The Saviour of Mankind
by E.H. “Jack” Sequeira
We have already demonstrated that, in order for Christ to legally qualify to be our substitute and representative, His divinity had to be united to our corporate fallen humanity that needed redeeming. It is in the incarnation that these two distinct opposite natures were united together in one person and Christ became the second Adam. This is the in Christ motif, the central theme of Paul’s theology.
1 Corinthians 1:30:
It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God — that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will — to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
According to W.W. Prescott, a nineteen century preacher, this truth constitutes the very heart of the Christian message:
“Now what does it mean to us that Jesus Christ became the second head of this human family? It means this: Just as, when Adam was created, all the members of the human family were created in him, so also when the second man was created ‘according to God in righteousness and true holiness,’ all the members of that family were created in Him.
It means that, as God saw in Adam all the members of the human family, so he saw in Christ, the second father of the family, all the members of the divine-human family; so he saw in him all his sons, all his daughters, all his descendants; all that belong to the family.
That is to say that Jesus Christ was the representative of humanity, and all humanity centered in him, and when he took flesh, he took humanity. He took humanity and he became the father of this divine-human family, and he became the father by joining himself in this way to humanity, and the flesh which he took and in which he dwelt was our flesh, and we were there in him, he in us, just as what Abraham did, Levi did in Abraham, so what Jesus Christ in the flesh did, we did in him.
And this is the most glorious truth in Christianity. It is Christianity itself, it is the very core and life and heart of Christianity. He took our flesh, and our humanity was found in him, and what he did, humanity did in him.” (W.W. Prescott, “The Divine-Human Family,” 1895 General Conference Bulletin, pp. 8-9).
Because Christ was both God and man, He was not only unique but also a paradox. What He was as God, contradicted what He assumed as man. This is the great mystery of the incarnation which our finite human minds cannot fathom, but which we by faith believe, because the Word of God declares it.
The following chart shows the distinction or paradox between Christ’s divine nature, which was His by native right, and His human nature, which was our corporate sinful nature that He assumed at the incarnation in order to be the Saviour of the World.
In order for Christ to legally qualify to be our substitute and representative, His divinity had to be united to our corporate fallen humanity that needed redeeming. It is in the incarnation that these two distinct opposite natures were united together in one person and Christ became the second Adam. This is the in Christ motif.
|—————————— THE PARADOX ——————————|
|AS GOD, CHRIST WAS:||AS MAN, CHRIST WAS MADE:|
1. Son of God
|1. Son of Man
|2. Of a Woman
|4. Equal with God
|4. A Slave of God
2 Corinthians 5:21:
2 Corinthians 5:21:
John 5:19, 30:
1 Timothy 1:17:
|8. Under Law
On the cross our corporate condemned human life died eternally in Christ (the wages of sin).
2 Corinthians 5:14:
For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
In the resurrection God gave the human race the eternal life of His Son.
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.
All that we are, as a result of the Fall, Christ was made at the incarnation; that through His life, death, and resurrection all that He is we were made in Him.
2 Corinthians 5:17:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
This constitutes the good news of the gospel.
BY NATURE WE ARE:
...Made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved.
2 Corinthians 5:21:
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people.
1 John 3:1:
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.
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,...
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.
2 Corinthians 8:9:
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
Now if we are children, then we are heirs — heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. But there is a place where someone has testified: “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, a son of man that you care for him? You made them a little lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honor and put everything under their feet.” In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them. 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. In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.
Surely, every believer who realizes this truth will join Paul in exclaiming:
2 Corinthians 9:15:
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!