articlesqa May 26, 2015 jesus was made perfect
Ifeoluwapo Eleyinafe Article by Ifeoluwapo EleyinafeCreator and author of thinkheaven.com
Be­cause Je­sus is ful­ly God and ful­ly man, it be­comes con­fus­ing to talk about Him be­ing made per­fect. Yet, un­less we be­lieve that He is ful­ly God and ful­ly man, we can­not be Chris­tians.

Be­ing Made Per­fect

Let’s con­tin­ue the sec­ond part of the He­brews verse from the pre­vi­ous post He­brews 5:8-9. Verse 9 can be just as con­fus­ing as verse 8. How is Je­sus be­ing made per­fect? Isn’t He al­ready per­fect? 1 Pe­ter 2:22, He­brews 4:15, 1 John 3:5. The key word caus­ing con­fu­sion there is “be­ing”. It is easy to un­der­stand (maybe) that Je­sus was al­ready per­fect. Af­ter all, He is God. But this “be­ing” means that He some­how be­came more per­fect?? So how can Some­one in whom there was no im­per­fec­tion un­der­go a process where by He was made per­fect? Philip­pi­ans 2:7-8 uses this same word “be­ing” and this is word is our point of de­par­ture from every­thing.

About Time

Brace your­selves for a very brief ex­am­i­na­tion of Bib­li­cal time. There are two modes of time in the Bible. The first is tem­po­ral/earth time. This is what we are used to: past, present, fu­ture. I ate, I eat and I will eat. If you know a lit­tle physics, then you will un­der­stand that this tem­po­ral time is cou­pled with what we call space. Time and space are in­sep­a­ra­ble in this world that He has made.

There is how­ev­er an­oth­er sense of time in the Bible. You could think about it as Holy time. It’s not time the way we’re used to it. Holy time has no past or fu­ture. In­stead, in Holy Time all things are in the present. An­oth­er name for this Holy Time is Eter­ni­ty. Eter­ni­ty is what was be­fore “In the be­gin­ning” in Gen­e­sis 1:1 and Eter­ni­ty is what is af­ter “Amen” in Rev­e­la­tions 22:21. We tend to think of Eter­ni­ty as a ver­sion of our tem­po­ral time that goes on for­ev­er and for­ev­er. But this isn’t so. Go­ing on for­ev­er and for­ev­er is what we call “in­fin­i­ty”. In­fin­i­ty is not Eter­ni­ty. Eter­ni­ty is a dif­fer­ent thing all to­geth­er. A in­fi­nite num­ber of ap­ples will nev­er pro­duce one grape. So also, an in­fi­nite amount of tem­po­ral time will nev­er pro­duce Eter­ni­ty.

The words we have in any lan­guage can­not quite de­scribe Eter­ni­ty. The Bible de­fines Eter­ni­ty through com­par­i­son and jux­ta­po­si­tion. Con­sid­er what John writes about Je­sus and His ser­vants in Rev­e­la­tions 13:8. De­pend­ing on the trans­la­tion you use you will ei­ther see one of two things: ei­ther those who are saved were saved from be­fore the world be­gan or you will see Je­sus de­scribed as slain from be­fore the world be­gan. Ei­ther one blows the mind. God is Named The An­cient of Days Daniel 7:9 and fur­ther de­scribed as the first and the last Isa­iah 44:6 or as One who is from ever­last­ing to ever­last­ing Psalms 90:2. For Him, a thou­sand years are like a day and a day like a thou­sand years 2 Pe­ter 3:8. These de­scrip­tions tell us that ideas about tem­po­ral time can­not be ap­plied to God and Eter­ni­ty. Time for Him is just an­oth­er mea­sure­ment tool. God IS. There’s no was and there is no will be in Him. He IS. So also in Eter­ni­ty, there is no fu­ture and there is no past. There is no his­to­ry. All is present in Eter­ni­ty.

In Phil 2:6-7,9-11 we are speak­ing most­ly in the past tense to de­scribe how things ARE in Eter­ni­ty. These things are fixed, im­mov­able and ARE. But verse 7 through 8 in Phil 2:7-8 de­scribe Je­sus Christ in his­to­ry. He ac­quired a past, present and fu­ture be­cause He en­tered into tem­po­ral time with all of us. So the process of per­fec­tion that Je­sus went through was not de­scrib­ing how He IS in Eter­ni­ty. This be­ing made per­fect oc­curred in time and space. Note the pro­gres­sion in time in vers­es 7-8. He went from hu­mil­i­ty through obe­di­ence all the way to death even death on the cross. He marched in time. But the vers­es sur­round­ing 7-8 say noth­ing about Christ in time. No in­stead they speak of His State and Po­si­tion in Eter­ni­ty be­yond time. Now take a deep breath be­cause we’re about to go in a lit­tle deep­er.

The Build­ing Block Of Faith

Every­thing we just talked about in the pre­vi­ous sec­tion may seem con­fus­ing and dif­fi­cult to un­der­stand. In fact, if you have read the ar­ti­cles in the blog sec­tion, you may have be­gun to guess that Chris­tian­i­ty is a re­li­gion of para­dox. The truths of Chris­tian­i­ty are ei­ther fool­ish­ness to un­be­lief or para­dox when you do be­lieve. Amidst all these state­ments the Bible makes like “Je­sus learned obe­di­ence” or “be­ing made per­fect, Je­sus...”, it can be dif­fi­cult to keep straight the things you have to be­lieve as a Chris­t­ian. It sure would be nice if you could dis­till and con­cen­trate all of Chris­t­ian be­lief into one state­ment, into one fun­da­men­tal para­dox. So let us go ahead and do this.

Let us sup­pose you had a friend who told you to ex­press what it means to be a Chris­t­ian in as few words as pos­si­ble. Maybe even one sen­tence. What is the one thing you must be­lieve to help you be a prac­ti­cal Chris­t­ian? You may come up with many an­swers. My an­swer would be this: Be­lieve that Je­sus Christ is both ful­ly God and ful­ly man. Ah but that is my an­swer and well also the an­swer I learned from Kierkegaard (see Train­ing in Chris­tian­i­ty). But what does the Bible say? Let us look at what John says in 2 John 1:7. John says here that all de­ceit­ful preach­ing can be summed up by say­ing that Je­sus [The Fa­ther’s Son 2 John 1:3] did not come in the flesh. John, the apos­tle, is say­ing that you can know that some­one is preach­ing the truth if their preach­ing re­veals that Je­sus is both ful­ly God and ful­ly man. This truth that Je­sus is both ful­ly God and ful­ly man is the the fun­da­men­tal truth every Chris­t­ian must abide in. John calls it The Doc­trine of Christ 2 John 1:9.

He fur­ther warns that you have to be care­ful to con­tin­ue to abide and in this truth or you will eas­i­ly lose your faith 2 John 1:8. What does John mean by “abide”? He means that you have to make this truth your house. Make this truth of the full hu­man­i­ty and full God­hood of Je­sus your home. If you do not ac­tive­ly be­lieve in the full God­hood and full hu­man­i­ty of Je­sus Christ, then any­thing else you be­lieve about Je­sus will be in­com­plete and weak. You will not know the One you claim to be­lieve in. As John lat­er says in 2 John 1:9, only the one who abides in the doc­trine of Christ (from the Greek)has/pos­sess­es/is joined to both the Fa­ther and the Son. Re­mem­ber our de­f­i­n­i­tion of be­ing a Chris­t­ian: A Chris­t­ian is some­one who is in com­mu­ni­ty with God, Je­sus and the Holy Spir­it. Well, it is im­pos­si­ble to be in com­mu­ni­ty with God and Je­sus, if you are not joined to God and Je­sus. John says that you can only be joined to both God and Je­sus, if and only if you abide in the truth that Je­sus is both ful­ly God and ful­ly man. There­fore, un­less your fun­da­men­tal truth is that Je­sus is both ful­ly God and ful­ly man, you can­not be a Chris­t­ian.

In Prac­tice...

It is be­cause of this fun­da­men­tal para­dox of Chris­tian­i­ty that we have state­ments like “Je­sus learned obe­di­ence” or “be­ing made per­fect, Je­sus...”. It is be­cause He is both ful­ly God and ful­ly man that these state­ments are even pos­si­ble. It is noth­ing to say that a man or a woman learned obe­di­ence or was made per­fect. But to say that God! learned obe­di­ence?! That makes no sense. It is fool­ish­ness for un­be­lief but a para­dox, the build­ing block of faith, to those who be­lieve 1 Cor 1:18.

It is the full hu­man­i­ty of Je­sus that al­lowed Him to die but be­cause He was ful­ly God, He rose on East­er Sun­day. The full hu­man­i­ty of Je­sus al­lowed His sac­ri­fice on the cross to be for all men and women. If He was only God, not only could He not have died, His sac­ri­fice could not have been for me be­cause He is not like me. It is be­cause of His full hu­man­i­ty that He could speak to me on my lev­el. Yet be­cause He is ful­ly God, His Word is not a sug­ges­tion but a Com­mand. So all this talk about Je­sus be­ing only a great teacher goes out the win­dow. He is God so He doesn’t just teach, He Com­mands. As a full hu­man be­ing, He is my High Priest who knows what it is to suf­fer like we do but as God He is my King and Lord who can still tell me what to do.

This brings us back to the whole of He­brews 5:8-9. Verse 9 con­cludes that Je­sus be­came a source of sal­va­tion to all who obey Him. He is only this source of sal­va­tion by be­ing made per­fect. We’ll talk more about this next. Con­sid­er the fol­low­ing though. If Je­sus was not ful­ly hu­man, He could not have been made per­fect and there­fore, could not have be­come the source of eter­nal sal­va­tion. Yet, if He was not God, He could not be obeyed into eter­nal sal­va­tion. You can obey any­one into a tem­po­ral sal­va­tion. But only those who be­come obe­di­ent to God, are eter­nal­ly saved Matthew 7:21. (See the two pre­vi­ous ar­ti­cles on obe­di­ence.)

If you are a Chris­t­ian, lay out every­thing you be­lieve about Je­sus and weigh them against the truth of His full God­hood and full hu­man­i­ty. You will see that un­less you be­lieve what John says, all your oth­er be­liefs grow weak­er and then maybe cease to ex­ist.

WHAT JESUS LEARNED
The ques­tion here is ask­ing you to step into the shoes of God and spec­u­late about why He Might have cre­at­ed the tree of the knowl­edge of good and evil and then giv­en Adam the com­mand not to eat it. This seems im­pos­si­ble. It is dif­fi­cult enough to walk in Abra­ham’s shoes but now you must imag­ine your­self to be God?! As with all ques­tions re­quir­ing your imag­i­na­tion, it is im­por­tant to 1 be hum­ble. Do not be quick to judge. Do not trust your own imag­i­na­tive ca­pac­i­ties. Do not think you know the per­son so well. 2 Pa­tient­ly study the life of the per­son in ques­tion to dis­cern true dif­fer­ences and sim­i­l...
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In The Wid­ow’s Oil, our last ar­ti­cle about dis­ci­ple­ship, I said that Je­sus re­vealed The Holy Trin­i­ty when He said, “I Am The True Vine and My Fa­ther Is The Vine­dress­er.” I only hint­ed at the ex­pla­na­tion which will be com­plet­ed in this ar­ti­cle. Now as I write, I will of­ten say sons which means sons and daugh­ters. But I re­main with sons be­cause Je­sus Is The Son of God. Now this ar­ti­cle is lit­tle long. But if God Gives you in­sight into Him­self, then you will per­ceive how short it is. “I Am The True Vine and My Fa­ther is the Vine­dress­er.” So many Names Eter­nal­ly robed in that sin­gle Name, “My Fa­ther”. I...
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When an­swer­ing any ques­tion, you must con­sid­er the space of rea­son and imag­i­na­tion the ques­tion is invit­ing you to en­ter. This par­tic­u­lar ques­tion is about . It in­vites you to imag­ine your self in the place of Abra­ham and asks you to con­sid­er whether you would do as Abra­ham did. The ques­tion then is dan­ger­ous be­cause: 1 You can­not ap­prox­i­mate Abra­ham by your imag­i­na­tion. You did not walk away from 70 years of idol­a­try among a na­tion of idol wor­shipers to wor­ship The Liv­ing God in a for­eign land. You did not wait till you were al­most dead for the child that God Promised you. You don’t know what th...
Would you sacrifice your child if God asked you to?September 15, 2020

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” - Colossians 2:3

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