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We are told that our Lord, before he left his glory to become a man, was "in a form of
Notice that this teaches not only that angelic nature is not the only order of spirit being, but that it is a lower nature than that of our Lord before he became a man; and he was not then so high as he is now, for "God hath highly exalted him," because of his obedience in becoming man's willing ransom. (Phil. 2:8,9) He is now of the highest order of spirit being, a partaker of the divine (Jehovah's) nature.
But not only do we thus find proof that the divine, angelic and human natures are separate and distinct, but this proves that to be a perfect man is not to be an angel, any more than the perfection of angelic nature implies that angels are divine and equal with Jehovah; for Jesus took not the nature of angels, but a different nature--the nature of men; not the imperfect human nature as we now possess it, but the perfect human nature. He became a man; not a depraved and nearly dead being such as men are now, but a man in the full vigor of perfection.
Again, Jesus must have been a perfect man else he could not have kept a perfect law, which is the full measure of a perfect man's ability. And he must have been a perfect man else he could not have given a ransom (a corresponding price--1 Tim. 2:6) for the forfeited life of the perfect man Adam; "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead." (1 Cor. 15:21) Had he been in the least degree imperfect, it would have proved that he was under condemnation, and therefore he could not have been
Now we have the question before us in another form, that is: If Jesus in the flesh was a perfect man, as the Scriptures thus show, does it not prove that a perfect man is a human, fleshly being--not an angel, but a little lower than the angels? The logical conclusion is unmistakable; and in addition we have the inspired statement of the Psalmist (Psa. 8:5-8) and Paul's reference to it in Heb. 2:7-9.
Neither was Jesus a combination of the two natures, human and spiritual. When Jesus was in the flesh he was a perfect human being; previous to that time he was a perfect spiritual being; and since his resurrection he is a perfect spiritual being of the highest or divine order. After becoming a man he became obedient unto death; wherefore, God hath highly exalted him to the divine nature. (Phil. 2:8,9) If this scripture is true, it follows that he was not exalted to the divine nature until the human nature was actually sacrificed--dead.
In this grand example of perfect humanity, which stood unblemished before the world until sacrificed for the world's redemption, we see the perfection from which our race fell in Adam, and to which it is to be restored. In becoming man's ransom, our Lord Jesus gave the equivalent for that which man lost; and therefore all mankind may receive again, through faith in Christ, and obedience to his requirements, not a spiritual, but a glorious, perfect human nature--"that which was lost."
While Jesus as a man was an illustration of perfect human nature, to which the mass of mankind will be restored, yet since his resurrection he is the illustration of the glorious divine nature which the overcoming Church will, at resurrection, share with him.
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