Busting Bible Myths 5 “Once in royal David’s city stood a lowly cattle shed…” Carol services around the country traditionally begin with this hymn, describing the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. The second verse goes on to claim, “He came down to earth from heaven, who is God and Lord of all.” But is this right? The idea that Jesus is God is a myth that we have already attempted to bust in a previous post. This time we’d like to look at the notion that Jesus existed in heaven before being born on earth. It is true that in John 6, Jesus describes himself as coming down from heaven. However, specifically, he said “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” (v41). Clearly this is not a literal statement, therefore. He goes on to talk about the manna – the bread – provided by God to the Israelites in the wilderness, which also came down from heaven. No-one would suggest that the manna actually existed in heaven in a big warehouse until God rained it down on the Israelite camp! We understand that this is simply saying that the manna – and therefore the Lord Jesus too – “came down from heaven” in the sense of being sent by, or provided by, God. The Lord Jesus was planned by God from the foundation of the world: he existed in God’s mind and the whole of the Old Testament anticipated his coming. But the idea that he actually existed beforehand in some form in heaven very much undermines the clear Biblical teaching about his birth – no-one was told that the child to be born was a transformation of a being already in existence – as well as his growth and development as a human being (eg Luke 2 v52) This is important as he is our model, our pattern. We too have been known by God since the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1 v4). Jesus is “the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8 v29, NKJV) who was made just like us, sharing our nature – but, unlike us, overcoming it. And therefore, by association with him through baptism and a commitment to live a life dedicated to following his example, we too can look forward in hope to being transformed just like him, from what we were to what we will be: into immortal, incorruptible beings. pershore.bible pershore-chrisadelphians.org

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