Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Best Class...for the Umpteenth Time!

Yes. For the umpteenth time. If you were to ask me what my favourite class has been so far at ARISE, I'm afraid I'd have to give you a list. It would look something like this (in chronological order):

Who is God?
Abiding in Christ
Does God Exist? (Apologetics/Faith and Reason)
Dos and Don'ts of Evangelism
Marriage, Family, and Relationships
Origin of Evil
Understanding Homosexuality
Building Community
Nature of Inspiration

And for today's best class ever: Nature of Christ.

No, the list above is not a list of all the classes we have had (but it does contain the majority). I've especially enjoyed these, and it would be really hard to pick my favourite from the list. So I thought I would let you have it all, as it also gives a bird's-eye view of the kinds of classes we are taking.

But back to today's best class! Awesome insights poured into my mind and created a fountain into my heart, as the beautiful truth of Christ as our High Priest who can ultimately "sympathize with our weaknesses," and was in "all points tempted as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15), became clear for the first time (along with Romans 8:3 which says God sent His Son "in the likeness of sinful flesh"). After being informed on the controversy over the subject and the two extreme views, we learned that truth is found in the tension between two extremes—like having a string on an instrument perfectly tuned by finding just the right tension (not too tight, not too loose).

It took us about 4 hours to explore just one aspect of the subject, so this won't do it justice, but I'll try to summarize in a few paragraphs.

THE ISSUE: Did Jesus have our pre-Fall human nature or our post-Fall human nature? That is, was He like Adam before the fall—able to form a righteous character by obedience to God's law? Or was He like Adam after the fall—with all the same sinful propensities and inclinations as we have? The two extremes take sides on opposite sides of a huge chasm, using SOP and Scripture to defend and disprove. But the conclusion we came to was simple, Bible-based, SOP-confirmed, true gospel, and life-changing.

First, we studied Jesus in the wilderness and discovered that He was tempted in the three leading temptations found in 1 John 2:15-17: lust of the flesh, pride of life, and lust of the eyes. (All other forms of temptation come from these three leading temptations.) Not only that, but He was tempted to the most ultimate extreme at His weakest and loneliest moment, facing temptations a hundred times greater than anything we will ever have to face.

This surely was eye-opening, but before we could move on we had to overcome the hurdle in our minds that Jesus was not exactly the same as we are. He was God. He actually hated and recoiled from sin and sinful things. We love and run to sin and sinful things. However, when tempted, His human will longed to do something good (like turning stones into bread) both to satisfy His hunger (lust of the flesh), and to answer the devil's "if you are the Son of God" challenge. If He did this, He would have relied on His own divine power, and this was not His Father's will; thus, it would have been sin, because anything that is not God's will is sin.

In summary, I wrote in class:
Christ's human will was His human nature, which is the same as our human will. Our human will is inclined to rely on our human self; Jesus' human will was inclined to rely on His divine self. Thus He meets us at the ROOT of our fallen human nature: SELF.
Then, He took that fallen human will/nature to the cross and left it crushed through the second death—rising only with His glorified human body and divine nature. And in Christ, we can have the same experience. "Christ took our fallen human nature so that He could overcome in our nature in our behalf, and give us perfect obedience as a gift" (James Rafferty, our instructor today). Nothing we do can add to what Christ did in our behalf. This is the true message of righteousness by faith, clearly seen in the truth about the human nature of Christ! And now I understand both truths more clearly. Today's class was truly life-changing, paradigm-shifting, and heart-filling.

This was the best class ever. 

**If you want a more detailed version, or some texts and quotes, just ask, and I'll try to get them to you. For more "Best Class" synopses, stay tuned! Eventually, I will get to that list...or I hope to, at least :)

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Val, you came away from this class with a different view of what the main point is. Interesting how a truth can be so multi-faceted that it looks different to different people.


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