Four

The Pre-fall Nature Could Not Die

Now we are brought to a dilemma.

If Jesus possessed Adam's unfallen nature, it was not possible for Him to die except by sinning or by changing those rules under which He had submitted to live His earthly life. By doing either, the plan of salvation would have been thwarted. Some might suggest that by assuming man's guilt and being made sin for us, Jesus' nature was also changed so that it could experience death. But this is not the case. The vicarious assumption of our guilt for sin would not have changed His human nature. sin did not enter His life to corrupt or defile. He only received those sins vicariously, which means He took them AS THOUGH they were His own, even though they were not.

But please mark this important distinction: When He assumed human nature, He did not do it vicariously. He did not live here AS THOUGH He were a man. He actually took human nature. He became one of us in reality.

Therefore, the vicarious assumption of man's guilt did not enter His life to corrupt that nature with actual sin. Whatever human nature He had experienced for 33 years was still with Him, and He carried it to the cross with Him. He was just as holy after assuming our guilt as He was before. The only change was in the way God looked on Him and dealt with Him judicially.

According to God's creation edict, man's conditional immortality could be lost ONLY by COMMITTING sin. It could not be lost through some vicarious ACCOUNTING of guilt. Only the defiling influence of sin entering the heart could bring a change of nature that would make man subject to death. This never happened to Jesus.

His being accounted as guilty did not make Him guilty. But His human nature was not just accounted to Him: it was real. And He had to accept that reality through His entire life, even in the experience of death on the cross. ^e fact that He submitted to that death is proof positive that He was not acting in harmony with the requirements of a pre-fall nature.

some claim that it does not matter what we believe on this question of Christ's incarnate nature, but the truth is that tremendous issues hinge on this question. if i choose to believe that Jesus came in the unfallen nature, there is no way for me to avoid one of the following conclusions:

1. He could not die to pay the penalty for my sin, or

2. He Himself sinned in order to become subject to death, or

3. He had to exercise His divine power to change the human nature He had assumed, in order to escape the limitations it imposed. Only thus could He be made subject to the death required for the atonement. The unfallen nature could not die.

Anyone of those three things would have thwarted His ability to fulfill His substitutionary role as our Redeemer.

It has been claimed that those who follow the post-fall doctrine of Christ's nature thereby make Him guilty of sin. I'd like to suggest that only those who believe in the pre-fall nature project such a distorted view. In fact, theirs is the only position that makes it necessary for Christ to sin in order to accomplish the plan of salvation.

The Prelapsarians sincerely believe that to be born with Adam's fallen nature would make Jesus guilty of sin. Consequently, in an abortive attempt to remove Him from being subject to sin, they remove Him from being subject to death!

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