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FLESH AND BLOOD
It is claimed by some that the words “flesh and blood” when used concerning Jesus, are to be spiritually understood. Without stating what the spiritual meaning of flesh and blood could be, they adopt an old style and cheap method of reasoning (?) by intimating that the natural and worldly minded should not be expected to appreciate this statement, but that all spiritually minded should see it at a glance.
If we test this theory by the word of God, it soon proves to be unscriptural, as well as illogical. The words flesh and blood used over and over again in the Scriptures, always refer to human nature. Take your concordance and verify this. It is impossible to conceive of any spiritual meaning to apply to this expression which will meet all the demands of the case, and probably it is for this reason that our contemporary did not attempt it.
The text chosen, from which to teach this idea, is John 6:51, “My flesh I will give for the life of the world.” This, without other evidence, is quite sufficient to refute the idea; for if by Jesus’ flesh and blood “given for the life of the world,” we are to understand Jesus’ spiritual nature, then Jesus cannot now nor ever be a spiritual being, seeing he has given that FOR the life of the world. This is the logical conclusion whatever way you look at it: If the common (unscriptural) view of the wages of sin be taken, viz.—spiritual death [or estrangement from God and deadness to all that is holy and good and pure] it would prove that Christ gave up his harmony with God, his holiness, and purity, that we might come to enjoy such spiritual life as he gave for the life of the world. If on the contrary we take the more Scriptural view of death, viz., extinction, and apply it to spiritual (?) “flesh and blood,” “given for the life of the world,” the case would stand thus: Jesus gave [hence ceased to possess] life as a spiritual being, [became extinct] in order to procure life for man. To this we answer that if his spiritual existence were given for man’s he could not now possess a spiritual existence, having forfeited or “given” it for mankind. The fact that Christ Jesus does live—a spiritual being—is clear proof that it was not his spiritual existence that was “given for the life of the world,” and hence proves that the “flesh and blood” given, in no sense represents a sacrifice of spiritual being.
Is it asked, Could not Jesus have “given” a part of his spiritual being and
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retained part? We answer, No, not if he is to be believed; for he says, that when he was a man, he gave ALL THAT HE HAD to effect the purchase. (Matt. 13:44.)
On the contrary how simple the argument and how logical and scriptural, that He who was in the form of God (spiritual) became or was “made flesh” [human] in order that he might give “a corresponding price,” substitute or ransom for the condemned fleshly race. (See the definition of RANSOM—Greek, antilutron, 1 Tim. 2:6, in Young’s An. Concordance.) Yes, the man Christ Jesus gave himself—all that he had, a ransom for all, for “as by man came death by man also came the resurrection of the dead.” (1 Cor. 15:21.) And to this definition the facts all agree, for he never took back the “flesh and blood,” he never will take back our ransom price. Though put to death in the flesh, he was quickened in the Spirit. 1 Pet. 3:18. Diaglott. For a showing of how we “eat and drink,” or appropriate by faith that human perfection which was “given” for us, and through the (eating) appropriation of which we obtain justification from all the imperfections of the fall, which justified condition is the basis or platform from which the Gospel Church is called to sacrifice and to obtain the divine nature, see the article under this same caption in our issue of April ’84.
This latest device to obtain a Scriptural hook upon which to hand the no-ransom theory—that we were not bought with the precious blood of Christ as an equivalent price, is certainly a weak effort, though a bold one.
— January, 1885 —
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