Christ existed in heaven before He was born to Mary here on earth. He was with the Father and the Holy Ghost before any of the Angels were created. He was instrumental in the creation of the universe and all the creatures including mankind. There is nothing in the universe or even in the regions beyond (as our finite mind theorizes concerning infinity) that he does not have access to, because he spoke the word, whereby matter materialized in places where before was nothing. He was and He is the only begotten Son of God.
He came to our world, to make it possible for fallen mankind to be reconciled to the Father and to inherit eternal life. Transgression of the Law requires the death penalty of the transgressor. Even if we by some means should attain to perfection of character in our life, so that we would not sin anymore, we still would not be admitted to heaven because of our past transgressions; and there is no future life to make things good, and there is no second chance to start all over again. If anybody is trying to convince you otherwise, trust him not, because you would be believing a lie.
So then Christ came to this world for two main purposes:
(1) To make it possible to have our past transgressions removed.
(2) To show us and help us to perfect our characters so that we
will be fit for the company of holy, unfallen beings.
Christ lived a sinless life here on earth. In this sinless state it was impossible for Him to die. The only reason He had to die was, that He took upon Himself the sins of all mankind. This was a heavy burden, but He carried it obediently. This great sacrifice of the Son of God was acceptable to the Father, and the demand of the Law was satisfied namely, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die," Ezek.18:20. Christ suffered the penalty for our transgressions.
Now anybody who would repent and in the name of Jesus with sincerity ask for forgiveness of sins, would be pardoned. This free gift of forgiveness of sins is not available to those who do not want to reform their lives, but intend to go on sinning and then ask for pardon again and again without ever wanting to live a holy life. To qualify for this free gift of pardon, the sinner must in all sincerity feel sorry for his transgressions and have a strong desire not to commit any premeditated (willful, intentional) sins anymore. It is obvious then, that there are two kinds of sins, namely intentional and unintentional sins. The intentional sins must stop and the unintentional sins should be purged every day by humbly seeking forgiveness in prayer with the Lord. Anybody can turn around and come to the Lord to have all transgressions removed, even the vilest of sinners. Anybody can start a new life in this way. However, it should be remembered that sometime during the new Christian life there needs to be a baptism by submersion, performed by someone who is already established in the Christian faith and who, with the help of God, is keeping all the commandments including the seventh day Sabbath.
How could we ever come to the point that we don't sin anymore? How can we ever hope to get our characters perfected? This is where a correct understanding of the Nature of Christ comes into the picture.
There are basically two concepts concerning the Nature of Christ. Almost all of the Christian denominations teach that Jesus had the nature of Adam before he ever committed any sin. There is only a small minority which believes that Jesus was just like we are. To determine which of these two ideas is correct, the following needs to be considered:
If we assume that Christ had the nature of Adam before his fall, then we are saying implicitly that Christ's sinless life was nothing special, because with the nature of Adam before his fall even we could have lived a sinless life. Is there anybody among you who loves God more than anything else on earth, even more than the closest relative or friend, even more than husband or wife? If you do love God in this way, then you would have passed the test which Adam failed.
Adam sinned because he did not pass the test of obedience. And since then the devil has been spreading the lie that it is impossible for us to remain without sin. Does the devil know what he is saying? Surely, if we try to overcome in our own strength, then he is right, we will not succeed. - But wait a moment, isn't the devil telling the followers of the New Age movement, that they are able to perfect their characters in their own strength if they persistently try? So then he is saying to us that we cannot overcome, while he encourages the New Agers that "they" are able to reach a state of sinlessness on their own. Does that make sense? If that were true, then we should give up our Christian doctrine and become followers of the New Age movement. But we know better. There is no consistency in what the devil is saying about victory over sin. Also we don't accept anything that comes from the father of lies, so help us God.
By saying that Christ had the nature of Adam before his fall, we are also repeating the devil's lie that it is impossible for us to overcome. Adam sinned and we are his children, we have that propensity to do evil. How then do we get to heaven? We should know that we will not be admitted if there is only one sin recorded against us in the books of heaven. If we believe the devil's lie then there is only one way out of this dilemma of not being able to overcome which is, that all our sins would have to be forgiven either as we fall asleep in death or, as in the case of those who will still be alive when Christ appears in the sky, just before their translation. Not only that, but our evil characters would have to be converted at the same time so that we would be able to enjoy the company of holy and undefiled heavenly beings. Here on earth we would not have to concern ourselves with occasionally missing the mark by overstepping the commandments of God. We could simply rely on what is stated by all the popular churches out there as if it were a fact, namely that everything was taken care of at the cross. Of course, there would not be any need then for a sanctuary in heaven, where Jesus, our high priest, is ministering in our behalf by accepting our prayers and petitions, and pleading our cases before the Father.
Why is this kind of thinking so widely accepted by the churches of today? It all starts out with the devil's lie that we are not able to overcome in our bodies made out of flesh and blood. It has always been that way that, what the devil says sounds right and what God says is very questionable. So then the learned theologians start out with the wrong assumption and that is why they have come up with the wrong conclusions. They say, "Just believe on the Lord and you will be saved." What other lie did the devil proclaim that is the cause of so much evil in this world of today? - Gen.3:4 "Ye shall not surely die." Again, what God said is considered to be false namely, (Ezek.18:20) "The soul that sinneth, it shall die;" and what the devil said, is readily accepted. Ye shall not surely die, these words lead to the belief, that we will live forever either in heaven or in hell with eternal torment or, as the New Agers think, that we will be recycled to live our lives over and over again until we are perfect. To look with satisfaction upon the suffering in hell cannot be the pleasure of a loving and merciful God. The conclusion drawn from this is that everybody will go to heaven, even the vilest of sinners would be accepted after having made things right with his second chance.
We should know that all of this is not according to the will of God who said, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die;" and who said that Christ took upon Himself the nature, not of Adam before he sinned, but our nature, capable of yielding to temptation, bearing the infirmities and degeneracy of the human race.
Where is it written that Christ had our nature?
Heb.2:16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels,
but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
This is very clear, the seed of Abraham is also the nature of Abraham. So then Christ did not have the nature of angels neither did He have the nature of Adam before his fall, but he was like the seed of Abraham which is the same as we are.
Heb.4:15 For we have not a 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.
If Christ was tempted in all points as we are, then how was He able to remain sinless being the same as we are? There was only one way for Him to accomplish this. He had to receive power from above, from the Father in heaven, because on His own, with His human nature, He was not able to overcome. His strength needed to be replenished every day by intense supplication in prayer to the Father. We are to do the same by asking every day for strength to overcome. We likewise need to go before the Father and in the name of Jesus ask for this power.
Rom.8:3 ...God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh ...
What does it mean, "In the likeness of sinful flesh?" Is there a difference between this and simple, sinful flesh? The last day prophet - the one who also wrote the book Cosmic Conflict - said concerning Christ, "He could have sinned, He could have fallen; but not for one moment was there in him an evil propensity." What about us? Are there in us evil propensities (inclinations)? Can you think of any person who has no evil propensities? Do you think that it is possible for us to somehow get rid of our evil propensities? - You better believe that this is within our reach, how else could we ever hope to be like Christ? We have to, with the help of God and by sore discipline, come to the point where it is unlikely, that we would be enticed to sin, either by deeds or by thought. Any sinful thought in us would trigger an alarm so that we can change course before it would be too late. Let us hear what our prophet has to say concerning these things: "We need not retain one sinful propensity. As we partake of the divine nature, hereditary and cultural tendencies to wrong are cut away from the character and we are made a living power for good." Christ showed us how to do it, He overcame; and through cooperation with God we have the ability to do likewise. Our prophet said, "Christ's life represents a perfect manhood. Just that which you may be, He was in human nature. He took our infirmities. He was not only made flesh, but He was made in the likeness of sinful flesh. His divine attributes were withheld from relieving His soul anguish or His bodily pains."
To have victory over sin and to get our characters perfected we need to live a life close to God. We need to keep all His commandments to show that we love Him with all our heart and all our soul and all our mind and all our strength. And we have to adhere to the principles mentioned in 2.Pet.1:5-7 which are virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity (love). In this way we shall partake of the divine nature whereby we will overcome our propensity to do evil.
[Principles & Doctrines - Index]