Jesus is the Word of God. It’s like one who is totally trustworthy saying, “I give you my word…” Jesus is a full and complete embodiment of God’s integrity as well as all the other extremely significant aspects. Was, and is, Jesus only a man or was he God? Or was He a combination of the two. Let us look at the truth concerning this crucial issue heatedly debated for centuries.
Most Christians are afflicted with stunted growth because their leaders hinder or prevent their knowledge of exactly who Jesus was and is, and why He did the essential things we read about in the bible. The book of Hebrews states, “… He, for a short while, became a little lower than the angels for our benefit…” and in Philippians 2:6-8 it says that He emptied Himself and became a man humbling Himself as such before God…” Further, in 1 John, 4: 2 and 3, “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of Antichrist…” Moreover, in the Gospel of John, “…the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Real flesh, not just a façade or a sham – not divinity!
Why? Because only as fully a man without the automatic advantages of being God could He live the life being led by the Holy Spirit as the forerunner of those who would believe and, in addition, it was the only method that would offer the necessary validity for what Jesus endured in torture and death for our salvation. Moreover, it would be easy for a god to endure merciless beatings at the hands of contemptuous jailers and suffer the criminal’s crucifixion and spike pierced hands and feet until dead. He set the crucial example by sacrificing as totally a man, but as well, before His great ordeal He fashioned the model for our daily life. He said in the scriptures that, all He did, we could do also because of the indwelling Spirit in Him and would be in us. As a complete human being operating according to the divine direction of the indwelling Holy Spirit; Jesus set the example for us to live the same way.
Further proof of this concept is found in John 14:10, “…the Father who dwells in me does the works.” John 14:12, “…he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also…” John 14:17, “…the Spirit of Truth… He dwells with you and will be in you.” Acts 1:8, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…” And of His full humanity: Hebrews 2:14-17 says, “Inasmuch as the children(all humanity) have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself(Jesus) likewise shared in the same…”; “…in all things He had to be made like His brethren that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest…”.
The modern church often sets forth a statement of faith that though having the deceptive appearance of proper doctrine and saving faith, it is actually falsehood and completely contradictory to scripture. The main phrase in question is: “We confess Jesus Christ as the eternal Son of God who became fully human while remaining fully divine…” Nowhere is there any existence or even a hint in the scriptures of the concept of remaining fully divine while being fully human. This appears basically as a lame attempt to straddle both sides of an issue and avoid taking a solid, but contentious stand for the truth. The misleading statement strives to please all sides of the divinity /humanity argument that threatened to split the early church at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D.. However, a deeper look in the Spirit reveals definite demonic deception to deny the essential truth of God’s perfect design to redeem mankind and prevent full knowledge of what Jesus sacrificed to carry out the plan. Moreover, it is impossible to be fully human and fully divine simultaneously; it flies in the face of Holy Spirit led common sense and in addition, suggests that Jesus perpetrated a sham in that He perpetrated a pretense of full humanity while instead using covert, but intrinsic divine power in order to complete His terribly difficult, frustrating, humiliating, and dangerous mission. We must remember that God remains consistent in His methods. In the Old Testament, He utilized an integral part of people’s lives, the unblemished lamb of their flocks, to sacrifice for sin – a genuine article of value. Therefore, true to this precedent, Jesus who as a genuine and highly valuable human – an integral part of society, became the ultimate unblemished sacrificial lamb.
The issue is essential for two reasons: 1. Christians need to realize that the validity of salvation depends on a human Jesus sacrificing as a human for humans. 2. We must know that His Holy Spirit-led example is crucial for our success as Christians. Because of God’s perfect plan through Jesus, we do have the power to be like Jesus; He showed us how. The letter to the Ephesians lists our garments and weapons for success in the battle, but most of us fail to comprehend this truth or just do not believe it because it appears that this view denies the deity of Christ, yet Jesus denied His own deity (Philippians 2) for the sake of bringing mankind to salvation. Moreover, it was only for 33 years that he devoted to complete manhood. After his resurrection God restored his full God nature and acquired an even greater status than before he gave up His posh position in heaven to come down here and slug it out along with us and experience all that we feel and endure. The church, from misunderstanding, errs in its contention that He was fully divine because Colossians 2:9 says, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily…” It is true of the fullness, but that is only relevant before His virgin birth and then, after His resurrection. The defining passage is in Philippians 2:8 and 9, “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and has given Him the name which is above every name.” We see that after His death and resurrection, Jesus was then, as passages in Hebrews support, restored to His earlier glory and even bestowed with greater esteem with the name above all others.
Just think how tough it would be to give up the life we know to spend 33 years in an alien place so entirely different, impoverished, and dangerous that it filled you with grief and fear. What if we relocated to a cardboard shack in Central America with a dirt floor with the mandate of remaining in that condition for 33 years? That is the relative comparison between heaven and earth. That is what Jesus weathered for us. As a child, an adolescent, and a young adult, He patiently passed the 30 years awaiting the 3 rigorous years of ministry He came to exercise and fulfill. It was seemingly endless travel along many miles of dusty roads through the Summer’s heat and trudging through mud in the rains and cold of Winter. It was many nights in the wilderness with no comfort of a home-style bed or tasty meal. It was day after day in towns in cities feeling the crush of humanity in need as they pressed often selfishly upon Him only for whatever they could extract from Him. The pressure was so great once that He, exasperated, uttered a cry of, “How long must I put up with this evil generation.” Moreover, it was a ministry of enduring chronic false accusations like being possessed of the devil or being the target of vitriolic verbal attacks or subversive logic traps by the religious leaders. It was suffering the hurt of betrayals and public humiliation and then, of course, His, gracious and willing submission to bloody torture, and brutal murder so that after His fantastic resurrection we could experience forgiveness and life in Him for eternity if we would only ask and believe. We owe Him so much that we need to establish a serious commitment to live worthy of His nearly unfathomable sacrifice.
We should strive to know Him in the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings – to live daily with Him in a close personal relationship. We must learn the subtle voice of His Holy Spirit for our guidance. And then, ultimately, to hear Him say at the last day, “Well done good and faithful servant, come and enter my rest.” That, my friends is what life is all about. Nothing else holds more importance. What a fantastic day that will be!
Jerry Clifford, the Word Guru
I need and desire constructive comments of any kind, for they are a necessary educational and enlightenment process. Please visit the comment section at the bottom of this page or email direct: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.