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Jesus' Two Natures Explained
by Gregory John Monroe
8/07/2011 / Christian Apologetics
Jesus walked this earth as one-hundred percent God and one-hundred percent man. That is the common and prevailing understanding among mainstream Christian denominations. As this article proceeds to explain why and how these two natures came to exist and function in one man as He walked this earth, keep in mind that each of the natures are distinct from the other, never mixing.
His Divine Nature
In the divine plan to meet the perfect demands of God's Law, the Ten Commandments, and to redeem mankind from the condition of sin, it was understood that Jesus would have to meet the demands of the Law by coming into the world and living in the same kind of flesh nature that all humans are born into. Sin would have to be conquered in sinful flesh. Otherwise, by living in the fulness of His Godhood, He would have an unfair advantage in complying with the Law.
This then required Him to give up all His rights, power, and ranking as God (Phil. 2:7). He would come to earth limited by the physical and mental constraints of humanity.
His Human Nature
Born of a woman and the Holy Spirit, Jesus entered this world as something He inherently was not; meaning He remained God, but was now "made" or clothed with humanity. He "assumed" human form. He was God intrinsically (His mind), "wearing" sinful, human flesh (Psalm 51:5; Isa. 53:6; Hebrews 2:14,17).
In human flesh, sin's temptations confronted Jesus as it does all humans, but He sinned not once (Heb. 4:14). There are some, however, who dispute that Jesus assumed a sinful nature. They say if He did, He Himself would have needed a savior. But, to be reminded, His two natures were distinct; not mixing. His mind, limited to the scope of humanity never sinned, nor was made sin. That His mind was confined to humanity's boundaries, is demonstrated in Luke 2:40, in which it's said that the child (Jesus)"grew" in wisdom (NASB). So having a mind like humans, having been stripped of its godly omniscience, Jesus lived as a human being under the Law. And in doing so, showed that sin could be defeated in human flesh by the way He lived. In and of Himself - His inherent nature, His mind - He committed no sinful act. Therefore His character was unstained by sin. In His character, He was the unblemished Lamb of God; needing not a savior.
As an Example for humanity, He showed that sin can be defeated in the flesh by depending on the Holy Spirit. Jesus as a human drew His strength and power from His heavenly Father through the empowering grace of the Holy Spirit (John 5:19, 30, 36).
His Resurrected Nature
On the cross, Jesus - the Bible calls Him the second and last Adam (meaning mankind) - having been made sin, crucified sin in the flesh. This was done in His humanness, which incorporated all humanity; past, present, and future. His death (and therefore humanity's) satisfied the Law's requirement that sin's wages be paid by the second death, which is a forever end to life; to existence.
To reiterate, it was Jesus the human (and corporate humanity's sinful nature and acts) that was crucified, that died. His divine nature didn't die because divinity cannot cease. It was given up, or as Jesus had often foretold, lain down for humanity (John 10:15; 13:37). His divine life, or spirit, was given up, entrusted, to His heavenly Father to give to the fallen human race.
When Jesus was raised from the dead by the Father through the Holy Spirit, it is considered to be a just action because when He lived, though He agreed to become and was made sin to save humanity, He never once yielded to sin. So Jesus' human life was returned to His divine life. The two natures are now one, as a new race, a new creation; an incorruptible, immortal life that can now be shared by those who believe in Him and repent of their evil thoughts and wicked ways.
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