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Christian Biblical Studies
THE PRE-HUMAN EXISTENCE OF JESUS
All Scripture citations are to the King James Version (KJV)
Question: (a) Did Jesus exist before He became human? (b) Was pre-existence necessary to His paying the Ransom for Adam and his race?
Answer: (a) John 1: 1 shows that Jesus existed in the presence of God as the ‘Word’ or Logos. This Logos became flesh by the transferring of His life from the heavenly plane to the human (John 1: 14):
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Jesus alluded to his pre-human existence:
And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. (Luke 10: 18)
And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man [which is in heaven – many authorities omit]. (John 3: 13)
Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. (John 8: 42)
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. (John 8: 58)
But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? (John 16: 5)
And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. (John 17: 5)
As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. (John 17: 18)
(b) Was a prior existence essential to Jesus filling the requirement of a Ransom-Sacrifice? Probably not, if we define the Ransom as a perfect man (Jesus) offering up his own life for the perfect man who had lost life (Adam). And, strictly speaking, it may not have mattered what sort of death Jesus experienced in order to pay this ransom.
Of what advantage, then, was it for Jesus to have had pre-human existence?
There are several advantages, most of which underline the value of experience, a process of learning required by all beings except God Himself. These points are not exhaustive and are presented in no particular order of importance:
1. As the Logos, Jesus was nurtured by His Father and so learned to be like His Father in will and ways (John 1: 1; 10: 30; Hebrews 1: 8-12).
2. It was necessary for Jesus to learn humility, how to be abased – to step from high estate to low (Philippians 2: 7, 8; Hebrews 2: 9, 10, 16, 17). (That He had to learn these qualities suggests that He is not the second ‘person’ in a Trinity.)
3. He learned to be Emmanuel – the ‘as God’ who will in the Kingdom on earth administer earth’s affairs as though He were God Himself (Isaiah 9: 6, 7; Matthew 1: 23; 1 Corinthians 15: 24-28).
4. He was a necessary eyewitness to the creation and the unfolding of God’s Plan. This principle of corroboration is an important one in God’s covenant arrangements. For example, Jehovah calls the heavenly bodies as witness to His promise (Psalm 89: 34-37); the Law demands witnesses (Deuteronomy 17: 6); the Gospel message requires witnesses (1 John 1: 1-4). Christ Jesus is the supreme witness for God, Whom He made known to His disciples (John 14: 9).
Copyright November 2010 ukbiblestudents.co.uk
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