Gnostic Doctrine

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

THE DIVINE SIDE OF CHRIST

THE “WORD” BEFORE THE BIRTH OF CHRIST





How did the Lord proclaim things while he existed in flesh and after he had revealed himself as Son of God? He lived in this place where you remain, speaking about the Law of Nature - but I call it 'Death'. Now the Son of God, Rheginos, was Son of Man. He embraced them both, possessing the humanity and the divinity, so that on the one hand he might vanquish death through his being Son of God, and that on the other through the Son of Man the restoration to the Pleroma might occur; because he was originally from above, a seed of Truth, before this structure had come into being. In this many dominions and divinities came into existence.  (The Treatise on the Resurrection)


E.H.H.—

the “Word” existed before the birth of Jesus Christ; but what was the Word? John answers, “The Word was God.” Jesus was “God manifest in the flesh.”

The orthodox view is that he was the Son of God incarnate.

This is the difference between orthodox and biblical belief on the point. Jesus was not the Son incarnate, but the Father manifested by the Spirit, the result being a Son, the first-born of many brethren, (Rom. 8:29) who become sons of God by adoption through Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:26; 4:5.) The “Word” is the Spirit used as the medium of the Father’s purpose. This is shown by the angel’s description of the process by which the Word became flesh (Luke 1:35.)

Christ is the work of God in a sense in which man is not, that the glory of the triumph wrought out in him may be to God, and that human nature may have no room for the self-satisfied, self-approving which is so common with man.

To see the full force of this idea we must realise the divine side of Christ. In all the discourses of Christ, the Father is brought forward as the great initiator and operator in the case. This is his style of language: "I came down from Heaven not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me" (Jn. 6:38). "I am not come of myself (Jn. 6:28). 'The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself, but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works" (Jn. 14:10). "I am come in my Father's name" (Jn. 5:43). "I can of mine own self do nothing" (Jn. 5:30). "He that sent me is with me" (Jn. 8:29). "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father. How sayest thou, then, shew us the Father" (Jn. 14:9). So with the apostles: Paul speaks (Eph. 1:5) of the Father, "having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ το HIMSELF according to the good pleasure of His will. "

Again he says (Rom. 3:23), "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God, being justified FREELY BY HIS GRACE through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." And again, in the 1lth chapter of the same letter, at the 32nd verse: "God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all." Again, in his second letter to the Corinthians (vv. 18-19), he tells us that God hath reconciled us unto HIMSELF by Jesus Christ; and that God was in Christ, reconciling the world UNTO HIMSELF. And again, in his letter to Titus (3:4): "The kindness and love of GOD our SAVIOUR toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His MERCY, He saved us." And in chap. 2:11: "For the GRACE OF GOD that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men."

It is the grace of God, then — the act of God — that we see in the introduction of Christ upon the scene to open a way for mercy with wisdom and justice. This required that he should appear in the nature of Abraham and David,which was sinful nature.

How then, some say, was he, with sinful flesh, to be sinless? God's relation to the matter is the answer. God did it. The weak flesh could not do it. Jesus was God manifest in the flesh, that the glory might be to God. The light in his face is the light of the Father's glory. As to how the Father could be manifest in a man with an independent mind, we need not trouble ourselves. We are ignorant as to how the Father performs any of the many wonders of His power —

We know a thousand things as facts, but we are utterly ignorant of the mode of invisible working by which these facts have their existence. We receive them, though we do not understand them. If it be so with things in nature, our inability to define or conceive the process need be no difficulty in the way of receiving a heavenly fact.

For who can contemplate the superhuman personage shown in the gospel account without seeing that the Father is manifest in him? When did ever man behave, act, perform, miricals like this man?

When spoke the most gifted of men like this? Is he not manifestly revealed the moral and intellectual image of the invisible God? Is he not — last Adam though he be — is he not "the Lord from heaven"?

But what are we to say to the plain declaration emanant from the mouth of the Lord himself, that the beholder looking on him, saw the Father, and that the Father within him by the Spirit — (for as he said on the subject of eating his flesh, it is the Spirit that maketh alive: the flesh profiteth nothing) — was the doer and the speaker?

By nature God cannot die, be tempted etc. It is evident that Christ was not of God's nature during his life. He was therefore totally of human nature. From our definition of the word 'nature' it should be evident that Christ could not have had two natures simultaneously. It was vital that Christ was tempted like us (Heb. 4:15), so that through his perfect overcoming of temptation he could gain forgiveness for us.

the flesh of Christ as a mixture of human with "divine substance."

God was manifest in Jesus, and that Jesus was of our nature, and "touched with the feeling of our infirmities," as Paul declares, and "tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin."


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