The Three Reasons Why Jesus Came...
There seems to be a 3-fold pattern for most of the things of God in the Bible. For example we see God revealing Himself as the Father of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, each revealing a part of God’s nature and purpose in His processes for the human race. Each of His revealed identity captures something of His purpose and all three give us a more correct picture of God’s plans and purposes. The God of Abraham reveals the aspect of God as One who provides even in the most impossible situation. He is more than able to do the impossible when we believe, have faith in His Word (like Abraham) and participate in His plans for our lives. The God of Isaac is the One who expects us to walk in submission and obedience. Isaac was revealed as one who was in subjection to his father and all through his life God’s purposes were fulfilled as he stayed in submission, even to the point of submission to death. To walk with the God of Isaac is to walk in submission to His will for your life. The God of Jacob is He who changes natures to fulfill His will for our lives. Jacob received the blessing through deceit but did not experience the fullness of it until some price had been paid and his nature changed with a name change. These all reveal the different aspects of God’s processes that need to be taken together to interpret the seasons in our lives and how to respond to them. This will also help us know how to understand what we are going through and how to participate with God’s purposes in the seasons of life we find ourselves in.
There are three known motivations for anything we do in life. They are fear, duty (obligation) and love. These represent the must-do, have-to-do and want-to-do motivations. All three have their place in our developmental processes. The fear of punishment is the usual motivation we see in the Bible when people are faced with the consequences of disobedience. Then we see the sense of obligation (duty) to obey God. This is followed by the love motivation which pleases God. This is where God’s full purposes can be experienced. Our greatest motivation is and should be love.
We see something similar in the words of Jesus when He said He is the way, the truth and the life. He is the way to the Father, as He provided, through His sacrifice on the cross, the possibility of our acceptance, becoming sons, and He gives us a new identity and authority as believers. This elicits our thanksgiving. He is the Truth. Truth is a person as well as reality. When we come to God through the Way, we encounter the Truth who challenges us with the Word and the Word confronts the true states of our hearts. This is when we begin the transformation process, as we let go of the lower life in favour of the higher life. Our humanity and self life is challenged as we progress from the ‘outer court’ to the ‘holy place’. He is the Life when ‘it is no longer I who lives but Christ lives in me’ and ‘the life I live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God.’ This is where it is none of me but all of Him. He is the life. Once again we see progression in the process of God captured by the 3 dimensions of the outer court, holy place and holiest of all. In each dimension we can have the difference between thanksgiving, praise and worship. Sometimes we experience different dimensions in the different aspects of our lives.
These are the three reasons why Jesus came: He came to take our place in a DIVINE EXCHANGE; He came to show us the pattern for living as a DIVINE PATTERN and he came to show us the true nature of the Father-God as the DIVINE REVELATION OF THE FATHERHOOD OF GOD.
"For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor. 5:21). This is the aspect of His substitution on the cross. He became poor so we can become rich. He took our place in rejection so that we can gain acceptance from the Father. By the stripes He took, we are promised healing. Our faith in the finished work of Calvary helps us appropriate the benefits. His suffering made available to us. The streams of teachings on faith, spiritual warfare, pulling down strongholds, prosperity and new creation realities all come through this aspect of Jesus coming to the earth. God’s attitude to sin is seen here: He sees sin as that which needs the blood of His Son to cleanse the human race. The Son carried the judgment of sin on behalf of the human race. This aspect also helps us to see how Satan operates in utilising sin as a means to deceive humanity and the power of the blood of Jesus over the works of darkness. We also see the concepts of authority and how the choices we make determine whose authority we are under. The finished work of Calvary gives us a new identity, a new authority (in His Name as believers) and a power to choose to live above sin by the Holy Spirit. How well established we are in this is very much dependent on how we are taught and how much we meditate, internalise and act on these truths to effect the renewal of our minds so we can walk in the will of God. We come into a new position in our relationship with God simply because we accept what Jesus Christ did for us at His death burial and resurrection. This is the divine exchange. We need to be strong in the grace that this dimension brings to us.
DIVINE PATTERN OF SONSHIP
“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren”. (Romans 8:29). He died to set us free but His life, death, burial and resurrection also shows us a pattern for us in living according to His will. This is the aspect of character formation, where inner attitudes and attributes like humility, intimacy and faithfulness are cultivated. The main issues here are that character-tests precede kingdom –promotions. He died and we are supposed to die to ourselves. Our flesh needs putting under. He carried His cross and we are supposed to be ready to carry ours. A body was prepared for Him as He was to lay His body in death, and we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice. Our motives and focus come to bear on our servant’s heart for God’s kingdom purposes. The death process of the grain of wheat come into focus here. We undergo the process of denying the self, taking up our cross and following Him. (see John 12:24-26). In our death process, all the trappings of the old nature and its effects on our souls undergo death. Paul says “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ lives in me and the life I live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20). This aspect is not popularly preached because dying to self is not always palatable neither is it found when happiness is our ultimate goal in our Christian faith. Our motive in life should be our love for God and our focus should be Christ and His Kingdom.
DIVINE REVELATION OF THE FATHERHOOD OF GOD
He is the way to the Father-heart of God. God is a Father and He sent His Son to reveal His fatherhood nature. Christ lived his life to show us how to live with the Father and to reveal how the Father thinks and functions. God is a Father and His goodness far surpasses the best of fathers on earth. Scripture says the family in heaven and earth is named after God the Father (Eph. 3: 14-15). Understanding God as a father implies some maturity in us as we mature into sonship. In spiritual growth we have children, young men and fathers (1 John 2:12-17). We also have carnal and spiritual Christians. Maturity helps our appreciation of the fatherhood of God. Our knowledge of God is incomplete if we do not come to the realisation that He is the Father of all who come to Him through Christ. In the story of the prodigal son, we see the fatherhood of God exemplified (Luke 15:11-32). He seems to be more interested in restoring His son than in checking him for purity or holiness and obedience. This insight into the nature of God should not be seen to negate the other reasons why Jesus was sent to us. Many such acts make some people erroneously believe that they can play with sin and God is not so interested in counting sin, He simply winks at it because He is a loving father. Nothing could be far from the truth. Sin destroys everything in its path. We need to confess and forsake it so we can enjoy our fellowship with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ. Pleasing the Father should be uppermost in our affections for everything in life. Sons train their affections to come into alignment with the Father’s pleasure. Knowing God as your Father will minister a deep sense of destiny and acceptance. You will understand how to walk with Him, taking initiatives where necessary in your walk of faith. Our prayer life takes on a new level of boldness, intimacy and clarity. The Father commits more to faithful sons who by practice have exercised and trained themselves to discern between good and evil. They can carry command and execute God-given assignments as sons who know the will of the Father and His times and seasons. Jesus came to show us the Father-God. We need to have a face-to-face relationship with God when we know Him as our loving heavenly Father. We must cultivate a heart felt passion for God. This will lead to us having quality times in His presence. Many things happen when people have a real relationship with God as their Father.
MANY STREAMSFLOW INTO THE RIVER OF PURPOSE
Many have majored on one of these aspects, thinking that they have the whole picture, only to find out later that they do not have answers to the challenges they face. They need the other aspects or streams of knowledge to successfully navigate in the river of God’s purposes on the earth. Each aspect has a way of affecting those who are strong in it. I see God’s process go through these steps: revelation; responsibility and relationship. If you read through the book of Ephesians as a whole, you see the progression: revelation of who we are in Christ, what we have in Him and then we see our need to take responsibility for our thoughts, words and actions. These all flow into our ability to build godly relationships that will enhance God’s will on earth. The three aspects why Jesus came can be seen in this light. Jesus came as an exchange for us; we need the revelation of these issues. As our divine pattern, we take responsibility for our development into the nature of Christ. All these flow into our relationship with the Father God. Many sons will come into the glorious liberty of their being sons of God, if we comprehend, appropriate and demonstrate the realities that we are studying in this write-up. We have our part to play and God will play His part but coming into this fullness is our privilege and responsibility. May we bless the heart of the Father as we honour all that the Son has done and we come into the full pleasures of the heart of God.