KNOWING THE ABSOLUTE NECESSITY
OF THE HUMANITY OF JESUS CHRIST
A Sermon by Wayne Camp
SERIES TEXT: Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.
TEXT: Heb. 2:9-18
INTRO: In the first message in this series we saw that we must know Christ as God if we are to know God at all. In the second we saw that we must also know him as man. I pointed out that this knowledge of Christ both as God and man is essential to salvation. To deny either is damning in its effect. To deny the deity of Christ is condemnation and spiritual death. John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. To deny the humanity of Christ is antichrist.
There is nothing in the word of God which has been the source of more error than the person of Jesus Christ. Some have denied that he was God. Others have denied that he was man. Some have claimed he was a created God while others claimed he was a mere phantasm and not literally man. Some have denied that he had a real human body while others have admitted that he had a human body but denied that he had human blood or a human soul and mind. Some have argued that he was actually two persons while others have said he was one person who was half God and half man. Some of those who denied that he had a true human body have denied that he really died. Some have argued that there is only one person in the Godhead and that this one person, known as Father, Son, and Spirit, became incarnate and suffered on the cross. It is evident that such a study as we are in is extremely important and should not be entered upon lightly, frivolously, or hurriedly. John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
In the message last Sunday we saw the absolute necessity of the deity of Jesus Christ. Today, we will see the absolute necessity of his being man. In this message I will not be seeking to prove his humanity as I did in the second message of the series. I will be showing the necessity of his being man. The first two points will be negative. First, We will see why as God only he could not perform the work that was necessary for our salvation. Secondly, We will see why he could not and did not take on him the nature of angels to fulfill the work given him by the Father. Thirdly, We will see the absolute necessity of his taking on him our nature, our likeness, and why it behooved him in all things to be made like us.
I. CHRIST JESUS MUST BE MAN FOR AS GOD ONLY HE COULD NOT PERFORM THE WORK THAT WAS NECESSARY FOR OUR SALVATION
A. God had an alternative to the Word being made flesh; he could have consigned us all to hell as he has the fallen angels, but he did not do that.
B. If God would save any of Adam's fallen posterity it was necessary that the Word be made flesh. John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
C. As God only he could not mediate on the part of man for he could not lay his hand on man. Job 9:32-33 For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment. Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both.
D. As God only he could not serve as our kinsman redeemer for he was not related to us. Ruth 3:9-13 And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman. And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman. And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I. Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman's part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as the LORD liveth: lie down until the morning.
1. This passage shows that a redeemer must be a near kinsman.
2. Further, it also shows that this redeemer must be as near a kinsman as possible.
3. As God only there is no way this near-kinsman relationship existed and the Eternal word could not fulfill it.
E. As God only he could represent God but since the Saviour must be the covenant head of his people he must be of the same nature as we. Psalm 89:19 Then thou spakest in vision to thy holy one, and saidst, I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people.
F. As God only he could not serve as our great High Priest because only a man can serve as a high priest. Hebrews 5:1 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.
1. As high and holy and wonderful as the eternal Word was in his Godhood, he could not qualify as our high priest because he was not a man.
2. As high and holy as he was in his Godhood, he had nothing which could be offered up in sacrifice to God.
G. As God only he could render obedience to the law for he was the lawgiver.
H. As God he could not die and he must if he would deliver us from death.
1. God is eternally the same and the death of God would make him mutable.
2. God is from everlasting to everlasting and cannot die.
3. God does not even slumber or sleep; he certainly could not die. Psalm 121:4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
I. As God alone he could not have shed his blood for as God alone he has no blood. Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
J. If I pursue this point any further, I will preach my last point as part of the first. These points should give us enough to see why God did not set upon a plan to redeem and save his people except through the incarnation of the eternal word in human flesh.
II. WHY CHRIST DID NOT TAKE ON HIM THE NATURE OF ANGELS TO PERFORM THE WORK GIVEN HIM BY THE FATHER
A. He was not suffering for angels therefore he did not lay hold of their nature. Hebrews 2:16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
B. Angels are not related to man in nature and he could not have been our kinsman redeemer if he had laid hold of the nature of angels and been made like them.
C. We needed a brother and no angel could be our brother. Song of Solomon 8:1 O that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! when I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised.
1. An angel could never have met this need expressed in this verse.
2. Christ must be the firstborn among many brethren and as an angel he could not have been. Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
D. The remission of sins required the shedding of blood and angels have no blood to shed. Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
E. Had he taken hold of the nature of angels he could not have fulfilled every jot and title of the law for that would be impossible for an angel.
1. An angel is a non-sexual being and the law required circumcision.
2. As an angel he would have had no parents and the law required one to honor his parents.
III. WHY THE ONE WHO WOULD SAVE US FROM OUR SINS MUST BE MADE IN OUR LIKENESS AND HAVE A HUMAN NATURE LIKE OURS
A. If it could have been done any other way, is it not logical that an all-wise God would have done it that way, rather than ask his Son to come into the world to suffer all that he suffered?
1. This seems to have been the thrust of one of Paul's statements to the Galatians. Galatians 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
2. If there had been another way then Christ's death was in vain. Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
B. The weakness of law required that Christ come in the likeness of sinful flesh. Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.
C. The man who would be our High Priest and Saviour must have something to offer in sacrifice. Hebrews 8:3 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.
1. He offered his human body which was taken on for that very purpose. Hebrews 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me. Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
2. He offered up his complete human nature, body, blood, and soul to God. Hebrews 2:14-15 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
D. If he would sanctify us he must be all of one nature with us. Hebrews 2:11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.
E. Since death came by man, God required also that the resurrection out of the dead must come by man. 1 Corinthians 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
F. Since by one man's offence many were made dead; God decreed that grace must come through the channel of a man. Romans 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
G. Since condemnation came by a man, justification must come by a man. Romans 5:16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. Romans 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
H. Since death reigned by one man, righteousness must also reign by one man. Romans 5:17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
I. Since many were made sinners by the disobedience of a man, those who are made righteous must be made so by the obedience of one man. Romans 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
J. He must take the nature of man if he is to destroy the one who had the power of the death of men. Hebrews 2:14-15 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
K. If he would experience what we experience he must do so in our nature. Hebrews 4:15-16 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
L. He must have a life that he could lay down in death and that required a human life; not divine life. John 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
M. He must have a soul that could be sorrowful even unto death and that required a human soul. Matthew 26:38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
N. He must have a soul that could be made an offering for sin and only a human soul could be made an offering for sin. Isaiah 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
O. If he who is in the form of God and equal with God in every divine perfection and attribute would die for men he must take upon himself the likeness of man. Philippians 2:5-8 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
P. If he would give his flesh and blood for our eternal life he must take on him that flesh and blood. John 6:51-56 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
Q. If he would open the way into heaven for his he must do so through the veil of his flesh. Hebrews 10:19-20 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.
R. If he is to be a prophet he must be raised up from among his brethren. Genesis 18:19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
S. If he would be king of the Jews and one day sit on the throne of his Father David, he must be descended from David, and therefore a man. Romans 1:3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh. Luke 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David.
CONC: So much more could be said on this subject. He must be God, as we saw last Sunday. But, it is so important that he also be man. I will remind you of three of his great offices, all of which required him to be man. He is the Prophet of all prophets and as prophet he must be raised up from among his brethren (Deu 18:19. He is our great High Priest and as such he must be taken from among men (Heb. 5:1). He is king and to sit on David's throne he must be the seed and son of David (Rom. 1:30. He could not be prophet, priest or king if he had not been man. It is essential that we know him as man. It is exceedingly important that we understand and appreciate all that he did for us in becoming man. Great is the marvel, great is the wonder, great is the graciousness, great is the mercy in the great mystery — God was manifest in the flesh!
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Last updated on Thursday, May 15, 2003