Archives For Christology

Stott summarizes three truths enforced by the cross:

  1. Our sin must be extremely horrible.
  2. God’s love must be wonderful beyond comprehension.
  3. Christ’s salvation must be a free gift.

Stott writes:

In conclusion, the cross enforces three truths – about ourselves, about God and about Jesus Christ. First, our sin must be extremely horrible. Nothing reveals the gravity of sin like the cross. For ultimately what sent Christ there was neither the greed of Judas, nor the envy of the priests, nor the vacillating cowardice of Pilate, but our own greed, envy, cowardice and other sins, and Christ’s resolve in love and mercy to bear their judgment and so put them away. It is impossible for us to face Christ’s cross with integrity and not to feel ashamed of ourselves. Apathy, selfishness and complacency blossom everywhere in the world except at the cross. There these noxious weeds shrivel and die. They are seen for the tatty, poisonous things they are. For if there was no way by which the righteous God could righteously forgive our unrighteousness, except that he should bear it himself in Christ, it must be serious indeed. It is only when we see this that, stripped of our self-righteousness and self-satisfaction, we are ready to put our trust in Jesus Christ as the Saviour we urgently need.

Secondly, God’s love must be wonderful beyond comprehension. God could quite justly have abandoned us to our fate. He could have left us alone to reap the fruit of our wrongdoing and to perish in our sins. It is what we deserved. But he did not. Because he loved us, he came after us in Christ. He pursued us even to the desolate anguish of the cross, where he bore our sin, guilt, judgment and death. It takes a hard and stony heart to remain unmoved by love like that. It is more than love. Its proper name is ‘grace’, which is love to the undeserving.

Thirdly, Christ’s salvation must be a free gift. He ‘purchased’ it for us at the high price of his own life-blood. So what is there left for us to pay? Nothing! Since he claimed that all was now ‘finished’, there is nothing for us to contribute. Not of course that we now have a license to sin and can always count on God’s forgiveness. On the contrary, the same cross of Christ, which is the ground of a free salvation, is also the most powerful incentive to a holy life. But this new life follows. First, we have to humble ourselves at the foot of the cross, confess that we have sinned and deserve nothing at his hand but judgment, thank him that he loved us and died for us, and receive from him a full and free forgiveness.

Against this self-humbling our ingrained pride rebels. We resent the idea that we cannot earn – or even contribute to – our own salvation. So we stumble, as Paul put it, over the stumbling-block of the cross.

The bodily resurrection of Christ is the only reasonable explanation for these 11 points summarized by Lewis and Demarest (Vol 2., 482-484):

  1. Jesus of Nazareth died and was buried. It is beyond reasonable doubt that Jesus died and was buried.
  2. After the crucifixion a resurrection was unexpected.
  3. The tomb was open and empty.
  4. The grave clothes were undisturbed.
  5. For 40 days Jesus appeared to people prior to his ascension.
  6. The disciples were transformed from despair to hope, their disbelief to faith, their fear to courage.
  7. A new movement arose in Jerusalem and quickly advanced through the region. It was based on the belief that Jesus was alive . . . There is nothing but the resurrection to distinguish the first Christians from any other Jews of the day.
  8. The Christian church still exists today . . .The frailty and fallibility of church leaders has become notorious in literature and the media. Had it not been for its confidence in the One who conquered sin and death, the church would have long ago disappeared.
  9. Christians generally practice Sunday worship . . . If not for the resurrection, what remarkable first century event can explain that major transformation of a longstanding Sabbath tradition?
  10. The first century produced the written New Testament, which remains to this day. If Jesus did not rise, what first-century event did motivate the written preservation of the apostles’ teaching?
  11. The calendar directs attention to what happened before Christ (B.C.) and after the birth of the Lord (A.D.). If Jesus did not rise, what event in history better accounts for the change in the dating of all events that later occurred?

Ash Wednesday is this Wednesday. Whether or not you are observing Lent, we should strive to be more cross-centered as we anticipate Holy Week. Earlier today, I gave seven reasons to read Andreas Kostenberger and Justin Taylor’s The Final Week of Jesus. Below is a quote by R.C. Sproul which summarizes much of what I said in my sermon this morning about the beauty of the cross.

The Cross was at once the most horrible and the most beautiful example of God’s wrath. It was the most just and the most gracious act in history. God would have been more than unjust, He would have been diabolical to punish Jesus if Jesus had not first willingly taken on Himself the sins of the world. . . Yet it was done for us.  This “for us” aspect of the Cross is what displays the majesty of its grace. At the same time justice and grace, wrath and mercy. It is too astonishing to fathom

The Final Days of Jesus: The Most Important Week of the Most Important Person Who Ever Lived by Andreas Kostenberger and Justin Taylor offers an accessible overview of Holy Week. Reading it will help you meditate on the beauty of Christ and will enrich your worship this Easter season. This book would make a wonderful resource for families and a great gift for someone considering Christ. A free study guide is available.

One of our central goals  at The Red Brick Church is to equip and motivate our people to focus on Christ our King during Holy Week. I pray that our minds will be soaked in meditation on the Cross. As a part of that goal, I am making a number of posts available on line. These include summaries of:

The posts on my blog are not edited and particular articles or definitions are uneven in length and thoroughness. Admittedly, my blog posts are “rough drafts.” Hey, I’m a busy pastor.

The rough draft nature of my Easter posts is why I am thankful Andreas Kostenberger and Justin Taylor have published The Final Days of Jesus. They have made my task of motivating and equipping our congregation to worship Christ far easier. In a world full of death and darkness, this book will help us rinse our minds in the resurrection.

I will pubish brief interviews with the authors later this week. In the mean time, here are 7 reasons why I am encouraging our church family to buy and read The Final Days of Jesus:

1. Help with Harmonizing  – Anyone who has closely studied Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John knows that at times it is difficult to see how the accounts fit together. For instance, compare the difference in wording of what was written above Jesus’s head on the Cross (John 19:19, Matthew 27:37, Mark 15:26, Luke 23:38). Kostenberger and Taylor not only offer a harmonization, but they also give a wonderful explanation of how to read the gospel accounts responsibly and charitably (p. 19-20).

2. Parallel Gospel Accounts Brought Conveniently TogetherThe Final Days of Jesus is organized so that the Scripture for the events of each day is included in the text. Readers who want to read parallel accounts without flipping back and forth in their Bibles will benefit.

3. A Glossary and Reference Guide –  If you are new to the Easter story, then simply the task of keeping track of the various Marys  can send you over the edge of confusion. This is not to mention recalling who Caiaphas is or the Sanhedrin or Joseph of Arimethea. An alphabetized glossary and reference guide at the end makes it easy to look up anyone in the cast.

4. 21 Charts, Diagrams, and Maps – There is so much to “picture” when reading the Gospel accounts of Holy Week. Where did everyone sit at the Last Supper? Why was Peter motioning for John to ask Jesus who would betray him? Charts, diagrams, and maps provide resources that can quickly be reviewed.

The Final Days of Jesus (page 59)

The Final Days of Jesus (page 59)

5. Succinct Summaries – Kostenberger and Taylor blend depth and accessibility. Consider, for instance, their summary of Peter’s denial of Jesus.

Peter’s denial of Jesus stands as one of the most poignant and memorable events that transpired during Jesus’s final day. One of Jesus’s closest friends, a man who hours earlier had sworn to stand by Jesus no matter what the sacrifice or cost, denies even knowing Jesus and abandons him in his darkest hour. Pathos drips from the Gospel accounts— the tragedy is palpable, and Peter leaves the scene a broken man.

6. The Most Important Question Ever Asked is Directed to the Reader at the End – The first 202 pages of The Final Days of Jesus all lead up to the most important question about the most important person who ever lived, “Who do you say that he is?”

7. Holy Week is The Most Important Week of the Most Beautiful Person – Christ is the only true King. He deserves all our worship. There is nothing we could imagine that we would want in a savior that we do not find in Him. Nowhere is the beauty of Christ seen more vividly than in the biblical accounts of Holy Week. Seize this opportunity to look deeply at our Savior. The remaining items in this list are only miscellaneous observations. But this is the heart of the matter. Let’s think deeply of Christ.

The Bible describes sin using different pictures including debt, enmity, and crime. R.C. Sproul  (42) helps us understand how Christ atones for our sin with the following table.

Sin as . . .

Man

God

Christ

Debt

Debtor

Creditor

Surety

Enmity

Enemy

Violated One

Mediator

Crime

Criminal

Judge

Substitute

Are you a bell waiting to be rung?

Chris —  January 17, 2014

If you are someone who would like to know more about Christianity, then I highly recommend Tim Keller’s Encounters With Jesus. The chapter entitled “The First Christian” is worth the price of the book.

In reference to Mary Magdalene hearing the risen Christ say her name, Keller concludes:

I have always thought that when Mary Magdalene heard her own name on the lips of the risen Christ she must have felt as Annie Dillard did when she wrote, “I’d been my whole life a bell, but I never knew it until I was lifted up and rung.” Page 102.

Football-Uniforms-Old

An early Ivy League football game.

“Vanbriesen pops through the left side of the AC line and he’s loose in the secondary. It’s a footrace for the end zone.”

For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given . . . Isaiah 9:6

Founded in 1636, Harvard stands as the oldest school in the conference. When I say Harvard, I  mean the institution of higher education out east rather than the community on the other side of the Big Northern Conference where they hold the milk festival. Though, for the record the Harvard Illinois Hornets enjoyed a good 2013 football season.

Most people now think that “Stillman’s Run” references the football team getting hot in the playoffs, but a few historians remember that “Stillman’s Run” is the name of an 1832 battle fought on our ground during the Blackhawk war though it was also called the battle of Old Man’s Creek or the Battle of Sycamore Creek. Which is to say, I’m not sure of how old our high school is but Harvard University started signing diplomas not quite two years hundred years before Blackhawk and his warriors crossed the creek and chased off Major Isaiah Stillman and the Illinois militia.

Yale's Handsome Dan dates back to 1890

Yale’s Handsome Dan

Yale University, in the same conference as Harvard, came along in 1701. Yale’s original mascot was a bulldog named “Handsome Dan” – – The story goes that one of the Yale offensive tackles bought the bulldog Handsome Dan from a local blacksmith and the Yale mascot was born.

A few decades after Yale, Dartmouth was founded in December of 1769. Dartmouth began as a congregational university and their motto, “A voice crying out in the wilderness,” recalls the role of John the Baptist in announcing Christ. The motto was was favored by Dartmouth because at that time New Hampshire was in the wilderness. Dartmouth’s mascots have changed over the years and have variously included an Indian, who much like Chief Illini and the Marquette Warrior, was dropped in the name of political correctness. The Dartmouth student body campaigned for a mascot named Keggy the Keg but this was resisted by the administration who was doubtless looking for something with a bit more Ivy league dignity.  Someone proposed the Dartmouth moose  – – but this mascot has never quite taken over – – and so Dartmouth athletics are often known as the Big Green.

curiosity-ivy-league-pictures-26Harvard, Yale, and Darmouth do not enjoy membership in the Illinois High School Big Northern Conference or even the Big Ten. These universities are all members of the Ivy League, which as you know, is the grand group of colleges: the loftiest echelon of higher education. Without reviewing all their mascots, the Internet succinctly summarizes that the Ivy League is:

“a group of long-established colleges and universities in the eastern US having high academic and social prestige. It includes Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Dartmouth, Cornell, Brown, and the University of Pennsylvania. . . The term Ivy League also has connotations of academic excellence, selectivity in admissions, and social elitism.”

Once, when I was in Boston, I drove past Harvard, but I was mostly trying to find my way around and, if you’ve ever been in Boston, you know what a challenge that is – – so, other than a quick glance out the window, I have never been near an Ivy League campus.

Growing up, I knew of only one person who went to the Ivy League. He was from Southeast Iowa and though I didn’t know him personally my friends and I heard that he was so committed to learning that he taped vocabulary words to his bathroom mirror and studied when he was shaving. My friends and I didn’t shave very often in high school, so we resented him on that basis alone.  We also knew that stretching one’s vocabulary apart from high school requirements was not normal. And we understood that we would not be joining kids with big vocabularies in the Ivy League.

Instead, I went to college in Pella, Iowa, which was 90 long miles from home, closer to the Iowa metropolis of Des Moines, and so, I reasoned, a bit like going out east. In Pella, we had tulips in May but very little ivy. We weren’t sure of how to distinguish college ivy from poison ivy so the crew who mowed the grass put Roundup on anything that started to grow on the sides of the buildings.

Our college football field was on was on the edge of a cornfield.

Which is to say that it’s hard for me to picture the Ivy League. All these years later, and though I now know a handful of people who went out east, I am only slightly less informed then I was as a farm kid in Southeast Iowa.

But after the Fall of 2013, there is one vivid “Ivy League image” burned in my mind, a picture I can see very clearly. It has to do with the Stillman Valley – Aurora Christian 2013 class 3A State Semi-Final football game.

DSC_5217

SV’s Seth Vanbriesen carries the ball in a Thanksgiving 2013 practice

High school playoff football, of course, is far more familiar to us in the Midwest than the Ivy League. Many of us were at the state semi-final game; and most who weren’t present at the game can picture it. We drove down across already harvested cornfields for the Saturday evening game in the suburbs.  And, though the calendar may have said, fall, the forecast read like the evening news for Gnome, Alaska. Global warming notwithstanding, the predictions were so arctic that we rented torpedo heaters like those we used to heat our barns in Iowa when I was growing up.

The weathermen were right. There was no gentle fall breeze. Instead, an icy winter wind howled out of Canada and right into Aurora. We were shivering before the game even started. No one tailgated. People sat in their cars with the motors running or built igloos out of blankets in both rows of the visiting bleachers. A cheerleader’s feet got so cold that she melted her tennis shoes holding her feet up to the heater. I know of three different people who melted gloves in the same way. (My son, Ben, and I were two of them).

Predictions for the outcome of the game weren’t any warmer than the weather. AC came in with an all-state running back with the first name of (I am not making this up) “Legend” – – they had a monster quarterback the size of our linemen – – and the threat of passing attack that made us feel like we would be watching the Blue Angels at the Oshkosh Air Show.

The game started like we expected. Aurora Christian grabbed an early lead. We managed to keep it close the first half, but it felt like the game could get away from us at any moment.

When AC scored on a pick-six early in the 3rd quarter our hopes were on ice, which was true both figuratively and literally. It kept getting colder. For a witness, I appeal to my son Ben who said it was the coldest he has ever been in his life. He steadfastly maintained this claim for four days until a practice the following Wednesday that he claims was colder.

Anyway, Stillman answered AC’s pic-six score by stalling and in short order AC blew into our red zone, with the possibility of the score going to 24-7. The outcome hung in the balance, but somehow Stillman stopped them on fourth down though even when we got the ball we were trapped inside our own fifteen.

I need to back up for a minute and point out that as a church and community, we are honored that one of our own is in the Ivy League. Derek Vanbriesen rolled a 36 on his ACT test and finished first in his class and his acceptance at Dartmouth speaks well not only for him and his family, which it does, but also for our schools and teachers. And, I want to say, in Derek’s defense that, so far as I am aware, Derek didn’t tape vocabulary words on his mirror in high school and he is far more normal than the guy I previously mentioned from Southeast Iowa who went to Harvard. Actually, I think that the guy from SE Iowa was fairly normal; it’s just that my friends and I resented him because he was smarter than we were and, like I said, had to shave every day.

In any case, Seth Vanbriesen, Derek’s younger brother, was playing in the Stillman Valley-AC game and, as it turns out, Seth ended up being part of the pivotal post-season play. The play itself resulted from a halftime adjustment.

In our locker room at half-time, while our team was attempting to get feeling back in their fingers, the Stillman Valley players told the coaches that any time our offense went into a particular set, Aurora Christian crammed defenders in the box and keyed on our fullback. The Aurora Christian defense made this adjustment by yelling a code word which sent the message, “We know what you’re going to do, and we are going to stop it.” Or, said another way, it was shorthand for, “We are going to win and you are going to lose.”

But Stillman’s coaches like adjustments and they were ready with a wrinkle of their own. In response – – and this is what Stillman did down 17-7 in the third quarter – – we decided to fake to our all state fullback Zac Hare- – and gave the ball to Seth. It worked perfectly and Seth was off to the races while the AC defenders piled onto our fake. Once Seth burst through a hole on the left side of the line, he had lots of space because the defense was flowing so hard to our fullback. It probably wasn’t very pleasant for our fullback – – what with everyone plowing into him – – but he was used to it and took one for the team.

For his part, Seth was an unlikely candidate to make the long run- – 73 of his 76 yards that night were on one play. But the play was enough to tip the balance of momentum in our direction and our fullback, Zac, plowed into the end zone in the last minute to win the game.

As long as I have my wits about me, I’ll picture that play from my place on the sidelines- – wind howling – – clouds of steam coming out of helmets – -reserves shivering on the sideline – – cheerleaders melting their shoes on torpedo heaters – – and the suburb superpower pounding us on the ropes.

And then Seth — with the ball – – dancing through the line; the crowd erupting from under their piles of blankets and sleeping bags – – and the sound of cowbells bouncing off the Aurora Christian turf.

But the actual game footage is not my favorite picture of the semi-final game. My favorite picture is from the Ivy League. Seth’s brother, Derek wasn’t able to be at the game. Dartmouth didn’t offer a pep bus going to the Illinois football playoffs. But the game was broadcast on the Internet and so Derek listened online. And the picture of Derek listening in the Ivy League to the news from home – – that is my favorite image from the state semi-final game.

I didn’t really talk to Derek about it, and I know he was listening on the Internet, but I like to picture Derek tuned in on a giant radio in some historic dorm.

I surfed the Internet to see if there was an archive of the game. I wanted to hear the call when Seth got loose for a 73 yard run that changed the momentum, not just of that one game, but of the whole post-season run. But I couldn’t find an archive of the broadcast. It’s just as well. I like to imagine the “staticy radio” play-by-play call Derek heard:

Stillman Valley trails 17-7 and they are backed up in their own territory – -McNames over center, a quick give over the right side to the fullback Hare and a pile of bodies- – check that – It’s a fake to Hare and Stillman is loose in the Aurora Christian secondary. It’s #40 – Seth Vanbriesen. He’s already across midfield: the 50, the 40, the 35 – – Aurora Christian giving chase – – Vanbriesen may score . . . he is tackled inside the Aurora Christian 10. No flags.

The Vanbriesen brothers are on the left and right sides of this birthday party picture from 2005.

The Vanbriesen brothers are in red jerseys on either side of this 2005 pic

I love the picture of one of ours out east hearing that his brother, back home, made a big play back.

It encourages me as a pastor and dad to think, that as far as kids from Byron, Stillman, Rochelle, or Rockford may travel, they will dial into the news from home. Whether they go off to California, or Kentucky or Vanderbilt or Wisconsin, they’ll want the local news. And the reason is because the closer the winners are to home, the sweeter the sound. Had Derek been listening to an NFL team (does anyone really want to win the NFC North?), he would have been only moderately excited. But when he heard the news that his brother made the big play for his hometown he was thrilled. There is no news more local than the news that your own brother made a big play. Derek is not a real animated sort, but he must have at least smiled.

Now, whatever your high school allegiances, if you think about it, the image of an Ivy Leaguer tuned into local good news is a Christmas picture. It is a Christmas card. It is as much Christmas as any print from Currier and Ives because the idea of someone in an elite place, who is never the less, straining to hear the news from home reminds us that the best news is local news.

The first Christmas card was that kind of picture too. It was good news because it was local. Christ’s birth wasn’t someone else’s news in some distant place. It is our news. When Jesus arrived, he didn’t make his entrance in New York or Paris or Rome. He wasn’t even born in Jerusalem where he might have been expected. Mary gave birth and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in the manger because there was no room in the inn.

Christ the LORD was born locally in an obscure, small town, a lot like our towns – – the LORD was born in Payne’s Point, not Paris; Christ the King didn’t come for princes and prima donnas. He came for herdsmen and hired hands: people like us. And the Scriptures promises that for all who receive Christ and truly give their lives to him – – that the news of Christ’s birth is intimately local – – we are part of his family (John 1:12).

It is not lost on Christians today, of course, that in the hallowed halls of higher education, the miracle of Christmas is often viewed with academic disdain. There is little regard for the real Christmas story. The claim of a virgin birth is seen as so much sappy sentimentalism.

And yet, interestingly it is the local Christmas story that resonates with the soul of the world  – – from one edge of the map to the other.

Christmas celebrations take places in local churches, not hallowed hallows. Tonight, on Christmas Eve, the cold blue flames of Bunsen burners in scientific laboratories will all be extinguished and the science centers will be dark. And, instead, the warm orange flame of midnight church candles will burn from one edge of the map to the other. Those who view Christianity with disdain are left to admit that they haven’t been able to create a celebration of their own, so they reluctantly join the local party in Bethlehem.

On Christmas, the actions of nearly everyone agree that the best news is not that of proud achievement, but the sort that is local and humble. So the celebration of the Christmas story should grab the attention of even the proudest minds, if we will think of it. Recalling something C.S. Lewis once wrote, The Christmas story – what some would regard as a made up story – – beats the so called real story hollow.

The best good news is local. News sounds the sweetest when it isn’t someone else’s story, but ours. And this is the Christmas message – – For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given. And this is a true, local story.

Before we conclude, there is one more Christmas card to open. Rather than imagining Derek dialed in from Dartmouth, consider who is tuned in and listening to our local news tonight- – imagine the Risen Christ following our lives with the interest of a brother, for that is what the Scriptures tell us – – In all his omniscient, omnipotent glory – – He is dialed into our local lives – – For those who believe in Him, he listens with the interest and excitement of family. He celebrates our victories and is concerned for our pain.  Because, after all, Chist came not for princes and prima donnas, but for herdsmen and hired hands – – local folks such as us. And the good news of Christmas is the best kind of good news, because it is local good news.

Russell Moore:

When the disciples screamed in the face of a storm, Jesus slept (Mk. 4:37-38). When Jesus screamed in the face of a cross, the disciples slept (Mk. 14:37,41).

Read more here.

What was the greatest miracle ever?

Chris —  December 21, 2012

Suppose I asked you to name the greatest miracle that ever took place?  If you know the Bible you have lots to choose from.  God rescued three from a blazing furnace.  He closed the mouths of lions and demolished the walls of Jericho.  Blind men saw; lame men walked.  God parted the Red Sea and the children of Israel walked through on dry ground.  But, none of these are the greatest miracle.  Even God speaking creation into existence is not the greatest miracle.

The incarnation is the greatest miracle that ever took place.

The incarnation was when Jesus, though God Himself, was born as a baby in Bethlehem.  God became humanity without in any way ceasing to be deity.

According to theologian Wayne Grudem,

“[The incarnation] is by far the most amazing miracle of the entire Bible – – far more amazing than the resurrection and more amazing even than the creation of the universe.  The fact that the infinite, omnipotent, eternal Son of God could become man and join himself to a human nature forever, so that infinite God became one person with finite man, will remain for eternity the most profound miracle and the most profound mystery in all the universe (Grudem, 563).”

Paraphrasing John Murray, “The incarnation means that God who never began to be . . . as God, began to be what he eternally was not (Murray, Vol. 2, 132).  It is the most amazing, the most incredible miracle that will ever happen.

And, the reason Christ became humanity was that He might win the victory and deliver His people from sin.

The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. . . Amazing.

My nephew asked this question regarding Jesus:

Dear Uncle Chris,

I have been wondering, do you think Jesus knew he was God and the purpose he was on earth for when he was very young? If so, how do you think he knew? If no, how do you think he found out?

Love ya,

Carter

My answer:

Carter,

I apologize for now responding sooner. Your question regarding the Lord Jesus is an important one. You’ll have to really turn on your mind to think about this one. Have your mom help you think about some of the big words. (Just for fun, I put up a picture of your mother with Jamie and me when she was not that much older than you are. I was in seminary at the time. Your mom was probably about 11).

When Jesus submitted to the Father and was willing to be born (Philippians 2:5-7)- – – here is a big phrase we use in theology – – – “he temporarily set aside the independent use of all of his divine attributes” – – – meaning that he chose for a time not to exercise all of his power and omniscience. Though he NEVER ceased being God nor were any of these attributes ever anything less in Him.

But for a time Jesus chose not to use all of his divine attributes. Mary really did take care of Him.

It was only as Jesus grew and became strong and was filled with wisdom (Luke 2:29-40) that Jesus brought into clarity his identity and call. By the time he was about 12, I think he understood in his humanity his identity (Luke 2:41-52) with an emphasis on both verses 4:49-52.

(You might want to think about the implications of Luke 2:51 for your relationship with your mom and dad!)

Your question has many practical implications. For example, “was Jesus truly tempted in every way just as we are? (Heb 4:14-17).” The answer is “yes”. But if he was not truly human (without ever ceasing to be God!) than he would not have been tempted in every way.

We ought also to think about Jesus’s example in being so humble. Paul said that this “mind” should be among ourselves. That has a lot of application for how you relate to your little sister, Eden! (See Philippians 2:5-7).

It is important in answering your question to emphatically stress that Jesus in no way ever stopped being God. From the first Christmas on, he was 100% God and 100% man. Still Jesus did increase in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. And Jesus was always, and will always, be God.

I think I have answered your question correctly. But you may want to compare my answer with your pastors or other theologians. We will also see if anyone weighs in on my blog to sharpen my answer just a little.

You might also want to read this post about what happened in May of the year 325 (which was before even your grandmother was born)

I hope to see you in a little bit if my back is up to the trip. I was planning to come back for the funeral tomorrow. But when I put my suitcase in the car, my back seized up a bit. . . .I am, indeed, an old uncle.

Love,

 

Uncle Chris