In my last post I asked a hypothetical question about Christ’s incarnation. I want to first thank everyone who bravely responded here and those who pondered privately.
Today, I will share my thoughts on this interesting question in this continuation of my Christmas “God With Us” series.
So, I have a set up a hypothetical world where Adam and Eve, and all their offspring, somehow managed to pull off a sinless life. Would Jesus still need to come? And if Jesus hadn’t come to this imaginary sinless world, where would we be?
The problem we have with answering this question is that we’ve emphasized sin so much–that God sent Jesus for our justification–we’ve forgotten that the main purpose for His incarnation was for our adoption.
The first thing you need to see is that God chose us to be in Christ to Himself–before Adam, before sin, before time and space existed. Although He foreknew that we would sin, and He provided for our justification, it was not His main goal. His main purpose was sonship.
“just as He chose us in Him
before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
having predestined us to adoption
as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself,
according to the good pleasure of His will” (Eph.1:4-5 NKJV)
Some points to consider
Consider that Jesus’ prayer was that we would be IN Him, in the Father, as HE is in the Father. This obviously had never happened before.
“that they all may be one, as You, Father,
are in Me, and I in You;
that they also may be one in Us,
that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (John 17:21 NKJV)
Here are several additional points to consider (I’ve added bold-type to the various passages for emphasis):
- There’s a vast gulf–insurmountable by humans–between being with God and being IN God. Adam walked with God, but nowhere does it say that he was “in God” or that the Holy Spirit dwelt in him.
- John said that no one has seen God except Jesus. This includes Adam.
“No one has seen God at any time.
The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father,
He has declared Him.” (John 1:18 NKJV)
- Jesus said that only He knew the Father, and only the Father knows the Son. There is no case in the Old Testament where people referred to God as their Father. Jesus exclusively referred to Him as Father (over 100 times in John; 179 in all the gospel accounts).
“All things have been delivered to Me by My Father,
and no one knows the Son except the Father.
Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son,
and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” (Matt.11:27 NKJV)
- Jesus told His disciples that the Holy Spirit was WITH them up to that point, but He WILL be IN them. This was because the Holy Spirit had not been given to dwell in man yet (caps added).
“the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive,
because it neither sees Him nor knows Him;
but you know Him, for He dwells WITH you
and will be IN you.” (John 14:17 NKJV)
- Jesus was the firstborn among many sons. That implies that there were none before His incarnation, including Adam. Even if we somehow managed to be sinless, we would still just be sinless orphans. But at Pentecost, the Father and the Son came and made their home in us for the first time in human history (John 14:18, 23), when we received the Spirit of adoption as sons and co-heirs in Christ (See Gal.4:6-7).
“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined
to be conformed to the image of His Son,
that He might be the firstborn
among many brethren.” (Rom.8:29 NKJV)
- The promise was not to Abraham’s seeds, but to the Seed–Christ–and we are the seed and heirs to this promise but only if we are IN Christ.
“Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made.
He does not say, “And to seeds,”
as of many, but as of one,
“And to your Seed,” who is Christ…
And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed,
and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal.3:16, 29 NKJV)
And the answer is…
So, if Adam and Eve, and all their offspring, would’ve managed to pull off a sinless life, they and we would still have been with God (like Adam) but we would never be IN God.
They, and we, would’ve been like the angels in heaven, with Him but still separated from this Divine Fellowship, still living outside of the same communion that Jesus has enjoyed with the Father from eternity.
We would not be able to dwell in the Godhead (Father, Son, and Spirit) because humans can not be in God unless there is a Divine Human in God.
We would be His creation, but we would not be co-heirs with Christ.
We would not be the fullness that fills Christ, seated in heavenly places In God (Eph.1:22-23; 2:6).
Our life would still be separate from Christ, instead of His life being our very life (Rom.6:3-6; Gal.2:20; Col.3:3).
We would live forever but we would not have eternal life (John 17:3; Matt.11:27).
We would not be able to say that, as He is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17).
So, yes, Jesus had to come in human flesh, apart from sin, to include us in God. We are in this Divine communion between the Father and the Son in the Spirit because there is a Man in that Fellowship, and we are placed inside that Man!
Beloved, the reason I bring this question up is to show you the crazy, over the top, truth about yourself! There is no species like you on the planet! Paul tried to get the earthbound Corinthians to see this by telling them, and us, that we will even judge angels! (1 Cor.6:3). Hello???
God is not trying to get us back to the Garden of Eden, living with Him but not in Him. It’s much bigger than that. You are God-inhabited flesh, heaven touching earth. You’re the realization of the promise of the Father to have many sons in Christ!
God already decided, before Adam sinned, before you and I sinned, that He would expand the Fellowship He has enjoyed within Himself, inside of God–to include you! And you’ve been invited because Jesus came in human flesh, lived, died, was raised again and put YOU inside of Him, forever in God.
And none of this could happen without the incarnation of Christ.
Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would help us “know” this new heavenly reality on “that day” (Pentecost) when He would come to live inside of human beings.
“At that day you will know that I am in My Father,
and you in Me, and I in you.” (John 14:20 NKJV)
What happened “that day” is that we were brought into an unprecedented communion in Christ in God that John also told us about here…
“”that which we have seen and heard we declare to you,
that you also may have fellowship with us;
and truly our fellowship is with the Father
and with His Son Jesus Christ.
And these things we write to you
that your joy may be full.” (1 John 1:3-5 NKJV)
May this stunning reality make us all very merry and full of joy this Christmas!