Thursday, April 03, 2008

God dwells in the flesh

In the Book of Daniel chapter 2 we read the story of King Nebuchadnezzar requesting his astrologers, seers, and men of wisdom to retell him a dream he had - which let him disturbed - and its interpretation. Baffled by the request his men tried to reason with the King, but he insisted. They said to the King, “…, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation of it” Daniel 2:7. The King then accused them of playing games to buy time and threatened to killed all the wise men in his kingdom if the matter was not told to him. These men had to admit that they were incapable of fulfilling the King’s request. They said to the King in Daniel 2: 10-11,

Daniel 2: 10 … There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king's matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.
Daniel 2: 11And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

We can see what these pagans believed. They believed in gods who were far off from men, not only in physical distance, but also in affection. Daniel, of course, proves them wrong. God uses Daniel to retell the matter to the King and give its interpretation. God Himself gave the dream to the King. It was His intention to let know the whole world that not only does He want to dwell among us He also cares about us. His name is after all, Immanuel – God with us (Matthew 1:23). Yes, God lives in His sanctuary. In fact, we could say that every where God dwells is His sanctuary. So, when God dwell in us we are His sanctuary. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16). But, this is only possible because Christ – the Son of God – dwelt among us as the Son of man.

We read in Matthew 16:13 – 17 about Jesus asking the disciples who He was. Let us read the passage,

Matthew16:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
Matthew16:14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
Matthew16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
Matthew16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Matthew16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

Who do men today say Jesus Christ is? The answer to that question depends on what you believe. It seems Peter believed God could dwell in the likeness of Sinful flesh (Romans 8:3). The question today is, “What do men today believe?” I would dare say they are still pagan in nature. Pagans would continue to believe this notion of “gods whose dwelling is not in the flesh.” The evolutionists do not believe God can exist, so to them that a man can be God in the flesh is foolishness. They have started from a different premise, but they end with the same conclusion of the pagans. To, both pagans and evolutionists, Jesus Christ cannot be God. (This, by the way, is the same thing the Jews said.)

To the majority of Christians Christ is God. To them, since God cannot dwell in the flesh and evidently He did, then the flesh must be different than ours. Most Christians believe Jesus could not assume sinful nature. But, the Bible says, “He was made Sin, who knew no Sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21). He was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Many Christians start then with the same premise of the pagans, but end in the totally opposite of the argument: denying that Christ came in the flesh. Either way you go, you are denying that Christ is the Savior of the world. Who do you say the Son of man is?