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GHansen

The likeness of sinful flesh

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GHansen
On 5/13/2019 at 1:07 PM, TrevorL said:

Yes, “sinful flesh” occurs only once in our English translation, but this is based on the translation of two words “sin” and “flesh” which both occur again in this verse, so the phrase “sinful flesh” is not really unique.

The two Greek words translated as "sinful flesh" do appear in a total of 7 NT verses but not in the same way they appear in 8:3. The expression in 8:3 does appear as a unique construct. If you can provide texts to the contrary, please do.

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The Wanderer
On 5/12/2019 at 11:51 PM, GHansen said:

Not sure of your point here. Whether it is Greek or English, "sinful flesh" occurs one time in Scripture. Whether the word "sinful" appears 250 times or 172 times, it is used to qualify "flesh" just once, in the entire Bible. And even that is qualified by the word "likeness." Jesus appeared in the likeness of sinful flesh. Since there is another word translated as "like passions" which is used to compare the nature of one man with another and that word is never used to compare fallen humanity with Christ, I do consider the expression "likeness of sinful flesh" significant.

 

I agree that we need to reads beyond Romans 8:3 to understand the full context of the expression "likeness of sinful flesh".

Quote

For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, (Rom 8:3)

One of the biggest mistakes that people sometimes make with this text is in trying to brute it into the idea of defining  the very substance of Deity, and that is definitely not the intention of Rom 8:3. When I see people trying to do that with any text, and subverting many other texts to the one verse, to "prove" whatever their idea of said Substance is, I get concerned.

We have The Word of God here telling us about Jesus "sent in the likeness" of "sinful flesh," but nowhere does this text suggest the very Substance of our Lord & Savior. Its essential here to note that Jesus was "SENT" in the likeness of sinful flesh,  and NOT created in the likeness of. The scriptures nowhere lend credence to the idea of trying to use such as a working definition of the very physical Substance of Christ. It is this very "likeness" that denotes what Christ actually did do, and why in fact He was "sent" by The Father.

A short phrase I once read somewhere basically put it like this: "there is one great central truth in all the scriptures - Christ and Him crucified. Every other truth is invested with power & influence, according to their relation to this theme." (compare Gal 6:14, etc).

To expand further, with context, we are also told in Rom 6:5 "if we have been united together "in the likeness of His death, certainly, we should also be in the likeness of His resurrection." THAT is GOOD news!

Also, in Mark 15:27-28 we are told about the two thieves who were crucified on either side of Jesus as He hung on the cross, and in this account, we are told plainly that Jesus was "numbered with the transgressors." (see vs 28). All of the texts talking about Jesus during His time here on Earth are talking about what He did, why He was sent, and it is completely unnecessary to try to make Rom 8:3 say something about His Substance, for that would prove nothing, and it would in fact, do away with any need of the cross.

Jesus is not just limited to whatever physical form we wish to think of Him as. In fact, He is not even limited by the descriptors such as "in the likeness of sinful flesh," for the Bible also tells us that while the Savior was "made flesh" ((John 1:14), it also says in the same passage that "we beheld His glory, the glory as of the ONLY begotten Son (sent Son) of The Father, and FULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH."

It is a huge mistake to limit Jesus just to one verse...(not saying that about anyone here, personally)

Edited by The Wanderer

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TrevorL

Greetings again GHansen,

5 hours ago, GHansen said:

The two Greek words translated as "sinful flesh" do appear in a total of 7 NT verses but not in the same way they appear in 8:3. The expression in 8:3 does appear as a unique construct. If you can provide texts to the contrary, please do.

I have sufficiently shown in many Posts that Jesus came in the same nature as us, the flesh, a descendant of Adam. He came to conquer sin and its effects in all areas. I have also given some description of the other phrases in Romans 8:3 which you have not commented upon.

 

Kind regards

Trevor

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GHansen
7 hours ago, The Wanderer said:

A short phrase I once read somewhere basically put it like this: "there is one great central truth in all the scriptures - Christ and Him crucified. Every other truth is invested with power & influence, according to their relation to this theme." (compare Gal 6:14, etc).

I very much agree with this and most of the content of your post

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GHansen
7 hours ago, TrevorL said:

I have sufficiently shown in many Posts that Jesus came in the same nature as us, the flesh, a descendant of Adam. He came to conquer sin and its effects in all areas. I have also given some description of the other phrases in Romans 8:3 which you have not commented upon.

Sorry, Trevor. It seems obvious [to me] that "sinful flesh" is a summary of man's condition described in chapter 7, a nature which would have compelled Jesus to sin. Paul describes the law of sin, the passions by the law, the inability to do the good he wills; Jesus was not in that condition.  I merely wanted to point out that Romans 8:3 is a very bad choice to prove  a certain doctrine.   Jesus was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, and through a sacrifice for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us.

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The Wanderer
3 minutes ago, GHansen said:

Romans 8:3 is a very bad choice to prove  a certain doctrine

I somehow got lost on this point. May I ask what doctrine you are referring to?

4 minutes ago, GHansen said:

Jesus was made in the likeness

May I ask what is your view on the use Rom 8:3 makes of the word "likeness?" Just trying to understand your point rather than presume.

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GHansen
2 hours ago, The Wanderer said:

I somehow got lost on this point. May I ask what doctrine you are referring to?

That Jesus took on a humanity in which the law of sin and death is operative; that he had a nature which was unable to do the good it wanted but instead it did the evil things it didn't want to do; he was able to will to do good but unable to do it; that lust was stirred up within him by the law. All these things are the lot of those with sinful flesh. Jesus was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, not with the exact nature we have. One might say his human nature resembled that of fallen humanity.

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TrevorL

Greetings again GHansen,

21 hours ago, GHansen said:

Jesus was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, not with the exact nature we have. One might say his human nature resembled that of fallen humanity.

I appreciate your partial clarification. I would perhaps suggest that “likeness” may be closer to “sameness” rather than “similar to but different”. I also suggest that “likeness” also has the inference that even though Jesus partook of the same nature as us, nevertheless he never allowed “Sin” to have dominance over him. 

21 hours ago, GHansen said:

a nature which was unable to do the good it wanted but instead it did the evil things it didn't want to do; he was able to will to do good but unable to do it; that lust was stirred up within him by the law.

I would like to give an example of how Jesus overcame covetousness, or the lust of the flesh. As a human he felt the strong impulses of hunger after forty days, and given the opportunity to use his powers to change a particular stone, possibly the same shape and size that Jesus recognised as similar to bread, he resisted and quoted from the experience of Israel in the wilderness:

Luke 4:2–4 (KJV): 2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. 3 And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. 4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

Now he quotes from the following, but note it is not simply in the context of a Law to be obeyed

Deuteronomy 8:1–3 (KJV): 1 All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers. 2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. 3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

Jesus was tempted or tried in the wilderness, and his answer and victory over the lusts of the flesh is based upon his meditation on the Word of God, and his understanding of the events of the wilderness wanderings of Israel.

Kind regards Trevor

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GHansen
On ‎5‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 8:14 PM, GHansen said:

Psalm 80:17 (KJV): Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.

Hebrews 2:14 (KJV): Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

1 John 4:1-3 (KJV): 1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world..

Trevor, The above three texts you posted, what are they supposed to prove or illustrate?

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GHansen
On ‎5‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 12:57 PM, TrevorL said:

I appreciate your partial clarification. I would perhaps suggest that “likeness” may be closer to “sameness” rather than “similar to but different”.

Trevor, Are you able to provide any examples of the word translated as "likeness"  which illustrate your assertion that the word may be closer  to "sameness" than to "similar to but different"? For example, when Gideon questioned the murderers of his brothers, they told him that the men they killed resembled Gideon, using a Greek word in the LXX which is closely related to the word translated "likeness" in Romans 8:3. This example, on its face, contradicts your remark about the meaning of "likeness".

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TrevorL

Greetings again GHansen,

14 hours ago, GHansen said:

The above three texts you posted, what are they supposed to prove or illustrate?

A few brief comments on each reference.

Psalm 80:17 (KJV): Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.

Jesus is “the son of man” and this represents that he is a Son of Adam, and he is not just any man, but a special vessel prepared by God the Father, strengthened to accomplish God’s purpose, including the conquest of sin and its effects.

Hebrews 2:14 (KJV): Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

Jesus shares the same nature as us. Remove the extra terms “also himself likewise” and we will see the emphasis that is given in this verse to teach that Jesus was of our nature. This is in the context that Jesus was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, and that Jesus is the captain of our salvation. I understand this phrase “captain of our salvation” teaches that Jesus is our representative not our substitute, and Jesus represents us to God because he is of our nature, and God to us because he is the Son of God.

1 John 4:1-3 (KJV): 1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

We encounter the term “the flesh” in numerous passages, and there is no hint that Jesus came in a different flesh to all the others of Adam’s descendants. 

12 hours ago, GHansen said:

Are you able to provide any examples of the word translated as "likeness"  which illustrate your assertion that the word may be closer  to "sameness" than to "similar to but different"?

I will hold to the view from the above three references that Jesus was like us in nature, but he was not like us in character. We can become more like him in character and rise above some aspects of Romans 7 when we believe in him and are baptised into his death and resurrection and live the crucified and resurrected life, motivated by the love of Christ, crucifying the flesh with its affections and lusts.

Kind regards Trevor

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The Wanderer
1 hour ago, TrevorL said:

Jesus shares the same nature as us. Remove the extra terms “also himself likewise” and we will see the emphasis that is given in this verse to teach that Jesus was of our nature. This is in the context that Jesus was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, and that Jesus is the captain of our salvation. I understand this phrase “captain of our salvation” teaches that Jesus is our representative not our substitute, and Jesus represents us to God because he is of our nature, and God to us because he is the Son of God.

Greetings Trevor, I have some questions about the way this statement is worded. Are you saying that Jesus did not have both the divine nature and the human nature? I am unable to tell from this statement, but this statement does give one the notion that this is what you are saying.

Edited by The Wanderer

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The Wanderer
On 5/15/2019 at 1:37 AM, GHansen said:

That Jesus took on a humanity in which the law of sin and death is operative; that he had a nature which was unable to do the good it wanted but instead it did the evil things it didn't want to do; he was able to will to do good but unable to do it; that lust was stirred up within him by the law. All these things are the lot of those with sinful flesh. Jesus was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, not with the exact nature we have. One might say his human nature resembled that of fallen humanity.

I have not understood the incarnate nature, quite like this. Is it not true that, like us, Jesus was an agent of free will, and well-able to choose what his actions and responses would be? Jesus came to "fulfil" the law, as in showing us how that we could likewise be over-comers, as was He. This sounds like you are struggling to "prove" that Jesus may have or did do "evil."  That He was "unable," somehow to do right. Is this really what scripture is telling us?

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TrevorL

Greetings again The Wanderer,

18 minutes ago, The Wanderer said:

I have some questions about the way this statement is worded. Are you saying that Jesus did not have both the divine nature and the human nature? I am unable to tell from this statement, but this statement does give on the notion that this is what you are saying.

I appreciate your question. You are correct as I do not believe in the Trinity or the pre-existence of Jesus. I do not believe that Jesus was a God-man with two natures, but a man descended from Adam through Mary, but also the Son of God by birth as God was his father. He was also the Son of God as revealed in his character, full of grace and truth, and the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead by God the Father. I was trying to avoid discussing the Trinity as this is now on another sub-forum and happy to avoid this here.

Perhaps I am disqualified from discussing some aspects of this subject with SDAs who have a different overall perspective, but I was trying to stay within the bounds of what individual verses were teaching. I have been interested in Romans 8:3 over many years and have listened to many different perspectives on this and when this thread appeared I was moved to be involved, especially as I had a different view to the OP. I would now be content to watch and allow SDAs discuss this, and possibly reveal some range of views. Within my fellowship there is and has been a significant range of views, but possibly different to what you would encounter with SDAs.

Kind regards Trevor

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The Wanderer
1 minute ago, TrevorL said:

I appreciate your question. You are correct as I do not believe in the Trinity or the pre-existence of Jesus. I do not believe that Jesus was a God-man with two natures, but a man descended from Adam through Mary, but also the Son of God by birth as God was his father.

Im sorry, I forgot that you do not ascribe to certain things such as "Trinity" as it regards the nature of Christ. One of quite a number of reasons I asked about your take on the nature of Christ, is because I have been reading something unrelated, and came across this text:

Quote

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us (Mat 1:21)

I understand that some forum participants would say things like "God's kingdom is not on earth," etc however, this does say "God with us."  It does not say "man with us" as if He had only the one nature. So when we are talking about Jesus "becoming sin" (for us) what are/should we be talking about? To me, it does not affect our salvation should we view it differently, but Id be interested to hear "how readest thou?" (Luke 10:26). Jesus gives everyone a chance to express their level of faith, and the understanding thereof, and  as far as I know, so does this forum.

I dont get how we could possibly look at Mat 1:21 and related texts and NOT say that Jesus had both natures. Additionally, I dont know how we could infact say definitively the exact nature of His Substance, for that is not the point of any scripture, either. Its as sufficient to me to believe as does scripture state that He had both, just as much as scripture tells us we will be resurrected. Things we do not understand and cannot interpret fairly do not need to even be dwelt upon, or am I missing something?

I have no interest in turning this into a trinity topic, I am just exploring why we say Jesus was "made to be sin FOR US," if it was true that a non-divine person could die for our sins? That would mean you could hang me on a cross as your atonement. Know what I mean?

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TrevorL

Greetings again The Wanderer,

1 hour ago, The Wanderer said:

this does say "God with us."  It does not say "man with us" as if He had only the one nature

This is not a Trinity thread, but I could give a number of references to explain “God with us”, but surely God is with us in and through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Name Jesus incorporates Yahweh’s Name and “salvation”. I cannot reconcile in practical terms the concept that Jesus had two natures. The Bible teaches that God was the father of Jesus in the conception/birth process, not that God the Son somehow entered the womb of Mary.

1 hour ago, The Wanderer said:

I am just exploring why we say Jesus was "made to be sin FOR US," if it was true that a non-divine person could die for our sins? That would mean you could hang me on a cross as your atonement. Know what I mean?

This is riddled with Trinity logic. Jesus is the Son of God, and God wrought salvation in and through Jesus. One thing we share is that we accept Genesis 3:19, that as a result of sin man and his descendants return to dust. Jesus as a son of Adam came under this environment, subject to death, but because he had done no sin and because of God’s love and fellowship with His beloved Son, the grave could not hold him, his soul (or being) was not left in hell (the grave). This is one element of the Atonement out of many, but I am not sure if SDAs accept even this aspect.

Another aspect is that when he was reviled he reviled not again, in other words he accepted these sins exercised against him, and sought in prayer to the Father for their forgiveness. No substitution in this process. This is only one example of ALL the sins that he suffered on our behalf.

1 Peter 2:21–25 (KJV): 21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

The subject of the Atonement is much larger than the few items mentioned above, but I cannot accept your logic that Jesus had to be God the Son. Rather, Jesus is the Son of God and this certainly was essential, rather than salvation being able to be wrought through sinners such as ourselves Romans 3:23.

Kind regards Trevor

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GHansen
9 hours ago, The Wanderer said:

This sounds like you are struggling to "prove" that Jesus may have or did do "evil."  That He was "unable," somehow to do right. Is this really what scripture is telling us?

Wanderer, What I am saying is that if Jesus had a fallen, sinful nature, it would have been impossible for him to not sin. We've been chatting about the meaning of Jesus being in the likeness of sinful flesh. Sinful flesh is described in Romans 7. Jesus could not have had sinful flesh and not sinned, as Romans 7 explains.

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The Wanderer
7 hours ago, TrevorL said:

This is riddled with Trinity logic.

It has nothing to do with "trinity logic," and I was making a very deliberate effort to say away from the subject. methinks you need to re-read and acknowledge what I DID say. It was nothing to do with "trinity.

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The Wanderer
1 hour ago, GHansen said:

Wanderer, What I am saying is that if Jesus had a fallen, sinful nature, it would have been impossible for him to not sin. We've been chatting about the meaning of Jesus being in the likeness of sinful flesh. Sinful flesh is described in Romans 7. Jesus could not have had sinful flesh and not sinned, as Romans 7 explains.

OK Thank you I think I get what you are saying now. I would really appreciate hearing, perhaps with a few scripture references, why this is important to you to establish that this was Jesus' "nature" for lack of a better word? What does it mean for you when someone does not believe this point? I dont feel I can respond very well yet, until I know more.

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phkrause

What's interesting to me even if you/we don't believe in the Trinity one way or the other, all through the Bible it shows pretty clearly, at least to me, that Jesus was the one that actually created this earth!! So not sure how anyone can believe that Jesus was not divine and human at the same time?????

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TrevorL

Greetings again The Wanderer,

3 hours ago, The Wanderer said:

It has nothing to do with "trinity logic," and I was making a very deliberate effort to say away from the subject. methinks you need to re-read and acknowledge what I DID say. It was nothing to do with "trinity.

13 hours ago, The Wanderer said:

I have no interest in turning this into a trinity topic, I am just exploring why we say Jesus was "made to be sin FOR US," if it was true that a non-divine person could die for our sins? That would mean you could hang me on a cross as your atonement. Know what I mean?

You suggested that my position is that Jesus was not a divine person, and thus inferring that Jesus had to be God for his sacrifice to be acceptable. My position is that Jesus is the Son of God, and he was holy from birth. He was a specially prepared MAN to accomplish God’s salvation and hence God was with him to accomplish this work. For his sacrifice to be acceptable he had to be a sinless representative of the human race in order to reverse the effects of sin introduced by Adam. This is only one of many aspects of the Atonement. As the Son of God he also fully represented God his Father. 1 Peter 2:21-25 shows one aspect of how Jesus suffered for us. Another aspect is he crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts, and therefore he had to be a partaker of "the flesh" in order to render the lusts of the flesh of no effect within himself Hebrews 2:14, Romans 8:3, Galatians 5:24, 3:1, 2:20, 1 John 4:1-3.

 

Kind regards

Trevor

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R. G. White
On 5/6/2019 at 11:00 PM, GHansen said:

Sinful flesh sins. That's what it does. It's impossible for those with sinful flesh not to sin. That's what Paul spends a lot of time laying out in chapter 7.

You are exactly right. Our only hope is in Jesus, who has a righteousness which we inherently do not possess, and who is both willing and able to impute and impart it to us.

Those who either reject or do not understand the gospel, and who are trying to justify themselves before God by their own good works, cannot allow Jesus to have had any kind of "advantage" over them. So no amount of reasoning or evidence will sway them. Until they see the big platform (of justification by faith alone) that has been rolled in, they will never allow the props to be knocked out from under them, no matter how flimsy (and frankly blasphemous) they are.

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R. G. White
7 hours ago, The Wanderer said:

OK Thank you I think I get what you are saying now. I would really appreciate hearing, perhaps with a few scripture references, why this is important to you to establish that this was Jesus' "nature" for lack of a better word? What does it mean for you when someone does not believe this point? I don't feel I can respond very well yet, until I know more.

While you are waiting for this, if you don't mind, I'll share my thoughts briefly. There are Scriptures that could be brought to bear on the matter, but I wish to share my personal sense of this, as one who is acquainted with the holy writings.

I believe it is vital to our hope of salvation that we feel our nothingness -- our absolute helplessness against the sin and corruption of our own nature, apart from divine grace. Since the fall of man, but for God's intervention in human history, and in our personal lives, we'd never have had any power (nor any inclination) to resist Satan's temptation. Even now that we are born again, by the power of the Holy Spirit, our only hope is in Jesus. In ourselves, we have no hope whatsoever.

Whether making Jesus a man of like passions with ourselves leads us to bring Him down to our level, ourselves up to His level, or (inevitably) a whole lot of each, the results are certain to be pernicious.

On the one hand, if we really see ourselves as we are, how could anyone as inherently sinful and corrupt as we are ever be our all-sufficient saviour? Where indeed is a Saviour to uplift HIM from our pit of corruption?

On the other hand, if a "sinful" Christ was capable of  "overcoming" without himself needing a Saviour, then so are we. This kind of human pride and self-sufficiency is a sure path to perdition.

No, but Jesus was an unblemished sacrifice for sins. If we look at ourselves as we really are, we see it is impossible for us to be saved, but if we look at Jesus as He really is, we see it is impossible for us to be lost. Moses' serpent in the wilderness has taught us the lesson:

LOOK AND LIVE!

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GHansen
13 hours ago, The Wanderer said:

OK Thank you I think I get what you are saying now. I would really appreciate hearing, perhaps with a few scripture references, why this is important to you to establish that this was Jesus' "nature" for lack of a better word? What does it mean for you when someone does not believe this point? I dont feel I can respond very well yet, until I know more.

Actually, in a sense it is not important. Christ's sinful flesh offers LGT perfectionists a base upon which to construct their sinless perfection doctrine i.e., if Jesus was sinless in our exact nature, we can be too. LGT perfectionism is based upon the same type of faulty interpretation as the sinful nature doctrine i.e., skimming the surface of the texts and ignoring context.

Destroy one false doctrine, the other should  collapse.

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The Wanderer
8 minutes ago, GHansen said:

Christ's sinful flesh offers LGT perfectionists a base

apologies, you lost me with the abbreviation LGT. IDK what that is. :)

9 minutes ago, GHansen said:

Jesus was sinless in our exact nature, we can be too.

What does Jesus present to the Father as the Father asked "what are those wounds on thine hands?"

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