How Should We View Christ?

 

1 Tim 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

 

We should view Christ as the physical manifestation of God – God manifest in the flesh.  God is not triune in the sense that He is three separate beings – one of which is partially human.  He is triune in the sense that He manifests Himself in three primary ways.  When men like Abraham, or Isaiah, or Daniel, or John the Baptist saw Christ they saw the eternal God manifested as the True Man.

 

Understanding Christ in this way helps us understand statements like, I and my Father are one (John 10:30), he that hath seen me hath seen the Father (John 14:9), and His [the Messiah] name shall be called the Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6).  Further, thinking of Christ in this way does not mean He didn’t experience the path of trial and suffering that God asks His children to walk.  Nor does it mean he didn’t feel pain, hunger, sorrow, and death as men of this earth experience it.  It simply means that God can experience pain, hunger, sorrow, and yes, even death.  It allows our understanding of Christ to be shaped by what the scriptures say rather than by the sayings that have grown up around Christ over the centuries.  It simply lets the scriptures speak.

 

Perhaps the greatest struggle people have with the teaching of Christ as the bread from heaven is in reconciling this with the teaching of Christ walking the path we as humans walk.  Again I go back and just say, let the scriptures speak.

 

The scriptures never say that Christ’s flesh was of the earth.  They say He came in the likeness of sinful flesh, not in sinful flesh[1].  They repeatedly say that His flesh came from heaven.  This doesn’t mean the flesh from heaven can’t feel the same weaknesses that our clay flesh feels.  Remember we were created in His image.  We are like God in more ways than we commonly think.

 

From the scriptures we know that the One whose flesh that came down from heaven could experience hunger, discouragement, and even the separation of the soul and spirit (death).  But that doesn’t mean His flesh was of the earth.  The scriptures never say that, but the spirit of antichrist does, because that changes Christ into an image made like to corruptible man.

Let the scriptures speak and stop

The scriptures do not say[2]

  • Jesus was fully man and fully God. 
  • Jesus was fully human and fully God. 
  • Jesus was of one substance with us. 
  • Jesus was God clothed in human flesh.

The scriptures do say

  • God was manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16)
  • Jesus came in the likeness of sinful flesh (Romans 8:3)
  • The flesh of the Son was of the Word of Life (1 John 1:1-2)
  • The flesh of the Son came down from heaven (John 6:51, 1 Corinthians 15:46-49)
  • Jesus was tempted in all points like as we are (Hebrews 4:15)[3]
  • Jesus experienced hunger, thirst, sadness, sorrow, and death (Luke 4:2, John 19:28, John 11:35, Matthew 26:37-38, John 19:30)

 

Let the scriptures speak and stop.  Don’t try to roll these plain statements up into generalizations that make Christ out to be something He is not.


[1] Romans 8:3

[2] Men invented all of these phrases.

[3] This must be understood in light of other scriptures.  The scriptures say that a man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lusts and enticed (James 1:14).  The scriptures also say this lust comes from our flesh (Romans 7:18-25).  Jesus would not have been drawn toward sin at any point, for God cannot be tempted with evil (James 1:13).  For example, when Satan, approached Christ with a temptation Christ was not drawn to Satan’s offers.  He was tempted – that is approached with the temptation – but He was not drawn to it, as our flesh would have been.

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