rose and entered into heaven from whence He came. It was the bodily form of God coming as a Son to live among us (Lev 26:12) for the purpose of being the suitable eternal atonement. Scripture teaches that the person of the bodily form was absolutely infinite (John 1:1 & 14) . Therefore, there was nothing finite / human about it.
A note of caution
But if Jesus is what I clearly define above, which is according to scripture and reason, then those who believe and confess that Jesus is “fully man” even though also “fully God”, have diminished the ability of God, and maligned scripture, and blasphemed the Christ. God said we are not to make any likeness of that which is in heaven (Exod 20:4; Deut 4:15-16) – because “you did not see any form”, yet the church in general has made God in the flesh to be man.
I look forward to any questions you may have on the above. Send me an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org