"Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with
God." PHI 2:6.
The greatest the great wonder of our Saviour's birth is how He humbled
Himself to leave His throne on high to take our human nature so He could
appease His Father's wrath upon our sin, and so making peace. He came to
redeem us from a debt we could not pay, and reconcile us back unto God.
Now, we will analyze the qualifications required of a redeemer and/or
mediator to call back into union and friendship the affections that have
been alienated and to restore a holy God and a fallen man back into
friendship or favor after such an estrangement. What qualifications
must such a Redeemer meet?
That redeemer must have many qualifications. I have heard many people
say that He must be very man. This is true. He must be capable of
hungering and thirsting. He must be capable of suffering and dying. He
must be capable of bearing the punishment that God pronounced upon this
transgression. However, there is much more to it. He must also be
capable of rendering that obedience which was first demanded under the
covenant of works if He is going to restore Adam to his former state.
That perfect obedience must be restored.
To qualify as a redeemer for fallen man, the head of the covenant of
grace must also be able to perfectly replace Adam in the state of
innocence. Christ must be able to replace him in the state of innocence
because how could He redeem someone to bring him back up to something
that He is not? He must have every quality that Adam had in his state
The word redeemed has to be very clearly understood if we are going to
have a Redeemer who is qualified to reconcile. There is a difference
between purchasing and redeeming. Imagine that you are going to
purchase a farm on a contract. That means that you have covenanted for
the purchase price to receive the reward of the farm. You have a
purchase price to pay. That does not mean that you have already paid
it; that means you have a purchase agreement to buy it. This is what
took place with Adam in the covenant of works.
What is the difference between a covenant and a contract? Under a
covenant of obedience, he was to purchase eternal life. To redeem us,
Christ must pay the debt that we cannot pay. Adam defaulted on his
purchase agreement. Now he was under the acceleration clause of the
contract, which points out how you can lose what you have contracted for
by default. The penalty of the acceleration clause was death. To be
able to redeem, the Redeemer must be capable of paying everything that
is in default of the contract. That was death.
After He has paid that default, He must also be capable of finishing the
purchase. Because you have defaulted does not mean that you are
excluded from completing the purchase agreement. When Christ, as the
Redeemer, pays the debt that you and I cannot pay to perfectly satisfy
the penalty, He must yet perform the original purchase agreement. By
obedience He would complete the purchase of eternal life. That
obedience must be there as well as payment of the default penalty, which
we are unable to pay because we have defaulted. When He redeems, that
means He pays that portion of the overdue debt that was in default.
A pauper cannot redeem a king. A redeemer must at least be the equal of
the one whom he redeems. Adam was placed in a kingly place, so no one
less than a king would be able to redeem him. Therefore, Christ, as
Redeemer, must qualify as a king. The rebellion of man was to exalt
himself to be equal with God. Therefore, God would require the
condescension of one who was His equal. A redeemer could be nothing
less than the equal of God. He had to be what Adam thought to be.
The first Adam's crime was so gross that the second Adam must be equal
with God to be able to restore him to that place of conciliation. He
must be capable of surrendering by submission the very thing that Adam
thought to steal by rebellion. God allowed his sin to be made plain, so
that it was atoned for. Jesus Christ qualified as a Redeemer because He
was equal with God. PHI 2:6 says, "Who, being in the form of God,
thought it not robbery to be equal with God." Adam was a robber in
attempting to be equal with God, but the Lord Jesus Christ, the
Redeemer, "thought it not robbery to be equal with God."
To be our Redeemer, He took upon Him the form of a servant, because God
created Adam to serve the Lord, but Adam rebelled. He wanted to be
equal with God, therefore to be a Redeemer Christ had to condescend from
His station of equality with God to become a servant. He had to stoop
to that station in the way of condescension. PHI 2:7 says, "But made
himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and
was made in the likeness of men."
The Lord Jesus Christ was not placed in a position of forced servitude;
He "took upon [Himself] the form of a servant." To be able to work
conciliation, He must condescend and voluntarily become a servant. MAT
12:17-18 tells us, "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by
Esaias the prophet, saying, Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my
beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him,
and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles." The Lord Jesus Christ took
upon Himself the form of a servant.
ISA 49:6 says, "And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be
my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved
of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou
mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth." The Lord Jesus
Christ became a servant to replace that from which Adam had rebelled.
He must condescend from the station of being equal with God.
Adam was placed in a kingly station. Was not the Lord Jesus also a
king? MAT 2:1-2 says, "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea
in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east
to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we
have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him." The Lord
Jesus Christ, from the bosom of the Father, from eternity, was a king.
He condescended from a kingly station. He had to come down from the
station of a king in order to redeem Adam to a kingly station.
Man's redeemer must be very man. It was necessary to meet these
qualifications. ROM 8:3 says, "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." He became
very man. That means that He was capable of suffering the condemnation
that was placed upon man.
In the burnt offering, there is a reference made to a bullock, but the
cow did not sin: it was a type. But to make the true sacrifice for
reconciliation, that suffering had to be made by a man who had a body
and a soul that was capable of suffering in body and soul. He had to be
very man. PHI 2:7 says that He "made himself of no reputation, and took
upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men."
The Lord Jesus Christ was not only God, because He had to be God to be
equal with God, but He was also man. To be able to replace Adam in his
state of innocence, He must be very God, but to replace Adam in the sin
that had to be paid for, He must be very man.
The Lord Jesus Christ was also brought into this position so He could
intimately relate to our infirmities. In HEB 4:15 we find, "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." The Lord Jesus Christ must be a man to be able to be tempted,
that Satan's temptations could be poured upon Him, yet endured without
sin. We could then be reconciled, in spite of all the sins that we are
tempted with because of the fall. Every sin, which every one of His
elect have been tempted with, He must understand and be able to have
been tempted with to be able to redeem us from that sin.
Source: MOSC Forum
Glad News, Good news, Christ is born
The greatest wonder ever revealed in heaven or earth was the wonder
recorded in the verses before us for consideration.
Testimony of an
A familiar Christmas Story with a twist.