Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Why Did God Do It?

My teacher and friend, Dr. Wayne Grudem, provides an excellent overview of some of the reasons for the coming of Christ, and I felt it was worth sharing for your own puporses of worship this holiday season. May we continually marvel of the miracle that God, who is Spirit, became a man and dwelt among us.

God Became a Man: Why was it Necessary?[1]

A. For Representative Obedience.
“Jesus was our representative and obeyed for us where Adam had failed and disobeyed. (see Romans 5:18-19)… Jesus had to be a man in order to be our representative and obey in our place.”

B. To Be a Substitute Sacrifice.
“If Jesus had not been a man, he could not have died in our place and paid the penalty that was due to us…it is important here to realize that unless Christ was fully man, he could not have died to pay the penalty of man’s sins. He could not have been a substitute sacrifice for us (on the cross).”

C. To Be the One Mediator Between God and Men.
“Because we were alienated from God by sin, we needed someone to come between God and ourselves and bring us back to Him. We needed a mediator who could represent us to God and who could represent God to us (1 Tim. 2:5). In order to fulfill this role of mediator, Jesus had to be fully man as well as fully God.”

D. To Fulfill God’s Original Purpose for Man to Rule Over Creation.
“God put mankind on earth to subdue it and to rule over it as God’s representatives. But man did not fulfill that purpose, for he instead fell into sin…Then when Jesus came as a man, he was able to obey God and thereby have the right to rule over creation as a man, thus fulfilling God’s original purpose in putting man on the earth. Jesus had to be a man in order to fulfill God’s original purpose that man rule over his creation.”

E. To Be Our Example and Pattern in Life.
“Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did” (1 John 2:6). The goal of the Christian life is to glorify God by becoming more and more like Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 3:18), who was our example (1 Peter 2:21), in whose steps we must follow.”

F. To Be the Pattern for Our Redeemed Bodies
“When Jesus rose from the dead he rose in a new body that was ‘imperishable…raised in glory…raised in power…raised a spiritual body’ (1 Cor. 15:42-44). This is the pattern for what our bodies will be like when we are raised from the dead (1 Cor. 15:49). We now have a physical body like Adam’s but we will have one like Christ’s.”

G. To Sympathize As High Priest.
“If Jesus had not been a man, he would not have been able to know by experience what we go through in our temptations and struggles in this life. But because He lived as a man, he is able to sympathize more fully with us in our experiences” (Heb. 2:18; cf. 4:15-16).

[1] The following points were taken from Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994), p.540-542. This is not an exhaustive list.

1 comment:

Carl Most said...

Hey Eric,
Carl Most here from Nicaragua. I wanted to check out what was going on at the church and hit your Blog.
I am no scholar, but it was interesting reading over a few of the unending reasons for why God become flesh..our Messiah. I believe through other studies that it was interesting that these concepts of mediator, ranson, guilt offering etc did not happen all at once but surfaced over the centuries. Now we are blessed in the variety of teachings of the past and have the privilege now to share all that the God- man means to our generation.
I hope to keep up with your blog.
Grace and Faith be yours as you follow and obey Christ throughout 2009.
Your friend and colaborer, Carl.