Thursday, June 20, 2013

Let's Get Ready to Rumble....

Editor's note:

I've started this blog because I'm a student wanting to know more. It is the desire to know and understand as much as for any reason, save sharing the everlasting gospel. Jesus has hooked me and is reeling me in! I am not a theologian, never attended seminary and am not all that familiar with what Ellen White wrote on many topics.

As I looked for resources to inform the discussion and my understanding, the issue of the nature of Jesus' humanity seems to be one of the more controversial topics in our church (I didn't know!). The reason for this is that there are heavy theological consequences that logically follow from your conclusion on whether Christ took on the nature of Adam (whose name means mankind) before he sinned or his nature after he sinned. Based on my reading of the bible, I side with those who say that Jesus took on our fallen nature.

Though not exhaustive, here are some relevant texts:

For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the fleshGod did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:3-4 NASB)
Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested. (Hebrews 2:14-18 NRSV)
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence,so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16 NIV)
What do these texts tell us? What are the implications for the believer (which must incorporate an understanding of the nature of Christ's divinity, which we'll address later)?

Though all serious people agree that Jesus did not sin, how could he satisfy the righteous requirements of the law if he came in Adam's pre-fallen state?  Here is the law:
If there is a dispute between men, they are to go to court, and the judges will hear their case. They will clear the innocent and condemn the guilty. (Deuteronomy 25-1 Holman Christian Standard Bible)
Unless he took on my fallen, guilty nature, even though he did not sin, he could not be condemned for my sake. Behold The Lamb of God!