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What does it mean that Jesus came in the likeness of sinful flesh?

The difference between sin in the flesh and a sinful flesh.

We believe that Jesus had sin in the fleshSin is anything that goes against God’s will and His laws. To commit sin is to transgress or disobey these laws. The lust to sin dwells in human nature. In other words, it is contaminated and motivated by the sinful tendencies that dwell in all people as a result of the fall into sin and disobedience in the garden of Eden. This... More. But how can we say that? Isn’t that blasphemy? Wasn’t Jesus divine? Doesn’t it just say that He had a likeness of sinful fleshSin is anything that goes against God’s will and His laws. To commit sin is to transgress or disobey these laws. The lust to sin dwells in human nature. In other words, it is contaminated and motivated by the sinful tendencies that dwell in all people as a result of the fall into sin and disobedience in the garden of Eden. This... More? To answer these questions, we need to look at the difference between having sinSin is anything that goes against God’s will and His laws. To commit sin is to transgress or disobey these laws. The lust to sin dwells in human nature. In other words, it is contaminated and motivated by the sinful tendencies that dwell in all people as a result of the fall into sin and disobedience in the garden of Eden. This... More in the fleshSin is anything that goes against God’s will and His laws. To commit sin is to transgress or disobey these laws. The lust to sin dwells in human nature. In other words, it is contaminated and motivated by the sinful tendencies that dwell in all people as a result of the fall into sin and disobedience in the garden of Eden. This... More and having a sinful flesh. We also need to consider what it was that Jesus came to earth as a man to do.

“For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh.” Romans 8:3.

All of mankind is born with sin in the flesh. This means that we are born with a human nature, in which lie lusts and desiresThe desires that we experience that go against God’s will. In other words, a desire for anything sinful. See James 1:14. Also called “sin in the flesh.” Although the expression “youthful lusts” is  often thought of in connection with sinful sexual desires, lusts include anything that go against what is good and right in God’s eyes. (2 Timothy 2:22.; Galatians... More that can lead to sinTo commit sin is to consciously do something that you know goes against God’s will. This can be in word, deed, or even thought. (James 1:14-15)... More. (Romans 7:18; 1 John 1:8) Every child is born with sin in the flesh, but we cannot say that they have a sinful flesh, because they have never consciously sinned.

A sinful flesh is the result of giving in to our lustsThe desires that we experience that go against God’s will. In other words, a desire for anything sinful. See James 1:14. Also called “sin in the flesh.” Although the expression “youthful lusts” is  often thought of in connection with sinful sexual desires, lusts include anything that go against what is good and right in God’s eyes. (2 Timothy 2:22.; Galatians... More and desires when we are tempted, and thereby actually sinning. (James 1:14-15) When we understand that to do something would be wrong, it would be sin, but we do it anyway. That is the moment that our flesh becomes sinful.

Jesus did not have a sinful flesh

Jesus was born with sin in the flesh, just as the rest of mankind. This is crucial to understand. (Hebrews 2:14) However, since He did not once give in to temptation and sin, since He never allowed the lusts and desires of His flesh – envy, pride, impurity, malice, greed, etc. – to live, His flesh never became sinful. That is why it is written that He came in the likeness of sinful flesh. It is because He had sin in the flesh that it could be condemned there. (Romans 8:3) He could not have condemned sin in another’s flesh. A work was done in Him, to show how the work can be done in all who believe in the redeeming power of victory over sin“Victory over sin” means that you do not commit conscious sin – that which you know would be sin at that time when you are tempted. It doesn’t mean that you are without sin, but that temptation is overcome before it can become sin. (Romans 8:37; 1 Corinthians 15:57; Revelation 2:7)... More in the flesh. TransformationThis is the process of sanctification, in which we our sinful human nature is gradually exchanged for divine nature when we in obedience to God’s will deny and put to death the sinful lusts in our flesh. (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Peter 1:3-4)... More from human nature to divine natureGod’s nature, or divine nature, is perfectly pure and it cannot be tempted by evil. We are promised that we can be partakers of the divine nature by fleeing the corruption in the world that comes through our lusts. As we gradually overcome our sinful human nature it is replaced by divine nature – God shares His own nature with... More. (1 Peter 2:3-4)

That is where Jesus differs from the rest of us. Not that He had a different nature and different possibilities than we do. The difference lies in the fact that all of us have sinned at one time or another, but Jesus never did. That is why He was able to be the sacrifice for sins. The just for the unjust. Because of His sacrifice on the crossWhen the cross is mentioned in the Bible, it most often does not refer to a physical wooden cross, except when specifically describing Jesus’ crucifixion on Calvary. “Taking up your cross” refers to the metaphorical cross that Jesus’ speaks about in Luke 9:23. “Taking up your cross” is the act of denying the sinful thoughts that come up in you... More, we are now able to receive forgiveness for committed sins. (Ephesians 1:7) Satan cannot hold sins that we have committed against us, so long as we have repented and been forgiven for them. Jesus has already paid that debt for us.

No obligation to sin

Likewise, because of His sacrifice on the crossJesus was physically crucified on the cross at Calvary. Though blameless, He took upon Himself the punishment for sin, which was death, so He could pay our debts and forgive us our sin if we are willing to believe in Him and follow Him the Apostle Paul wrote: “I have been crucified with Christ…” (Galatians 2:20) This is a metaphorical... More of daily life – crucifying His flesh and never allowing sin to live – He has opened up a way through the flesh, so that it no longer has the power to control us. We are now able to follow the example that He left us and put to deathIs to overcome the temptations to sin that arise when our lusts and desires draw us to react in ways we know to be evil (i.e. pride, hatred, evil-speaking, envy etc.) It is the act of denying those thoughts and refusing to agree with them. The lust to sin is not only suppressed, but it actually dies. (Romans 8:13; Colossians... More on the cross all the sin that would come forth as a result of our lusts and desires as well. (Matthew 16:24) We are not under any obligation to sin, but we are to rule over sin, just as Jesus did when He was a human like us. (Romans 8:12) Sin is to be put to death each and every time that we are tempted. (Colossians 3:5-10) That is what Jesus did, and that is now what we can do. The fact that we have sinned in the past doesn’t hinder us from becoming overcomers today; we can start on this way of overcoming sin“Victory over sin” means that you do not commit conscious sin – that which you know would be sin at that time when you are tempted. It doesn’t mean that you are without sin, but that temptation is overcome before it can become sin. (Romans 8:37; 1 Corinthians 15:57; Revelation 2:7)... More as soon as we understand it and have faith for it in our own lives. (Matthew 10:38; Luke 9:23; Galatians 2:20; 1 Peter 4:1)

Forgiveness could also be obtained in the Old Covenant. What we have now, in addition to forgiveness, is the possibility to become completely free from sin, and not be bound to committing the same sins over and over again. (Hebrews 10) Because sin was condemned in Jesus’ own flesh, we now have the opportunity to go the same way, so sin is also condemned in our own flesh. We do not have to be slaves to living according to it, but rather freely perform that which is good. (Hebrews 4:14-16)

So there you have it. What Jesus actually did for all of mankind in coming with sin in the flesh, and the battleAlmost all talk of battles and wars when concerning a Christian life refers to the inner battle that arises when a sinful thought tempts you. God’s Spirit and the flesh are at odds. When you have decided to only do God’s will and are being led by the Spirit, a conflict between the flesh and the Spirit arises: there is... More He fought to keep His flesh from becoming sinful. By the time of His death on the cross, He had conquered all sin, and was finished with sin in the flesh. (John 19:30) What a tremendous sacrifice He made for our sake. Because of this labor of love that He did on our behalf, the sinful flesh that we had can be washed pure through the grace of forgiveness, and the sin in the flesh that we carry can be eradicated through the grace to overcome. (1 John 1:9) This is liberty, freedom, and light.

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Christ Manifested in the Flesh

For our sakes Jesus bore our sinSin is anything that goes against God’s will and His laws. To commit sin is to transgress or disobey these laws. The lust to sin dwells in human nature. In other words, it is contaminated and motivated by the sinful tendencies that dwell in all people as a result of the fall into sin and disobedience in the garden of Eden. This... More in His fleshSin is anything that goes against God’s will and His laws. To commit sin is to transgress or disobey these laws. The lust to sin dwells in human nature. In other words, it is contaminated and motivated by the sinful tendencies that dwell in all people as a result of the fall into sin and disobedience in the garden of Eden. This... More so that all sin might be condemned there. He was willing to do it and He did do it! The significance that this has for us is immeasurable. Read more here about all that this means for all those who truly believe in Christ Jesus as the Son of God and the Son of Man.

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