Jim McGuiggan, Author
Curs Deus homo? A Latin phrase meaning: “Why [did] God [become] human?” This was and is a basic theological question related mainly to the atonement.
I won’t take the time to develop what believers from NT times until the modern era have insisted on but I want to state it clearly.
The atonement for sin and the reconciliation of the world to God is the work of God and not man!
Shelving for now any discussion about the physical and non-human aspects of creation let me say that God became human to deal with the sin of the human family so that the human family could be restored to life in fellowship with God.
It is God who deals with human sin so that it is rendered powerless to be and to sustain what alienates humanity from God.
It’s a central truth of the NT that it is in and through the man Jesus that such a restoration is brought about—that is beyond reasonable dispute. But that is where the doctrine of the Incarnation enters with peculiar force. Jesus is the incarnation of God!
God didn’t come to us merely in and through Jesus; he came to us as Jesus. Jesus is God being a man—the man, Jesus! So, while the reconciliation of the world is accomplished through the man Jesus it is only accomplished through the man Jesus because the man Jesus is God being the man Jesus. It is God incarnate in and as the man Jesus who reconciles the world to himself (2 Corinthians 5:18).
It isn’t that the human family produced a man that did the job. Jesus is certainly a human, fully a human and nothing less than a human. But Jesus is God being a true human in order to do for the human family what it could not do for itself. To stress the truth that Jesus is God being a man is not to deny the true humanity of Jesus but it is to stress that we didn’t produce of ourselves the answer to our awful need. Jesus is truly “one of us” but he is one of us because God chose and chooses to be “one of us”.
God came in and as the man Jesus to be the champion of humans against the powers of darkness which, in whatever form they take, are too powerful for us. He didn’t come to condemn us because we had done a perfect job of that all by ourselves—he came to save and give us life (John 3:17).
©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.