The first name used in the Bible for Jesus is "the Seed of the woman." Gen. 3:15, referring to His human nature.
The first woman was also the first sinner, used by Satan to tempt man to sin, thereby opening the floodgates of woe. So God would use the Seed of the woman to close these floodgates. Matt. 1:1-16 lists Jesus` genealogy. According to Jewish custom, their genealogies do not list women`s names, yet Jesus' genealogy has four names of women, three of which had tempted men to sin. The Holy Spirit inspired the inclusion of their names to stress the fact that Jesus` human nature was fallen like ours. Heb. 2:14 says, "Inasmuch then as children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil." Jesus had the same body of flesh and blood like the "children."That is why He called Himself the "Son of Man,"He called His fellow mortals His "brethren". See Heb. 2:11.
1) But there`s one point in which He was different from others. He was born of a virgin by the Holy Spirit, so His human nature must have been holy and not capable of sinning.
Answer: The first half of your statement is correct, the second half is wrong. Heb. 4:15 says, "We do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." "Without sin" does not mean "cannot sin." A person who cannot sin is not moved at all when tempted. Since Jesus "was in all points tempted as we are," that means that He was capable of sinning like us, yet He did not sin. Only thus is He able to sympathize with our weaknesses. If He was not capable of sinning, then the fact that He was without sin has no merit. He received a fallen human nature from His mother, who had a nature just like ours.
2) Will you please cite some Scripture that will help us distinguish between Christ`s divine and human natures?
Answer: To distinguish clearly between Christ`s divinity and His humanity, at least two Bible texts are needed: one on Jesus` prayer life, another on His dependence on Scripture. Jesus prayed: "Father, if it is your will, remove this cup from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done." Luke 22:42. Here is seen the solemn attitude of Jesus` humanity ---when "My" will cuts across God`s will, Jesus` humanity struggled in prayer to gain the victory, thus setting an example for us to overcome sin.
In many places in the Bible we read of Christ retreating to the wilderness or a hilltop to pray, sometimes praying all night. This shows that Jesus` humanity did not sin because He received power from God to overcome temptation, not depending on His own divinity. When He lived as a man on earth, He never said to His disciples, "I am God, so when you pray, you can ask Me." On the contrary, He called Himself the Son of Man, and taught His disciples to pray to the Father in His name.
As to the importance of Bible study, Jesus prayed, "Sanctify them by Your truth, Your word is truth. . . . for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth." John 17:17,19. These words are very precious, showing that the Christ-centered plan of salvation is "for their sakes." The word of God given to men is also "for their sakes." When Christ said that He sanctified Himself. "that they also may be sanctified by the truth," His use of "also" was highly significant. He thereby showed that when He lived on earth, aside from daily watching unto prayer, He sanctified His mind with the word of God. It was all "for their sakes," showing that it is possible for us to follow His example in sanctifying ourselves with the word of God.
In actual practice it is to memorize choice passages of Scripture, in order to be "partakers of the divine nature." 2 Pet. 1:4.
3) Some say that Jesus took the human nature of Adam before He sinned. Is there Bible evidence for that?
Answer: No. The Bible has only the text just quote, "Inasmuch then as children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same." Heb. 2:14. "Children" must have been Adam`s children born after he sinned.
In fact, Adam was made a full-grown man who understood God`s words and could converse with Him. Gen. 2:19 says, "Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them, and whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name." This shows that Adam was made with a programmed mind to enable Him to teach his progeny and look after all the animals and plants in the garden of Eden.
Jesus was, on the contrary, "born of a woman." Gal. 4:4. Like all of us, He went through the process of growth and maturity. Luke 2:52 says, "Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." Thus His human nature developed through the same stages as ours, so that He could be our example in every way.
4) Some say that if Jesus human nature was like ours, then He must have had original sin. How can that be?
Answer: "Original sin" is not a Bible term. Some say that all the descendants of Adam are guilty of Adam`s sin, calling it "original sin". All who hold this view must answer the question, "Did Jesus have original sin?" In order to free Him from original sin, the Catholics say that Jesus` mother was also conceived of the Holy Spirit, calling it the "Immaculate conception," so that Jesus was born without original sin. But the problem was man-made, and the solution was invented by man, having nothing to do with the Bible. Deut. 24:16 says, "The fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall the children be put to death for their fathers; a person shall be put to death for his own sin." Heb. 2:17,18 says of Jesus, "in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in all things pertaining to God. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted."
5) Some use Rom. 5:18 as a basis for original sin. It says, "As through one man`s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man`s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life."
Answer: Here the "judgment came to all men" is explained in verse 12, "Just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned." The thrust of Romans 5 is that the intrusion of sin and death comes on all unconditionally, because we have inherited a fallen nature and a mortal body, not Adam`s guilt. But "by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous." Rom. 5:19. This is on condition that we believe, repent and are born again. Like all men, Jesus inherited a fallen nature and a mortal body, but did not sin.
6)That is true, as Jesus` body did die on the cross. According to the Bible, what other purpose did His incarnation serve?
Answer: We have already discussed three purposes served by Christ`s incarnation: (a) To destroy the devil, (b) To taste death for every man, (c) To aid those who are tempted. In addition to these there are nine other texts that deal with His mission:
(d) To declare God: "No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him." John 1:18.
Comments: To declare God means for Christ to bring God into close range, so that men on earth may see how God behaves as a human.
(e) To serve and give His life a ransom for many: "The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." Matt. 20:28.
Comments: Jesus said, "Who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves." Luke 22:27. Jesus spoke these words after He had washed the disciples` feet. He took human nature in order to set the example of a servant among men. He gave His life a ransom for many. In our last study we showed that Jesus could die for all men and then reclaim His life, because He is the infinite Source of all life.
(f) To bear witness to the truth: "For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come unto the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." John 18:37.
Comments: Ever since Satan the "father of lies" tempted man with a lie to make him sin, the whole world has been under the shadow of falsehood, in dire need of someone to bear witness to the truth. When Jesus spoke these words in a Roman court, no one apparently responded, but through the centuries since that day, millions of all who are "of the truth" have obeyed His voice.
(g) That men may be saved: "God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." John 3:17.
Comments: Though Christ came not to condemn the world, yet if His words and deeds do not lead men to repentance, they will cause them to be condemned. See John 3:18.
(h) That men may have life: "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." John 10:10.
Comments: The more abundant life springs from Christ`s clearer declaring of God, better service to man and stronger witness to the truth.
(i) To call sinners to repentance: "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." Luke 5:32.
Comments: Jesus came to be a poor man in order to come close to the oppressed, so that they will not feel ill-at-ease in His presence, but open their hearts because they are won by God's tender graciousness.
(j) To seek and save the lost: "The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." Luke 19:10.
Comments: As soon as man sinned, God came to seek him, saying, "Where are you?" Gen. 3:9. But the elder brother in Jesus` story of the prodigal son would not sympathize with his father.
(k) To bring a sword: "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword." Ma 10:34.
Comments: The "sword" indicates the antagonism between truth and error. Satan the "father of lies" is the "prince of this world," intent on opposing the truth. God will never abandon this planet that has been usurped by the devil. He sent Jesus to make war with him and drive him out with the "sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
(l) For judgment: "For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind." John 9:39.
Comments: "Some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, 'Are we blind also?' Jesus said to them, 'If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, "We see." Therefore your sin remains.'" John 9:40,41. Truth itself has a polarizing effect, naturally separating those who reject it from them that accept it.
7) Please explain 2 John 7: "Many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist."
Answer: In the Bible the term "flesh" consistently refers to mortal, fallen human nature. Jesus had said to His mother, "What have I to do with thee?" John 2:4 KJV. The perfection of Christ`s human nature was due to His sanctifying Himself with truth; His divine nature was holy because He was born of the Holy Spirit. To call Mary the mother of Jesus "holy mother", "mother of God" and "queen of heaven" is the work of antichrist, because it attributes Jesus` sinless human nature to the "immaculate" womb of His mother. Such a human nature is not "flesh", and cannot be our example.
"As Son of the Most High, and Savior of the world, no earthly ties must hold Him from His mission, or influence His conduct. He must stand free to do the will of God. . . .The only hope of redemption for our fallen race is in Christ; Mary could find salvation only through the Lamb of God. In herself she possessed no merit. Her connection with Jesus placed her in no different spiritual relation to Him from that of any other human soul. This is indicated in the Savior`s words. He makes clear the distinction between His relation to her as the Son of man and as the Son of God. This tie of kinship between them in no way placed her on an equality with Him." Desire of Ages, p. 147. Now to present three points to identify Christ`s human nature with ours:
(a) Heb. 2:17,18 says, "In all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted." Only one who is capable of sinning can be tempted. Heb 4:15 says that He "was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." His merit lies in the fact that His fallen nature was tempted, and yet He did not sin. If His human nature was unique, then His victory would have been worthless to us.
Rev 3:21 says, "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne." These words imply same conditions of conflict. If conditions are different, then Christ cannot expect us to overcome as He overcame. Same conditions mean: same antagonist, same battlefield, same equipment. If we are equipped with fallen natures, and Christ was equipped with an unfallen one, He could not expect us to overcome as He overcame. We would say, "You don`t know how hard it is to fight the battle of life!" But He can say, "I know your hardships; I`ve been through them all."
(b) Only thus is Jesus able to judge the world. John 5:22,27says, "The Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son. . . and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man." Acts 17:31 says, "He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained."
(c) 2 Pet 1:4 says, "by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." This again is a matter of equipment. Jesus overcame temptation by equiping Himself with the "exceeding great and precious promises." These promises are also for us; Christ was "the Word became flesh," we who are flesh must strive to become the Word by eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Jesus, thereby partaking of the divine nature.
8) That answers my question. Jesus was a union of the divine with the human, and overcame. Now if our human natures unite with the divine nature, we too can overcome.
Answer: This is a great truth. Jesus wants us to overcome as He overcame. His victory is recorded in Matt. 4:1-4, "Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, 'If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.' But He answered and said, 'It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."' Jesus meant by this to say, "I will not discuss the question of My being Son of God, for I have come to be Son of man. As Son of man, I obey God`s every word, and will not use My divine powers to satisfy the needs of the flesh." Jesus was setting an example that could be followed by all of us. Because we cannot turn stones into bread, He refused to do so.
Finally wicked men "spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands, saying, 'Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?' Roman soldiers mocked Jesus and scourged Him. After He was crucified, His enemies jeered, "Let Him come down from the cross, and we will believe Him." Jesus could have retaliated with His divine powers, but He had come to be Son of man, and did not forget His own teachings on loving your enemies, so prayed for them, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." Luke 23:34. Jesus gave us this precious example.
"By His humanity, Christ touched humanity; by His divinity, He lays hold upon the throne of God. As the Son of man, He gave us an example of obedience; as the Son of God, He gives us power to obey. . .
"In stooping to take upon Himself humanity, Christ revealed a character the opposite of the character of Satan. But he stepped still lower in the path of humiliation. 'Being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.' Phil. 2:8. . .
" 'God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son.' John 3:16. He gave Him not only to bear our sins, and to die as our sacrifice; He gave Him to the fallen race. To assure us of His immutable counsel of peace, God gave His only-begotten Son to become one of the human family, forever to retain His human nature. This is the pledge that God will fulfill His word. 'Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder.' God has adopted human nature in the person of His Son, and has carried the same into the highest heaven. It is the 'Son of man' who shares the throne of the universe. It is the 'Son of man' whose name shall be called, 'Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.' Isa. 9:6." Desire of Ages, p. 24,25.