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The Consecrated Way
He Took Part of the Same
The first chapter of Hebrews reveals that Christ's likeness to God is not simply in form or representation but also in very substance, and the second chapter as clearly reveals that His likeness to men is not simply in form or in representation but also in very substance. It is likeness to men as they are in all things, exactly as they are. Wherefore, it is written: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... .And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." John 1:1-14.
And that this is likeness to man as he is in his fallen, sinful nature and not as he was in his original, sinless nature is made certain by the word: "We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death." Therefore, as man is since he became subject to death, this is what we see Jesus to be, in His place as man.
Therefore, just as certainly as we see Jesus lower than the angels, unto the suffering of death, so certainly it is by this demonstrated that, as man, Jesus took the nature of man as he is since death entered and not the nature of man as he was before he became subject to death.
But death entered only because of sin; had not sin entered, death never could have entered. And we see Jesus made lower than the angels for the suffering of death. Therefore we see Jesus made in the nature of man, as man is since man sinned and not as man was before sin entered. For this He did that He might "taste death for every man." In becoming man that he might reach man, He must come to man where man is. Man is subject to death. Therefore Jesus must become man, as man is since he is subject to death.
"For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." Hebrews 2:10. Thus, in becoming man, it became Him to become such as man is. Man is subject to sufferings. Therefore it became Him to come to the man where he is - in his sufferings.
Before man sinned he was not in any sense subject to sufferings. And for Jesus to have come in the nature of man as he was before sin entered, would have been only to come in a way and in a nature in which it would be impossible for Him to know the sufferings of man and therefore impossible to reach him to save him. But since it became Him, in bringing men unto glory, to be made perfect through sufferings, it is certain that Jesus in becoming man partook of the nature of man as he is since he became subject to suffering, even the suffering of death, which is the wages of sin.
And so it is written: "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same." Verse 14. He, in His human nature, took the same flesh and blood that men have. All the words that could be used to make this plain and positive are here put together in a single sentence.
The children of men are partakers of flesh and blood, and because of this He took part of the same.
But this is not all. He also took part of the same flesh and blood as that of which the children are partakers.
Nor is this all. He also Himself took part of the same flesh and blood as that of which the children of men are partakers.
Nor yet is this all. He also Himself likewise took part of the same flesh and blood as that of which men are partakers.
Thus the Spirit of inspiration so much desires that this truth shall be made so plain and emphatic as to be understood by all, that He is not content to use any fewer than all the words that could be used that just as, and just as certainly as, "the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same" flesh and blood.
And this He did in order "that through death He might... deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." He took part of the same flesh and blood as we have in the bondage of sin and the fear of death, in order that He might deliver us from the bondage of sin and the fear of death.
And so, "Both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren."
This great truth of the blood-relationship, this blood-brotherhood of Christ with men is taught in the gospel in Genesis. For when God made His everlasting covenant with Abraham, the sacrifices were cut in two and He, with Abraham, passed between the pieces. Genesis15:8-18; Jeremiah 34:18, 10; Hebrews 7:5, 9. By this act the Lord entered into "the most solemn covenant known to the Oriental" or to Mankind, - the blood covenant, - and thus became blood-brother to Abraham, "a relation which outranks every other relation in life."
This great truth of Christ's blood-relationship to man is further taught in the gospel in Leviticus. In the gospel in Leviticus there is written the law of redemption of men and their inheritances. When any one of the children of Israel had lost his inheritance or himself had been brought into bondage, there was redemption provided. If he was able of himself to redeem himself or his inheritance, he could do it. But if he was not able of himself to redeem, then the right of redemption fell to his nearest of kin in blood-relationship. It fell not merely to one who was near of kin among his brethren but to the one who was nearest of kin who was able. Leviticus25:24-28; 47-49; Ruth 2:20; 3:9, 12, 13; 4:1-14, with the marginal readings.
Thus in Genesis and Leviticus there has been taught through all these ages the very truth which we find here taught in the second chapter of Hebrews - the truth that man has lost his inheritance and is himself also in bondage. And as he himself can not redeem himself nor his inheritance, the right of redemption falls to the nearest of kin who is able. And Jesus Christ is the only one in all the universe who is able.
But to be the Redeemer he must be not only able, He must be a blood relative. And He must also be not only near of kin, but the nearest of kin and the nearest of kin by blood-relationship. Therefore, "as the children" of man - as the children of the one who lost our inheritance - "are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same" - took part of flesh and blood in very substance like ours and so became our nearest of kin. And therefore it is written that He and we "are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call us brethren."
But the Scripture does not stop even yet with the statement of this all-important truth. It says, further: "For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren," whose blood-brother He became in the confirming of that everlasting covenant.
And this He did in order that wherein "He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted." For He was "touched with the feeling of our infirmities;" being "in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." Hebrews 4:15. Being made in His human nature in all things like as we are, He could be and He was tempted in all points like as we are. The only way in which He could possibly be tempted "like as we are" was to become "in all things" "like as we are."
As in His human nature He is one of us, and as "Himself took our infirmities" (Matthew 8:17), He could be "touched with the feeling of our infirmities." Being in all things made like us, He, when tempted, felt just as we feel when we are tempted and knows all about it and so can help and save to the uttermost all who will receive Him. As in His flesh, and (as) Himself in the flesh, He was as weak as we are and of Himself could "do nothing" (John 5:30); so when He bore "our griefs and carried our sorrows" (Isaiah 53:4) and was tempted as we are, feeling as we feel, by His divine faith He conquered all by the power of God which that faith brought Him - in our flesh He has brought to us.
Therefore, His name is called Emmanuel which is "God with us." Not God with Him only but God with us. God was with Him in eternity and could have been with Him even though He had not given Himself for us. But man through sin became without God, and God wanted to be again with us. Therefore Jesus became "us" that God with Him might be "God with us." And that is His name, because that is what He is. Blessed be His name.
And this is "the faith of Jesus" and the power of it. This is our Saviour - one of God and one of man - and therefore able to save to the uttermost every soul who will come to God by Him.
Made Under the Law
"Christ Jesus,... being in the form of God,... emptied Himself, and took upon Him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men." Philippians 2:5-7, R.V. He was made in the likeness of men, as men are, just where they are.
"The Word was made flesh." He "took part of the same" flesh and blood as that of which the children of men are partakers, as they are since man has fallen into sin. And so it is written: "When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made... under the law."
To be under the law is to be guilty, condemned, and subject to the curse. For it is written: "We know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that... all the world may become guilty before God." This because "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:19, 23; 6:14.
And the guilt of sin brings the curse. In Zechariah 5:1-4, the prophet beheld a "flying roll; the length thereof... twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits." The Lord said to him: "This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth." And what is the cause of this curse over the face of the whole earth? This: "For every one that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it; and every one that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it."
That is, this roll is the law of God, one commandment being cited from each table, showing that both tables of the law are included in the roll. Every one that stealeth - every one that transgresseth the law in the things of the second table - shall be cut off as on this side of the law according to it, and every one that sweareth - every one that transgresseth in the things of the first table of the law - shall be cut off as on that side of the law according to it.
The heavenly recorders do not need to write out a statement of each particular sin of every man but simply to indicate on the roll that pertains to man the particular commandment that is violated in each transgression. And that such a roll of the law does go with every man wherever he goes and even abides in his house is plain from the next words: "I will bring it forth, saith the Lord of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by My name: and it shall remain in the midst of his house."
And unless a remedy shall be found, there that roll of the law will remain until the curse shall consume that man, and his house, "with the timber thereof and the stones thereof:" that is, until the curse shall devour the earth in that great day when the very elements shall melt with fervent heat. For "the strength of sin" and the curse "is the law." 1 Corinthians15:56; Isaiah 24:5, 6:2 Peter 3:10-12.
But, thanks be to God, "God sent forth His son, made... under the law, to redeem them that were under the law." Galatians 4:4,5. By His coming He brought redemption to every soul who is under the law. But in order perfectly to bring that redemption to men under the law, He Himself must come to men, just where they are and as they are, under the law.
And this He did, for he was "made under the law;" He was made "guilty;" He was made condemned by the law; He was "made" as guilty as any man is guilty who is under the law. He was "made" under condemnation as fully as any man is under condemnation because of his violation of the law. He was "made" under the curse as completely as any man in the world has ever been or ever can be under the curse. For it is written: "He that is hanged ("on a tree") is accursed of God." Deuteronomy 21:23.
The Hebrew makes this stronger still, for the literal translation is: "He that hangeth on a tree is the curse of God." And this is exactly the strength of the fact respecting Christ, for it is written that He was "made a curse." Thus, when He was made under the law, He was made all that it means to be under the law. He was made guilty; He was made condemned; He was made a curse.
But bear in mind forever that all this He "was made." He was none of this of Himself, of native fault, but all of it he "was made." And He was made it all for us: for us who are under the law; for us who are under condemnation because of transgression of the law; for us who are under the curse because of swearing and lying and killing and stealing and committing adultery and all the other infractions of the roll of God's law that goeth with us and that remaineth in our house.
He was made under the law to redeem them that are under the law. He was made a curse to redeem them that are under the curse because of being under the law.
But for whomsoever it was done, and whatsoever is accomplished by the doing of it, there must never be forgotten the fact that, in order to the doing of that which was done He had to be "made" that which those already were for whom the thing was done. Any man, therefore, in all the world, who knows guilt, by that very thing knows also what Jesus felt for him and by this knows how close Jesus has come to him. Whosoever knows what is condemnation in that knows exactly what Jesus felt for him and so knows how thoroughly Jesus is able to sympathize with him and to redeem him. Whosoever knows the curse of sin, "the plague of his own heart," in that can know exactly what Jesus experienced for him and how entirely Jesus identified Himself, in very experience, with him.
Bearing guilt, being under condemnation and so under the weight of the curse, Jesus, a whole lifetime in this world of guilt, condemnation, and the curse, lived the perfect life of the righteousness of God, without ever sinning at all. And whenever any man knowing guilt, condemnation, and the curse of sin, and knowing that Jesus actually felt in His experience all this just as man feels it; then, in addition, that man by believing in Jesus can know in his experience the blessedness of the perfect life of the righteousness of God in his life to redeem him from guilt, from condemnation, and from the curse; and to be manifested in his whole lifetime to keep him from ever sinning at all.
Christ was made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law. And that blessed work is accomplished for every soul who accepts of that redemption.
"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us." His being made a curse is not in vain: it accomplishes all that was intended by it in behalf of every man who will receive it. For it was all done "that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." Galatians 3:14.
Still, whatever was intended by it and whatever is accomplished by it, there must always be borne in mind by every soul the FACT that, in His condescension, in His emptying Himself and being "made in the likeness of men" and "made flesh," He was made under the law, guilty, - under condemnation, under the curse, - as really and as entirely as is any soul that shall ever be redeemed.
And having passed through it all, He is the author of eternal salvation and is able to save to the uttermost from deepest loss all who come unto God by Him.
Made of a Woman
By what means was Christ made flesh? Through what means was He partaker of human nature? - Exactly the same means as are all of us partakers: all of the children of men. For it is written: "As the children (of the man) are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same."
Likewise signifies "in the like way," "thus," "in the same way." So He partook of "the same" flesh and blood that men have in the same way that men partake of it. Men partake of it by birth. So "likewise" did He. Accordingly, it is written, "Unto us a Child is born."
Accordingly, it is further written: "God sent forth His Son, made of a woman." Galatians 4:4. He, being made of a woman in this world, in the nature of things He was made of the only kind of woman that this world knows.
But why must He be made of a woman? why not of a man? - For the simple reason that to be made of a man would not bring Him close enough to mankind as mankind is, under sin. He was made of a woman in order that He might come, in the very uttermost, to where human nature is in its sinning.
In order to do this, He must be made of a woman, because the woman, not the man, was first and originally in the transgression. For "Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." 1 Timothy 2:14.
To have been made only of the descent of man would have been to come short of the full breadth of the field of sin, because the woman had sinned and sin was thus in the world before the man sinned.
Christ was thus made of a woman in order that He might meet the great world of sin at its very fountain head of entrance into this world. To have been made otherwise than of a woman would have been to come short of this and so would have been only to miss completely the redemption of men from sin.
It was "the Seed of the woman" that was to bruise the serpent's head; and it was only as "the seed of the woman" and "made of a woman" that He could meet the serpent on his own ground, at the very point of the entrance of sin into this world.
It was the woman who, in this world, was originally in the transgression. It was the woman by whom sin originally entered. Therefore, in the redemption of the children of men from sin, He who would be the Redeemer must go back of the man to meet the sin that was in the world before the man sinned.
This is why He who came to redeem was "made of a woman." By being made of a woman He could trace sin to the very fountain head of its original entry into the world by the woman. And thus, in finding sin in the world and uprooting it from the world from its original entrance into the world till the last vestige of it shall be swept from the world, in the very nature of things He must partake of human nature as it is since sin entered.
Otherwise, there was no kind of need whatever that He should be "made of a woman." If He were not to come into closest contact with sin as it is in the world, as it is in human nature; if He were to be removed one single degree from it as it is in human nature, then He need not have been "made of a woman."
But as He was made of a woman - not of a man; as He was made of the one by whom sin entered in its very origin into the world - and not made of the man, who entered into the sin after the sin had entered into the world; this demonstrates beyond all possibility of fair question that between Christ and sin in this world and between Christ and human nature as it is under sin in the world there is no kind of separation, even to the shadow of a single degree. He was made flesh; he was made to be sin. He was made flesh as flesh is and only as flesh is in this world and was made to be sin only as sin is. [Comment].
And this must He do to redeem lost mankind. For Him to be separated a single degree or a shadow of a single degree in any sense from the nature of those whom He came to redeem would be only to miss everything.
Therefore, as He was made "under the law," because they are under the law whom He would redeem, and as He was made a curse, because they are under the curse whom He would redeem, and as He was made sin, because they are sinners - "sold under sin" - whom He would redeem, precisely so He must be made flesh and "the same" flesh and blood, because they are flesh and blood whom He would redeem and must be made "of a woman," because sin was in the world first by and in the woman.
It is thoroughly understood that in His birth Christ did partake of the nature of Mary - the "woman" of whom He was "made." But the carnal mind is not willing to allow that God in His perfection of holiness could endure to come to men where they are in their sinfulness. Therefore endeavor has been made to escape the consequences of this glorious truth, which is the emptying of self, by inventing a theory that the nature of the virgin Mary was different from the nature of the rest of mankind; that her flesh was not exactly such flesh as is that of all mankind. This invention sets up that by some special means Mary was made different from the rest of human beings, especially in order that Christ might be becomingly born of her.
If He were not of the same flesh as are those whom He came to redeem, then there is no sort of use of His being made flesh at all. More than this: Since the only flesh that there is in this wide world which He came to redeem is just the poor, sinful, lost, human flesh that all mankind have; if this is not the flesh that he was made, then He never really came to the world which needs to be redeemed. For if he came in a human nature different from that which human nature in this world actually is, then, even though He were in the world, yet for any practical purposes in reaching man and helping him, he was as far from him as if He had never come, for, in that case, in His human nature He was just as far from man and just as much of another world as if He had never come into this world at all.
This invention has culminated in what is known as the Roman Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Many Protestants, if not the vast majority of them as well as other non-Catholics, think that the Immaculate Conception refers to the conception of Jesus by the virgin Mary. But this is altogether a mistake. It refers not at all to the conception of Christ by Mary but to the conception of Mary herself by her mother.
The official and "infallible" doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, as solemnly defined as an article of faith, by Pope Pius IX, speaking ex cathedra on the 8th of December 1854 is as follows: —
"By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instant of her conception, by a special grace and privilege of Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, has been revealed by God, and therefore is to be firmly and steadfastly believed by all the faithful.
Wherefore, if any shall presume, which may God avert, to think in their heart otherwise then has been defined by us, let them know, and moreover understand, that they are condemned by their own judgment, that they have made shipwreck as regards the faith, and have fallen away from the unity of the Church." — Catholic Belief, page 214.
This conception is defined by Catholic writers thus: —
"The ancient/ writing, "De Nativitate Christi," found in St. Cyprian's works says: Because (Mary) being "very different from the rest of mankind, human nature, but not sin, communicated itself to her."
"Theodore, patriarch of Jerusalem, said in the second council of Nice, that Mary "is truly the mother of God, and virgin before and after childbirth; and she was created in a condition more sublime and glorious than that of all natures, whether intellectual or corporeal." - Id., pages 216, 217.
This plainly puts the nature of Mary entirely beyond any real likeness or relationship to mankind or human nature as it is. Having this clearly in mind, let us follow this invention in its next step. Thus it is, as given in the words of Cardinal Gibbons: —
"We affirm that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Word of God, who in His divine nature is, from all eternity, begotten of the Father, consubstantial with Him, was in the fulness of time again begotten, by being born of the virgin, thus taking to himself from her maternal womb a human nature of the same substance with hers.
"As far as the sublime mystery of the incarnation can be reflected in the natural order, the blessed Virgin, under the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost, by communicating to the Second Person of the adorable Trinity, as mothers do, a true human nature of the same substance with her own, is thereby really and truly His mother. — Faith of Our Fathers, pages 198, 199.
Now put these two things together. First, we have the nature of Mary defined as being not only "very different from the rest of mankind," but "more sublime and glorious than all natures:" thus putting her infinitely beyond any real likeness or relationship to mankind as we really are.
Next, we have Jesus described as taking from her a human nature of the same substance as hers.
From this theory it therefore follows as certainly as that two and two make four, that in His human nature the Lord Jesus is "very different" from the rest of mankind; indeed, His nature is not human nature at all.
Such is the Roman Catholic doctrine concerning the human nature of Christ. The Catholic doctrine of the human nature of Christ is simply that that nature is not human nature at all, but divine: "more sublime and glorious than all natures." It is that in His human nature Christ was so far separated from mankind as to be utterly unlike that of mankind, that His was a nature in which He could have no sort of fellow-feeling with mankind.
But such is not the faith of Jesus. The faith of Jesus is that "as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same."
The faith of Jesus is that God sent "His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh."
The faith of Jesus is that "in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren".
The faith of Jesus is that He "Himself took our infirmities" and was touched "with the feeling of our infirmities," being tempted in all points like as we are. If He was not as we are, He could not possibly be tempted "like as we are." But He was "in all points tempted like as we are." Therefore He was "in all points" "like as we are."
In the quotations of Catholic faith which in this chapter we have cited, we have presented the faith of Rome as to the human nature of Christ and of Mary. In the second chapter of Hebrews and kindred texts of Scripture there is presented - and in these studies we have endeavored to reproduce as there presented - the faith of Jesus as to the human nature of Christ.
The faith of Rome as to the human nature of Christ and Mary and of ourselves springs from that idea of the natural mind that God is too pure and too holy to dwell with us and in us in our sinful human nature; that sinful as we are, we are too far off for Him in His purity and holiness to come to us just as we are.
The true faith - the faith of Jesus - is that, far off from God as we are in our sinfulness, in our human nature which He took, He has come to us just where we are; that, infinitely pure and holy as He is, and sinful, degraded, and lost as we are, He in Christ by His Holy Spirit will willingly dwell with us and in us to save us, to purify us, and to make us holy.
The faith of Rome is that we must be pure and holy in order that God shall dwell with us at all.
The faith of Jesus is that God must dwell with us and in us in order that we shall be holy or pure at all.
The Law of Heredity
"The Word was made flesh."
"When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman." Galatians 4:4.
"And the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:6.
We have seen that in His being made of a woman, Christ reached sin at the very fountain head of its entrance into this world and that He must be made of a woman to do this. Also there was laid upon Him the iniquity, in the actual sins, of us all.
Thus all the sin of this world, from its origin in the world to the end of it in the world, was laid upon Him - both sin as it is in itself and sin as it is when committed by us; sin in its tendency and sin in the act: sin as it is hereditary in us, uncommitted by us; and sin as it is committed by us.
Only thus could it be that there should be laid upon Him the iniquity of us all. Only by His subjecting Himself to the law of heredity could He reach sin in full and true measure as sin truly is. Without this there could be laid upon Him our sins which have been actually committed, with the guilt and condemnation that belong to them. But beyond this there is in each person, in many ways, the liability to sin inherited from generations back which has not yet culminated in the act of sinning but which is ever ready, when occasion offers, to blaze forth in the actual committing of sins. David's great sin is an illustration of this. Psalm 51:5; 2 Sam. 11:2.
In delivering us from sin, it is not enough that we shall be saved from the sins that we have actually committed; we must be saved from committing other sins. And that this may be so, there must be met and subdued this hereditary liability to sin; we must become possessed of power to keep us from sinning - a power to conquer this liability, this hereditary tendency that is in us to sin.
All our sins which we have actually committed were laid upon Him, were imputed to Him, so that His righteousness may be laid upon us, may be imputed to us. Also our liability to sin was laid upon Him, in His being made flesh, in His being born of a woman, of the same flesh and blood as we are, so that His righteousness might be actually manifested in us as our daily life.
Thus He met sin in the flesh which He took and triumphed over it, as it is written: "God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh." And again: "He is our peace,... having abolished in His flesh the enmity."
And thus, just as our sins actually committed were imputed to Him that His righteousness might be imputed to us, so His meeting and conquering in the flesh the liability to sin and in that same flesh manifesting righteousness, enables us in Him, and Him in us, to meet and conquer in the flesh this same liability to sin and to manifest righteousness in the same flesh.
And thus it is that for the sins which we have actually committed, for the sins that are past, His righteousness is imputed to us, as our sins were imputed to Him. And to keep us from sinning His righteousness is imparted to us in our flesh as our flesh, with its liability to sin, was imparted to Him. Thus He is the complete Saviour. He saves from all the sins that we have actually committed and saves equally from all the sins that we might commit dwelling apart from Him.
If He took not the same flesh and blood that the children of men have with its liability to sin, then where could there be any philosophy or reason of any kind whatever in His genealogy as given in the Scriptures? He was descended from David; He was descended from Abraham; He was descended from Adam and, by being made of a woman, He reached even back of Adam to the beginning of sin in the world.
In that genealogy there are Jehoiakim, who for his wickedness was "buried with the burial of an ass, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem" (Jeremiah 22:19); Manasseh, who caused Judah to do "worse than the heathen;" Ahaz, who "made Judah naked, and transgressed sore against the Lord;" Rehoboam, who was born of Solomon after Solomon turned from the Lord; Solomon himself, who was born of David and Bathsheba; there are also Ruth the Moabitess and Rahab; as well as Abraham, Isaac, Jesse, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and Josiah: the worst equally with the best. And the evil deeds of even the best are recorded equally with the good. And in this whole genealogy there is hardly one whose life is written upon at all of whom there is not some wrong act recorded.
Now it was at the end of such a genealogy as that that "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." It was at the end of such a genealogy as that that He was made of a woman. It was in such a line of descent as that that God sent "His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh." And such a descent, such a genealogy, meant something to Him, as it does to every other man, under the great law that the iniquities of the fathers are visited upon the children to the third and fourth generations. It meant everything to Him in the terrible temptations in the wilderness of temptation, [See EGW on this] as well as all the way through His life in the flesh.
Thus, both by heredity and by imputation, He was "laden with the sins of the world." And, thus laden, at this immense disadvantage He passed triumphantly over the ground where at no shadow of any disadvantage whatever, the first pair failed.
By His death He paid the penalty of all sins actually committed, and thus can justly bestow His righteousness upon all who choose to receive it. And by condemning sin in the flesh, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, He delivers from the power of the law of heredity and so can, in righteousness, impart His divine nature and power to lift above that law, and hold above it, every soul that receives Him.
And so it is written: "When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." Galatians 4:4. And "God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for (on account of) sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:3,4. And "He is our peace,... having abolished in His flesh the enmity,... for to make in Himself of twain (God and man) one new man, so making peace." Ephesians 2:14, 15.
Thus, "in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren... .For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted."
Whether temptation be from within or from without, He is the perfect shield against it all; and so saves to the uttermost all who come unto God by Him.
God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, Christ taking our nature as our nature is in its sinfulness and degeneracy, and God dwelling constantly with Him and in Him in that nature - in this God has demonstrated to all people forever that there is no soul in this world so laden with sins or so lost that God will not gladly dwell with him and in him to save him from it all and to lead him in the way of the righteousness of God.
And so certainly is his name Emmanuel, which is, "God with us."
In All Things Like
It should be particularly noted that in the first and second chapters of Hebrews the thought and discussion concerning the person of Christ is especially as to nature and substance. In Philippians 2:5-8 there is presented the thought of Christ's relationship to God and to man, especially as to nature and form. Thus: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; who, being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but emptied Himself, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Philippians 2:5-8, and R.V.
When Jesus emptied Himself He became man, and God was revealed in the Man. When Jesus emptied Himself, on the one side man appeared, and on the other side God appeared. Thus in Him God and man meet in peace and become one: "for He is our peace, who hath made both (God and man) one,... having abolished in His flesh the enmity,... to make in Himself of twain (God and man) one new man, so making peace." (Ephesians 2:14, 15).
He who was in the form of God took the form of man.
He who was equal with God became equal with man.
He who was Creator and Lord became creature and servant.
He who was in the likeness of God was made in the likeness of men.
He who was God and Spirit was made man and flesh. John 1:1, 14.
Nor is this true only as to form; it is true as to substance. For Christ was like God in the sense of being of the nature, in very substance, of God. He was made in the likeness of men in the sense of being like men in the nature and very substance of men.
Christ was God. He became man. And when He became man, He was man as really as He was God.
He became man in order that He might redeem man.
He came to man where man is to bring man to Him where He was and is.
And in order to redeem man from what man is, He was made what man is: —
Man is flesh. Genesis 6:3; John 3:6. "And the Word was made flesh."
John 1:14; Hebrews 2:14.
Man is under the law. Romans 3:19. Christ was "made under the law."
Man is under the curse. Galatians 3:10; Zechariah 5:1-4, "Christ was made a
curse." Galatians 3:13.
Man is sold under sin (Romans 7:14) and laden with iniquity. Isaiah 1:4.
And "the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:6.
Man is "a body of sin." Romans 6:6. And God "hath made Him to be sin." 2 Corinthians 5:21.
Thus, literally, "in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren."
Yet it must never be forgotten, it must be borne in mind and heart constantly and forever, that in none of this as to man, the flesh, sin, and the curse was Christ ever of Himself or of His own original nature or fault. All this He "was made." "He took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men."
And in all this Christ was "made" what, before, He was not, in order that the man might be made now and forever what he is not.
Christ was the Son of God. He became the Son of man that the sons of men might become the sons of God. Galatians 4:4; 1 John 3:1.
Christ was Spirit. 1 Corinthians 15:45. He became flesh in order that man, who is flesh, might become spirit. John 3:6; Romans 8:8-10.
Christ, who was altogether of the divine nature, was made partaker of human nature in order that we who are altogether of the human nature "might be partakers of the divine nature." 2 Peter 1:4.
Christ, who knew no sin, was made to be sin, even the sinfulness of man, in order that we, who knew no righteousness, might be made righteousness, even the righteousness of God.
And as the righteousness of God, which, in Christ, the man is made, is real righteousness, so the sin of men, which Christ was made in the flesh, was real sin.
As certainly as our sins, when upon us, are real sins to us, so certainly, when these sins were laid upon Him, they became real sins to Him. As certainly as guilt attaches to these sins and to us because of them, when they are upon us so certainly this guilt attached to these same sins of ours and to Him because of them, when they were laid upon Him.
As the sense of condemnation and discouragement of our sins was real to us when these sins of ours were upon us, so certainly this same sense of condemnation and discouragement because of the guilt of these sins was realized by Him when these sins of ours were laid upon Him.
Thus the guilt, the condemnation, the discouragement of the knowledge of sin were His - were a fact in His conscious experience - as really as they were ever such in the life of any sinner that was ever on earth. And this awful truth brings to every sinful soul in the world the glorious truth that "the righteousness of God," and the rest, the peace, and the joy, of that righteousness, are a fact in the conscious experience of the believer in Jesus in this world, as really as they are in the life of any saint who was ever in heaven.
He who knew the height of the righteousness of God, acquired also the knowledge of the depth of the sins of men. He knows the awfulness of the depths of the sins of men, as well as He knows the glory of the heights of the righteousness of God. And by this "His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many." Isaiah 53:11. By this His knowledge He is able to deliver every sinner from the lowest depths of sin and lift him to the highest height of righteousness, even the very righteousness of God.
Made "in all things" like unto us, He was in all points like as we are. So fully was this so that He could say, even as we must say the same truth, "I can of Mine own self do nothing." John 5:30.
Of Him this was so entirely true that, in the weakness and infirmity of the flesh, - ours which He took - He was as is the man who is without God and without Christ. For it is only without Him that men can do nothing. With Him and through Him, it is written: "I can do all things." But of those who are without Him it is written: "Without Me ye can do nothing." John 15:5.
Therefore, when of Himself He said, "I can of Mine own self do nothing," this makes it certain forever that in the flesh, - because of our infirmities which He took; because of our sinfulness, hereditary and actual, which was laid upon Him and imparted to Him - He was of Himself in that flesh exactly as is the man who, in the infirmity of the flesh, is laden with sins, actual and hereditary, and who is without God. And standing thus weak, laden with sins and helpless as we are, in divine faith He exclaimed, "I will put My trust in Him." Hebrews 2:13.
He came to "seek and to save that which was lost." And in saving the lost, He came to the lost where we are. He put Himself among the lost. "He was numbered with the transgressors." He was "made to be sin." And from the standpoint of the weakness and infirmity of the lost, He trusted in God, that He would deliver Him and save Him. Laden with the sins of the world; and tempted in all points like as we are, He hoped in God and trusted in God to save Him from all those sins and to keep Him from sinning. Psalm 69:1-21; 71:1-20; 22:1-22; 31:1-5.
And this is the faith of Jesus: this is the point where the faith of Jesus reaches lost, sinful man to help him. For thus it has been demonstrated to the very fulness of perfection, that there is no man in the wide world for whom there is not hope in God, no one so lost that he can not be saved by trusting God in this faith of Jesus. And this faith of Jesus, by which in the place of the lost, He hoped in God and trusted God for salvation from sin and power to keep from sinning - this victory of His it is that has brought to every man in the world divine faith by which every man can hope in God and trust in God and can find the power of God to deliver him from sin and to keep him from sinning. That faith which He exercised and by which He obtained the victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil — that faith is His free gift to every lost man in the world. And thus "this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith;" and this is the faith of which He is the Author and Finisher. [Back to "New Theology"].
This is the faith of Jesus that is given to men. This is the faith of Jesus that must be received by men in order for them to be saved. This is the faith of Jesus which, now in this time of the Third Angel's Message, must be received and kept by those who will be saved from the worship of the "beast and his image," and enabled to keep the commandments of God. This is the faith of Jesus referred to in the closing words of the Third Angel's Message: "Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."
And now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: "We have such an High Priest." All that we have thus found in the first and second chapters of Hebrews is the essential foundation and preliminary of His high priesthood. For "in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that (so that, in order that) He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted." Hebrews 2:17, 18.
[On to Part Three] ......... end
To ancient SDA's ... ... . To "What's New"