Christ's True Humanity And His Sinless Perfection

Leslie M. Grant

While we have seen that Christ is both God and Man in one blessed person (as true believers everywhere acknowledge), yet there are believers who do not realize that Christ is absolutely, truly human and at the same time totally without sin. This seems to them to be contradictory, for man everywhere is afflicted and tempted by sin, and did not the Lord Jesus come to take part in humanity in the fullest way? lf He is human, how can He be altogether sinless, not even inclined to give way to the temptation of sin?

This is a paradox simply because our tendency is to reason from our own viewpoint. We have to learn not to trust our own reasoning, but the clear Word of God.

Hebrews 2 plainly declares the reality of the humanity of the Lord Jesus, and in identification with mankind. "Since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil" (v. 14). "Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people" (v. 17).

What joy it is to the believer to know Him as true Man, come down in perfect grace and sympathy to identify Himself with us in our human needs! However, this must be guarded from natural misconceptions, as Hebrews 4:15 shows, 'For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin."

While He is truly human, His humanity does not involve sin in any way. Sin is not a part of humanity, but an abnormality. Not only is it true of Christ that He "did no sin" (1 Pet. 2:22), but "in Him there is no sin" (1 Jn. 3:5), and He "knew no sin" (2 Cor. 5:2 1). Sin could not influence His thoughts.

In His being "tempted as we are," therefore, there was not the slightest inclination in Him to yield to the temptation. We have come to think of the word "temptation" as involving the idea that on inclined to sin, but the Scriptural though temptation is that of a trial, or "test." God allowed the devil to tempt the Lord Jesus in order to prove the sinless perfection that was in Him. This test proved the facts. There was no possibility that this "Lamb without blemish and without spot" (1 Pet. 1: 19) could fail in any way.

Some have argued against this, saying that Adam was a true man, not a sinful man when he was created, yet he succumbed to temptation. However, Adam was created innocent, not holy: he did not have a nature that hated sin, nor the power to resist sin. On the other hand, Mary was told concerning Christ, "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and power of the Highest shall overshadow thee, wherefore the holy thing also which shall be born shall be called Son of God" (Lk. 1:35). Christ's humanity is therefore unique. In His very nature there was a holy hatred of sin and perfection of power to resist lt. Though He is true Man in every respect, having a human spirit and soul and body, yet this was a holy humanity, not possible to be contaminated, for He is more than man: He is God.

lf we do not understand how this can be, this should only humble us in the realization that God is greater than we, and should influence us to have fuller confidence in His Word, deeply appreciating both facts, the genuine humanity of our Lord and the pure sinlessness of His nature.

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