thumb08.jpg (3241 bytes) Study 8: The Nature of Jesus
Introduction | Differences Between God and Jesus | The Nature of Jesus | The Humanity of Jesus | The Relationship of God with Jesus | Digressions ("Being in the form of God") | Questions

8.1 Introduction

It must be one of the greatest tragedies in Christian thinking that the Lord Jesus Christ has not received the respect and exaltation due to him on account of his victory over sin, through the development of a perfect character. The widely held doctrine of the 'trinity' makes Jesus God Himself. Seeing that God cannot be tempted (James 1:13) and has no possibility of sinning, this means that Christ did not really have to battle against sin. His life on earth was therefore a sham, living out the human experience, but with no real feeling for the spiritual and physical dilemma of the human race, seeing that he was not personally affected by it.

At the other extreme, groups like the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses fail to properly appreciate the wonder of Christ being the only begotten Son of God. As such, he could not have been an angel or the natural son of Joseph. It has been suggested by some that in his lifetime, Christ's nature was like that of Adam before the fall. Apart from the lack of Biblical evidence for this view, it fails to appreciate that Adam was created by God from dust, whilst Jesus was 'created' by being begotten of God in the womb of Mary. Thus, although Jesus did not have a human father, he was conceived and born like us in all other ways. Many people cannot accept that a man of our sinful nature could have a perfect character. It is this fact which is an obstacle to a real faith in Christ.

To believe that Jesus was of our nature, but was sinless in his character, always overcoming his temptations, is not easy. It takes much reflection upon the Gospel records of his perfect life, coupled with the many Biblical passages which deny that he was God, to come to a firm understanding and faith in the real Christ. It is far easier to suppose that he was God Himself, and therefore automatically perfect. Yet this view demeans the greatness of the victory which Jesus won against sin and human nature.

He had human nature; he shared every one of our sinful tendencies (Heb. 4:15), yet he overcame them by his commitment to God's ways and seeking His help to overcome sin. This God willingly gave, to the extent that "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself" through His very own Son (2 Cor. 5:19).