Answering a Bible Critic for a Friend
This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth, 1st John 1:6.
A man dear to me was recently forewarned by his pastor about an upcoming sermon. He warned him that he would be quoting author John G. Butler in his Sunday morning sermon. The author had written that Luke 1:35 as translated in the King James Bible was despicable when it used the term "holy thing". My friend asked for my comment. I have copied it below.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 1st John 1:1. “THAT”, what is that? Did their hands handle the soul of Jesus Christ? Did they handle his spirit? Whatever they handled had been from the beginning. They handled his flesh, his body. Their eyes saw it.
How could his body have been from the beginning? And the Word was made flesh, John 1:14. The Word, which was from the beginning was made flesh. It was so much made flesh that Jesus could say, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; John 14:19. When they looked at his flesh, they saw the Father. How? because, it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell, Colossians 1:19. How much of the Godhead dwelt in Jesus Christ? Every person in the Godhead dwelt in Jesus Christ.
In John 14:18, Jesus shows that just as he currently dwelt with the disciples, he would later come to them as the Holy Ghost, I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Read the context. Just as his flesh is composed of the Word and of the Father, it is composed of the Holy Ghost. The Apostle Paul explained that; For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, Colossians 2:9.
His spirit is eternal. It has always existed. His soul is eternal. It has always existed. His body was made. It was made of the seed of David according to the flesh, Romans 1:3. That is the mother’s contribution to his flesh. The Father’s contribution is the fullness of the Godhead. His flesh is so much God that when it lay in the grave without its spirit or its soul, Peter called it the Holy one. He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption, Acts 2:31. What verse was he expositing?; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption, Acts 2:27. He is quoting Psalms 16 which prophesied of the Holy One. Peter identified the dead body of Jesus Christ as being deity in its own right.
The flesh of Jesus Christ is God. That is why John said, Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us, 1st John 1:16. How could God die? To understand how God died, we need to understand what death is. Physical death is separation from the spirit. When the spirit leaves the body, the body is dead; For as the body without the spirit is dead, James 2:26. Spiritual death is to be separated from God; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die, Genesis 2:17. Adam did not physically die that day. He became separate from God. He was spiritually dead.
Jesus Christ died both deaths. He yielded up his spirit to the Father. That was physical death. He was forsaken by the Father. That was spiritual death. His death was foreshadowed in Leviticus 1:15 when the priest ordered a poor man too poor for a regular sacrifice to bring a bird; And the priest shall bring it unto the altar, and wring off his head, and burn it on the altar. Just as the priest wrung the head off of that bird, the Godhead was torn asunder. That is the spiritual death of Jesus Christ. God died. God became separate from God.
What part of Jesus Christ was born of God? Was his spirit or his soul born of God? Is he that abomination of Catholicism wherein he is eternally begotten of the Father? God forbid, there is no such verse in the word of God. His spirit is eternal, his soul is eternal. It is his body that was born of God. When we say that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, we are saying that if Social Services of Bethlehem had taken a DNA sample from the young babe Jesus Christ, they would not have found an earthly father.
The Father of that baby is God the Father. God did not father his spirit. He did not father his soul. God fathered that holy thing, the body. God took great care to see to it that people did not slip into Catholicism and mistake Jesus as being eternally begotten. He very carefully and wisely made it clear that only one part of Jesus Christ was begotten. And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God, Luke 1:35. That thing is his flesh.
And can it be that I should gain An int'rest in the Savior's blood? Died He for me, who caused His pain? For me, who Him to death pursued? Amazing love! how can it be That Thou, my God, should die for me?
Charles Wesley’s first hymn written on the day he was gloriously saved.
I preached on these things here and here.