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pray_hands.GIF (680 bytes) Prayer & Spirituality
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Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

Birth of the Incarnate God

by Dr. George Jacob

"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 of innocence.

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

See Also:

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 Inn-Keeper
A familiar Christmas Story with a twist.

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