(187)Thesis:Redemption required the Redeemer to have an actual participation in "humanity".
Introduction:In our last study we focused upon the fact that God had an "outside of time" plan to solve for us our bondage to the Justice of a law set forth by angels who had no concept of the mercy or grace of God. In that study we considered some of the implications of a "fulness of time" that took 4,000 years to arrive. In Paul's terminology, the solution consisted of providing a Redeemer Who could redeem those who were "under law". But there are two aspects to the kind of "redemption" that God had in mind. On one hand, there was the provision of a Substitute Who could, as Paul phrased it in 3:13, "become a curse for us" so that the Law was brought to an absolute futility in terms of administering justice. But on the other hand, there also had to be some kind of provision that would actually prevent the need for an intervention of Justice. What good is a redemption that does not do anything about the Sin that so antagonizes Justice that It created an eternal Lake of Fire to satisfy itself? To ask it another way, how "heavenly" is Heaven going to be if redemption simply allows sinners to escape Justice and does not stop their sinning? So, we can anticipate the direction of Paul's teaching in regard to the "fulness of time" of God's plan for redemption: he will need to establish the credentials of a Redeemer Who can bring the Law's function of administering justice to an absolute futility; and he will need to establish the impact of redemption that can make the Law's focus upon Justice completely unnecessary.
In our study this evening we are going to look into the first part of that teaching: the credentials of an effective Redeemer.
I. Paul's Concept of "Redemption" in the Context.
A. In 3:13 it is clear that the Redeemer became an effective alternative actor: He became for us what was hanging over us.
B. In this concept, the Redeemer had to "be" someone Who could step into our reality in such a way as to be able to take us out of it.
II. Because of This Concept, Paul's Characterization of the Redeemer Focuses Upon His Humanity.
A. The focus upon "humanity" is set in tension against the identity of the Redeemer as "the Son of God".
1. John 5:18 makes it clear that the particular sense of Jesus' identity as "the Son of God" is a recognized claim to be "equal with God".
a. There are obviously several nuances to the "son of God" terminology because not all of them are considered "equality with God" blasphemies (angelic "sons of God" in Job; the New Testament doctrine in our text, "ye are all sons of God by faith" [3:26]; all who are led by the Spirit are "sons of God" [Romans 8:14]; etc.).
b. But there is no question that there is also a distinct "Son of God" concept that makes the "Son" equal with the Father.
1) Paul's choice of terms for "sent forth" refers to the making of a person an "apostle" of another so that the "apostle" is an adequate representative of the Sender.
2) The "adequate representative" issue indicates "exact representation" so that human "apostles" were "exact" representatives of the One Who commissioned them to be apostles -- a concept that immediately leads to inerrancy in doctrine and jot and tittle accuracy in words.
2. That Jesus, as the Redeemer, began that identity as the Son of God is also theologically necessary because of the scope of the redemption; a mere man could only die for the sins of one man.
B. The focus upon "humanity" is deliberately couched in the "born of a woman" terminology.
1. Paul's "unity of humanity" thesis requires that Jesus not be "born of a man": Romans 5:19.
2. God's pronouncement of a curse upon Jeconiah in Jeremiah 22:30 requires that Jesus not be born within the regnal lineage given by Matthew in Matthew 1:11.
3. The Old Testament mandate that the Christ be a "son" of David requires that Jesus be born within the genealogical lineage of David as Luke shows in Luke 3:31.
4. The conclusions that we draw are these:
a. Adam's sin is passed on through the DNA/chromosome/genetics reality.
b. Adam's sin is only passed on by the male side of the DNA/chromosome reality.
c. The female side of the DNA/chromosome/genetics reality is sufficient to qualify a person to be "human".
C. For whatever "T"heological reasons, only a legitimate "human" could be a substitute for "humans", but the Substitute had to be more than merely "human" because of the Legal demand of an eye for an eye concept (i.e., exactly equivalent retribution).