King's Business - 1932-07


T h e

K i n g ’ s B u s i n e s s

July 1932

.■UNIQUE " B id


B y B. B. SUTCLIFFE* PortlafldT’Oregon

T .^IL ee personality of Jesus Christ is amazingly transcendent. He is unlike any person before or since. By Jew and pagan, Christian and infidel, He is acknowledged to be unique in every sphere of His life and character. Nowhere is His uniqueness more clearly revealed than in His birth. It is here we find the touchstone of all that is said concerning Him. It is therefore most important that we know how He came into the world before inquiring about the why. The Bible is the only source of information we have in an­ swer to the question, “ Why did He come?” But if the Bible is not true in answer to the question, “ How did He come?” it may lead us astray concern­ ing the why. T he P renatal C ircumstances The prenatal circumstances are at

came, He could announce His inten­ tion o f coming, and coming as One who would be the servant of Jehovah. And when at last He came, He could say, “ Before Abraham was, I am,” (John 8:58) thus claiming preexist­ ence. He was existent when Isaiah wrote, hundreds of years before He appeared upon earth, because Isaiah “ saw his glory and spake of him” (John 12:41). T hat His appearance upon earth was by His own choice is clearly revealed in the New Testament. “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . And the .Word became flesh” (John 1:1, 14, R. V .). He was not made flesh by another, He became flesh by His own act. Again, He who

once the defense and the definition of our Lord’s incarna­ tion. No other person ever came into the world as the result of His own volition. But here is One who con­ sciously and deliberately decided to enter humanity’s realm and live upon this earth. Existing before He was born into the world, He chose His awn mother by whom to be born, His own time in which tb be born, and His own place wherein to be born. No other human being ever chose the mother, the time, and the place of birth. The birth of our Lord was not, therefore, as all other, births have been, the creation of a new personality. He was a personality already existing, entering upon a new mode of existence, and doing this by His own volition and design. This was to be expected because of what the prophets had declared in the Old Testament. “ But thou Bethlehem Ephratah . . . out of thee shall one come . . . whose go­ ings forth are o f old, from the days of eternity” (Mic. 5 :2, R. V. Marg.). His existence was “ from the days of eter­ nity,” which speaks of His uncreated being as God the Son, together with God the Father,- and God the Holy Spirit. In Psalm 4 0 :7 and 8, He speaks prophetically, say­ ing, “ Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God.” Before He *Dr. Sutcliffe was associated for many years with the work of the Moody Bible Institute. Later, he was called to the Portland Union Bible Classes ( Portland, Ore.), where he ministered for about eight years. He is now, in independent Bible conference work in the United States and Canada. As a writer, he is also well known, especially to readers o f T he K ing ' s B usiness , who value his expositions o f the Sunday School Lessons.

was from eternity, and ever being in the form of God, “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant” (Phil. 2 :6, 7 ). Moreover, “ he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham” (Heb. 2:16). Furthermore, “ He was manifested to take away our sins” (1 John 3 :5). Thus it was of His own choice that He became flesh, of His own volition He made Himself of no reputation, of His own design He took upon Him the seed of Abraham, and for His own purpose He was manifested. All this presupposes preexistence. As some one has written, “ in the Man of Galilee was manifested One who existed before the Man of Galilee.” Hence His forerunner, John the Baptist, could declare, “ He that cometh after me is preferred be­ fore me: for he was before me” (John 1:15). He came after John in time. He was preferred before John in dig­ nity, and He was before John in existence. T he N atal C ircumstances The birth of Jesus Christ presents a threefold miracle : one in the physical realm, one in the moral realm, and one in the spiritual realm. On the physical plane, we believe that He was born of the Virgin Mary. This is the aspect of the birth of Jesus Christ which has engrossed the attention and greatly troubled the church, especially in these latter days. The biological mystery appears too great for some minds to accept, and they turn away from the record of it. But there is no doubt that the Bible teaches such an event. It is written in Isaiah 7 :14 that “ a virgin shall conceive and bear a son.” Whatever may be held concerning the exact

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