The meaning of life is to spend eternity with God. In order to be with God, you have to be like God – you have to have God’s nature. The problem of course is that man is NOT like God. So how do we address that inequality?
Well, there are basically two ways to bridge this gap – either man can become more like God, or God can become more like man.
Can a man become God?
The prospect of us “stepping up” into godhood is technically possible because man has free will and can choose to act outside of his nature by choosing to be always and completely right and just. God actually gives man that chance through the Dispensations. However, as we’ve seen so far, each dispensation has ended in failure as man has consistently chosen his own way over God’s way.
Moreover, Adam stacked the deck against man in the subsequent dispensations when he committed Original Sin in the First Dispensation. He died spiritually (severed his connection to God, the source of life), and all of his descendants (us) are born spiritually dead. Its hard enough to choose to be always and completely right and just when it’s not your nature, but it’s nigh impossible when you are also born without a connection to the source of right and just.
Stooping to our level
The other way to bridge the gap would be for God to “step down” to manhood. This solution is far less appealing to the practitioner than the first. After all, to go from being a man to being God is a net gain. However, for God to become a man involves an incredible amount of loss.
But that has been part of God’s plan from the beginning! God knew that that the only way to get what He desired was for Him to become a man and do for us that which we could not do for ourselves (live an entire mortal life always and completely right and just), and then offer that life to man as a gift. This was the mission of Jesus – the Redeemer.
As mentioned previously, in order to accomplish this task, Jesus would have to be both God and a man. But how could He be fully God AND fully man at the same time?
Some say that Jesus was both God and man because the virgin Mary (a human) was his mother, and God was his father. But technically, that would only make him half-man and half-God.
Others say that Jesus was born a regular man, but grew into Godhood by doing certain qualifying things (in fact, certain religions believe that is the way Godhood was achieved from the beginning, along with…other interesting stuff). But this would mean that man can become God on his own, and the Dispensations show that is not true.
The reason that people have a difficult time with this concept is because they do not have or embrace an objective, non-contradictory definition of both “God” and “man”. Fortunately, we addressed this in the early days of the blog. Both God and man are spirit. Spirit is composed of principles that define one’s nature. So in order for Jesus to be God and man, He’d have to have a nature that is always and completely right and just, AND have free will. But the only way this would be possible is if He used his free will to ONLY choose to be always and completely right and just.
Here’s how it worked:
The Second Person of the Trinity – The Son – was incarnated in the womb of Mary in a physical form that was a direct creation of God (like Adam). Since his physical body was a direct creation of God, as opposed to being a blood descendant of Adam (like us), Jesus was born with a connection to God (alive). And being God Himself, His nature was always and completely right and just.
Ok, so that takes care of the “God” part, but what about the “man” part?
As a physical man, He had free will, which means He technically had the ability to choose to act outside of His nature.
That presents us with an incredible conundrum. If He acts outside of His nature (NOT be always and completely right and just), He can’t be God. But since contradictions don’t exist, He cant be God AND not be God.
So how did Jesus resolve this? He did the only thing a person who is always and completely right and just would do with His free will choice – He chose to COMPLETELY give His will over to God (The Father)!
Jesus reversed Adam’s choice! Recognizing that He was now in a (temporarily) lower state of existence, He chose to defer completely to a superior being. For every decision in His life, for every moment in His life, He totally submitted Himself to God.
Jesus said that He did NOTHING of Himself but ONLY did what God told Him to do and say.
When you heard Him, you heard God, when you saw Him, you saw God. Because when you saw and heard Him, you saw and heard God’s nature and all the effects thereof – love, joy, peace, perseverance, gentleness, patience, humility, holiness, etc.
So was Jesus capable of sin?
Well, He had arms and legs so He was technically able to grab a rock and bash somebody’s head in. But He wouldn’t ever do that. Why? Because He ONLY did what God told Him to do and God would (and could) never tell Him to do anything unrighteous or unjust!
An admittedly crude analogy would be that of a video game. In most contemporary video games (which I’m frankly not very good at), you interact with the game through a digital character, or “in-game personality” (as gamers call them) that you control.
This character is essentially your avatar in the game environment. The people who programmed the game made it so that the character is capable of going anywhere and doing anything that the rules of the software allow. However, since you are in control, the character can only do what you command. Its “will” has been completely surrendered to you. It is your representative in the game environment. It expresses your nature. In a sense, it’s “you”.
As someone who only did what God commanded, Jesus was in a similar situation. So when He told people that He was one with God, and that seeing Him was the same as seeing God, He was being truthful in every practical sense.
As a being who was fully man and fully God, Jesus was able to bridge the gap between God and men. Through Jesus, man would gain the opportunity to receive the gift of life, the ability to become like God, and spend eternity with God.
And so with that, we wrap up this series looking at why and how Jesus is the Redeemer.
Now its time to move on to the war
The physical advent of Jesus on earth conjures images of a gentle nativity scene, humble shepherds, rejoicing angels, and reverential wise men. But in the spirit world of Satan and his minions, it was quite a different story. In the spiritual battle for the souls of men and possession of the earth that began in Eden, the advent of Jesus was a military invasion by a hostile force! The nativity was not an idyllic barnyard motif, it was a beachhead established by the Enemy they knew had come to defeat them and reclaim the earthly kingdom for God and man.
In the next post, we will begin to look at the advent of Jesus as the Great Invasion of Satan’s kingdom by exploring the spiritual battles that took place in man’s history as Satan and his forces attempted to thwart God’s plan and prevent the coming of the Redeemer.
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