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Author Topic:   Jesus - Wholly Man - Wholly God
Faith 
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Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 4 of 105 (861978)
08-30-2019 6:50 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Tangle
08-30-2019 4:01 AM


It's the historical term for it
GDR is simply giving the historical understanding of Jesus' nature, the understanding all Christians have who know anything about the history of these things. Wholly God and Wholly Man is the official understanding of the nature of Jesus, the union of the nature of God who begot Him, with the human nature of His mother. It was made official in councils for one thing, but it is derived from the Biblical descriptions of His nature. Here's Wikipedia on the technical term for it, Hypostatic Union

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 440 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 13 of 105 (862007)
08-30-2019 2:31 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by GDR
08-30-2019 11:21 AM


Why did Jesus need to be God at all?
You did a nice job of that though I might quibble with a point or two, but it seems to me that in your determination to restore what you think is the slighted understanding of Jesus as Son of Man you give the impression that there was no real reason for God Himself to have become incarnate in the person of Jesus at all.

Couldn't all that have happened without the incarnation? God could have guided Him, could have raised Him from the dead, seated Him at His right hand as firstborn of the Kingdom of God, just as Son of Man, as I read what you wrote.

I was going to go on and give my view but I think I'll wait and see what you say about it.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 440 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 28 of 105 (862033)
08-30-2019 4:45 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Tangle
08-30-2019 1:10 PM


Re: It's the historical term for it
Faith writes:

GDR is simply giving the historical understanding of Jesus' nature, the understanding all Christians have who know anything about the history of these things.

GDR is no more a historian of 1st century Christianity than my dog is. And I don't have a dog. He's following a long tradition of talking authoritatively on things he has very little actual learning and mixing it up with personal belief.

My only point was that historically this is how the Church defined the nature of Jesus and it's come down to us with this meaning. Wholly God and Wholly Man is the official doctrine of the traditional Church that Christians acknolwledge as our heritage. It doesn't take any special historical or any other kind of training, this is just doctrine we all learn if we follow the historical development of Church doctrine at all.

And I'm only talking about the doctrine that Jesus is both fully Man and fully God as the historical doctrine. Otherwise GDR does inject some of his own beliefs that aren't so traditional, such as his understanding of the meaning of the incarnation which he addressed to me. But overall he has the simple aim of presenting a fuller view of Jesus' humanity than he thinks is well enough acknowledged by other Christians.


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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 440 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 32 of 105 (862038)
08-30-2019 5:19 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by GDR
08-30-2019 4:04 PM


Re: Why did Jesus need to be God at all?
I was trying to get at what you think is the REASON for the incarnation: that is, WHY did Jesus have to be God in human flesh? But you do have a different view of it than the traditional meaning so I have to start by affirming that it's the traditional meaning I accept: Jesus was given the nature of God in Mary's womb, was born with both the nature of God and human nature in one person.

And the main reason for this was that He was to be a Mediator in the "dispute" as it were between humanity and God (this is presented as a legal dispute between God and man in the opening chapters of the Book of Isaiah by the way, where God calls upon Heaven and Earth to witness to His legal complaint against us), and the role of Mediator requires the ability to represent both sides of the dispute to be resolved. No human being can represent God so God had to become a human being to be able to represent Him.

The reason we need such a Mediator is that we are sinners against God's Law and our debt to His Law can't be paid except through a legitimate Mediator. Jesus became that Mediator so that He could intervene in the dispute both on God's side and on our side. He was both, He had both natures so He could perform this duty. (There is a "type" of this function laid out in the character of Boaz in the story of Ruth. Boaz is theologically known as the Kinsman Redeemer as he could claim Ruth to be his wife only when the kinsman closest to her renounced his claim on her, leaving Boaz in the legal position of being able to redeem her by marriage.)

(ABE: Another Old Testament reference is in the book of Job where the whole book is about Job's complaints against God and his inability to fight with God, being a mere human being. it's an unfair fight. But in the end he gives the statement of faith, "I know that my Redeemer liveth and that He will stand upon the earth..." foreshadowing the incarnation of God in Jesus, in the role which makes possible our salvation before a holy God who otherwise could only condemn us all).

Of course Jesus also had to be perfectly sinless and if He'd inherited his human nature from a human father that wouldn't have been possible because sin is passed down through the patriarchy (It is not clear to me how this is derived but it's given as the explanation for why Mary's human nature wasn't a problem). Having God's nature guaranteed His sinlessness however. (And there are Old Testament types for this too, in the sacrificial lamb that had to be completely "unblemished" to qualify for the role).__

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 440 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 38 of 105 (862046)
08-30-2019 6:28 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by GDR
08-30-2019 6:02 PM


Re: Why did Jesus need to be God at all?
I am careful about saying that Jesus was God in human flesh. If that were the case you would have Jesus praying to Himself.

No, He's a human being praying to God the Father. Perhaps you have more of a problem recognizing Him as human than I do.

I understand it by what John says. The "Word" became flesh. In other words, if we want to understand God's nature we look to Jesus. God was still in His heavenly dimension while Jesus the man was walking around on planet Earth.

Traditional Christology has no problem seeing Jesus as God in human flesh, that's what the term "incarnate" means, it's perfectly standard. He is also the Logos or the Word made flesh, but Jesus IS God, begotten by God, there is no need to get so "careful" about this.


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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 440 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 40 of 105 (862049)
08-30-2019 6:53 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by GDR
08-30-2019 6:02 PM


Re: Why did Jesus need to be God at all?
I don't have the kind of pat answer that you seem to be looking for in the last part of that quote. I find it interesting to consider how it was that Jesus embodied God's nature but I'm not really concerned as to how.

Well, that was the point of the formulation that has Him being Wholly God and Wholly Man, and it seems rather a stretch to insist on the term Logos over the fleshly implications of being born in a human womb, but that's what we are told, that he was born in a human womb as flesh and blood so that His being wholly God and wholly Man has that fleshly meaning. That was the whole point of all the theological wrangles that ended up in the Athanasian Creed, that defined His physical being as a "Hypostatic Union."

The nativity stories are in two of the Gospels and not at all in the Epistles. The narratives do have a rather legendary feel to them.

You make me glad I'm only a stupid fundamentalist who doesn't have to second-guess the scriptures, just believe them. And what I believe does seem to be in synch with the history of traditional Christian theology, which is reassuring too.

Possibly that is how the incarnation happened. However it seems to me that as Jesus didn't even start His movement until about age 30. it is possibly a more likely scenario that this was more the work of a life of prayer and study that brought Jesus to the understanding of His vocation. The important issue is that when we want to understand the true nature of God we look to Jesus, regardless of the method that Jesus was incarnated with the Word of God.

That's a rather roundabout or abstract way of "understanding the true nature of God" in Jesus it seems to me, way too intellectualized. But I don't think the incarnation is particularly the key to that understanding anyway, it merely gives us a solid simple understanding that He was "made flesh and dwelt among us." God is happy to save simpletons so He didn't make the scriptures as hard to understand as all that.

Gotta come back to this, sorry.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 440 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 41 of 105 (862050)
08-30-2019 7:14 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by GDR
08-30-2019 6:02 PM


Re: Why did Jesus need to be God at all?
And the main reason for this was that He was to be a Mediator in the "dispute" as it were between humanity and God (this is presented as a legal dispute between God and man in the opening chapters of the Book of Isaiah by the way, where God calls upon Heaven and Earth to witness to His legal complaint against us), and the role of Mediator requires the ability to represent both sides of the dispute to be resolved. No human being can represent God so God had to become a human being to be able to represent Him. The reason we need such a Mediator is that we are sinners against God's Law and our debt to His Law can't be paid except through a legitimate Mediator. Jesus became that Mediator so that He could intervene in the dispute both on God's side and on our side. He was both, He had both natures so He could perform this duty. (There is a "type" of this function laid out in the character of Boaz in the story of Ruth. Boaz is theologically known as the Kinsman Redeemer as he could claim Ruth to be his wife only when the kinsman closest to her renounced his claim on her, leaving Boaz in the legal position of being able to redeem her by marriage.)

I'm inclined to think that all of that kinda misses the point. I think that is the result of the human desire for understanding and to put things in neat little boxes.

Well, the types do happen to be simply THERE, in the Old Testament scriptures themselves, in different books from different periods of time too. These interpretations aren't imposed on the text, they are simply there, and they make a marvelous unity of the 66 books of the Bible which you prefer to see as fragmented. There are a lot more types than the few I mentioned, the OT is thick with them, all defining the nature and character of the Messiah to come, and from times when the idea of that Messiah was very vague and far from the reality who finally appeared in the person of Jesus Christ. If anybody put these types in "neat little boxes" it was the Holy Spirit since the people involved had hardly a clue to any of it.

I think that by doing that we often make obscure the big picture. Christianity at its core is simply about living a life based on the sacrificial love that we see in the life, message and death of Jesus, and then confirmed by God in the resurrection.

Taking it on that level is fine, not wrong anyway, but you certainly miss wonderful depths of God's communication that way.

Of course Jesus also had to be perfectly sinless and if He'd inherited his human nature from a human father that wouldn't have been possible because sin is passed down through the patriarchy. Having God's nature guaranteed His sinlessness however. (And there are Old Testament types for this too, in the sacrificial lamb that had to be completely "unblemished" to qualify for the role).

One of the things that I get out of my study of the NT that sin isn't simply about what we have done and what we have left undone. I think that sin is what lies behind our failings. The Bible says that we are to love with our hearts and souls and minds, and of course in many places when it talks about love it is in the context of loving our neighbour. Sin is when we fail to act with a heart, mind and soul that leads to acts that are based on the love of self even at the expense of others. I would say that Jesus lived a life always based on a heart, mind and soul that loved others even at His own expense. We see that more than anywhere else on the cross.

Yes, no problem with that. I think we commit sin all the time, though, without knowing it, especially since Jesus redefined adultery as including lust in the heart and murder as hatred in the heart. We're violating those and all the other commandments at that level all the time. When He said He fulfilled the Law down to its tiniest punctuation marks He implied that the tiniest of sins against the Law would be held against us except for His fulfillment of it.


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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 440 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 48 of 105 (862061)
08-30-2019 11:08 PM
Reply to: Message 44 by GDR
08-30-2019 7:40 PM


Re: Why did Jesus need to be God at all?
Yes the Jews took Isaiah 53 as referring to Israel, but the Church has always seen it as referring to Jesus. You see all this as inspired by people and I see it as inspired by God, in the supernatural sense of "God-breathed" so that the OT is, as Jesus Himself said (on the road to Emmaus I think), all about Him. There are revelations of the Messiah throughout the OT that often aren't recognized. I had some good Bible studies over the years that brought out these things.

The disciples were wrong about the scriptures and Jesus had to set them straight. They didn't get it, of course, until Pentecost, as you also recognize.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 440 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


(1)
Message 58 of 105 (862090)
08-31-2019 4:52 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by Tangle
08-31-2019 2:05 PM


Somehow this topic has gone off into the weeds
This thread has gone off into some strange territory that makes no sense to me. All GDR was doing was raising an issue with Christians he thinks don't take the humanity of Jesus seriously enough while overemphasizing His deity. These are matters of doctrine about Jesus' nature that has historically been defined by the Church as "Wholly God and Wholly Man." This is "official" doctrine of the Church that was hammered out from scripture in the early years. This being the definition of the nature of Christ GDR claims some of us Christians slight the human part and his talk to the men's breakfast group was his rendition of the gospels with emphasis on Jesus' humanity..

Nobody needs to be a certified historian to know this much and I don't get why this issue is on the table at all. I get that an unbeliever might want to take a swipe at Church doctrine as nothing "official" but just people in power declaring this or that, but that too is way off GDR's intent. His intent rests on a simple historical definition of the nature of Christ. Perhaps there isn't anywhere to go with it beyond where he's gone with it anyway, but all the rest of this discussion is off topic and irrelevant.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 440 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 64 of 105 (862099)
08-31-2019 7:20 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by GDR
08-31-2019 6:11 PM


Re: Jesus' Earthly Limitations
This subject quickly gets too heavy for me so I can only give a sketch of what I've thought about it, and a link to a page at Blue Letter Bible that says what I've generally thought but a lot more clearly.

I reject the idea that Jesus was in any way ignorant of His divinity while on Earth. Scripture says He "emptied Himself" in order to live life as a man, but that doesn't mean He gave up consciousness of His identity as God, just that He willingly submitted to the limitations of humanity. As a man He had to learn to live as a human being the way we all do, had to learn to walk and talk as a toddler, use His body and grow into that use and so on. But in all that there is no reason to think He stopped being God in any sense or wasn't aware of being God.

To what extent He used His divine powers in the miracles I'd have to read up on more, because as you say it's possible that He could have prayed and God the Father gave the miracle. The incidents themselves give the impression that He simply did the miracles Himself however. I may read further on this and have a better idea of it but for now I'd say I'm not completely sure about how He did these things but that I AM sure He didn't lack the knowledge of being God Himself.

Here's how the commentary at at Blue Letter Bible puts it:

Jesus was still God while He was here upon the earth. However He took upon Himself an additional nature - that of a human. Jesus had a body like other men except it was without sin. He did not set aside any of the attributes that were rightly His. However He voluntarily limited Himself to being a human being. With genuine humanity came certain restrictions. He could only be at one place at a time. He needed to eat, rest, and sleep. He could feel pain, bleed, and die. Before He became a man He had no such restrictions.

Jesus Willingly Humbled Himself
The self-humbling of Christ was not against His will. He willingly took on the limitations of humanity. He never used any of His divine attributes to relieve Himself of the limitations of being a human being.

So the idea is that He was limited as we all are by simply being in a physical human body, and He also limited Himself consciously to live an authentic human life, but that He was always conscious of having the nature of God as well.

When at twelve He goes to the temple to dispute with the rabbis He explains that He must "be about My Father's business." Well he certainly isn't talking about Joseph's business. I guess you could say He was referring to God as His Father in the sense that He's everybody's Fathre, but I think it shows that at that age He knew that His Father was God in a much more direct sense, that He was begotten by God. I'm sure you too could add passages from the scriptures that say pretty much the same thing. It would be very odd if by the age of twelve His parents had not told Him of the circumstances of His birth too, the announcement by the angel and so on.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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Replies to this message:
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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 440 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 67 of 105 (862102)
08-31-2019 7:52 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by GDR
08-31-2019 6:11 PM


Re: Jesus' Earthly Limitations
GDR writes:

Yes, I believe that Jesus and others gain insight that from their beliefs, (not knowledge), through prayer and the study of the Scriptures, however the response is based on faith. I contend that this was true of Jesus. I suggest that this is clearest in Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane . As an aside, I am not saying by this that the miracles didn't happen, but I would contend that the miracles happened by God the Father responding to the prayers of Jesus.

The Blue Letter Bible commentary is quite clear that Jesus lived as a man would, by dependence on God through prayer, and that He did His miracles through the Holy Spirit:

He Was Always Guided By The Holy Spirit

As a human being, Jesus chose to be guided by the Holy Spirit. Scripture speaks of Jesus being filled with the Spirit after His baptism.

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led about by the Spirit in the wilderness (Luke 4:1).

Consequently Jesus performed His miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit. He said.

But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. (Matthew 12:28).

He placed His faith in the Father. He was able to live a sinless life by trusting the Father at all times. Consequently believers are told to "walk as He walked."

The one who says he abides in him ought himself to walk in the same manner as he walked (1 John 2:6)

This could only be possible if Jesus walked in faith as a human being.

Jesus Is Able To Understand Our Needs

Jesus willingly limited Himself while here upon the earth.

Consequently He understands what happens to humans. The writer to the Hebrews acknowledged.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin (Hebrews 4:15).

Because He has experienced the same problems as humankind He can comfort us. The Bible says that God is the God of all comfort.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3).

Finally we come to the reason why Jesus imposed these self-limitations upon His Person. He did it because of the love of God.

Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends (John 5:13).

It was the love of God that caused Jesus to voluntarily humble Himself and lay aside some of the rights that He had as God.

So your view of how He lived as a man is mostly corroborated by all this, only the idea that He had no consciousness of being God is not. There are a couple places in scripture where it is clear He used His omniscience too: as when He told the woman at the well all about her past life, when He recognized the disciple as "having no guile" before He even met him.

Might as well add the Summary:

When Jesus came to earth He laid aside or emptied Himself of something. There are many misconceptions at to what He set aside. It was not His Deity. Jesus could not empty Himself of His Deity - He could not stop being God. He was always God the Son. He could not exchange His Deity for His humanity. Neither did He set aside only some of His divine attributes and keep others. In addition, Jesus always knew He was God and possessed these divine attributes - He was not ignorant of who He was or what He could do. Moreover Jesus allowed the people to know that He had such powers. Neither did Jesus set aside the use of His relative attributes such as being all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere present. Those powers were always present with Him.

When Jesus became a human being He divested Himself of certain rights as God the Son. This can be seen in three ways. First He restricted Himself to a human body with all its limitations. He gave up His position when He became a human being. Second He veiled or hid His glory from the people. Finally, He exercised His relative attributes only by the will of God the Father - never on His own initiative.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 440 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 69 of 105 (862104)
08-31-2019 8:24 PM
Reply to: Message 68 by GDR
08-31-2019 7:53 PM


Re: Jesus' Earthly Limitations
I reject the idea that Jesus was in any way ignorant of His divinity while on Earth.

I'd just like to focus on this. I don't see Jesus' self understanding as seeing Himself as God.

I wish I'd kept track of a series my pastor did in which he showed that Jesus consciously claimed to be God in a great number of ways we don't normally think of. The only one that comes to mind at the moment is where He says, John 17 I think? -- Before Abraham was, I AM."

He did however in my view combine two threads out of the Hebrew Scriptures and apply them to Himself.

The first was the arrival of the messiah and the second was the return of Yahweh to the Jews. He certainly saw Himself as the messiah for a multitude of reasons but He also IMHO saw Himself as somehow embodying the return of Yahweh. He clearly demonstrated the He saw Himself as a Temple replacement by forgiving sins. He even talked about the Jews missing the time of Yahweh's visitation. He also talked in seeing Him they were also seeing the Father, and by this, it seems clear to me that He understood that He was embodying the true nature of the Father.

Well, in order to claim that He is the embodiment of Jehovah (I really don't like the revisionist name Yahweh), He has to embrace such a passage as the one in Isaiah that describes the Messiah as "Wonderful, Counsellor, Almighty God, Prince of Peace," and the one in Jeremiah that describes the Messiah as "God our Righteousness." Both pretty clearly call Him God, implying an identity rather than just a representation.

\Once again though I don't think that this came to Him supernaturally but simply through prayer and His understanding of Scriptures, which He seemed to have understood in a way that none of His countrymen, (at least that we know of), did at the time.

Of course as God He actually authored the scriptures, so He would simply have known them, they didn't even need to "come to Him" as they might to us.

ABE: Meant to address this:

He clearly demonstrated the He saw Himself as a Temple replacement by forgiving sins. He even talked about the Jews missing the time of Yahweh's visitation. He also talked in seeing Him they were also seeing the Father, and by this, it seems clear to me that He understood that He was embodying the true nature of the Father.

"Who can forgive sins but God" is what that passage says, it doesn't impute the forgiveness of sins to the Temple. And of course referring to Himself as the visitation of God He is claiming to BE God, not just represent Him, also in the case of claiming to show the Father through His own Person -- can't accept your reducing that to a matter of showing God simply through His character.

Then there was where He says how He had wanted to comfort Jerusalem but "you wouldn't come to Me" He's clearly saying He's God, not a representation of God.

ABE: Interesting, arguing with you about these things is pretty similar to arguing with a Jehovah's Witness. You don't deny that Jesus IS God of course, but by insisting on His complete ignorance of being God you require me to come up with the same answers I'd have to with a JW.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 440 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 70 of 105 (862109)
08-31-2019 10:39 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by AZPaul3
08-31-2019 7:39 PM


Re: Jesus' Earthly Limitations
Jesus wouldn't misuse the organ He Himself designed to express love.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 440 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 73 of 105 (862112)
08-31-2019 11:19 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by AZPaul3
08-31-2019 11:13 PM


Re: Jesus' Earthly Limitations

I should know better than to try to outwit the kid acting up in church.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 440 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 74 of 105 (862113)
08-31-2019 11:20 PM
Reply to: Message 72 by Theodoric
08-31-2019 11:17 PM


Re: Jesus' Earthly Limitations
An understandable sin for fallen humanity, but not use.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by Theodoric, posted 08-31-2019 11:17 PM Theodoric has not yet responded

  
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