“…this is exactly where salvation from sin is found for each and every individual if he will but believe and receive it.”
“Christ, in order to save man from sin, must meet man precisely where man is, in sinful flesh, that He, as a man, might be tempted as we are tempted but yet [remain] without sin.”
“This makes Him, in every sense of the word, a complete Savior”
The Mystery of Godliness
by: Ikemba Balogu
The work of Christ is not and has never been to judge or condemn men but to save men. Therefore, the work of every Christian is not and has never been to judge or condemn men but to save men through and by Jesus Christ. “For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.” Therefore, “we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.” And now Christ Himself has declared unto every Christian, “As My Father hath sent me, EVEN SO [or to just the same extent] send I you” (Jn 3:17; 1 Jn 4:14, 20:21 emphasis supplied).
And “this is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (1 Tm 1:15; Acts 4:12).
But as it is evident that Christ came into the world to save men, we must inquire: “What exactly did Christ come into the world to save men from?” For in this, the Word of God declares concerning the birth of Christ: “And she [Mary] shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people FROM THEIR SINS.”
And in another place, it is written: “Unto you first God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning every one of you FROM HIS INIQUITIES” (Mt 1:21 emphasis supplied; Acts 3:26 emphasis supplied). The work of Christ then is not merely to save men but to save men from their sins and to turn every one of them from their iniquities.
And it is this work of Christ—this work of salvation—that is the gospel of Christ. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth” (Rom 1:16).
Now, this brings us precisely to another question: How has Christ saved us from our sins? It is written concerning the Son of God that He ‘became us.’ “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given” (Heb 7:26; Is 9:6). Therefore, the Son of God became the Son of man. He that was God became man. And so it is written: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:1, 14).
Consequently, as “the Word was God”, and as “the Word was made flesh”, then God was made flesh. And this truth is simply the mystery of God, that is, the mystery of godliness. For “without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh” (1 Tm 3:16). This is a mystery and a great mystery at that.
For it should be evident unto all that the mystery of God could not be that He was manifested in sinless flesh. Because is not God Himself sinless? Verily. Therefore, it is not a mystery at all if He, being sinless, were to reveal His power and righteous glory through sinless flesh. But the mystery of God is that He, being sinless, perfectly manifested His power and righteous glory through sinful flesh. That is, indeed, a great mystery. And this was the work of Christ and it is precisely that kind of flesh—flesh like you and me—that He took upon Himself at His birth.
For this reason, Paul, under inspiration, declares concerning Christ: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the SAME [that is, the same flesh and blood]” (Heb 2:14 emphasis supplied). But how did Christ take part of the same flesh and blood as you and I? By birth.
Therefore, it is written: “Unto us a child is born”(Isa 9:6). And in another place, we read that “when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Gal 4:4). So just as you and I are partakers of flesh and blood by birth, “He also Himself likewise took part of the same” by birth.
Furthermore, we read that: “Verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham” (Heb 2:16). For Christ took on the sinful flesh of Abraham’s seed and therefore became Abraham’s seed. Thus, it is written: “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made, He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ” (Gal 3:16).
And even further, because David was also of the seed of Abraham, so Christ is consequently known as the son of David. For in one of His discourses with the Pharisees, Jesus inquired: “What think ye of Christ? Whose son is He? They say unto Him, The son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call Him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on My right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call Him Lord; how is He his son? And no man was able to answer Him a word” (Mt 22:42-45).
Although the Pharisees could not answer His question, years later that faithful apostle, Paul, does answer it by declaring: “God…(had promised afore by His prophets in the holy scriptures,) concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David ACCORDING TO THE FLESH” (Rom 1:1-3 emphasis supplied).
And that flesh was nothing else but sinful flesh. “For… God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh” (Rom 8:3). Now, it would do us well not to misapprehend the part that says that He came “in the likeness of sinful flesh.” ‘Likeness’, in this instance, means sameness or to be “just like” or “just the same as” sinful flesh itself. Therefore, anything that is precisely the same as the thing itself is really the thing itself.
Thus, Christ, coming as a man in “the likeness of sinful flesh” had really come in sinful flesh itself. “Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of THE SAME” (Heb 2:14 emphasis supplied).
And this is exactly where salvation from sin is found for each and every individual if he will but believe and receive it. For it was necessary for Christ to become a man and take upon Himself sinful flesh that He might be tempted as we are tempted. “For GOD cannot be tempted with evil… But every MAN is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin” (Jas 1:13-15). Therefore, Christ, in order to save man from sin, must meet man precisely where man is, in sinful flesh, that He, as a man, might be tempted as we are tempted but yet without sin.
For this reason, it is written: “Seeing… that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God… we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, YET WITHOUT SIN” (Heb 4:14, 15 emphasis supplied).
Therefore “as every man is tempted, when He is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed,” so also Christ, having “suffered being tempted,” “is able to succour them that are tempted” (Jas 1:14; Heb 2:18). Unless Christ experienced the temptations that I myself experienced, He could not save me from sin; for He had not experienced the temptations that I have experienced. But He has experienced every single temptation that I myself has experienced for He “was IN ALL POINTS tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
And more than this, no man, aside from Christ Himself, has ever been individually tempted in all points. There are peculiar temptations which I have that you do not have, and there are temptations that you have that I would not even define as a temptation. But Christ has personally experienced all of your temptations and my temptations and has been victorious in it all. And even further, aside from you and I, He has experienced every single temptation of each person that has ever lived upon this earth, from Adam to this time, and He has been victorious in all. This makes Him, in every sense of the word, a complete Savior.
Thus, every believer may say: “Now thanks be unto God which always causeth us to triumph IN CHRIST, and maketh manifest the savour of His knowledge in every place” (2 Cor. 2:14 emphasis supplied).