Built Upon the Rock
by E.H. ‘Jack’ Sequeira

Appendix D:  The Humanity of Christ, Our Savior

While no official action has ever been taken by the Seventh-day Adventist Church to define the human nature of the Savior, the question is vitally connected with the good news of the everlasting gospel.  Furthermore, since the humanity of Christ is closely linked with the ninth Seventh-day Adventist fundamental belief, “The Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ,” the purpose of this final section is to examine what the New Testament has to say about this crucial topic.

Since 1957, when the book Questions on Doctrines was published by the church, the humanity of the Savior has become a very hot issue.  It has effectively divided the church into two opposing groups, one insisting that the human nature of Christ was like Adam’s before the Fall (the pre-Fall or pre-lapsarian theory), while the other insists that Christ assumed the selfsame, sinful nature all mankind receives at birth (the post-Fall or post-lapsarian theory).

To resolve the problem, we cannot simply ignore it, as some do, but must examine it in light of the everlasting gospel, as we have done with all fundamental beliefs.  Ellen G. White has made it clear:

Selected Messages, Vol. 1, Page 244
The humanity of the Son of God is everything to us.  It is the golden chain that binds our souls to Christ, and through Christ to God.  This is to be our study.

Since the primary reason Christ came to this sin-cursed world was to save mankind...

Matthew 1:21
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
John 3:17
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
1 Timothy 1:15
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance:  Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — of whom I am the worst.

...His humanity must be studied in the context of the universal sin problem that has plagued the race since Adam’s Fall.  This is our point of departure.

Only against the background of man’s total sinfulness and depravity can the everlasting gospel become meaningful and attractive.  A true understanding of the universal sin problem is the only sure way to destroy all confidence in self and elevate Christ as the only righteousness, hope, and surety for humanity.  Apart from Him and His righteousness, there is no future beyond the grave.  He is mankind’s only hope.

The Biblical Definition of Sin

While the Bible defines sin many ways (twelve different words are used in the Old Testament, five in the New Testament), all sin may be divided into two main categories.  The first is the verb to sin (harmatano in the Greek).  Since to sin as a verb deals with action, harmatano refers exclusively to sinful behavior.  The second category of sin appears in the Bible as a noun (harmatia in the Greek) and refers to a state of being — a condition.  Sin as a noun has to do with the sinful nature, or what the New Testament calls “the flesh” (John 3:5-6; Romans 7:18). 

John 3:5-6
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”
Romans 7:18
For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature [some translations say, “in my flesh”].  For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.

We might call this “Sin with a Capital S.”

It’s sinful nature that places all humanity under the curse of the law and is why even newborn children need a Savior.

Romans 5:12, 18-21
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned....  Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people.  For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.  The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase.  But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Just as the appearance of apples on a tree provides simple evidence of what kind of tree it is, so the manifestation of sinful behavior proves that human beings, by nature, are sinners.

But this brings us to a major problem.  Just as the Bible says that an Ethiopian cannot change his skin or a leopard its spots, sinners cannot change their inner nature:

Jeremiah 13:23, 17:9
Can an Ethiopian change his skin or a leopard its spots?  Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.  ...The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it?

They can alter their external behavior by force of will and habit, but inside remain the same.  All the self-righteousness in the world cannot alter what God sees inside:

Romans 3:9-20
What shall we conclude then?  Do we have any advantage?  Not at all!  For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin.  As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.  All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”
“Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
“Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.  Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

The gospel prophet of the Old Testament puts it well:

Isaiah 64:6a
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags....

Karl Marx, founder of Communism, made his biggest fundamental mistake in assuming that selfishness was an acquired trait gleaned from an evil culture and that, by cleaning up society, people would naturally prefer to put others first in their lives.

Marx came to believe that Capitalism was the great cause of selfishness — that it taught greed and acquisitiveness from the cradle — and that, if Capitalism were overthrown, human nature would improve accordingly.  So he proposed a new form of society — Socialism — and wrote that this was the natural, scientific solution to social and economic injustices in the world.  Socialism, in turn, would lead to Communism.  If people were given no alternative but to share, he wrote in his Communist Manifesto, sharing would become the natural behavior of all.

Russia tried this method for some 75 years, until things got so bad there was hardly anything left to share with anyone!  Cuba faces similar problems, as do North Korea and other so-called Communist countries.

A Solution for the Sin Problem

Man’s natural selfishness is inborn and indelible.  The only antidote is the truth as it is in Christ Jesus, and it is here that the humanity of Christ comes into play.  Since Christ did not participate in or commit sins (in thought, word, or deed), we can say that He vicariously redeemed humanity from its sins (sinful behavior).  But He had no immediate avenue for saving humanity from its nature, unless He identified Himself, personally, with the sin problem.  He had to meet head-on the law of sin (a constant force dwelling in our sinful natures, according to Romans 7:22-24):

Romans 7:22-24
For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.  What a wretched man I am!  Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?

The only way He could do so was by assuming mankind’s fallen nature.

Sincere Christians may hate sin, want to do good, have the will to or chose to do the right things, and even delight in the law of God.  But, apart from the power of the Holy Spirit, they are incapable of carrying out those choices:

Romans 7:15-23
I do not understand what I do.  For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.  And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.  As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.  For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.  For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do — this I keep on doing.  Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.  So I find this law at work:  Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.  For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.

No wonder Paul concludes this passage with the desperate cry:

Romans 7:24
What a wretched man I am [present continuous tense]!  Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?

Then he immediately answers his own lament:

Romans 7:25
Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!  So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

That solution appears in the first few chapters of Romans 8 (in the original, an unbroken continuation of Chapter 7).  Identifying himself with the believers of Rome, the apostle Paul proclaims:

Romans 8:1-2
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

The world law, which appears twice here, is referring to a constant force, such as the law of gravity.

Gravity, a constant force, has the effect of pulling things toward the center of the earth.  NASA [the National Aeronautics and Space Administration] has not yet conquered gravity, but its orbiters escape gravity with the help of powerful rockets that produce an opposing force greater than that of gravity.

Paul likens “law of sin at work within [us]”...

Romans 7:23
...But I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.

...to a gravity-like force that holds human beings captive to selfishness.  The Old Testament word for this force is iniquity:

Isaiah 53:6
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Only a constant force greater than the law of sin can liberate human beings from its clutches.  That constant force, according to Paul, is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus:

Romans 8:2
...Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

These two constant forces met in the humanity of Christ, and the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus won the battle, hands-down.  This is part of the incredibly good news of the everlasting gospel, realized when Christ assumed humanity’s post-Fall sinful nature, dominated by the principle of self.  This is why the humanity of Christ is everything to the believer.

Christ came primarily to save humanity from this law of sin, and John the Baptist introduced him with these words:

John 1:29
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin [singular] of the world!”

The word sin here is the noun, not the verb.  By condemning the law of sin, Christ struck at the very root of the universal sin problem.

The apostle Paul expresses it this way:

Romans 8:3
For what the law [of God] was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin [singular] offering.  And so he condemned sin [the law of sin] in the flesh....

In the Likeness of Man

Those who insist that Christ assumed human nature as it was before the Fall single out the word likeness, insisting that the human nature of Christ resembled sinful flesh, but, in fact, was not.  They admit that His physical human nature was that of an ordinary man (prone to fatigue, to aging, and so forth), but that spiritually His human nature was like that of Adam before the Fall.  The problem with this argument is that the word translated likeness, in the same dative case, appears in Philippians, where we read:

Philippians 2:7 [Emphasis Added]
...Rather, he [Christ Jesus] made himself nothing by taking the very nature [Greek: “substance”] of a servant, being made in human likeness.

Did Christ just look like a man, or was He really a man?  The answer is obvious.

Why then does Paul use the word likeness in Romans 8:3 [just above], referring to the human nature of Christ?  Why does he not say that Jesus came in sinful flesh?  The International Critical Commentary provides an excellent answer:

International Critical Commentary, 1982 edition
We conclude that the most probable explanation of Paul’s use of likeness here, and understand Paul’s thought to be that the Son of God assumed the selfsame fallen human nature that is ours, but that, in His case, that fallen human nature was never the whole of Him — He never ceased to be the eternal Son of God.

We must keep in mind that Christ was unique.  He was both divine and human.  As God, He possessed an eternal, sinless, divine nature by native right; at the same time, He was a man with a sinful human nature, which He took on at the incarnation.  These two natures are defined in the New Testament by the terms “Son of God” and “Son of Man.”

This is why we must never say or teach that Christ had a sinful human nature when we refer to His humanity.  Otherwise, we make Him into a common sinner, like us, in need of a Savior Himself.  Whenever the New Testament speaks of Christ’s human nature, it always uses qualifiers:

John 1:14a [Emphasis Added]
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
2 Corinthians 5:21a [Emphasis Added]
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us....
Hebrews 2:17a [Emphasis Added]
For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way....

All these qualifying words tell us that Christ assumed what mankind is, in order to become legally qualified to serve as its Savior and Substitute.  But that sinful nature He assumed was never His but ours — a nature He came to redeem.  By right, Jesus’ nature is divine.

Assuming Mankind’s Fallen Nature

Understanding this becomes easier if we analyze the word assumed.  Suppose you have a sister in Salem, Oregon, near where I reside.  You discover that she is struggling financially and, out of kindness, you decide to send her $1,000.  While I am visiting in your city, you come to me with an envelope containing cash and ask me to deliver it to her when I return home.  I agree and put the envelope into my pocket.  Your money is now in my possession, but I am not a thief.  I have assumed the money in order to deliver it to your sister.  Someone who sees me with your envelope in my pocket containing $1,000 cash may mistake me for a thief.  But I have not stolen your money; I have assumed it to myself in order to help you.

Likewise, Christ assumed at the incarnation mankind’s sinful nature.  Had He consented to the desires of that nature, even by a thought, He would have become a sinner Himself.  But the good news is that, by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, He never succumbed to the urgings of sin — as it were, the money stayed His pocket.  Though tempted in all points, He never gave in:

Hebrews 4:15
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet he did not sin.

See the three temptations of Christ in the wilderness:

Luke 4:1-14
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.  He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written:  ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”
The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world.  And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.  If you worship me, it will all be yours.”
Jesus answered, “It is written:  ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”
The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here.  For it is written:  ‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.  Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.

These three temptations summarize the three basic drives of sinful flesh — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life:

1 John 2:16
For everything in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — comes not from the Father but from the world.

By assuming mankind’s sinful, fallen nature, Christ was able to fully redeem the entire human race.  By His perfect life, during His 33 years, He fulfilled the positive demands of the law (obey and live) and, by His sacrificial death, He met the justice of the law (disobey and die).  Thus, Christ redeemed mankind from the universal sin problem and forever became its righteousness.  Paul writes:

Romans 10:4
Christ is the culmination [Greek:  “fulfillment”] of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

This means that, when a person accepts Christ as personal Savior, God sees him or her as being complete, or perfect, in His Son:

Colossians 2:10
...And in Christ you have been brought to fullness.  He is the head over every power and authority.

Such a person stands perfect in performance, in justice, as well as in nature in Christ.  For Christ fully met the demands of the law on man’s behalf, through His death on the cross and by His resurrection.  He totally redeemed mankind from every aspect of the sin problem, including His sinful nature:

John 5:24
“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”
Romans 8:1-2
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone, the new is here!

The sinful human life inherited at birth from fallen Adam is referred to in the New Testament by the Greek word bios.  Here are a few examples where the word “life” in English Bibles comes from bios:

Luke 8:14, 21:4 [Emphasis Added]
The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.  ... All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.
1 John 2:16 [Emphasis Added]
For everything in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — comes not from the Father but from the world.

The divine, sinless, and eternal life of Christ is referred to in the New Testament by the Greek word zoe.  Here are a few examples where the word “life” in our English Bibles comes from zoe:

John 1:4; 8:12 [Emphasis Added]
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  ...When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Romans 5:10 [Emphasis Added]
For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

In the incarnation the bios-life of the corporate human race was united with the divine life of Christ in Mary’s womb.  This legally qualified Christ, the God-man, to be the last Adam and mankind’s representative and substitute.

1 Corinthians 15:45
So it is written:  “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.

In the humanity of Christ, two powerful opposite, constant forces (or laws) met in combat.  On the one hand was the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.  On the other was the law of sin and death, dominated by Satan.  This was the final showdown in the great controversy between Christ and Satan.  And, in every instant, the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus won, hands down:

Romans 8:2-3
...Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.  And so he condemned sin in the flesh....

On the cross, Christ tasted, or experienced, the eternal death:

Hebrews 2:9
But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

But the wages of sin could not lock Him in the grave.  The resurrection proved, once and for all, that the power of the Spirit is more powerful than the law of sin and death.

Romans 8:11
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

Hence, by His death and resurrection, Christ abolished the second death and replaced it with immortal life through the good news of the gospel:

2 Timothy 1:8-10
So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner.  Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.  He has saved us and called us to a holy life — not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.  This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

The Gospel of the Cross

On the cross, the bios-life of the entire human race died in Christ — died not for three days (that would not satisfy the law) but forever, the second death.  Thus, the justice of the law which hung over the heads of every human being was met, once and for all:

Romans 6:10
The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

But, since God so loved the world, He gave (not loaned) the zoe-life of His Son to mankind in the resurrection:

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

This is how Christ shared, or laid down, His divine, eternal zoe-life for mankind.  This is the incredibly good news of the gospel, which is made effective by faith in the lives of everyone who obeys the gospel:

Romans 6:17-18
But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance.  You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
1 John 5:11-12
And this is the testimony:  God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Before the cross, Christ is referred to as the “only begotten of the Father” (in some translations).  The word “begotten” means one who is special, or one of a kind.

John 1:14
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

After His death and resurrection, however, Christ is referred to as “the firstborn (or begotten) from the dead”:

Revelation 1:5
...And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

What is the distinction between these two terms — only and first begotten?  Before the cross, God only had one special Son, Jesus Christ, but, since the cross and the resurrection, God has many special sons and daughters, of whom Christ is the first.

1 John 3:1-2
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!  The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.  Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known.  But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

The doctrine of adoption makes this possible:

Galatians 4:4-6
But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.  Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”

The word “faith” in the New Testament, by the way, means more than a mental assent to the truth, as it is in Christ; it means obeying the gospel from the heart:

Romans 6:17
But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance.

The apostle Paul makes this very clear in his epistles; for example:

Romans 10:16-17
But not all the Israelites accepted the good news.  For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”  Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
Galatians 5:7
You were running a good race.  Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?
2 Thessalonians 1:3-8
We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.  Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.  All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.  God is just:  He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well.  This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.  He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

So does Peter:

1 Peter 4:17
For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

To obey the gospel from the heart means to surrender one’s bios-life to the death of Christ on the cross.  In exchange, such a believer, who has truly obeyed the gospel, receives the eternal zoe-life of Christ, through the new-birth experience:

Romans 6:2, 11
By no means!  We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?  ...In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone, the new is here!
1 John 5:11-12
And this is the testimony:  God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Righteousness, or justification by faith, naturally will produce holiness of living, if allowed to do so:

2 Timothy 1:8-10
So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner.  Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.  He has saved us and called us to a holy life — not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.  This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

Obeying the gospel is to confess with Paul:

Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

This is the true gospel; it leaves no room for “cheap grace.”

In view of this, the humanity of Christ is everything to believers, if they are to truly understand and proclaim the everlasting gospel and experience its full power.  This is the message of the three angels of Revelation 14, which I believe God raised the Advent Movement up to restore and proclaim:

Revelation 10:8-11
Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me once more:  “Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.”
So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll.  He said to me, “Take it and eat it.  It will turn your stomach sour, but ‘in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.’”
I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it.  It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.  Then I was told, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.”

It is this message that is to enlighten the earth with the glory of Christ, through the power of the fourth angel of Revelation 18.

Scholarly Conclusions

In 1962, the British scholar Harry Johnson published his London University doctoral dissertation on The Humanity of the Savior (Epworth Press).  He proved both historically and biblically that what Christ did not assume, He could not redeem.  He wrote:

The Humanity of the Savior, flyleaf
The eternal Son of God became man for our salvation; but what kind of human nature did he assume?  The answer of this book is that He took human nature as it was because of the Fall.  Despite this, He lived a perfect, sinless life, and finally redeemed this ‘fallen nature’ through the Cross; in this victory is the basis of Atonement.

I believe Johnson was absolutely right in his conclusion.  That is why many reliable New Testament scholars today are proclaiming that Christ assumed the selfsame fallen human nature with which we are all born.  The following names of other reliable New Testament scholars who have written on this topic:  Anders Nygren, James Dunn, Thomas Torrance, C.E.B. Cranfield (editor of The International Critical Commentary), and Leslie Newbigin.

We must also especially note the late Adventist scholar and member of the E.G. White Estate, Jean Zurcher, who clearly demonstrated in his book Touched with Our Feelings:  A Historical Survey of Adventist Thought on the Human Nature of Christ (Review and Herald, 1999) that, prior to the publishing of the book Questions on Doctrines, the Adventist Church proclaimed the post-fallen human nature of Christ in its publications (such as Bible Readings for the Home) and its Sabbath School lessons.

This brief study of the Savior’s humanity is intended to show the vital importance of this truth and its connection to the everlasting gospel.  For a more detailed study, I suggest my book Savior of the World, originally published by Pacific Press Publishing Association but now on this website.


Home
Study Materials
 
Back