While we may never fully understand the relation of Jesus’ human and divine natures and how His substitutionary death on our behalf works in the divine economy, Scripture makes numerous avowals about Him and His ministry that we affirm. Adam was created in the image and likeness of God with a nature naturally bent toward God—naturally unselfish, loving, treating others as he would want to be treated. After his fall, his descendants were born in the pit, with natures bent away from God and toward the desires of “the flesh,” with all of the attendant liabilities enumerated in Romans 3:10–19. We must be “born again,” converted, and enabled by a power outside ourselves in order to live a life in “the Spirit,” reflecting the image and likeness of God and making a positive difference in the lives of others.
Jesus was born in the pit, “in all things . . . made like His brethren” (Heb. 2:17), “in all points tempted as we are” (4:15), fully immersed in the “war zone” of “the flesh” and “the Spirit,” fully experiencing their push and pull on His sensitive heart. Yet, being “in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Rom. 8:3), He never had to be converted, and He lived “without sin” from the cradle to the grave. “He . . . who knew no sin was made sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (Heb. 4:15; cf. 2 Cor. 5:20, 21). Thus, Jesus, by His sinless life and sacrificial death, “condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Rom. 8:3, 4).
When Jesus came to earth as Yahweh incarnate, He did not isolate Himself from the war zone, did not insulate Himself from the exhausting battle between “the flesh” and “the Spirit”; He fully engaged it. Nor did He come clad as Yahweh but clothed with full humanity, that He might “sympathize with our weaknesses” (Heb. 4:15). It is not just intellectually but also experientially that “He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust” (Ps. 103:14). “Let us therefore,” when we find the war between “the flesh” and “the Spirit” exhausting, “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16). He is there on that throne, inviting us to come to Him. He has no condemnation but only sympathy in His heart, “for in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted” (Heb. 2:18).
Jesus has made an enormous investment in you; He is totally committed to protecting His investment. Whenever you are struggling spiritually in the war between “the flesh” and “the Spirit,” He feels it as if it were happening to Him again. You are ever on His mind. His revelation that “where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Rom. 5:20) is His assurance that He has stacked the deck in your behalf. If you do not resist His constant efforts to draw you deeper in and higher up, you will not only be saved but will be enlisted as one of His soldiers to be engaged in important missions to assist others who need someone to come alongside them in their struggle. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1).
This is the message of His covenant(s) and the response they elicit!