What Human Nature Did Jesus Take? Unfallen

What Greek terms underlie the key words and phrases in the discussion? What was Christ’s primary mission? What limits does His primary mission impose on the human nature He took in the Incarnation?

June 28, 1985

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Written by Benjamin Rand

Seventh-day Adventist theology presents two alternative views concerning the human nature of Jesus Christ. Christ had a sinful human nature because He had a sinful mother like the rest of us, or He had a sinless human nature because, unlike the rest of us, He had God for His Father.1 The first view stresses His identity with man; the second focuses on His uniqueness as man. Some try to bridge the two by saying Jesus had a sinful physical nature but His human birth was like our new birth—born of the Spirit. They say that Jesus began in Bethlehem, where we begin when born again. Others suggest that the parallel breaks down under investigation. They believe that Jesus was both sinful and sinless in human nature, sinful only in that He took sin-weakened physical nature but sinless in that He never became sin in birth. Are we simply left to take our pick? Does it really matter which view we choose? Is this merely academic hair splitting, with no practical meaning? I believe we must understand Christ’s human nature to really appreciate what He endured, how He alone can be our Saviour, how He can be our example, our utter need of His substitution all the way to the kingdom, and our urgent need of a Christ-centered, not man-centered, outlook. These practical implications will bec