How Did Christ, Being the Son of God, Become Man? (Part 1)

Question 25a- How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?

“Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil” – Heb 2:14 ESV

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, By the children are meant, not the children of this world, or the men of it; nor the children of the flesh, or Abraham’s natural seed; nor visible professors of religion; nor the apostles of Christ only; but all the children of God, the children given to Christ; all the sons that are brought to glory: these “are partakers of flesh and blood”; of human nature, which is common to them all, and which is subject to infirmity and mortality; and the sense is, that they are frail mortal men: and this being their state and case,

he also himself took part of the same; Christ became man also, or assumed an human nature like theirs; this shows that he existed before his incarnation, who of himself, and by his own voluntary act, assumed an individual of human nature into union with his divine person, which is expressive of wondrous grace and condescension: Christ’s participation of human nature, and the children’s, in some things agree, in others they differ; they agree in this, that it is real flesh and blood they both partake of; that Christ’s body is not spiritual and heavenly, but natural as theirs is; and that it is a complete, perfect, human nature, and subject to mortality and infirmity like theirs: but then Christ took his nature of a virgin, and is without sin; nor has it any distinct personality, but from the moment of its being subsisted in his divine person: and now the true reason of Christ’s assuming such a nature was on account of the children, which discovers great love to them, and shows that it was with a peculiar view to them that he became man; hence they only share the special advantages of his incarnation, sufferings, and death: and his end in doing this was,

that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; the devil is said to have the power of death, not because he can kill and destroy men at pleasure, but because he was the first introducer of sin, which brought death into the world, and so he was a murderer from the beginning; and he still tempts men to sin, and then accuses them of it, and terrifies and affrights them with death; and by divine permission has inflicted it, and will be the executioner of the second death. The apostle here speaks in the language of the Jews, who often call Samael, or Satan, המות מלאך, “the angel of death”, in their Targums, Talmud, and other writings; and say, he was the cause of death to all the world; and ascribe much the same things to him, for which the apostle here so styles him: and they moreover say, that he will cease in the time to come; that is, in the days of the Messiah: and who being come, has destroyed him, not as to his being, but as to his power; he has bruised his head, destroyed his works, disarmed his principalities and powers, and took the captives out of his hands, and saved those he would have devoured: and this he has done by death; “by his own death”, as the Syriac and Arabic versions read; whereby he has abolished death itself, and sin the cause of it, and so Satan, whose empire is supported by it. [Gill]

“Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. – Heb 2:17 ESV”

Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, The adopted sons of God, who were brethren before Christ’s incarnation, being from all eternity predestinated to the adoption of children: Christ’s incarnation was in time, and after that many of the brethren existed; and it was only for their sakes that he assumed human nature; and therefore it was proper he should be like them in that nature, in all things: in all the essentials of it; it was not necessary that he should have it by natural generation; nor that it should have a subsistence in itself as theirs: and in all the properties and affections of it, that are, not sinful; for it did not behove him to be like them in sin, nor in sickness, and in diseases of the body: and in all temptations; though in some things his differ from theirs; none of his arose from within; and those from without could make no impression on him: and in sufferings, that there might be a conformity between the head and members; though there is in some things a difference; his sufferings were by way of punishment, and were attended with wrath, and were meritorious, which cannot be said of theirs; but that he should have an human nature, as to its essence and perfection, like to theirs, was necessary: it was proper he should be truly and really man, as well as truly God,

that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest; he could not be an high priest, offer sacrifice for sin, and make intercession, unless he was man; nor could he be a “merciful” and compassionate one, sympathize with his people in their sorrows, temptations, and sufferings, unless he was like them in these; nor would he be a “faithful”, that is, a true and lawful one otherwise, because every high priest is taken from among men:

in things pertaining to God; in things in which God has to do with his people, as to preside in his name over them, to declare his will unto them, and bless them; and in things in which the people have to do with God, to offer to God a sacrifice for their sins, to present this sacrifice to him, to appear in his presence for them, to carry in their petitions, and plead their cause as their advocate:

to make reconciliation for the sins of the people; of God’s covenant people, the people he has chosen for himself, and given to his Son; and whom Christ saves from their sins, by making satisfaction for them, to the law and justice of God, which is here meant by reconciliation: and in order to this, which could not be done without blood, without sufferings and death, it was proper he should be man, and like unto his brethren: the allusion seems to be to the two goats on the day of atonement, one of which was to be slain, and the other let go; which were to be, as the Jews say, שוין, “alike”, in colour, in stature, and in price; and so were the birds to be alike in the same things, that were used at the cleansing of the leper: and the Jews tell us, that the high priest was to be greater than his brethren, in beauty, in strength, in wisdom, and in riches; all which is true of Christ. [Gill]

Answer – Christ, the Son of God, became man by taking to Himself a true body and a reasonable soul; being conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and born of her, yet without sin.

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Photo Credit: Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash

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