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Christ's Nature - Identical To Our Own


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#1 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 02:24 AM

This is the point of difference between the trinitarian position and the Scriptural position - Scripture identifies Christ as being the same as those he came to save, and trinitarians attempt to make him as different from those he came to save as possible, whilst still maintaining that he was human.

The problem is that wherever the trinitarian reads 'flesh' in the context of Christ 'coming in the flesh', they read 'humanity'. But they are reading the word 'humanity' into passages which say nothing of the sort. Scripture insists that Christ wasn't just 'human' in some sense of the word, but that he was the same as those he came to save.

#2 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 02:25 AM

The trinitarian reads the passages which speak of Christ coming in the flesh, and of his flesh being like ours, and believes that the only point being made is that Christ was a human, 'anthropos', to use the Greek term. But the Scriptures do not speak of Christ being merely 'anthropos' in the general sense, and in fact the Scriptures never use the word 'anthropos' when identifying Christ as a man like ourselves - they speak of him being the same as those he came to save, in the most sepcific sense possible.

Had the apostles mere wished to make the point that Christ was a human (although a human without a fallen nature), then perhaps they would have used the word 'anthropos' - it certainly would have been the best way to identify Christ with those he came to save in the most general way possible. But instead the apostles speak of Christ coming 'in the likeness of sinful flesh.

The trinitarian seizes on the word 'likeness' and translates it according to the meaning of the English word - 'similar to but not the same'. But the Greek word for 'likeness' here connots 'sharing the same characteristics as'. It is a word used wherever two or more entities share common characterstics, and are identified as being the same in this way. Let's face it, this is the word which the very architects of the triity used when they wished to identify Christ and the Father as sharing the same substance or nature (although it is telling that Scripture never uses this word to relate Christ to God). So it's pretty obvious what it means.

#3 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 02:25 AM

If the apostles had merely wished to point out that Christ was 'like' us but not 'identical' to us, if they had wished to identfy Christ's flesh nature as 'similar' to our own but not 'identical', not 'fallen flesh', then they would surely not have used this terminology. But Paul specifically says that Christ came 'sharing the characteristics of sinful flesh'.

Surely if he had wished to make the point that Christ's flesh was not sinful (that is to say, not the flesh of a fallen nature), then this phrase was precisely the wrong phrase to use. He ought rather to have said that Christ came 'sharing the characteristics of flesh before the fall', or 'sharing the characteristics of the pre-fallen Adamic flesh', or something similar.

#4 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 02:25 AM

I shall now argue that he must have the same nature as the same as those he came to save the same nature as fallen humanity, since those he came to save were fallen humans. This is the only 'humanity' which Scripture tells us Christ came to save.

Please give the identify of 'the children' here:

Hebrews 2:14
14Forasmuch 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;
15And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.


These children are:

- Partakers of flesh and blood

- In need of deliverance

- Subject to bondage through fear of death

This does not merely say 'Christ was some kind of human', or 'Christ partook of humanity', or 'Christ was a human being but a human being without a fallen nature'.

This says categorically that he also himself likewise took part of the same as those who were:

- Partakers of flesh and blood

- In need of deliverance

- Subject to bondage through fear of death

That is as specific as you can get. It is clearly and categorically identifying Christ as being the same as those he came to save.

We shall see that Scripture maintains consistently, reinforces repeatedly, and states categorically, that Christ was the same as those he came to save.
The language used is obviously intended to identify him with us as closely as possible.

If the trinitarian view is correct, and Christ was almost identical to us (in that he did not have a fallen nature), then this should be definitively and categorically delineated. It is not.

#5 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 02:25 AM

Again:

Hebrews 4:
15For 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 infirmities referred to are our infirmities. Who is referred to by 'our'?
Not humanity generally, but fallen humanity specificallly, that humanity which is subject to infirmities. Obviously this is not merely saying that Christ was 'anthropos' - a clear appeal to the infirmities of fallen anthropos is being made.

Christ was touched with the feelings of our infirmities. How?

#6 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 02:26 AM

Again:

Hebrews 4:
15For 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 process of temptation which Christ underwent was identical to our own.
Christ was in all points tempted like as we are. Who are the 'we' here?
It is obvious that Christ was tempted in all points like as fallen humanity is tempted.

That rules out categorically the idea that he was merely tempted internally, for our temptations are both internal and external. Ultimately, of course, even the external temptation must be resolved internally, or it is no temptation at all.

#7 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 02:26 AM

Again:

Hebrews 2:
17Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.


We are told here without any possibility of doubt that Christ was in all things made like unto his brethren. This does not merely speak of 'anthropos'. Why are we not told merely that he was made 'like anthropos'? The term 'humanity' which you prefer to use could have been used - but it was not. Again and yet again Christ is identified specifically with fallen humanity.

The 'brethren' here spoken of are those who sin, and those who are in need of a high priest. That's obviously not speaking generally of 'humanity', it's speaking very specifically of those who have sinned, and are in need of salvation from a fallen nature.
Christ was in all things made like unto these brethren.

#8 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 02:26 AM

The trinitarian insists on introducing the term 'humanity' into the discussion, but Scripture does not say this.

The trinitarian insists on speaking generally of 'being human', but Scripture here speaks specifically of a certain class of humans - fallen humans.

The trinitarian insists on separating Christ from those whom he came to save, but Scripture here specifically identifies Christ with those whom he came to save.

We are told that Christ was made in all points like 'the children' (Hebrews 2:14), like 'ours' (Hebrews 3:15), like 'his brethren's' (Hebrews 2:17). All of these speak specifically of those whom he came to save, not of humanity generally. The nature which he bore was their nature.

This is the entire point of these passages in Hebrews, that these individuals are in need of salvation, for they are:

- Partakers of flesh and blood - and Christ himself, likewise partook of their same flesh and blood, a nature which was fallen

- In need of deliverance - and Christ himself was delivered when by strong crying and tears he appealed to Him who was able to save him from death

- Subject to bondage through fear of death - and Christ himself was delivered when by strong crying and tears he appealed to Him who was able to save him from death

- Subject to infirmities - and Christ himself was touched with the feeling of their infirmities

- Tempted - and Christ himself was tempted in all points like as they were

#9 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 02:26 AM

One issue which concerns some trinitarians is that they consider that if Christ's nature was that of fallen flesh, then this would automatically render him a sinner culpable for punishment.

But this idea is derived from the unBiblical doctrine of 'Original Sin', which states that mere flesh alone is guilty of sin. Scripture, on the other hand, insists that sin is moral transgression, not flesh.

Romans 7:
7What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.


Note that - Paul says he had not known sin but by the law.
If there was no law against coveting, Paul could not commit the sin of lust. So we see that men are not morally guilty of sins they have not committed, they are morally guilty when they have transgressed the law.

#10 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 02:27 AM

So what is sin?

1 John 3:
4Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.


Sin is the transgression of the law. To hold the dcotrine of 'Original Sin' is to insist that men are guilty of transgressing the law before they transgress the law.

Are we guilty of sin before we have transgressed the law?

Romans 3:
20Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Romans 4:
15Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.

Romans 5:
3(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.


No. Sin is not imputed where there is no law, so we cannot be held guilty of sin before we have transgressed the law.
As Paul says in Romans 7, if there was no law which said 'thou shalt not covet', then lust would not be a sin.

#11 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 02:27 AM

As a sinner, yes, Christ would have been in no position to save anyone. But Christ was no sinner.

1) Christ was made in the likeness of sinful flesh.

This meant that he was constituted of precisely the same material as ourselves (note that we are never told he came in the likeness of pure, immortal spirit), and was therefore touched by the feeling of our infirmities, being tempted in all points like as we are.

2) Being made in the likeness of sinful flesh, he was metaphorically 'made sin for us' in the sense that he partook of a nature biased towards sin, but which he overcame.

Thus he 'knew no sin', in the sense of being guilty of personal moral transgression, though being made of 'sinful flesh'.

3) Christ was thus at all times sinless (though prone to sin, and tempted to sin), that is, without moral transgression.

Being made of 'sinful flesh' (that is, flesh prone to sin and tempted to sin), he metaphorically 'became sin' in the sense that he was subject to the same temptations and trials which lead to sin as ourselves, but learned obedience, and was obedient even to the death of the cross, and thus 'knew no sin'.

#12 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 02:28 AM

So what did Christ offer as a perfect sacrifice? His flesh? No - his life.

The 'perfection' required by God was a life of perfect obedience, not by some kind of 'superflesh', free from any physical imperfection or bias towards sin.

What did Christ offer to God? Did he offer his literal body, in some kind of grotesque pagan ritual, to satiate a God who devours flesh and blood? No. The body was not the sacrifice, therefore its imperfection is irrelevant.

Did he offer his life of obedience? Yes. It was a life of perfect obedience which was the offering God required. There was no blemish or imperfection in this.

The offering made by Christ was thus wholly without blemish and imperfection.

What do you suppose this means?

Romans 12:
1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.


Likewise, some trinitarians believe that Christ could never have been tempted, for temptation, they believe, is itself sin. This is another unBiblical doctrine.

Christ said that the lust within intent to sin is itself sin, not the natural inclination towards sin.
James makes this clear when he gives precise detail of the process of sin.

In other words, an action is defined as sin when it transgresses the law of God, and not before. To look upon a woman and deliberately think of and desire fornication is clearly a transgression of God's law. The mere inclination towards disobedience is not itself sin. Sin is described as the transgression of law. Without the transgression of law, there is no sin.

The law can be transgressed within the mind, it is true, but the simple fact of the matter is that until the law is transgressed, there is no sin. Mere temptation is not itself sin, and both the Law of Moses and the description of the temptation process in James make that clear.




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