Monday, July 8, 2013

What could the Spirit contribute to Christ?

Now one must ask this question: why did Jesus need the Spirit of God to indwell and empower his life? After all, he was fully God, and being fully God, certainly nothing could be added to him, for as God, certainly nothing could be added to him, for as God, he possessed already, infinitely and eternally, every quality or perfection that there is. Yet, Jesus was indwelt with the Spirit and ministered in the power of the Spirit. So we ask: what could the Spirit of God contribute to the deity of Christ? (34)
Here are two of several questions Bruce Ware asks, and answers, in his chapter in The Man Christ Jesus that deals with Jesus' empowering by the Holy Spirit. Ware presents his query as he discusses and explains Christ's relationship, on earth, to the Spirit of God. And his answer? "Nothing. As God he possesses every quality infinitely, and nothing can be added to him" (34). This succinct answer does not exhaust Ware's line of questioning. He continues, "So then we ask instead this question: what could the Spirit of God contribute to the humanity of Christ?" (34). Ware, again, answers his own question:
The answer is: everything of supernatural power and enablement that he, in his human nature, would lack. The only way to make sense, then, of the fact that Jesus came in the power of the Spirit is to understand that he lived his life fundamentally as a man, and as such, he relied on the Spirit to provide the power, grace, knowledge, wisdom, direction, and enablement he needed, moment by moment and day by day, to fulfill the mission the Father sent him t accomplish. (34)
In answering his own question Ware touches upon the main point he makes in The Man Christ Jesus; Jesus lived his life on earth primarily as a human being. This answer, and the other proofs he provides through out the book not only resolve many difficulties we have surrounding Jesus' life and ministry but also magnify the glory of the Son of God. This book is informative in a way that makes Jesus look glorious. Ware concludes the chapter:
Yes, Jesus, the Spirit-anointed Messiah, lived his life as a man, accepting the limitations of his human existence, and relied on the Spirit to do in and through him what he could not do in his human nature. His identity, then, as the Spirit-anointed Messiah is fundamentally that of a man empowered by the Spirit to carry out what he was called upon to do. (43)

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