Is Christ still human?

Several times recently I have come across a view that says that while Christ was indeed both fully human and fully God in the past, since His ascension into heaven He is no longer human, and shall not remain human for eternity but has shed off His humanity and is simply just God again.

This view is problematic for a number of reasons. What does it mean for Christ to be human in the first place? How shall the Son appear in His Second Coming? In what form shall He reign on the throne of David without end? What would a temporary glorified state for Christ mean for our own glorified bodies to come?

When the Son took on a human flesh and walked on earth as a man, He did not simply have the appearance of being human – such would be the heresy of Docetism – but rather, He really became fully 100% human, just as we are. He was conceived in the womb, carried for 9 months, born naturally, grew up, learned, experienced, ate, slept, breathed, died. This human body was not simply a shell or a piece of clothing that the Son put on for a time; He became human. He really was a human. He had a human soul, just as we do.

Now here is a great problem. If Jesus, being human, had a human soul, then how could He cease being human? Did His soul and human will cease to be? If Christ’s soul and human will ceased to be, then how can it truly be said that He was ever a human in the same sense as we are? If human beings have immortal souls, then Christ, likewise. If human beings will live forever, either in glorified state or tormented state, then Christ, likewise (in glorified state).

In Acts 1:11, after Christ has ascended from the Mount of Olives and His disciples stare up into heaven, two angels appear and say to them, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

He ascended in a physical body from the Mount of Olives, shall He not descend likewise in a physical body onto the Mount of Olives? Zechariah 14:4 tells us, “On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east.” His feet! So take these two verses together, and we know that He will descend physically, just as He ascended. So, He is still a human now, and shall return as a human.

But perhaps He shall only remain human until after the New Heaven and New Earth, perhaps that is the time that He shall shed His humanity?

Well, how about that famous verse in Isaiah 9:6-7. “Unto us a child is born, to us a son is given … Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom.”

He reigns because He is God, but He also rules as a king of the line of David. He is Meschiach ben David; Messiah, the son of David. It is the throne of David that shall see ‘no end’, so how can He give up His humanity since it is in His humanity that He occupies the throne of David which shall last forever?

Perhaps another philosophical challenge also needs to be raised. Christ already received His gloried body. Christ’s resurrection is the very basis for our own resurrection; in 1 Corinthians 15 Paul uses the resurrection of Christ as the foundation for the resurrection of believers. If Christ was only resurrected temporarily, and then ceased (or shall cease) to be human, then what hope does that offer us? Shall our own glorified body also be simply a temporary state of resurrection? Shall we, too, cease to exist and have our souls annihilated? This is, of course, ludicrous; but it is a serious point to say that Christ’s own glorified body must exist eternally just as any resurrected human being.

So Christ has an immortal soul as a human and shall live forever as a human, He shall return physically to earth as a human, He shall reign forever as a king on the throne of David as a human, and He shall remain in a gloried state forever. I shall study more of this topic and write more on it in future, but it must be held as a part of the incarnation of Christ that He remains Jesus the Man forever.

Man up

In 2 Samuel 11 we read a disturbing account of the great king David. We read the account of David and Bathsheba. It was the time when kings went out to war, which in the ancient world was March time. (Hence, Mars, the god of war). This was simply expected of ancient kings that at this time they would be leading their armies, but instead of leading his army, David stayed home and sent it to fight without him. And so, when he was home and walking on the palace roof, he looked down and saw Bathsheba. She was washing herself to purify herself (2 Sam 11:4b) seemingly in accordance with the ritual washing laws set out in the Torah (for example, Leviticus 15). When David saw her, he lusted after her, had her called to his palace to lie with her, and when she conceived he had her husband murdered to cover up the whole affair.

Now we read in Deuteronomy 22:24 that when a man lies with a married woman and she does not cry out for help, she is as guilty as he. There is no indication in 2 Samuel 11 that Bathsheba cried out for help, because otherwise how could David have thought to cover up the affair in the first place? Yet the passage speaks nothing concerning the blame that rests on her, but rather of the blame which rests on David. Why is this?

I submit that David was responsible because he was the man. He is supposed to lead, not corrupt. He is supposed to protect, not abuse. 1 Corinthians 7 teaches that a man ought to marry rather than burn with passion. Many times in Scripture the husband is commanded to love his wife, to protect her and to honour her. And certainly in Scripture it is a shameful thing for a man to take another man’s wife – Christ even taught that just to look and lust after someone is to commit adultery in his heart. David should not even have been lusting after another man’s wife. In fact, he shouldn’t have even been there to lust after her, he should have been being a leader and leading his armies.

We see much of the same problem in the modern world. There are men, if they can be called men and not boys, who are more interested in their own self-gratification rather than in manning up, in seeking God, in leading, in serving, in protecting. A true man doesn’t seek to satisfy his passions toward girls, nor does he even cease to resist his lustful struggles; a true man gives honour and respect to those women he sees and knows, he treats them with chivalry, and when he pursues someone, it is in a manner honouring to her, to her family, and to God.

Wisdom

The Book of Proverbs is, quite naturally, full of encouragements to seek wisdom. We read often that “the LORD gives wisdom” (Prov 2:6) and we read that “blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding.” (Prov 3:13). We are told that “the wise will inherit honor, but fools get disgrace” (3:35) and are commanded to “get wisdom; get insight” (4:5) and to “be attentive to my wisdom” (5:1) and to “Say to wisdom, ‘you are my sister'” (7:4).

Yet in Ecclesiastes we read a different flavour. The author, Kohelet (the Preacher), writes, “I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with.” (Ecc 1:12). He tells us, “I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind. For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.” (Ecc 1:17-18). Again, “the wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them.” (2:14), “For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool!” (2:16).

Of course, Ecclesiastes is speaking of the futility of life without God, for any kind of life comes to an end. Kohelet questions, “For who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his vain life, which he passes like a shadow? For who can tell man what will be after him under the sun?” The phrase, “under the sun” is repeated many times in Ecclesiastes, as referring to life under heaven, or life without reference to the supernatural. Whether one is rich or poor, wise or foolish, ultimately becomes meaningless since all will die and be gone.

But the question still arises, how can one be seeking wisdom without reference to God, if the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom and the LORD gives wisdom? How can Proverbs tell us continually to see wisdom, yet Ecclesiastes says, “Be not overly righteous, and do not make yourself too wise. Why should you destroy yourself?” (Ecc 7:16). Surely there are two things being spoken of here, the wisdom of the world, and the wisdom that comes from God.

Worldly wisdom is not always bad, for it teaches us how to make medicines, how to measure time, how to create. But the wisdom from God is “pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17). The worldly wisdom will come to an end, as Paul writes, “among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory” (1 Cor 2:6-7). This wisdom comes from the Holy Spirit, for “we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual” (1 Cor 2:12-13).

There are many ‘wise’ today, the scholars of our age, who have much of the wisdom of the world. However the wisdom of the world is not enough to make judgements on the holy and perfect nature of God. The wisdom and knowledge of God is revealed from God by God to those who are His children. Many, in seeking to determine things of God without the wisdom that comes by faith, are deceived by what is “falsely called knowledge” (1 Tim 6:20). We read in Proverbs 9 that Wisdom sends her young women to call from the high places, “whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” (Prov 9:3-4), and yet likewise Folly sits in the high places and calls out, “whoever is simply, let him turn in here!” (Prov 9:14-16). Folly looks like wisdom.

There is a false wisdom that is from the world, which masquerades as godly wisdom, though it is not. It is a deceptive wisdom, and many are led astray. Many argue today against the cause of Christianity, arguing from scholarly research that the Bible is not true, that God cannot exist, that Jesus could not have performed miracles, and the like. And yet this is wisdom from the world. We know of God not because of secular scholasticism, but because God Himself has made Himself known to us by His Spirit, because His Spirit bears witness with out spirit that we are the children of God (Rom 8:16).

Don’t be led astray by worldly wisdom, but rest on the sure wisdom of God. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding” (Prov 3:5). Let God speak to you through Scripture by His Spirit, and do not be phased by the secular wisdom because God has not revealed Himself to them. It is by His Spirit that we know of Him.

It’s been a while

It’s been a while since I really posted anything, and I need to get into posting regularly for this. I have decided to add several new categories that I shall contribute to; this one is my “Personal” category, which is for general life stuff about me. The others; I made one for Reformed Doctrine, one for Creationism (yes, I’m one of those!), and one for Eschatology. Forgive me if the Eschatology one remains empty for a while!

So who am I? Well, combine an outdoors lover with a lover of class (or rather, somebody who is attempting to understand and grasp things of class), and you get me. I actually love wearing suits, although finding excuses to do so is hard; I typically just wear jeans and t-shirt. I love chess, although my brother typically beats me. I love red wine and whisky, and I love real cider; I am trying to get into ales and beers, but it’s unfortunately not my preferred choice. I am attempting (key word) to grow a beard, although it’s not fully set in, really. I enjoy reading, although I read a lot more when I was younger than I do now, something I shall change. I love music; I love baroque, classic rock, ska, reggai, blues, jazz. Well, I like a lot, I guess. I love food! I’m a carnivore, and I love barbecue! I also smoke a pipe, and the occasional cigar.

When it comes to outdoors stuff; I love nature. I love the greens and browns of the world outside, I love the woods, I love camping, walking, hiking. I love the stars. I love animals; not just for eating! I’m very much an animal lover!

I am, unfortunately, a recovering social recluse. I have been for years, and I’m not as bad as I was. I can be quite sociable in the right environment, but in the wrong environment I struggle very much to open up conversation with people; I think a lot of people just see a stiff dull guy and are put off, which is unfortunate. Conversationalism is not my strong point. I think that is one reason that I like a pipe/cigar and whisky, it helps me loosen up, and when sat with one or two friends in a laid back environment, sharing a drink and a smoke, those are my deepest moments, when I truly connect with people, and turn friends into brothers.

Although I have a lot of overly serious views on some things, I also retain my childhood imagination over other things. I never stopped wanting to be an astronaut or a pirate! Spacey stuff always fascinates me, when it doesn’t go over my head!

I’m not entirely sure what else to write about here, and I’ve just kind of generally dumped a lot in this post. I hope to begin posting regularly in this blog now, and feel free to comment or message me; I’m not popular enough to be swamped yet so I can easily respond.

Oh, and if you’re a praying man/woman, please keep me in your prayers! I’m always needing the grace of God to keep me, and God is moved through prayer, is He not?

Thank you for reading!

The Lord, the Lord

The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious
Slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness
Keeping steadfast love for thousands,
forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin,
But who will by no means clear the guilty
From the fathers to the children’s children.

Lord we are a stiff necked people,
Forgive our iniquity and sin
But please go into the midst us
Into our hearts please enter in

Make with us your holy covenant,
Before your people, do great wonders
Let us see the works of the Lord
Let us praise with songs like thunders

Lord, you saved your people from Egypt
You forgave their iniquity then
Lord, don’t forsake us your people now
But forgive us, I pray, once again

Give us the Spirit of your servant Caleb
That we may follow fully, as he did
Pardon us, according to your word
Let us see the glory of the Lord

The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious
Slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness
Keeping steadfast love for thousands,
forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin,
But who will by no means clear the guilty
From the fathers to the children’s children.

We’ve made ourselves so many golden calves
We’ve refused to obey your great commands
But replace our hearts of stone with hearts of flesh
And grant us a new spirit to understand

Our kings and princes, rulers, and fathers
Have not kept your law or heeded your warnings
But you, our God, keep covenant and steadfast love
Restore to us the joy salvation brings

Lord, I ask, turn to us and be gracious
Give us, your servants, the strength to serve you
Show us the sign of your great favour to us
Forgive our sin, and our righteousness renew

As high as the heavens above the earth
So great is your steadfast love to us
So far as the east is from the west
So remove our great transgressions from us

The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious
Slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness
Keeping steadfast love for thousands,
forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin,
But who will beyno means clear the guilty
From the fathers to the children’s children.

All your works, Lord, shall give thanks to you
And all your saints shall bless you evermore
They shall speak the glory of your coming kingdom
To make known your mighty deeds to everyone

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom
Your dominion shall endure forever
Our mouths will speak the praises of the Lord
And bless His holy name forever and ever

Let us eat in plenty and be satisfied,
Dwell in the midst of us once again
You are the Lord our God and there is none else
Let your people be put to shame never again

Pour out your Spirit on all flesh
On your sons and daughters, young and old
For all who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved
The survivors shall be those whom You call

The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious
Slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness
Keeping steadfast love for thousands,
forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin,
But who will by no means clear the guilty
From the fathers to the children’s children.

In The Beginning

In the beginning was the Word who is God,
The Alef and the Tav, the Spotless Lamb
The Word is the Lord and yet distinct from the Lord,
One person of the Truine I AM.

In the beginning, by Christ the Word of God
And for Him, and through Him, all things were made
For what is seen was not made by what is not visible
Without the Word was nothing made that was made

He is the image of God who is invisible,
Who made all things in earth and in heaven
And all things invisible or visible
Are held together by Him, God’s only Son

For by the Word of the Lord the heavens were made
And by the breath of His mouth all their host
Out of water and through water was the earth formed by the Word
And man’s soul was formed by God’s Holy Ghost

And the Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us
Showing the glory of God in heaven above
In Him alone the Father is revealed to us
On Him the Holy Ghost fell as a dove

And the Word in human flesh came to die
To bear our sins that sinners He would save
And He we chose to mock and crucify
And lay His body in a sealed up grave

Yet He who bore our sins as though His own
Could not be held by even death or tomb
He rose again that those who are His own
Should also rise, and ever live with Him

Feelings of Despair

Oh wretched feelings of despair
Oh dread beyond what one can bare
Oh darkest terror of the night
Beyond what feeble flesh can fight

Why do you seek to torment so?
Why do you come veiled in shadow?
Why do you whisper in the ear,
Words of anger, words of fear?

Do you not know of whom I sing?
Do you not know the risen King?
Who once was dead but is alive,
In whom, alone, may man survive.

I look upon, not my own worth,
For I am a worm from my own birth,
I look upon not my own deeds,
But I believe the age-old creeds

I hold by faith, and not by sight,
That Christ is God of God and Light of Light
That He died to set me free from sin
That His great Rest I enter in

So terror of the lonely night
Oh false despair, how can you fight
Against the glories of my Lord,
From who’s mouth proceeds the Living Sword?

My flesh is weak and ever fails
But when Christ’s flesh bore Roman nails
In Him I find my victory
In Him alone I can glory

Oh Christ the eternal Prince of Peace
Who’s victorious Reign shall never cease,
My hope, to You alone I cling
Oh Lamb of God, oh David’s King!