Jesus Son of God And Man

Jesus, Son of God, Son of Man
by Lambert Dolphin
Why God Became a Man?
The religion page in the Saturday newspaper these
days treats Jesus as a great moral teacher whose
words we may or may not have accurately recorded
for us in the gospels. Jesus may have been a
remarkable teacher, but so was Confucius, Buddha,
or Mohammed.
The disciples of Jesus, and the majority of the Jews
who enthusiastically followed the Master at the
beginning of his public ministry clearly hoped he
would bring in the kingdom of God by throwing out
the Roman overlords and bringing Israel back to the
glory the nation had in the days of Solomon.
Reading through the gospels there is plenty of
evidence that Jesus’ teachings were inexhaustibly
rich and profound and authoritative. His miracles
were real and brought much relief from pain,
suffering and even death. His manhood, lived out in
total dependence on the indwelling Father, was
startling to many because no man living or dead had
ever come close to measuring up to Jesus’
demonstration of what God intended normal
manhood to be.
While the people pressed upon him to hear the word
of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret.
And he saw two boats by the lake; but the fishermen
had gone out of them and were washing their nets.
Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he
asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat
down and taught the people from the boat. And when
he had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out
into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”
And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night
and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the
nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a
great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking,
they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to
come and help them. And they came and filled both
the boats, so that they began to sink.
But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’
knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful
man, O Lord.” For he was astonished, and all that
were with him, at the catch of fish which they had
taken; and so also were James and John, sons of
Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus
said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; henceforth you will
be catching men.” (Luke 5:1-10)
Jesus probably first realized his calling when he was
about 12 years old,
And the child grew and became strong, filled with
wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him. Now his
parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of
the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they
went up according to custom; and when the feast was
ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed
behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but
supposing him to be in the company they went a
day’s journey, and they sought him among their
kinsfolk and acquaintances; and when they did not
find him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him.
After three days they found him in the temple, sitting
among the teachers, listening to them and asking
them questions; and all who heard him were amazed
at his understanding and his answers. And when they
saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to
him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your
father and I have been looking for you anxiously.”
And he said to them, “How is it that you sought me?
Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s
house?” And they did not understand the saying
which he spoke to them. And he went down with
them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to
them; and his mother kept all these things in her
heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature,
and in favor with God and man.” (Luke 2:40-52)
From the time He first realized why He had been sent
into the world, Jesus knew that His main purpose
was to arrive in Jerusalem at a precise, exact time
and date on God’s calendar that had been prophesied
by Daniel 700 years earlier, (Daniel 9:24-27). There
he knew that he would be betrayed by one of his own,
and that he would become a sacrificial lamb for the
sins of all the world.
“…[Jesus] strictly charged the disciples to tell no one
that he was the Messiah. From that time Jesus began
to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem
and suffer many things from the elders and chief
priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third
day be raised. And Peter took him and began to
rebuke him, saying, “God forbid, Lord! This shall
never happen to you.” But he turned and said to
Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to
me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men.”
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any man would come
after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross
and follow me. For whoever would save his life will
lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find
it. For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole
world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give
in return for his life? For the Son of man is to come
with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he
will repay every man for what he has done. (Matthew
16:20-27)
Men today are no different from the Jews of Jesus’
day. We’d all like a Savior who would fix up the
externals of our lives, solve our financial and
emotional problems, deal with our enemies and give
us at the happiness that constantly eludes us. But the
Primary Mission of Jesus was much more serious and
profound and terrible. He came to undo cosmic evil
and to accomplish a permanent fix for the problem of
human sin.
The solution to human ills and to the cosmic problem
of evil could not, cannot, and did not come from
human skills, ingenuity, or from our meritorious
efforts. It is the Creator Himself who formulated the
plans—from the beginning of time—for the solution
of man’s terrible plight. Though the councils of God
are conducted in eternity “before the foundation of
the world,” in due season,
“…when the time had fully come, God sent forth his
Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem
those who were under the law, so that we might
receive adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:4, 5)
God executed His plans, as He always does, according
to His own timing and pre-planning. What God did
to solve the problem of evil was to enter the human
race in the Person of the Son, as a perfect, sinless
man.
Jesus,
“who, though he was in the form (morphe) of God,
did not count equality with God a thing to be
grasped, but emptied (ekenosen) himself, taking the
form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
And being found (schemati) in human form
(homoiomati) he humbled himself and became
obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore
God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the
name which is above every name, that at the name of
Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth
and under the earth, and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the
Father.” (Philippians 2:6-11)
Jesus, the Son of God became a substitute for each
one of us, a sin-bearer, a reconciler. He is called in
the New Testament, “the Author (archegos) and
Finisher ( teleiotes) of our Faith” (Heb. 12:2). By a
voluntary act the Son of God chose to become a man,
to be an obedient servant, and to do everything, day
by day throughout his entire life on earth, in total
dependence upon the Father who indwelt Him.
This passage quoted above from Philippians is of
great importance to our understanding the nature of
God and the radical solution to sin God accomplished
through the incarnation of His Son. The early church
wrestled over the issue of whether Christ had one
nature or two (the problem of the “hypostatic
union”)—most Christians today agree that this
passage implies that Jesus Christ is both fully God
and fully man. Furthermore, Jesus lived His entire life
on earth by faith in total dependence upon the Father
who dwelt in Him, thus He did not, while He was on
earth, exercise His sovereign power as God the Son.
This right and privilege (that of acting as Sovereign
God), in addition to His exalted and splendorous
place beside the Father, were temporarily and
voluntarily set aside by Jesus of his own free will.
The Son of God, having become a man, grew into
maturity, through suffering and obedience, and so
came to the age where He was fully qualified to die as
a substitute for the sins of the world. Then, having
accomplished that terrible, bloody work of the cross,
Jesus was raised from the dead by the Father and by
the Holy Spirit. Forty days later He ascended into the
heavens. This same Jesus now sits at the “right hand
of the Majesty on High.” In this series of cosmic
events, Jesus has actually gained a more exalted
position in the universe than He held before. Because
of his obedience and death on the cross, He has been
elevated by the Father to the place of supreme
authority in the entire universe. This “higher state”
may be difficult for us to imagine—since Jesus was
already the Son of God before He became a man—
but such is the language used of Jesus in the New
Testament describing his post-resurrection
exaltation.
Chicago’s Moody Church pastor and prophet, the late
A.W. Tozer wrote these words:
“The teaching of the New Testament is that now, at
this very moment, there is a Man in heaven
appearing in the presence of God for us. He is as
certainly a man as was Adam or Moses or Paul; he is
a man glorified, but his glorification did not de-
humanize him. Today he is a real man, of the race of
mankind, bearing our lineaments and dimensions, a
visible and audible man, whom any other man would
recognize instantly as one of us. But more than this,
he is the heir of all things, Lord of all lords, head of
the church, firstborn of the new creation. He is the
way to God, the life of the believer, the hope of Israel,
and the high priest of every true worshiper. He holds
the keys of death and hell, and stands as advocate and
surety for everyone who believes on him in truth.
Salvation comes not by accepting the finished work,
or deciding for Christ; it comes by believing on the
Lord Jesus Christ, the whole, living, victorious Lord
who, as God and man, fought our fight and won it,
accepted our debt as his own and paid it, took our
sins and died under them, and rose again to set us
free. This is the true Christ; nothing less will do.”
The Seat of Original Sin
The late Arthur Custance, a gifted Canadian Bible
scholar, in his book The Seed of the Woman, (Ref. 1)
makes a case that “original sin” in the human race
may very well be transmitted biologically from
generation to generation [from Adam] through the
male sperm, rather than through the female ovum.
Custance took care to defend his premises
thoroughly. The virgin birth, Custance believed,
allowed Jesus to be born of Mary free from all sin so
as to become a “lamb without spot or blemish,”
“tempted in every way, just as we are, yet without
sin.” Scripture also speaks of Jesus as “The Lamb
slain before the foundation of the world.” If original
sin is transmitted genetically by the male sperm and
not by the female ovum, then Mary, though she
herself was a forgiven sinner and a mortal daughter
of Adam and Eve, could give birth to a sinless son
through the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit without
ordinary fertilization by her husband’s seed.
The incarnation, the life, the death, and the
resurrection of Jesus the Son of God is an awesome
intrusion into our limited space-time domain. These
events which we see as merely historic in our time
frame constitute an eternal event, a transaction
(known in theology as “the eternal covenant”)
between the Father and the Son, which really takes
place in eternity, outside of time. The prophet Isaiah
records amazing “conversations” outside of time
between God the Father and His servant the Messiah,
(Isaiah was written about 700 years before Jesus was
born) For example Isaiah 49 says:
Listen to me, O coastlands, and hearken, you peoples
from afar. The LORD called me (Messiah) from the
womb, from the body of my mother he named my
name. He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the
shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a
polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me away. And he
said to me, ‘You are my servant, Israel, (here the
Messiah is spoken of as the true Israel) in whom I will
be glorified.’
But I (Messiah) said, ‘I have labored in vain, I have
spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely
my right is with the LORD, and my recompense with
my God.’
And now the LORD says, who formed me from the
womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him,
and that Israel might be gathered to him, for I am
honored in the eyes of the LORD, and my God has
become my strength—he says: ‘It is too light a thing
that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of
Jacob and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will
give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation
may reach to the end of the earth.’ Thus says the
LORD, the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, to
one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations, the
servant of rulers: ‘Kings shall see and arise; princes,
and they shall prostrate themselves; because of the
LORD, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has
chosen you.'” (1-7)
Arthur Custance’s argument about the mechanism by
which sin may be genetically transmitted is a very
reasonable one, (at least to my way of thinking), and
helps us to understand why the blood line of the
promise through legitimate heirs from Eve down
through Mary is uninterrupted, while only the Kingly
promise (not the blood line—see Jer. 22:30, 36:30) is
preserved from Abraham to Joseph.
The conception of Jesus in the womb of Mary by the
Holy Spirit interrupted the chain of genetic links
beginning with the fall, allowing a descendant of
Adam to be born into the world free from original
sin. The perfect obedience of Jesus during His life on
earth also was necessary to assure that He reached
the cross as a fully qualified sin-offering. Scripture
emphasizes the humanity of the Messiah as fully as it
does His Deity. The Old Testament is replete with
references to the Messiah as the “root out of dry
ground,” “the seed of David,” “the suffering servant of
the LORD,” and so on.
Jesus and the Undoing of Cosmic Evil
The most famous passage from the pen of Paul
describing the resurrection of believers also makes
mention of Christ’s victory over evil angels, and over
death itself. Indeed Jesus will, ultimately “put all
things under himself:”
“But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the
first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a
man came death, by a man has come also the
resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so
also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his
own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming
those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end,
when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after
destroying every rule and every authority and power.
For he must reign until he has put all his enemies
under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is
death. ‘For God has put all things in subjection under
his feet.’ But when it says, ‘All things are put in
subjection under him,’ it is plain that he is excepted
who put all things under him. When all things are
subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be
subjected to him who put all things under him, that
God may be everything to every one.” (1 Corinthians
15:20-28)
The Bible is full of evidence that both the spiritual
dimension and human society are today influenced by
an active and pernicious evil agency. The old creation
has been ruined because of active evil perpetrated by
fallen angels. Both the heavens and the material
universe have become flawed and corrupted. Some of
the laws of physics we now take for granted were
evidently different in the past. Evil in the heavens
means that malevolent spiritual beings, having great
influence in the universe have access to the throne of
God and to territories beyond the earth as well. Satan
does not rule in hell, as popular cartoons usually
suggest. As the prince of the power of the air he has
access to heaven, (Job Chapter 1). As the god of this
age he rules over the fallen social order of the nations.
Satan and his hordes of malevolent spirit-beings rule
in the activities of men; however, only with
permission from God. They are completely in
subjection to God and can not go beyond boundaries
established by God. Satan’s pervasive influence of
active evil influencing all human affairs is also
temporary and soon will be coming to an end. In fact,
the doom and fate of the Father of Lies has already
been sealed in eternity. The victory of Jesus on the
cross was a cosmic, all-encompassing one:
God has delivered us [who believe] from the
dominion of darkness and transferred [translated] us
to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have
redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Jesus is the
image of the invisible God, the first-born of all
creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven
and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or
dominions or principalities or authorities—all things
were created through him and for him. He is before
all things, and in him all things hold together. He is
the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning,
the first-born from the dead, that in everything he
might be pre-eminent. For in him all the fullness of
God was pleased to dwell, and through him to
reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in
heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And
you, who once were estranged and hostile in mind,
doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of
flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and
blameless and irreproachable before him…(Colossians
1:13-22)
We sons and daughters of Adam, who still live
constrained in time, can rest assured that a bright,
new world lies ahead for all who follow Jesus as Lord.
A just and holy God cannot tolerate the present world
situation forever. He must, and He will, intervene and
change the status Que. One such direct intervention
has already occurred, at the time of the Flood of
Noah. God’s next moves will be more grand, terrible,
and awesome indeed. He reigns over the entire
universe always, but He does not yet rule on the
earth. The day of Christ’s rule on earth is fast
approaching.

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