Book: Why Were You Born?

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According to the Scriptures, God's purpose for the human family included a plan for the redemption of mankind. This plan was in place from the foundation of the world, before the creation of Adam and Eve (Rev. 13:8).

But why do human beings need redemption? What do they need to be redeemed from? How is God going to accomplish this redemption? Indeed, what can God do to reconcile mankind to Himself?

As we will see, the answer revolves around the all-important role of Jesus the Messiah. Why did Jesus have to come as a man—God manifested in the flesh—and die? How did He and God the Father1 accomplish such an incredible feat? The answers to these questions are revealed in the Word of God. In order to understand, we must first go back to the creation of man and woman—to consider the magnitude and consequences of their sin.

From the beginning God created within Adam and Eve, and their descendants, the ability to think, reason and plan. He also gave to them independent, free moral agency—the capacity to choose and make decisions. These are all godlike attributes. Although Adam and Eve walked with God daily for a time, they ultimately chose to decide for themselves what was good and evil, as depicted by their taking of the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.”

However, only God, as Creator and Lawgiver, knows what is truly good and what is truly evil. Man, apart from God and His laws, does not have the innate ability to decide what is good or what is evil. That prerogative belongs to God alone!

Adam and Eve, under the sway of the serpent, Satan the devil, chose to disobey God. The consequences of their sin continues to this day— adversely affecting all of mankind. Two profound consequences resulted, which only God can resolve through His plan of redemption in Christ.

1) Human nature and death passed to all of the human family. Prior to their sin, Adam and Eve had a nature that was neither for, nor against, God. He had given them independent free moral agency—the freedom to make their own choices. He had set before them His way of love and obedience, which would lead to eternal life, as symbolized by the “Tree of Life.” 

He also set before them the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil”— representing the choice to reject God and His way. God strictly commanded them to not eat of that tree. If they disobeyed and ate of that tree, their sin would result in their death. Thus, they had to choose whether they would love and obey God or not.

Adam and Eve disobeyed God by listening to the serpent and choosing to decide for themselves what was "good" and what was "evil." By so doing, they cut themselves off from God and from access to the Tree of Life. As a result of their sin, by the sentence of God’s judgment (Gen. 3:1619), He permanently changed their nature from being neutral toward God to being a mixture of good and evil. Thus, human nature became deceitful and hostile toward God and His laws and commandments (Rom. 8:7).

The apostle Paul substantiates this: "Therefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and by means of sin came death; and in this way, death passed into all mankind; and it is for this reason that all have sinned” (Rom. 5:12). And again, “in Adam all die” (I Cor. 15:22). The phrases “death passed into all mankind” and “it is for this reason that all have sinned" verify that man's original neutral nature was changed to a nature of sin and death. In fact, Paul specifically calls this subsequent human nature the “law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2). This is the nature that has been genetically passed from Adam and Eve into the hearts and minds of every generation.

Consequently, much of the “good” that people do is not of God, but originates with the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Such perceived “good” may bring a superficial or temporary “benefit,” but it nearly always ends in failure. The Proverbs teach us about deceptive human nature cut off from God and His Word: “There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end thereof is the way of death…. All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirits…. [As a man] thinks in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 14:12; 16:2; 23:7).

Human nature is essentially deceitful, evil, and self-destructive. Even God lamented over the pervasive, universal evil of Noah’s generation before the Flood: “And the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually…. Now the earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and behold, it was corrupt—for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth” (Gen. 6:4, 11-12).

Over 1,800 years later, the prophet Jeremiah declared that human nature was still the same: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?... O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his steps” (Jer. 17:9; 10:23).

Hundreds of years after Jeremiah, Jesus said that from the depths of human nature comes sin, evil and wickedness: “That which springs forth from within a man, that defiles the man. For from within, out of the hearts of men, go forth evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickednesses, guile, licentiousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride and foolishness. All these evils go forth from within, and these defile a man” (Mark 7:20-23).2

These passages verify that human nature—the “law of sin and death”— can never be changed or overcome apart from God.

2) Mankind is held captive to Satan’s deceptive rule. Adam and Eve listened to Satan instead of God. Because of their sin, Satan became the "god of this world" - i.e., this present age (II Cor. 4:4). From that time forward, all of mankind has been under the sway and deception of Satan (Rev. 12:9)—except for those few God has chosen to call in this age. While tempting Jesus to worship him, Satan bragged, "I will give You all this authority [over all the nations], and the glory of the all; for it has been delivered [during this age] to me, and I give it to whomever I desire” (Luke 4:6). Indeed, unto this day “the whole world lies in the power of the wicked one” (I John 5:19). Moreover, in the end time in which we are now living, it has been prophesied that the whole world will worship Satan and the Antichrist (Rev. 13:3-4).

Thus, as a result of God's judgement of their sin, these two major consequences came upon Adam and Eve and their descendants. Despite all of mankind’s “good” intentions, over 6,000 years of history has proven that without God it is impossible for mankind—enslaved to sin and death—to solve the lawlessness of human nature. Man simply does not have the ability to overcome Satan. Paul writes: “Because the creation was subjected to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who subjected it in hope, in order that the creation itself might be delivered from the bondage of corruption [sin and death and Satan] into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that all the creation is groaning together and travailing together until now” (Rom. 8:20-22).

As we will see, because of God's great love for mankind, He has purposed to redeem the human family from sin, death and Satan—through His Son, Jesus the Christ.

 

God Becomes a Man

In the greatest manifestation of the love of God, the Creator of mankind, in the most astounding act of humility, became a man. There are two littleknown reasons why God created man in His image and after His likeness. The first reason was so that God could become a man to redeem mankind from sin. The second reason is so that those who are redeemed could become like God (which will be addressed later).

The Lord God Who had created man from the dust of the ground came to the earth in the flesh as Jesus Christ, as John writes: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 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…. And the Word became flesh, and tabernacled [temporarily dwelt] among us (and we ourselves beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten with the Father), full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-3, 14).

Paul gives additional details as to how God was able to become a man: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, Who, although He existed [Greek huparchoon, to exist or preexist] in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but emptied Himself [of His power and glory], and was made in the likeness [Greek homoioma, the same existence] of men and took the form of a servant [Greek doulos, a slave], and being found in the manner of man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:5-8).

These inspired words of Paul confirm that before Jesus became human, He was, in fact, one of Elohim, the Lord God of the Old Testament. Existing as God, He was composed of ever-living Spirit; and as God, composed of spirit, it was impossible for Him to die.

Think on this: The God Who created man in His image and likeness took on the same substance as man. Paul reveals that the one of Elohim Who became Christ “emptied Himself” of His glory and power as God in order to be made in the likeness of man. The great and glorious God, Creator of the heavens and earth and all that is in them, relinquished being God in the greatest, most awesome act of love and humility—in order to redeem and save mankind!

In emptying Himself of His glory as God, He placed Himself under the power of God the Father, Who reduced Him to only a pinpoint of life. Then God the Father, by the power of His Holy Spirit, joined this pinpoint of life to an ovum within the virgin Mary’s womb. Thus, Jesus became the “only begotten” Son of God.

But why was it obligatory for God to become flesh—a man? What kind of flesh did God take upon Himself when He became Jesus Christ? Was His flesh the same as all human flesh? As we will see, in order for God to redeem man from the "law of sin and death" and Satan the devil, it was necessary for Him to die. Consequently, the only way for God to die was to become human—to be “manifested in the flesh.” Astonishingly, He did not suddenly appear as a fully mature man. Rather, He was reduced to a pinpoint of life in order to become a man - beginning with conception, as are all other men and women.

When Mary asked the angel Gabriel how it was possible for her to conceive, not having had sexual relations with a man, he answered, “The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you; wherefore the Holy One which is being begotten [the Greek means that the impregnation was taking place at that very moment] in you shall also be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).

At the instant Jesus was conceived in the womb of Mary, He became the only divinely begotten Son of God the Father, fulfilling the prophecy of Psalm 2: “He [the Elohim Who became the Father] said, ‘You are My Son; this day have I begotten You’ ” (verse 7).

In addition, Jesus revealed that He had authority from the Father to lay down His life and to receive it back again. Notice: “On account of this, the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life, that I may receive it back again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have authority to lay it down and authority to receive it back again. This commandment I received from My Father” (John 10:17-18). As Paul shows, Jesus gave His body as the one perfect sacrifice for sin—once for all time (Heb. 10:10).  

Jesus said of Himself: “I am the living bread, which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” (John 6:51). In order to give His flesh for the life of the world, Christ had to be fully human. He had to share and experience the full range of human existence, with human nature—from conception and birth to childhood, adulthood and death.

 

Jesus Christ Shared the Human Experience

In writing to the Hebrews, Paul used many passages from the Old Testament to show that Jesus shared the same mortal existence as all human beings. His inspired explanation of Psalm 8 makes this clear. The suffering and death of Christ were essential to the fulfillment of God’s purpose for man: “But in a certain place one fully testified, saying, ‘What is man, that You [Yourself] are mindful of him, or the son of man, that You [Yourself] visit him? You did make him a little lower than the angels; You did crown him with glory and honor, and You did set him over the works of Your hands; You did put all things in subjection under his feet.’ For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that was not subjected to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him [man].

“But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor on account of suffering the death, in order that by the grace of God He Himself might taste [partake of] death for everyone; because it was fitting for Him, for Whom are all things, and by Whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings” (Heb. 2:6-10).

What a magnificent expression of God’s love! The Creator of all mankind temporarily gave up His eternal existence as God and lowered Himself to the level of mortal man, so that He could suffer and die for every human being. Think of it! By the grace and love of God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, He willingly took upon Himself the death penalty that had come upon all mankind through sin. Because He is the Creator of all mankind, the death of Christ through His shed blood is the only sacrifice that can bring forgiveness of human sin: “Therefore, since the children have partaken of flesh and blood, in like manner He also took part in the same [flesh and blood], in order that through [His] death He might annul him who has the power of death—that is, the devil.

“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 [the promised spiritual seed] of Abraham. For this reason, it was obligatory for Him to be made like His brethren in everything [sharing the same flesh and nature], that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, in order to make propitiation [to bring forgiveness] for the sins of the people. Because He Himself has suffered, having been tempted in like manner, He is able to help those who are being tempted” (Heb. 2:14-18). Paul leaves no room for doubt that Jesus was fully human.

In Genesis 15, the one of Elohim Who later became Jesus entered into a covenant with Abraham by taking a maledictory oath. He thus obligated Himself to die in order to fulfill the promises of the covenant for the spiritual seed. 3 The covenant required His death. In other words, the Lord God obligated Himself to become flesh and blood—a mortal subject to death (Heb. 10:5-10). This was His covenant pledge.

But the promises could not be fulfilled by His death alone. In order to fulfill the promise of spiritual seed by redeeming mankind, it was necessary for Jesus to be resurrected from the dead and become mankind’s personal Mediator and High Priest in heaven. For this reason, He took on the same nature that all humans share. Because He experienced the same temptations, yet without sin, Jesus is uniquely able to make intercession before the Father for anyone who repents of their sins. Moreover, He is able to provide the spiritual strength to overcome the pulls of human nature and the influence of Satan.

 

Jesus Took the “Law of Sin and Death” Within Himself

The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ was fully human, sharing the same flesh that all mankind has - including the "law of sin and death." It is important to understand this truth. Paul specifically describes the flesh of Jesus in this manner: “For what was impossible for the law to do, in that it was weak through the flesh [because of the law of sin and death within human flesh], God, having sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh [Jesus' flesh]" (Rom. 8:3). A literal translation of the Greek is “in the likeness of flesh, of sin....” The word “likeness” is translated from the Greek homoioomati, which means “likeness, the same” (Arndt and Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament). 

That Jesus was made in the “likeness of sinful flesh” leaves no doubt that the “law of sin and death” was passed on to Jesus from His mother Mary. Because Jesus had to be fully human, He had to inherit the “law of sin and death.” If He did not have the “law of sin and death” within His fleshly body, He would not have been fully human! This means He had the potential to sin at any time during His human life. If, as some claim, Jesus was incapable of sin, it would have been impossible for Him to be tempted. Thus, the devil could not have tempted Jesus in the wilderness, as the Scriptures record (Matt. 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13).

The fact that Jesus experienced this temptation by Satan shows that the “law of sin and death” was within His flesh. On the other hand, through the power of the Holy Spirit, He was able to resist the desires and pulls of the flesh through which Satan was tempting Him to sin. Thus, Jesus never sinned, as He knew that those who succumb to the lusts of the flesh are practicing the ways of Satan.

During His ministry, Jesus openly condemned the Jewish religious leaders for following Satan. He said, “You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you desire to practice. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he is speaking from his own self; for he is a liar, and the father of it" (John 8:44). Jesus then made a statement showing that He had the potential to sin: “And you have not known Him [God the Father]; but I know Him. And if I should say that I do not know Him, I shall be, like you, a liar" (John 8:55). Thus, it was possible for Jesus to lie if He had chosen to do so. But, unlike the Jewish religious leaders, Jesus always chose to do the things that pleased the Father (John 8:29).

Since Jesus had the same flesh and the same nature as all human beings, He was tempted. Because He was tempted, He was capable of sinning—if He chose to sin. However, if Jesus had sinned, He would have incurred the penalty of death for Himself, because He was made subject to the Law. Paul writes: “But when the time for the fulfillment came [the time in God’s plan to fulfill the prophecy of the Messiah], God sent forth His own Son, born of a woman, born under Law, in order that He might redeem those who are under Law, so that we might receive the gift of sonship from God” (Gal. 4:4-5).

In Romans 7:5 through 8:2, Paul describes in detail how the “law of sin and death” works in every human being to bring forth death. Jesus overcame every temptation, and the “law of sin and death,” through the power of the Holy Spirit. This is why only His sacrifice and His shed blood can deliver human beings from their sinful nature that leads to eternal death.

During His 40 days of temptation by Satan, Jesus chose to humble Himself by fasting rather than nourish His flesh. He relied on the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit from God the Father. He did not trust in His own strength and His own mind.

If Jesus had no potential to sin, there would have been absolutely no reason for Him to undergo such a brutal temptation. In other words, if it had been impossible for Jesus to sin, His temptation by Satan would have served no purpose. Without the potential for sin and the possibility of being influenced by the pulls of the flesh, there would have been no way for Jesus to actually experience temptation as all humans have (James 1:14-15).

In his epistle to the Hebrews, Paul writes of the great struggle that Jesus experienced to never yield to a single temptation and to never sin. He writes: “[Jesus,] Who, in the days of His flesh, offered up both prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was able 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 [through His life as a human being], He became the Author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him” (Heb. 5:7-9).

In order for Jesus to qualify as our "Author of salvation," He had to experience the same temptations that beset all humans: “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot empathize with our weaknesses, but one Who was Jesus tempted in all things [in every way] according to the likeness of our temptations; yet He was without sin. Because of this, we ourselves should come with boldness to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:15-16).  

The phrase “according to the likeness of” is translated from the Greek kath omoioteeta, which literally means "in every way just as we are." In other words, while Jesus was in the flesh, He experienced exactly the same temptations that we do because He was made in the “likeness of sinful flesh.” Yet Jesus never sinned because He never yielded to a single temptation of the flesh or of Satan the devil. 

According to Paul, this is how God condemned sin in the flesh—the flesh of Christ: “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 of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh” (Rom. 8:3).

In order for God to carry out His awesome plan and purpose for mankind, He fulfilled His covenant pledge to provide redemption and to conquer Satan. He did so by becoming a man with all the attributes of human nature. He overcame Satan the devil and condemned sin in His own literal flesh. Because Jesus never sinned, God the Father accepted His death as the only full payment for all human sin, as the wages of sin is death. As we will see in Chapter 8, this opened the next phase of God’s plan—the redemption and salvation of the spiritual seed from all nations.

 

Chapter 7 Notes:

1. The two Elohim of the Old Testament are the "Most High God," Who became the Father, and the “LORD God,” who became the Son, Jesus Christ.

2. Paul also writes of the unregenerate evil of mankind, which typifies all of human civilization: "For we have already charged both Jews and Gentiles—ALL—with being under sin, exactly as it is written: ‘For there is not a righteous one—not even one! There is not one who understands; there is not one who seeks after God. They have all gone out of the way; together they have all become depraved. There is not even one who is practicing kindness. No, there is not so much as one! Their throats are like an open grave; with their tongues they have used deceit; the venom of asps is under their lips, whose mouths are full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.’ Now then, we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God” (Rom. 3:9-19).

Paul also describes “works of the flesh”: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, strifes, jealousis, indignations, contentions, divisions, sects, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such things as these” (Gal. 5:19-21).

3. God’s plan for Abraham’s physical seed is being fulfilled through the physical tribes of Israel. For a detailed look at this national aspect of the Abrahamic covenant, please request the book America and Britain—Their Biblical Origin and Prophetic Destiny.

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