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Made Like His Brethren

Query for the Month

of December 2000

 

Next up-date: January 1st (God willing).

Previous "Queries" are available. Click here to access.

 

Some perpetual questions ....

Is there really an immortal soul?

What does it mean to "be led by the Spirit"?

Do you know the difference between the "love" that is of Christianity
and the "love" that is of the world?
Click here to find out!

 


Query:

"In all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren." Hebrews 2:17.

"In all things"! It does not say, "In all things but one." There is no exception. He was made in all things like as we are. He was of Himself as weak as we are; for He said, "I can of My own self do nothing."

But how can this be?

Surely Jesus was free from hereditary corruption or depravity and
actual sin, and He had no evil propensities or inclinations.

These are things we all have as humans. So is there an exception? Was Jesus made in all things like us EXCEPT he did not have hereditary corruption or depravity and actual sin?

*************

What a great question!!!

 

My Answer:

The nature of Jesus the Christ

"Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like to His brethren."

"Behoved" means:-

"He had to" (NKJ); "it was imperative that" (J B Phillips); He MUST...

In ALL things like who? It does not say "like all humans", but "like unto His brethren". His brethren are defined in the texts below as those who have God as their Father, and also as those who are "the seed" of Abraham.

Hebrews 2:10-18

For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one [origin, or Father]: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters,...

For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the [nature of the] seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like to His brothers and sisters, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest [for them] in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people [of His household]. For in that He Himself has suffered being tempted [as a seed of Abraham], He is able to succour them that are tempted.

Who was Abraham? He is sometimes called "The father of the faithful" because of the following texts.

Romans 4:8-12

Blessed [happy] is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

Comes this blessedness [happiness] then upon the circumcision only [the Jews], or upon the uncircumcision [the Gentiles] also? For we say that faith was reckoned [imputed as a gift] to Abraham for righteousness.

How was it then reckoned? When he was in circumcision [a member of the church], or in uncircumcision? [Or did it happen when he was outside the church which he formed and whose sign was circumcision. Genesis 17:1-14.]

Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. [He had the faith to leave Ur in response to God’s call years before there was a "church". Genesis 12:1-4.]

And he [then] received the sign of circumcision, a seal [or outward mark] of the righteousness of the faith which he [already] had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised [This is class 1 - believing Gentiles]; that righteousness might be imputed to them also: and [he is also] the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, BUT WHO ALSO WALK IN THE STEPS OF THAT FAITH OF OUR FATHER ABRAHAM, WHICH HE HAD BEING YET UNCIRCUMCISED [This is class 2 - believing Jews].

Thus there are two classes of people in the world's sight, circumcised and uncircumcised, in the church or out of it. God sees only one spiritual group as His, those who walk "by faith" regardless of whether they are in "the church" or not.

Physical circumcision requires a removal of a portion of the body, and this illustrates the spiritual removal of a portion of the life which turns a man or woman into a Christian.

The Scripture above "Blessed is the man" tells us that he to whom sin is not imputed is happy!!! Therefore not just Jesus, but also His brothers and sisters are said to be without sin!! Not the actions of sin, which are called "sins" (in the plural) and are things which we do AFTER becoming Christians, but the hereditary corruption which is called "sin" (singular) and which is what Adam and Eve passed on to us after their disobedience and which we are born with when we come into this world.

This what we need to see - that there are people who are covered for their "sin". They are called "His brethren" in the letter to the Hebrews, but we would call them "Christians".

Therefore, again, there are two classes of humans.

There are "sinners", religious and non-religious (Psalm 1:1) and "just" or "justified" ones, some in a church and some not. (Habakkuk 2:4) What makes the difference?

Jesus does not call "sinners" His brothers and sisters, but He does call the justified ones by that title for they all have one Father. "Sinners" have Satan as their father. John 8:44.

Therefore when we say, "He was made in all things like WE are", we need to be sure that WE are talking about "just" ones.

What makes us "just" (justified) ones? The word of God who says, "This is My beloved son [daughter] in whom I am well pleased". Matthew 3:17.

1 John 3:1-3

Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, NOW are we the sons [and daughters] of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be [we don’t know it all yet]: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as He is pure [they live the life He lived as a Christian Man].

It is that creative word which makes the change in us - which creates a Christian life where before there was none. He lifts us out of the miry pit. (Psalm 40:1-3). From that moment on we live the Christian (Christ-like) life.

But there is a problem. There are two kinds of sinner - religious and non-religious. How can we know which kind of "religious" we are? By our works!! Are we listening and doing what we are told, or are we planning and doing? Consider Jesus in the story below.

John 5:16-18

And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay Him, because He had done these things [healed the paralytic man] on the Sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, "My Father works hitherto, and I work."

Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.

Jesus claimed equal rights with God in doing a work equally sacred, and of the same character with that which engaged the Father in heaven.

But the Pharisees were still more incensed. He had not only broken the law, according to their understanding, but in calling God "His own Father" had declared Himself equal with God (they thought). John 5:18, R. V. The whole nation of the Jews called God their Father, therefore they would not have been so enraged if Christ had represented Himself as standing in the same relation to God. But they accused Him of blasphemy, showing that they understood Him as making this claim in the highest sense [but they were wrong].

Jesus denied the charge of blasphemy. He said, "The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do." My authority for doing the work of which you accuse Me, is that I am the Son of God, one with Him in nature, in will, and in purpose. In all His works of creation and providence, I co-operate with God.

The priests and rabbis were taking the Son of God to task for the very work He had been sent into the world to do!

By their sins they had separated themselves from God, and in their pride were moving independently of Him. They felt sufficient in themselves for all things, and realized no need of a higher wisdom to direct their acts.

But the Son of God was surrendered to the Father's will, and dependent upon His power. So utterly was Christ emptied of self while on earth that He made no plans for Himself. He accepted God's plans for Him, and day by day the Father unfolded His plans. Isaiah 50:4.

So should we depend upon God, that our lives may be the simple outworking of His will.

Jesus said, "I can of My own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and My judgment is just; because I seek not My own will, but the will of the Father which has sent Me". John 5:30. He did not do anything in His own divine strength while on this earth. As our representative, the Son of man, He prayed and accepted the power of His Father to overcome all things just as we Christians must. John 11:41-42; 1 Corinthians 10:13.

It is written of Him:-

Hebrews 5:7-9

Who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears [under real necessity] to Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared [listened]; though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered [practised]; and being made perfect [in humanity], He became the author [the example] of eternal salvation to all them that obey Him...

He had the same physical body that we all have, Christian and non-Christian alike, but He did not live under its power.

Nor does the Christian.

Psalm 37:23

The steps of a good [just] man are ordered [guided] by the LORD: and he delights in [doing] His way.

Psalm 37:30-32

The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of judgment [God's daily advices on what to do]. The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide. The wicked watches the righteous, and seeks to slay him.

Psalm 85:13

Righteousness [rightdoing] shall go before Him; and shall set us in the way of His steps.

Jeremiah 10:23

O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his steps. O LORD, correct me [for I am Your child], but with judgment; not in Your anger, lest You bring me to nothing.

Psalm 17:4-8

Concerning the works of men, by the word of Your lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer. [It is written... Matthew 4:4]. Hold up my goings in Your paths, that my footsteps slip not. I have called upon You, for You will hear me, O God: incline your ear to me, and hear my speech. Show Your marvellous lovingkindness, O You that saves by Your right hand them which put their trust in You from those that rise up against them.

Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of Your wings...

1 Peter 2:21-25

For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps [walk as He did]: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judges righteously [He left all in His Father’s hands].

Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live to righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed. For you were as sheep going astray; but are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

Only those who have accepted the gift of God (justification) can rightly say those words and live them (sanctification).

Of He who was One with us (Emmanuel) it is written,

Matthew 3:13-17

Then comes Jesus from Galilee to Jordan to John, to be baptised of him. But John forbade Him, saying, "I have need to be baptised of You, and come You to me?" And Jesus answering said to him, "Suffer [allow] it to be so now: for thus it becomes US to fulfil ALL righteousness [I must do what all Christians must do]." Then he suffered Him.

And Jesus, when He was baptised, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened to Him, and he [John] saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

Now we come to the crux of the question. If He did NOT have evil "hereditary corruption", "propensities or inclinations", which humans have, then why do we?

The short answer is:- Christians do not have them either!!!

Only "sinners" have them.

Oh sure, we used to have them BEFORE we became recreated, "born again", or translated, into the family of God. But that is what the gift of God does for us, it TAKES AWAY the "old man" and puts a "new man" in its place. It TAKES AWAY our connection to our old father and gives us a new One. That which we were born with, the stain of hereditary sin, is removed. Colossians 3:9-10.

This is the miracle of conversion. Not a pretended make-over but a real one engineered by a real God, a living Creator. Jesus told Nicodeus about it and when he accepted the gift he experienced the fact. John 3:1-12. A man may hear and acknowledge the whole truth, and yet know nothing of personal piety and true experimental religion. He may even explain the way of salvation to others, and yet himself be a castaway. See 1 Corinthians 9:27.

But, once having received conversion, it is from then on that we learn to be more like Him as He was in this world. That’s when Nicodemus became an alien in the world. He was no longer a sinner on this earth, but a Christian, in the world but not of it.

We have the memory of our past life and its actions, and Satan will try to tell us that we are still "slaves to sin", but it is not so. If we step out in faith we will find that we are indeed "free". John 8:36.

Ephesians 2:8-13

For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of [by] works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to [do] good works [after justification], which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.

Wherefore remember, that you being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called "Uncircumcision" by that which is called the "Circumcision" in the flesh made by hands [of this world]; that at that time you were without Christ, being ALIENS from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus you who sometimes were far off are made near by the blood of Christ.

We were aliens from God, now we are aliens from Satan. Now we can walk in the steps of our Creator knowing that "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me." Philippians 4:13.

Conclusion:

The nature of Jesus the Christ

"Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like to His brethren."

"Behoved" means:-

"He had to" (NKJ); "it was imperative that" (J B Phillips); He MUST...

In ALL things like who? It does not say "like all humans", but "like unto His brethren". His brethren are defined in the texts below as those who have God as their Father, and also as those who are "the seed" of Abraham.

Hebrews 2:10-18

For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one [origin, or Father]: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters,...

Now we come to the crux of the question. If He did NOT have evil "hereditary corruption", "propensities or inclinations", which humans have, then why do we?

The short answer is:- Christians do not have them either!!!

Only "sinners" have them.

See more on this next month.


Who wants to add (or subtract!) from these thoughts? I won't argue as I have stated, but I will publish your Scriptures so that we may review all the words of God on the subject.

 

Spiritual Dictionary:

The nature of Jesus the Christ

"Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like to His brethren."

"Behoved" means:-

"He had to" (NKJ); "it was imperative that" (J B Phillips); He MUST...

In ALL things like who? It does not say "like all humans", but "like unto His brethren". His brethren are defined in the texts below as those who have God as their Father, and also as those who are "the seed" of Abraham.

Hebrews 2:10-18

For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one [origin, or Father]: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters,...

Now we come to the crux of the question. If He did NOT have evil "hereditary corruption", "propensities or inclinations", which humans have, then why do we?

The short answer is:- Christians do not have them either!!!

Only "sinners" have them.


Next thought. To be discussed from January 1st 2001.

Exodus 20:22-26

And the LORD said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, You have seen that I have talked with you from heaven [at Mount Sinai]. You shall not make with Me gods of silver, neither shall you make to you gods of gold [no representations of Me].

An altar of earth you shall make to Me [that’s My choice], and shall sacrifice thereon your burnt offerings, and your peace offerings, your sheep, and your oxen: in all places where I record My name I will come to you, and I will bless you.

And if you will make Me an altar of stone [that’s your choice], you shall not build it of hewn stone: for if you lift up your tool upon it, you have polluted it [leave it natural, none of your own works]. Neither shall you go up by steps to My altar [a high place of pride], that your nakedness be not discovered thereon.

What was the purpose of all those Old Testament sacrifices and rituals?

 


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