Presented By: Samson Opeyemi Fidimaye
Key Bible Text: Genesis 2:7
What was the nature of man at creation? What is the nature of man at birth? What was the nature of Jesus Christ? What is the saving relationship between man and Christ? What do all of these questions have to do with the matter of sin or victory over sin? In having the right conceptions of these issues, we may be able to comprehend what the plan of salvation was meant to accomplish in our individual lives.
Why the Nature of Man and Christ?
The principal purpose of this topic is to consider if Jesus had any advantage in human form that man does not have in the battle with sin and to consider why He was both the Son of God and the Son of Man. By taking a wrong position on the issue, we are in danger of subscribing to doctrines that would deceive us about the crucial topic of salvation, and thus we may unwittingly find ourselves in the snares of Satan who is the originator of sin.
The Nature of Man
The nature of man is not as obscure as it is often made to be. The Bible plainly states that man is made from the dust of the earth and God breathed into him the breath of life and he became a living soul (Genesis 2:7). Later Eve was made from Adam (Genesis 2:21-22). This was man in his sinless state; they were in perfect harmony with their Maker, covered with His glory, dwelling in His presence daily and catering for the things He had made (Genesis 1:26, 27; 2:7, 8; 2:15-25). They had no knowledge of evil as far as they obeyed the commandment of God who in His loving desire to shield them from evil—a reality that existed because of the presence of Satan—instructed them saying, “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:22). When man would later disobey God’s mandate and sin, man’s spiritual, mental, and physical state was compromised, the presence of sin having caused death as God had forewarned (Genesis 2:17; Romans 6:23). Thus, spirit (which is the spiritual component of man), soul (which is the character of man), and body (which is the physical component of man), man became depraved, and sin and death—spiritually and physically—reigned from Adam to his progeny up till today (Romans 5:12; 3:23; Psalms 51:5).
Based on the above, many have drawn a number of conclusions regarding the nature of man at birth. The general consensus is that the Bible teaches that we are born sinners. The implication of this belief is that we are born thieves, murderers, fornicators, disobedient, liars, etc. On the contrary, this is not the position of the Bible, for people could then claim to be born homosexuals, lesbians, pedophiles, and were not there to make the choice when they were born. This is the intention of Satan to make a mockery of God’s sense of justice who would judge his creatures for a choice they did not have to make. When the Bible says all have sinned, we must understand that God’s sense of justice is not and cannot be more perverted than man’s sense of justice. In man’s system of justice, an individual is not declared a criminal or a sinner until he or she has transgressed the laws of the land. No individual is considered a criminal by the law because of the sin of his or her father or mother. This is called justice. God is the most just judge of all and His sense of justice cannot be poorer than the man He created in His own image. Thus, the Scripture “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23) is indeed referring to the fact that we all have transgressed God’s law and are accountable as a result. In Romans 5:12-14 where this text appears again, the context of death is not mortal death but eternal death, and in verse 14 we see a clear distinction being made between the eternal death we are entitled to as a result of transgressing God’s law (vs. 12-13) and the mortal death that we all die because we are Adam’s progeny.
The true position of the Bible is that a new born baby, like all of us, is born with a sinful nature and a carnal heart and has sinful propensities or sinful inclinations which he or she inherited from his or her parent which goes all the way back to Adam and Eve, but this baby is not born a sinner. Though this baby has inherited tendencies from birth to steal, to kill, to lie, to fornicate or to commit adultery, to bear false witness, to have other gods, yet this baby is not a thief until he has stolen, is not a murderer until he has killed, is not a liar until he has lied, he is not a fornicator until he has fornicated, is not a false witness until he has born false witness, and is not an idolater until he has had other gods. When we understand this, the satanic version of the Original Sin doctrine— that we are all born sinners comes into full blown light as a doctrine of devils. And so because we all have these sinful tendencies from birth to transgress God’s Holy Law, tendencies which we have no power against in and of ourselves (Romans 3:23; Romans 7:18), we all need a Saviour; even the baby!
The Nature of Christ
“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:4,5). In the Old Testament times, when someone wants to redeem a slave, he must be his brother; his kindred (Leviticus 25:25). Christ became one of us, our brother that He might be qualified to redeem us. He was born with our fallen sinful nature which he received from Mary and thus could truly suffer hunger, pain, rejection, separation, etc. The Bible testifies that “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” (Hebrews 4:15) for if Christ had any advantage than we had, He could not have been our perfect example and Saviour. Yet He was conceived of the Holy Spirit, and thus did not have our sinful tendencies though He had our fallen sinful nature that was liable to every single temptation man has faced (Psalms 40:7, 8). Consequently, Christ was converted from birth. This was the mind Satan wanted to corrupt by causing Him to sin and Christ had no special powers that He used to resist except as He depended upon His Father, enduring the greatest temptations and trial, the whole kingdom of darkness having unleashed on Him the greatest possible temptations they could device throughout His lifetime, including urging Him under the greatest trials man could never know, to use His God-power.
Relationship between Man and Christ: The old man and the new man
“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:4,5). In the Old Testament times, when someone wants to redeem a slave, he must be his brother; his kindred (Leveticus 25:25). Christ became one of us, our brother that He might be qualified to redeem us from slavery to sin! A number of scriptures in the Bible vividly portray the ongoing struggle between our uncoverted man; the flesh and our coverted man; the mind. Such scriptures include:
7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not.
7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Though tempted in all points like we are, Jesus, through His perfect life, showed that by daily dependence upon His Father, we can live a holy blameless life just as we are being sanctified. Our new man is able to put the old man under subjection as we depend daily on Jesus who has called us to partake of this divine nature through the experience of sanctification (2 Peter 1:4-10). His promise to us is “By one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14). He now calls us to be perfect even as His Father is perfect, putting an end to Satan’s claim that it is impossible to live in perfect obedience to God’s commandments (Matthew 5:48; Hebrews 9:28; 1 Thessalonians 3:13).
Although, we would have to keep this sinful flesh until the return of Jesus Christ when our mortal bodies will be changed into immortal bodies, we are admonished to “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5) since this ongoing battle rages in the mind. Therefore, the promise: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). Bible prophecy indicates a literal fulfillment of this promise in a massive way in the lives of God’s children before the return of Jesus Christ, putting an end to the question of sin in the Great Controversy and vindicating the patience of God before His created universe, ending forever Satan’s accusation against God that His commandments are too grievous.
How to reference this post: S. O. Fidimaye (2018). Sermon Notes: The Nature of Man and Christ Simplified. via www.sofidimaye.org/sermon-notes-the-nature-of-man-and-christ-simplified/