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PERFECTING THE NEW NATURE
„For it became him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”—Heb. 2:10
Jesus was not made perfect as a man; for as such he was perfect, else he could not have been our ransom. One imperfect being could not redeem other imperfect beings. As shown in the typical sacrifices for sin under the law, the sacrifice must be without blemish. So, too, with the antitype—the real sin-offering—the Lamb of God, that took away the sin of the world, was perfect—without a single blemish—”a lamb without spot.”
God only created two men—the first man Adam; and the second man, the Lord from heaven—the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all. Both men were perfect. The first lost his perfection through disobedience, and involved his race in ruin. The second retained his perfection and right to life by obedience—but laid down or sacrificed those rights as a ransom for the life of the first man and his race—thus justifying the Adamic race to the human life and perfection lost.
To suppose imperfection in Jesus, as a man, is to suppose sin in him, because imperfections are marks of sin. And, on the contrary, if he was perfect as a man, he could not be made perfect as a man; hence, we say, he was not thus perfected.
To appreciate how he was perfected, we must recognize the fact that there are various planes of being in God’s universe, and perfection on each plane. Thus, there is a perfection of the Divine nature, another perfection of the angelic nature, another of the human nature, another of the dog’s nature, and another of the fish, etc. These various natures are sometimes divided into two general classes: All earthly natures are called „animal,” though each animal has a perfection of its own; all heavenly natures are called spiritual, though each grade of spiritual being has a perfection of its own.
The lowest grade of spiritual beings known to us—angels—is superior to the highest grade of earthly beings—man. (Psalm 8:5.) The highest plane of spiritual existence—the Divine nature—is superior to all other grades of spiritual nature, as the highest grade of animal nature—the human—is superior to other animal or earthly natures. (See „Food„—page 134.)
Jesus, before he became a man, was a spiritual being, of a nature superior to angels, because, when he was about to humble himself and lay aside his glory to become man’s ransom, „he took not on him the nature of angels,” but came still lower, and „was found in fashion as a man.” We know, too, that though he had „a form of God” (a spiritual form), yet he could not have possessed the Divine nature then, because the divine or immortal nature is deathless—death-proof. It is an impossibility for an immortal being to die. Jehovah cannot die, and we know, therefore, that had Jesus been a partaker of that nature he need not have come into the world to die for our sins; for, if immortal, the most he could have done would have been to pretend to die and pretend to be raised to life again. Such an idea would be charging Jehovah and our Lord with hypocrisy and deception.
The divine nature was part of the reward for our Lord’s sacrifice. His gaining the divine nature depended on the sacrificing of his human nature. As the sacrificing of the human rights and privileges progressed, his right to the divine was increased; when the sacrifice ended at Calvary, the full right to the divine nature was secured. To this agree the words of the Apostle: He was obedient even unto death—”Wherefore, God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name above every name.” (Phil. 2:9.) Here we see the perfecting—it was the divine nature being perfected by the obedience of the already perfect human nature. See also, „Jesus Made Perfect„—Z.W.T., Jan., 1882, page 3.
Let us add, that such, also, is the perfecting now in progress in the „Church which is his body.” We are called in him, as joint-heirs, to share this high calling—the divine nature. (2 Pet. 1:4.) We seek not and expect not the perfecting of the human nature, but, realizing its justification by our ransom price—Jesus—we sacrifice it to obtain the other: We are new creatures in Christ Jesus, and, as such, labor and wait for that divine—immortal—perfection promised us, when we shall be like him who is „the express image of the Father’s person.”
The next age will witness the perfecting of the human nature and blot out all the marks of sin and imperfection, and man will again be very good in the sight of the perfect Creator.
— March, 1883 —