216 The Coming of the Son of Man Exposes All People
1 Prior to contact with Christ, you may believe your disposition to have been entirely transformed, that you are a loyal follower of Christ, that no one is more worthy of receiving the blessings of Christ than you—and that, having traveled many roads, done much work, and brought forth much fruit, you will surely be one of those who ultimately receive the crown. Yet there is one truth that you may not know: The corrupt disposition of man and his rebelliousness and resistance are exposed when he sees Christ, and the rebelliousness and resistance exposed at this time are more absolutely and completely exposed than at any other.
2 It is because Christ is the Son of man—a Son of man who possesses normal humanity—that man neither honors nor respects Him. It is because God lives in the flesh that the rebelliousness of man is brought to light so thoroughly and in such vivid detail. So God says that the coming of Christ has unearthed all the rebelliousness of mankind and has thrown the nature of mankind into sharp relief. This is called “luring a tiger down the mountain” and “luring a wolf out of its cave.” Dare you presume to say that you are loyal to God? Dare you presume to say that you show absolute obedience to God? Dare you presume to say that you are not rebellious?
3 Once you are really living with Christ, your self-righteousness and self-importance will be exposed through your words and actions, bit-by-bit, and so too will your overweening desires, your disobedient mindset and discontent naturally be revealed. Finally, your arrogance will become ever greater, until you are as much at odds with Christ as water is with fire, and then your nature will be completely exposed. Even then, however, you still refuse to acknowledge your own rebelliousness, believing instead that a Christ such as this is not easy for man to accept, that He is too exacting of man, and that you would wholly submit if He were a kinder Christ.
4 You believe that your rebelliousness is justified, that you only rebel against Him when He pushes you too far. Never once have you considered that you do not look upon Christ as God, that you lack the intent to obey Him. Rather, you stubbornly insist that Christ work in accordance with your own wishes, and as soon as He does a single thing that is at odds with your own thinking, you believe that He is not God but a man. Are there not many among you who have contended with Him in this way? Who is it, after all, that you believe in? And in what way do you seek?
Adapted from “Those Who Are Incompatible With Christ
Are Surely Opponents of God”
in The Word Appears in the Flesh