Fred Coulter—December 4, 2010

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How did God become a man?
What kind of flesh did Jesus have?
What kind of nature did He have?
You have heard that Jesus was 100% God and 100% man. Well, we will see that cannot be a true statement. But nevertheless, let's come here to 1-John 4 and let's see something that distinguishes between the truth and the antichrist. The Catholics say that Jesus came in the flesh. Does that agree with the Bible? What is the Bible definition of flesh that Jesus received?

Some people believe in what is called Docetism, which is Jesus was the man/the body, whom Christ possessed, so He really wasn't affected by anything that we are affected by; thereby claiming that it was impossible for Jesus to sin or to be tempted. Was that true? And if that is so, why would Jesus be tempted by Satan the devil? If He couldn't be tempted, why tempt Him?

It's just like this: If you build a protection around you that can withstand every armament that man has, even atomic and hydrogen explosion, and it can't touch you, then would that not be what Jesus would have been if it would have been impossible for Him to sin and be impossible to be tempted.

1-John 4:1: "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this test you can know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.... [What kind of flesh?] ...And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not from God. And this is the spirit of antichrist, which you heard was to come, and even now it is already in the world" (vs 1-3).

The Protestants say He came in the flesh, but what kind of flesh? The Jehovah Witnesses believe that He was Michael the archangel. I think the Seventh Day Adventists believe that He was. Was that true? Let's examine these things and see what happened. Let's begin at the beginning and ask the question: How did God appear to Adam and Eve?

Let's go to Exodus 34; let's see something concerning God and His glory, then we will see what God said to Moses when he wanted to see all of His glory. Exodus 34:5: "And the LORD came down in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him and proclaimed, 'The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy to the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but Who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, to the third and to the fourth generation.' And Moses made haste and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped. And he said, 'If now I have found grace [favor] in Your sight, O LORD, I pray You, let my LORD go among us...'" (vs 5-9).

What happened was, when He showed His glory, all of His goodness came by. Let's see what God said of Himself, Exodus 33:18: "And he [Moses] said, 'I beseech You, show me Your glory.' And He said, 'I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will have mercy on whom I will have mercy.' And He said, 'You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live'" (vs 18-20). So God, in His glory, no man can look upon His face. Why? Because the glory is so powerful that it would just destroy flesh!

God didn't want that to happen to Moses, so He said, "'Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand upon a rock. And it will be, while My glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. And I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back parts. But My face shall not be seen'" (vs 21-23).

  • How did God appear to Adam and Eve?
  • Can God appear as a man and still be God?
  • Is that what Jesus did when He came?

or

  • Was there something entirely different that Jesus did, so that He would be in the flesh?

We know God created Adam and Eve, personally made them. He taught them and He walked with them and they saw Him. In seeing Him, they could not see Him in His glory—could they? Because they couldn't live! And if they couldn't live, seeing Him in the glory, then God's plan couldn't go forward—correct? So God didn't appear to them in His glory. How did He appear? He was God, but He appeared very much like they were. He appeared without His glory, but He was still 100% God, though the appearance may have been very humanlike because they were made in the image of God.

And after God had made Eve, then He married them, the last part of Gen. 2. After they had sinned, God came and talked with them, pronounced the sentence upon them. What was that sentence because they had sinned? Here's one we should all have memorized, John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Not something else other than God; you're either God or you're not God. Now the JWs (Jehovah Witnesses) put there a little 'g,' to try and diminish Christ, but the Greek is very clear and "…the Word was God…. [That's what He was.] …He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and not even one thing that was created came into being without Him. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men" (vs 1-4). We are told this is the One Who was made flesh. How was He made flesh? What kind of flesh did He receive?

Verse 14: "And the Word became... [or was made] ...flesh, and tabernacled among us (and we ourselves behold His glory, the glory as of the only begotten with the Father), full of grace and Truth." How was He made flesh?

Let's go back to the Epistle of Paul, Philippians 2, and let's see how Paul explained what He did. How did He do this so that He could become a pinpoint of life and be begotten in the womb of the virgin Mary? That is far different than just coming as God and appearing as a man, because He was going to save sinful men through what He was going to do.

Philippians 2:5: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but emptied Himself..." (vs 5-7). What does it mean "…emptied Himself…'? What did He divest Himself of?

Let's go back to John 17. He had to do something so great and marvelous and fantastic because as Creator

  • He's responsible for mankind
  • He's responsible for giving them a sinful nature
  • He's responsible for judging that they should die

So, as in Adam all die.

  • What did He do?
  • What did He divest Himself from?

or

  • humble Himself and give up?

John 17:1: "Jesus spoke these words, and lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, 'Father, the hour has come... [God has everything scheduled according to His appointed times, which are found according to the calculated Hebrew calendar, not the Roman calendar.] ...glorify Your own Son, so that Your Son may also glorify You; since You have given Him authority over all flesh, in order that He may give eternal life to all whom You have given Him…. [Showing that we have to be called.] …For this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom You did send.... [Why did He say the only true God? A lot of people who believe that Jesus did not exist until He was begotten in the womb of the virgin Mary say God the Father is the only true God. What is this telling us? At the time Jesus was praying, though He was the Son of God, was He true God in all His glory? No! Only the Father was! Let's read on.] ...I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work that You gave Me to do. And now, Father, glorify Me with Your own self with the glory that I had with You before the world existed'" (vs 1-5).

He had to give up His glory; that's what it means back here in Philippians 2:7: "But emptied Himself, and was made in the likeness of men... ['likeness' means the exact sameness] ...and took the form of a servant… [the Greek is 'doulos' or a slave] …and being found in the manner of man..." (vs 7-8). That means everything that men do—eat and breathe and sweat, and the whole bodily processes.

Remember when the storm was going and He was in the back of the ship sleeping? All the disciples got excited when it was getting frantic out there, 'Oh, we're going to die.' So they woke up Jesus and He said, 'Oh, you of little faith,' and calmed the waters like that. But He was fashioned like a man. The sameness. So the question comes down: What kind of flesh? "...He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (v 8). The most excruciating kind of death you can have.

Let's see this exchange between the young rich man and Jesus. Matthew 19:16: "Now at that time, one came to Him and said, 'Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?' And He said to him, 'Why do you call Me good? No one is good except one—God….'" (vs 16-17).

  • If He was 100% God in the flesh, why would He say, 'Don't call Me good, there's no one good, but one, that is God'?
  • Who was 100% God still in heaven? The Father!
  • Why did He not allow him to call Him good?
  • What does it say of human nature?
  • What did Paul say? He said that 'in my flesh dwells no good thing.' (Rom. 7).

So this will help you understand more what Jesus really did.

Now, let's come to Hebrews 1, and let's see how Paul wrote it here writing to the Hebrews and we will understand what is taking place here. Hebrews 1:1: "God, Who spoke to the fathers at different times in the past and in many ways by the prophets, has spoken to us in these last days by His Son, Whom He has appointed heir of all things... [the universe.] ...by Whom also He made the worlds [ages] Who, being the brightness of His glory and the exact image of His person... [That's what He was before He divested Himself and humbled Himself.] ...and upholding all things by the word of His own power, when He had by Himself purged our sins... [Why did He and He alone have to purge our sins? He created us!] (After He did that He): ...sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high? (vs 1-3).

Remember where it is there in the Gospels where Jesus cried out, 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani,' that is, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?' Because He had to bear the sins of the whole world by Himself on the cross! No help from God the Father, no help from angels, no help from being extraordinary. He had to do it because He was Creator. He had to become exactly like our human flesh. How did He get that?

Let's see what happened when this occurred; let's see the message that was told to the virgin Mary, Luke 1:26: "And in the sixth month of her [Elizabeth] pregnancy... [Elizabeth had to be her aunt, because Elizabeth was 70-years-old or older. Mary had to be 20, no more than 21. So that means there was a 50-year difference and they weren't cousins, she was the aunt.] ...the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the lineage of David' and the name of the virgin was Mary. And after coming to her, the angel said, 'Hail, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you; blessed are you among women.' But when she saw him, she was greatly perplexed at his message, and was considering what kind of salutation this might be. Then the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, because you have found grace with God and behold, you shall conceive in your womb and give birth to a son; and you shall call His name Jesus'" (vs 26-31).

Now listen up everyone who argues with sacred names. Did the angel bring the message from God the Father as what to name Him? Yes or no? Yes! What did He say? Jesus! What was it recorded in? Greek, which is pronounced 'Hey-soos.' That was a command from God. So if you take another sacred name and impose upon that, what are you doing? You're going against the command of God! Have you ever thought of it that way? (Just a little sidebar.)

"'He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give Him the throne of David, His forefather; And He shall reign over the house of Jacob into the ages, and of His kingdom there shall be no end.' But Mary said to the angel, 'How shall this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?' And the angel answered and said to her, 'The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest... [This defines the Holy Spirit as the power of God.] ...shall overshadow you; and for this reason, the Holy One being begotten in you shall be called the Son of God'" (vs 32-35).

In the Greek, 'being begotten' is present tense passive, meaning it was taking place right as the angel spoke. If the Holy Spirit is God, then the Holy Spirit would be the Father—correct? God did two impossible things here:

  • with Elizabeth who's 70-years-old to have a son
  • then to Mary who was a virgin—though betrothed to Joseph, never have any relations with Joseph—and she became pregnant

All of us know as parents if one our daughters comes home and says, 'I'm pregnant.' How did that happen? 'Well, an angel told me.' You wouldn't believe that—would you? No!

This put Jesus into what position of being accepted physically in the society? An illegitimate child—right? Yes! Unwanted! So everyone who was born because of those circumstances, His life and His death covers that for you. It's amazing how God worked out all of these circumstances.

Let's develop this a little bit more, and let's see how Jesus got the kind of flesh that He got. In order for Him to be begotten in the womb of the virgin Mary, He had to reduce Himself down and God the Father had to have the genes necessary from the Father to unite with the genes of Mary so that He would be born having human flesh and human nature. Without that, how could His sacrifice pay for the sins of human beings when God was the one Who brought the curse of death and the curse of sin upon human beings?

Let's come back to Hebrews 2; let's see how Paul explains it here. This is talking about Jesus, Hebrews 2:9: "But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels... [Psa. 8 says 'a little lower than God' or Elohim.] ...crowned with glory and honor on account of suffering the death... [That's the way it is in the Greek—the death. Only one kind of death like this was the Son of God, the death.] ...in order that by the grace of God He Himself might taste death for everyone; because it was fitting for Him, for Whom all things were created, and by Whom all things exist, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings" (vs 9-10).

If He could not sin, if He could not be tempted, how was it that He could suffer? He was perfected through suffering. Could God be perfected even more by the human experience? Yes, indeed! Come over here to Hebrews 5. Let's see how Jesus had to draw close to God the Father. Let's see that Jesus did not do anything of His own self, because He said twice, 'Of My own self I can do nothing.'

Hebrews 5:7: "Who in the days of His flesh, offered up both prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears... [This means pretty powerful, pretty desperate—right? Knowing how terrible the situation was. If He would have sinned just once, the consequences would be absolutely staggering! It wasn't impossible that Jesus could sin, it was improbable that He would, because He chose every time to do the will of God. He had to have that choice.] ...with strong crying and tears to Him Who was able to save Him from death..." What can we conclude with part of the nature that Jesus inherited from Mary, had to have what Paul calls the law of death? As in Adam in all die. He had to take the sin of Adam, too—correct? Yes, indeed!

"...to save Him from death, and was heard because He feared God. Although He was a Son, yet He learned obedience from the things that He suffered; and having been perfected... [Think of that! Been perfected by the human experience—we could put in there, by becoming human.] ...He became the Author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him" (vs 7-9). There's that interesting little word there—obey Him—right?

Now let's come back here to Hebrews 2:10: "...to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.... [God could not be perfect until Christ, taking on human flesh and went through all of this and the crucifixion and suffered.] ...For both He Who is sanctifying and those who are sanctified are all of one; for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, 'I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the Church I will sing praise to You.' And again, 'I will be trusting in Him.' And again, 'Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me.' Therefore, since and children are partakers of flesh and blood..." (vs 10-14).

  • What does flesh and blood equate to? Human existence!
  • What does flesh equate to?
  • How does the Bible describe that?

"Therefore, since the children are partakers of flesh and blood, in like manner He also took part in the same, in order that through death He might annul him who has the power of death—that is, the devil…. [annul all his works] …And that He might deliver those who were subject to bondage all through their lives by their fear of death. For surely, He is not taking upon Himself to help the angels; but He is taking upon Himself to help the seed of Abraham" (vs 14-16).

What did Paul write to the Gentiles? That 'if you are Christ's, you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise.' So this phrase includes Israelites and Gentiles, because if you are Christ's, you are recipient of the promise of the blessing of eternal glory as pictured by the stars, which are not numbered.

Verse 17: "For this reason, it was obligatory for Him to be made like... ['homoiote'—the same] ...like His brethren in everything... [Not most things, everything!] ...that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, in order to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because He Himself has suffered, having been tempted in like manner, He is able to help those who are being tempted" (vs 17-18).

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Now let's see what kind of flesh that Jesus had. Come to Romans 8:3: "For what was impossible for the law to do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, having sent His own Son in the likeness... [in the Greek this is 'homoiote'—which means the exact sameness.] ...of sinful flesh... [The Greek here means the likeness of sin of flesh. For what?] ...and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh." Now in whose flesh is sin condemned? Jesus' flesh! How was that accomplished?

Let's come to Revelation 3, and let's look at what Jesus said. Sometimes we read these things and it doesn't register until we've put it together. Revelation 3:21: "To the one who overcomes..." What does it mean to overcome? It means to overcome sin, overcome self, overcome Satan—right? "...will I give authority to sit with Me in My throne even as I also overcame... [What did Jesus have to overcome? If He was 100% God, He would have nothing to overcome—correct?] ...even as I also overcame, and sat down with My Father in His throne."

Romans 8:3: "...having sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh." How could He condemn sin in the flesh unless He had full human nature with the capacity to sin if He would have chosen to sin? And wasn't His overcoming greater than ours? Yes, indeed. What did He receive from Mary? He received human nature, just like we have.

How does Paul define human nature? Here's how we overcome—right? Here we are going along and everything is just fine and all of a sudden God does something to us, so we come to the realization of what sin is—right? And we find out that sin results in death.

Romans 7:9: "For I was once alive without law... [He was living his life without the full knowledge of the Truth of God. As a Pharisee he had all kinds of laws, but not the laws of God.] ...but after the commandment came... [He understood what the commandment really meant.] ...sin revived..." He could see sin in himself. Before you were converted, you know there were things that weren't right with you, but did you know that it was sin or not? No, you didn't know! When did you become stricken with the guilt of sin? When you understood what sin really was—right? Yes!

"...sin revived, and I died" (v 9). How did he die? The death of baptism! He had to be alive to write this—right? Was Paul resurrected from the dead? No! He died physically to the world through the symbolic death, the covenant death, of baptism.

Verse 10: "And the commandment, which was meant to result in life, was found to be unto death for me; because sin, having taken opportunity by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me…. ['The wages of sin is death.' There it is explained in a little different way.] …Therefore, the law is indeed Holy... [Nothing wrong with the law, it's Holy.] ...and the commandment Holy and righteous and good. Now then, did that which is good become death to me? MAY IT NEVER BE! But sin, in order that it might truly be exposed as sin in me by that which is good, was working out death... [You don't know what sin is until you have the goodness of God's law which says, 'You shall not, you shall not.'] ...so that, by means of the commandment, sin might become exceedingly sinful" (vs 10-13).

How does sin become exceedingly sinful? When you understand the sin begins within, in the mind, in the heart—right? That's where sin resides, right here. What did Jesus say?

Let's see what Jesus said concerning human nature. Mark 7:20: "And He said, 'That which springs forth from within a man, that defiles the man.'" We are going to see human nature defined by Paul as a two-part law of sin and death. So, without the Spirit of God, the things that come "…from within a man, that defiles the man. For from within, out of the hearts of men, go forth evil thoughts... [Isn't that what you have to battle, evil thoughts? Yes, indeed! Did Jesus have to overcome that? Yes! If He had human nature, He would have to. But He chose the right thing all the time—right?] ...evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickednesses, guile, licentiousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness; all these evils go forth from within, and these defile a man'" (vs 20-23). That's what Paul means when he said, 'The commandment revived and I died.' He saw sin was not the outward things of the actions that you do, but the inward things of the heart and mind where it originates. It's the purpose and goal of God to change and convert the human mind so that we can overcome that human nature within by the power of God's Spirit.

Romans 7:13: "…that...sin might become exceedingly sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, having been sold as a slave under sin; because what I am working out myself... [Isn't this true? Have you ever done things and then you ask yourself: Why did I do that? I've done that. Sometimes you're honest and you say, 'Stupid!'] ...because what I am working out myself, I do not know. For what I do not desire to do, this I do; moreover, what I hate, this is what I do" (vs 13-15). You can overcome that—can't you? How? With God's Spirit! God's commandments! That's why they are to be written in our hearts and in our minds—right? Yes, we can overcome it!

"...moreover, what I hate, this is what I do.... [This is the pull of the flesh. Did Jesus have the pull of the flesh, yet not sin? He would had to have! By choice He had to always choose God's way completely.] (Notice how he comes to understand this even more): ...But if I am doing what I do not desire to do, I agree with the law that it is good…. [That tells me what I'm doing is wrong.] …So then, I am no longer working it out myself; rather, it is sin that is dwelling within me... [This is the hard thing to really understand. We have, by nature, an existence that is sin and death, mixed in with good. This is what is the pull of life. This is why everything that human beings do eventually all wear down and corrupt and become worthless.] ...because I fully understand that there is not dwelling within me—that is, within my fleshly being—any good" (vs 15-18).

Remember what Jesus told the rich man when the rich man said good Master. He said, 'Why call Me good. There's no one good but God.' God is telling us He had to have the law of sin within Him, but never sinned. So His challenge and His life was much more demanding than ours—correct? There would be no sacrifice to pay for His sin—right? None!

"…For the desire to do good is present within me... [We always intend to do good. Who was it told me that they were responsible for their house burning down, only desired to do good, but the house burned down.] ...but how to work out that which is good, I do not find.... [You can't find the answers to life, to sin, to death by human philosophy, human works, human religions. It's not there, it's never going to work. Jesus said He is the Way, the Life, and the Truth and 'no one comes to the Father except through Me.'] (here's the conundrum): ...For the good that I desire to do, I am not doing; but the evil that I do not desire to do, this I am doing…. [That's why we are to overcome, bring every thought into captivity, you see.] …But if I do what I desire to do, I am no longer working it out myself, but sin that is dwelling within me. Consequently, I find this law in my members, that when I desire to do good, evil is present with me…. [Isn't that true? Yes, indeed!] …For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man; But I see another law within my own members, warring against the law of my mind, and leading me captive to the law of sin that is within my own members" (vs 18-23). This will help us understand when we re-read Rom. 8:3, so we understand the magnitude of what Jesus did.

He says: "O what a wretched man I am! Who shall save me from the body of this death? I thank God for His salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of this, on the one hand, I myself serve the law of God with my mind; but on the other hand, with the flesh, I serve the law of sin" (vs 24-25). In other words, when he does sin, it's because it's within, but that means that he has to repent to get right with God.

Romans 8:1: "Consequently... [here's the good news for us] ...there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus..." What does it mean to be in Christ Jesus?

  • repentance
  • baptism
  • receiving of the Holy Spirit

"...who are not walking according to the flesh..." You're not living by the dictates of your human nature.

  • you're following the laws and commandments of God
  • you're being led by the Spirit of God
  • you're growing and changing and overcoming

"…—not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit, because... [Now here's another law to supersede the law of sin and death.] ...the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has delivered me from the law of sin and death" (vs 1-2). Isn't that something? The law of the Spirit of life in Christ! What is that? That's the whole operation of how the Spirit of God works within us. 'Has delivered me from the law of sin and death,' meaning you can overcome it. Through the power of God's Spirit you can overcome. People in the world can't do it.

That's why over a period of time what happens? Standards go down and down and down and down because human nature can't keep those laws! What is it now, we'll just take one example. You shall not commit adultery. It's been taken down so much that people look at someone who says, 'You shall not commit adultery,' as: What kind of stupid person are you? It's impossible for human nature without the Spirit of God to meet the standard of 'Do not commit adultery,' and do not commit it in your mind. That's what Jesus was talking about. The change is within!

Verse 3 "For what was impossible for the law to do, in that it was weak through the flesh..." If you have the laws of God here, even the laws of the land, human nature is so sinful by itself it can't really keep it. Isn't that true? No law can make you do anything, though you know it! For example: They're now trying to find that the reason for human promiscuity is because you have a gene that causes it. How about doing that with thievery? Well, we can do that for lying—can't we?

The truth is, the law of sin and death is in us. So they're on to something, but they're going at it the wrong way. They're saying, 'If it's genetic, why fight it?' Rather than saying, 'If it's genetic, it's because there's a law of sin and death within you and God expects you to overcome it with His help and with His Spirit. So what did God do? God went above and beyond. This is why He had to cry with strong crying and tears.

"…God, having sent His own Son in the likeness... [exact sameness] ...of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh" (v 3). Jesus had to have had the law of sin and death within Him. Did He have the law of death in Him? Yes, He died! He had to have the law of death in Him; otherwise, He wouldn't have died. Was Jesus tempted, but yet without sin? Yes! But if, having the law of sin and death, within Him and yet having the Spirit of God and the power of God to choose rightly, every time to never sin, even though He was tempted, does that not condemn sin in Jesus' flesh? Yes!

So this is what it's talking about here. Why did He do this? To pay for the sins of all mankind—correct? Whether repented of or not, He still had to pay for it. There will be those who will end up in the Lake of Fire, because their choice was not to obey God or repent. But He still paid for their sins, because they had the sinful nature that came from Adam right on down to us called the law of sin and death.

Verse 4, this is why we're not under condemnation: "In order that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." Isn't that something? A complete change! Now this is why when we come to understand the way of God and come to repentance and come to the knowledge of the Truth, that's why we have to be baptized and conjoined into the death of Christ. The only way we can meet a spiritual standard is with the Spirit of God. The only way we can overcome sin is with the Spirit of God, so this is why there is baptism.

Romans 6:1: "What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin, so that grace may abound? MAY IT NEVER BE! We who died to sin... [That's how Paul died. Remember he said, 'Sin revived and I died.' You die to sin!] ...how shall we live any longer therein?…. [You can't do it!] …Or are you ignorant that we, as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus, were baptized into His death?" (vs 1-3). His death, having never sinned, though carrying the law of sin and death within Him, made in the same as human nature, and see what a tremendous thing that God did in doing that. It wasn't a 'waltz through the park' like a lot of people think. It required all the effort of God.

"...were baptized into His death? Therefore, we were buried with Him through the baptism.... [there's only one baptism] ...into the death... [Doesn't that tie in with Heb. 2? The very death of Christ!] ...so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, in the same way, we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been conjoined together in the likeness of His death, so also shall we be in the likeness of His resurrection" (vs 3-5).

You can read the rest of Romans 6 and see how we're to overcome. Christ had to carry within Him as a human being the law of sin and death. Therefore, that's why He said, 'Don't call Me good Master.' That's why Paul said, 'In my flesh there is nothing good.' So God gave Himself a tremendous challenge to overcome.

Now we can explain more fully this verse, the very last verse in 2-Corinthians 5:21: "For He made Him Who knew no sin... ['knew' means did not have sin by experience; He did not experience sin Himself] ...Who knew no sin to be sin for us... [by having the law of sin and death within Him and never sinning] ...so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." When we understand this, we can follow through.

Let's go to Hebrews 4, and let's look at just a few more verses here. Brethren, this helps us in understanding

  • how we need to overcome
  • how we need to rely on the Spirit of God
  • how we need to be led by the Spirit of God
  • to change
  • to grow
  • to overcome

Ask God to be with us and lead us!

Hebrews 4:14: "Having therefore a great High Priest, Who has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, we should hold fast the confession of our faith. For we do not have a high priest who cannot empathize with our weaknesses, but one Who was tempted in all things according to the likeness of our own temptations; yet He was without sin" (vs 14-15)

  • by choice
  • by putting down every temptation
  • by bringing every thought into captivity to God the Father.

That's how He did it. That same power is available to us through the Holy Spirit, though not in the same degree that it was with Christ. Notice what we are to do then. "Therefore, we should come with boldness to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (v 16).

Let's go back to 1-John 4, and let's look at this again and answer the question the way it should be. We know the Catholics don't believe this. When they say, 'Oh, He came in the flesh.' They even go one step further and say that Mary was immaculately conceived—they understand about the law of sin within, they call it the stain of Adam's sin upon the soul. So therefore, they say though Jesus came in the flesh, He couldn't have sinned. That's not what it's talking about here in the light of what we've already covered.

1-John 4:1: "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are from God... [There are many what? There are antichrists out there, too—right? Yes!] ...because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this test you can know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God…. [Meaning, that it had the same human nature that we have, but still never sinned! Any other determination is a different kind of flesh.] …And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not from God. And this is the spirit of antichrist, which you heard was to come, and even now it is already in the world" (vs 1-3). We see the full blossom of it today in what the religions of the antichrist are. It's amazing.

So that's the kind of flesh that Jesus had when it talks about Jesus in the flesh. There are many other Scriptures we can use about the flesh of God and how that is a phenomenal thing that God did.

Scriptural References:

  • 1-John 4:1-3
  • Exodus 34:5-9
  • Exodus 33:18-23
  • John 1:1-4, 14
  • Philippians 2:5-7
  • John 17:1-5
  • Philippians 2:7-8
  • Matthew 19:16-17
  • Hebrews 1:1-3
  • Luke 1:26-35
  • Hebrews 2:9-10
  • Hebrews 5:7-9
  • Hebrews 2:10-18
  • Romans 8:3
  • Revelation 3:21
  • Romans 8:3
  • Romans 7:9-13
  • Mark 7:20-23
  • Romans 7:13-25
  • Romans 8:1-4
  • Romans 6:1-5
  • 2-Corinthians 5:21
  • Hebrews 4:14-16
  • 1-John 4:1-3

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Genesis 2, 3
  • Romans 7
  • Psalm 8
  • Hebrews 2

FRC:lp
Transcribed: 12-14-10
Formatted: bo: 12-15-10

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