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§  2. He was made under the Law.

The humiliation of Christ included also his being made under the law. The law to which Christ subjected Himself was, (1.) The law given to Adam as a covenant of works; that is, as prescribing perfect obedience as the condition of life. (2.) The Mosaic law which bound the chosen people. (3.) The moral law as a rule of duty. Christ was subject to the law in all these aspects, in that He assumed the obligation to fulfil all righteousness, i.e., to do everything which the law in all its forms demanded. This subjection to the law was voluntary and vicarious. It was voluntary, not only as his incarnation was a voluntary act, and therefore all its consequences were assumed of his own free will; but also because even after He assumed our nature He was free 613from obligation to the law in every sense of the word, until He voluntarily subjected Himself to its demands. The law is made for men, i.e., for human persons. But Christ was not a human person. He remained after the incarnation, as He had been from eternity, a divine person. All his relations to the law, therefore, except as voluntarily assumed, were those which God himself sustains to it. God being the source of all law cannot be subject to it, except by an act of humiliation. Even in human governments an autocrat is above the laws. They derive their authority from him. He can abrogate or change them at pleasure. He is subject so far as men are concerned to nothing but his own will. And so God, as the source of all law to his creatures, is Himself subject to none. He acts in consistency with his own nature, and it is inconceivable that He should act otherwise. He cannot be subject to any imposed rule of action, or to anything out of Himself. Whatever is true of God, is true of God manifested in the flesh. That Christ, therefore, should assume the obligation to fulfil the conditions of the covenant made with Adam, to observe all the injunctions of the Mosaic law, and submit to the moral law with its promises and penalty was an act of voluntary humiliation. This subjection to the law was not only voluntary, but vicarious. He was in our stead, as our representative, and for our benefit. He was made under the law that He might redeem those who were under the law. (Gal. iv. 4, 5.) It was in his character of Redeemer that He submitted to this subjection. There was no necessity for it on his part. As He was Lord of the Sabbath, so He was Lord of the law in all its extent and in all its forms. Obedience to it was not imposed ab extra as a condition of his personal happiness and enjoyment of the divine favour. These were secured by his Godhead. It was therefore solely for us that He was made under the saw. As by Adam’s disobedience we were constituted sinners, He obeyed that we might be constituted righteous. (Rom. v. 19.) The whole course of Christ on earth was one of voluntary obedience. He came to do the will of his Father. In the Old Testament his common prophetic designation was servant. He was called the servant of the Lord, “my servant.” He says of Himself, “I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” (John vi. 38.) “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience.” (Heb. v. 8.) “Being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Phil. ii. 8.) All this was for us. His subjection to the law and to the will of the Father was voluntary arid vicarious for us men and for our salvation.

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