About the Preexistence of Christ
Did Jesus literally exist as a non-human being before he was conceived in his mother Mary? The idea that he actually existed as another kind of being before he was a man, developed among Gentile Christians in the Greco/Roman world after the Bible was written. Gentiles were accustomed to the notion of gods becoming men – and it was not a great stretch for the new Gentile Christians to apply that kind of flawed reasoning to Jesus – the Messiah. What the new post-biblical Gentile Christians weren’t grasping was the wonderful terms in which the prophets foresaw Christ’s day and how that Jesus and his early disciples described the priority and preeminence of his place in the eternal plan of God! In the mind of God, in God’s great master plan, this man existed even before Abraham.
On the other hand, faithful Jews had long known that the Messiah would be a true human being: not a hybrid being – not God (or part of God) or an angel or angel-like being come to earth. God’s prophets of old did not herald an already existing Messiah in their time. None of the Old Testament prophets spoke of meeting the Messiah or speaking with him. Rather, they foresaw the Messiah’s coming day – centuries ahead of time. Even Abraham saw the coming day of Christ and rejoiced! From Messiah’s birth, they foresaw his life, ministry, death and resurrection. They foresaw that he would then be taken up into heaven and glorified at the right hand of God. They even saw his coming again, and the ultimate establishing of his kingdom upon the earth.
Prophecies and Figures
To God’s prophets and his people of old, the Messiah had always been in the mind of God and at the center of his great plan for the salvation of humanity. He was “foreknown” and “foreordained” by God (1 Peter 1:20). He was “foretold,” by the prophets (Luke 24:27, 44). He also existed in “figures” and “types” that pointed ahead to him. For example, the Passover lamb prefigured the Messiah who would be sacrificed for the people (1 Cor. 5:7); The manna that they ate of in the wilderness and the rock from which they drank (1 Cor. 10:3-4) were spiritually speaking “types” of him (Greek, tupos 1 Cor. 10:6, 11). Even Adam himself was a prefiguring of Christ (Rom. 5:14). Christ is in fact the “Last Adam” (1 Cor. 15:45). While these were “him” in figures or examples, he was not literally Adam in the garden or the Passover lamb in Egypt. He was not literally the bread or the rock in the wilderness. After he was born, he would be the fulfillment of all those things and more. However, he would come into actual existence centuries later in Bethlehem of Judea.
This is Us – About the Preexistence of Christ
Over time, there have been those faithful Christians who have refused to follow the Gentile confusion of a literally preexistent Christ. They have remained faithful to Jesus as the true human son of God – born of a virgin by a miracle in his mother Mary. We at 21st Century Reformation are among those Christians who love Jesus for who he really is – not a “God-man” – not an “angel-man” – but God’s true human son, our savior.
There is then another way to look at the preexistence of Christ – a better, more scriptural way. If you would like to learn more about preexistence, we invite you to spend some time reading, watching and listening in this Preexistence section of the 21st Century Reformation website. If you do, then drop us a line and let us know what you think. May God bless you as you study his word.
Why Preexistence vs. Non-Preexistence Does Matter
Sir Anthony F. Buzzard
How do you know that a “pre-existing,” “prehuman” Jesus is not a different Jesus from the Jesus of Scripture? “Another Jesus” is to be avoided as highly dangerous and misleading, and exposed as false Christology. How do you know that a Jesus, who began in a preexisting life, as an angel or Son of God according to some, can also qualify as the real Messiah, Son of God, coming into existence = beginning to exist, in Mary (Matt. 1:20)? This is one of the great, central, essential questions in the mind of Jesus, the best theologian of all. “Who do you say I am?” (Matt. 16:15). That is the question of all questions. It matters as a matter of life and death. We dare not guess at the question as to who Jesus is.
2 Corinthians 11:4, CSB:
“For if a person comes and preaches another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or you receive a different spirit, which you had not received, or a different gospel, which you had not accepted, you put up with it splendidly!” – The Apostle Paul
Paul here shows his impatience! Paul is strongly against carelessness in our belief.
Also See: Focus on John 1 (Videos & Articles)
“Focus on John 1” brings together some of the best of writings and videos about the amazing but controversial prologue of the gospel of John. We invite our viewers to look anew with us at John 1 and reconsider this wonderful passage about God’s powerful creative word by which he made the world…
EDITOR’S CHOICE – VIDEO
Previews of Christ – The True Preexistence of Jesus
Previews of Christ - The True Preexistence of Jesus J. Dan Gill What is preexistence? Did Jesus preexist? What is "typological" preexistence? J. Dan Gill tells his audience [...]
EDITOR’S CHOICE – ARTICLE
Did Jesus Empty Himself of Any Divine Attributes?
Did Jesus Empty Himself of Any Divine Attributes? Kermit Zarley The Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Philippi, exhorting them to be humble and love one [...]