Flatlander Faith

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

Tag Archives: Son of God

A Mother’s Teaching from 1897

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Ma was telling us that there are always men rising up and declaring that Jesus could not be the Son of God, but was just a wonderful teacher. But she says not to let that bother us, for none of those men who undertake to explain all the works of God, have been able to explain very much after all. All the wisdom of all the men of all the ages has never been able to explain what life is, or the Power that with no effort at all can make the same kind of green grass turn into wool on a sheep, or hair on a cow, or feathers on a goose.

She says that Christ coming the way He did is really no greater miracle than the miracle of any life that comes to the earth, and is just as easily explained.

Only being we see so many forms of life around us, we have to believe in that whether we want to or not. A man who plants grain in the ground has to believe that some Power is going to make it grow. Otherwise he would do no planting, and so would starve. Everybody sees what happens there and so believes, but nobody yet has been able to explain how it happens. So they just go ahead and plant their grain and stop bothering their heads about what can’t be explained.

But in believing in Christ, God has kept for us the gift of faith, and has made it so-that people of earth can accept Him by faith, or reject Him by unbelief. He has not made it so we must accept His greatest gift if we do not want to do so. In the miracle of Love we are not forced to believe, as we are in the other miracles that God has wrought, and that no man-wisdom has ever yet been able to explain.

Ma says this one most rare and precious gift, is far too dear to the Heart of God to be forced on any man’s unbelief.

It must first become to us our hearts’ desire, and only then may we stretch our hands and take it.

-Christina Young, When I Was Thirteen

Hail the King of glory

 

Gentle Mary laid her child lowly in a manger;
There He lay, the undefiled, to the world a stranger:
Such a babe in such a place, can He be the Saviour?
Ask the saved of all the race who have found His favour.

Angels sang about His birth; wise men sought and found Him;
Heaven’s star shone brightly forth, glory all around Him:
Shepherds saw the wondrous sight, heard the angels singing;
All the plains were lit that night, all the hills were ringing.

Gentle Mary laid her child lowly in a manger;
He is still the undefiled, but no more a stranger:
Son of God, of humble birth, beautiful the story;
Praise His name in all the earth, hail the King of glory!

-Joseph Cook, 1859-1933

The Son of God

The title of this post is blasphemy to Muslims and foolishness to those who do not even believe in God.  Yet the Bible insists that God, who said “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” has a Son who is part of His singular Godhead, yet walked this earth in human form, God bearing testimony to Him that “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.”

How is this possible?  I will take to heart the admonition of Menno Simons not to attempt to climb higher than my ladder reaches and simply recount what the Bible has to say.

The apostle John tells us in the first chapter of his gospel that Jesus was with God from the beginning and that He was God.  At a definite point in history, He was “made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

There appears to be a problem here, for the Scripture says in other places: “they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:8), “in Adam all die” (I Corinthians 15:22), and “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble … Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one” (Job 14:1 & 4).

Since the days of Augustine, theologians have wrestled with this conundrum, trying to create a logical doctrine of a Christ who was both the son of Mary after the flesh and the Son of God after the Spirit.  The problem with this, as Menno pointed out, is that it was then the son of Mary who died on the cross and not the Son of God.  How can sinful flesh atone for the sins of sinful flesh?

The mystery and the miracle are found in the incarnation.  Jesus was born of the virgin Mary in the way that all children are born, after the normal nine months of gestation, and His body was like other human bodies in every way, so that he was subject to all the emotions, feelings and temptations of all mankind.  Nevertheless, His body was not formed from the body of Mary.

“The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. . . Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption” (1 Corinthians 15:47 & 50).  “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh” (Romans 8:3).  The mystery is resolved if we accept the teaching of these verses that Jesus was a new creation, made in the exact likeness of sinful flesh, but without sin.  We have not been redeemed by the sufferings and torments of the son of Mary after the flesh, “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:19).

Henry Morris, the founder of the Institute for Creation Research wrote an article on the incarnation in which he states that if Jesus was the son of Mary after the flesh, his body was not only tainted with inherent sin but with the genetic deterioration that has entered the gene pool over the ages.  “He could not be conceived in the same manner as other men, for this would inevitably give him both a sin-nature and a physically defective body, and each would disqualify Him as a fit Redeemer.”  You may read the full article here: http://www.icr.org/article/creation-virgin-birth/

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