Not only is faith a characteristic of God Himself, it is also a characteristic of Jesus Christ, which He demonstrated when He lived as a man. First of all, it was a supreme act of faith on Jesus’ part simply to live as a man. Jesus, as God, had lived forever, and, along with the Father, the Holy Spirit, and the Seven Spirits of God, had always been a part of God. In becoming a man, Jesus willfully chose to live as a man, without any of the benefits of the power of God. In fact, if Jesus had at any time decided to use his Godly abilities and powers, He would no longer be able to represent mankind and become the propitiation for our sins. The entire plan of salvation would become null and void.
Consider the temptation of Christ:
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'” (Matthew 4:1-4, NKJV)
Satan was not a fool, the whole point of the first temptation was to encourage Jesus to act as God. If Jesus had chosen to act as God and turned the stones to bread, which as God was certainly His right, He would no longer be living as a man and would no longer be qualified to become the sacrifice for mankind. Now admittedly He could have acted as a man and commanded the stones to become bread by the power of the Holy Spirit, but then He would be submitting both Himself and the Holy Spirit to the will of Satan rather than to the will of the Father. It must be understood that Jesus never acted as God when He came to live as a man. All the power and authority that He exercised as a man, He obtained and wielded through the Holy Spirit, even as we have available to us today.
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11, NKJV)
“Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. (John 5:19-21, NKJV)
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. (John 14:12-14, NKJV)
Notice that Jesus said that we would not only do the very same things that He did when He lived as a man, but we would do even greater things. This can only be true if Jesus lived His life completely as a man. If at any time He had ever succumbed to the temptation to exert His own power and authority, we would never be able to do the things Jesus did since they would only be available to God Himself.
Praise the Lord, Jesus completely laid aside His deity, not only for the sake of our salvation, but also for the sake of our empowerment as His representatives on earth. Let us strive to apprehend the power Jesus has made available to us!
Copyright (c) 2007 Jon Straumfjord