Why Jesus Christ
Came Into the World

1 Timothy 1:15

I. Paul’s affirmation of Christ’s coming into the world
A. This expression pistós Ho lógos, “trustworthy the word,” occurs only in the pastoral epistles
(1 Tim. 1:15; 3:1; 4:9; 2 Tim. 2:11; Titus 3:8).

B. This word or saying is trustworthy (pistós). You may place your faith upon it and you will not be disappointed.

1. When Christ became flesh (John 1:1, 14), it was God who was taking upon Himself human flesh. He became the one in whom “dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9). He revealed to men the nature and purpose of God. What He revealed is trustworthy because Christ Himself proved trustworthy.

2. The dependability and trustworthiness of what one says depends on what he is.

3. What Jesus Christ revealed about God the Father is trustworthy because He proved to be trustworthy in Himself.

It is significant that the word lógosis used in the expression pistós Ho lógoswhich appears several times in the Pastoral Epistles.

It is not simply a saying but a fact that Christ came into the world. In John 1:1, He is called Ho lógos which means “the intelligence that gave birth to the word and the expression of that intelligence.”

II. The nature of Christ’s coming into the world
A. The means of Christ’s coming into the world

1. His coming into the world was not due merely to the physical activity of one man and one woman, as is the case with all created human beings.

a) Christ came, and had to come, through the virgin Mary and divine action (Matt. 1:16, 20, 21; Luke 1:26–35).
b) John 1:14 is sometimes wrongly used to deny this.

(1) A great intreptation of John 1:14 would be “became,” rather than “was made.” The verb egéneto is not passive, but is from the deponent verb gínomai.
(2) The Lógos, the eternal Word became, by His own volition and through His own power, something He was not before—flesh, having then a human nature as well as the divine nature.

2. Jesus Christ did not become a mere man.

a) He became the representation of humanity while continuing to be what He always was—God. This is why when He spoke of coming into the world, He did not speak of just being born into the world of the virgin Mary, but also of voluntarily coming into the world on His own (John 10:10; 12:46; 16:28).
b) Jesus’ answer to Pilate, expressing His sovereignty, put His coming into the world into proper perspective.

(1) With the words, “To this end was I born [gegénneMmai, the first person singular perfect indicative passive of gennáoM, ‘to give birth’],” Jesus indicates the time that He came into the world as a human being, and that He was fully man at the time He spoke to Pilate.
(2) He also said, “and for this cause came I [elemlutha, first person singular perfect of ércHomai, ‘to come,’which indicates that there was a certain time that He voluntarily came into the world as God of His own accord] into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice” (John 18:37).

A. No other human being could say that He was born into the world but that He also voluntarily came into the world. While He was here on earth, He was not only Man, He was God, or in other words the God–Man. This is the reason His words are trustworthy and the work He came to do, to save sinners, can be depended upon as effective.
B. The personal results of Christ’s coming into the world

1. Jesus Christ, in His incarnation as the God–Man, claimed to be equal with God: “As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father . . .” (John 10:15); “I and my Father are one” (in essence, Deity; John 10:30); “. . . the Father [is] in me and I in Him” (John 10:38).

a) Note John 14:11, “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me. . . .” The verb “am” is not in the Greek text, which indicates that this statement has no chronological limitation. There was never an abdication of deity by Jesus Christ. “At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you” (John 14:20), again the verb “am” is not in the Greek text indicating eternal relationship never given up by Jesus Christ.
b) When He was dying on the cross, He was dying as the God–Man. However, only His humanity, as bearing our sin and its consequence of death, could actually die; hence His cry, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46).

2. Yet Jesus also admitted His Father’s superiority, either in being or in knowledge, as in John 14:28, “. . . for my Father is greater than I.”

a) Notice that the verb estí, “is,” is used in the Greek text to indicate that the chronological limitation only relates to the Christ’s human nature. Jesus Christ was speaking of Himself as Man only—stressing His humiliation (Phil. 2:6–8).
b) In Matthew 24:36 we find, “But of that day and Hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven but my Father only.” See also Mark 13:32.

(1) If He as God–Incarnate did not know. How could He say that only the Father knew? Since He was saying “No man knoweth [oudeís, ‘no one or no created being’as in John 1:18],” He was referring to Himself as merely man—as brought into the world by the virgin Mary.
(2) Mere men do not know, but the Son of God knows. Otherwise He must cease to be omniscient, being ignorant of something. Likewise, if the Father knows something that the Son does not, then there must either be a division in the essence of God’s being, or the Son must cease to be God. The revelation of the time of His Second Coming was not a part of what He came to make known in His appearance as the God–Man.

III. The purpose of Christ’s coming into the world
A. The purpose of the incarnation is stated quite clearly in 1 Timothy 1:15, “that Christ Jesus came [emlthen, he came voluntarily as the God–Man, not merely being born into the world] into the world to save sinners.”

1. He came into the world, He became flesh, because the blood is in the flesh. He had to have blood to shed because without the shedding of blood there could be no remission of sins (Heb. 9:22).
2. With the shedding of His blood He accomplished:

a) The satisfaction of God’s justice in fulfilling the eternal pronouncement that “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). This is the reason why Jesus Christ, as the God–Man, had to die in order to remove sin from man (Rom. 5:12–21). The sin of man could not be expiated, blotted out, without the shedding of blood.
b) The appropriation of God’s righteousness. Not only does the death of Christ give Him the right to declare us righteous before God, but He makes the righteousness of God part of us. God’s nature becomes our nature when we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:21).

B. The Person who came is described by the term “Christ Jesus,” “Christ” being His divine name, and “Jesus” His human name.

1. The first time the name “Christ Jesus” occurs in this order and not “Jesus Christ” is in Acts 19:4 and thereafter it is seen in the epistles beginning with Romans 3:24. It never occurs in the Gospels because they primarily focus on the time before His resurrection.
2. Had Jesus Christ been born into the world and died like every other human being without rising from the dead, then news of His coming would not be “worthy of all acceptation” (1 Tim. 1:15).
3. Observe that Paul does not say that He was born of the virgin Mary, but that He came (emlthen, voluntarily and of His own power He entered into the world). This could never be said of any other human being who ever walked upon the face of this earth. A son of Mary, if he were nothing else but that, could never have saved the soul of anyone. He is able to save sinners because He, the eternal Son of God, voluntarily and of His own power came into the world.

C. Such a declaration about the justification and the simultaneous sanctification of the sinner is indeed worthy of all acceptation.
1. The Greek word for acceptation is apodochem, which occurs only in 1 Timothy 1:15 and 4:9. This word comes from the preposition apó, “from,” and décHomai, “to accept.” It means to embrace, to receive with joy and approval as something very precious and worthwhile.
2. The complete phrase, “. . . a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation,” is exactly the same in 1 Timothy 1:15 and 4:9.

3. “Of all acceptation” declares that this is absolutely trustworthy. You can be absolutely sure that when you come to Jesus Christ in humility and in repentance, He will forgive you of your sin and He will give you victory over sin, making you a new creature in Him (2 Cor. 5:17).

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