Becoming a human has both a philosophical and theological inclination. For Hegel, becoming is the unity of being and nothing. It means that being exist out of nothing and this being undergone a process of development which made the being a becoming. So becoming means the being in transit, or in the coming to be. Theologically however, becoming means more than the existence of being out of nothing.
Becoming means not only transformation; it is a movement from one condition to another (Wawrykow, p. 22). Becoming involves change and development. Applying becoming to human being therefore speaks of the origination of the human beings, which was simply nothing as being come out of nothing and what men will be is still a becoming.
In theology and religion, becoming a human usually apply to Jesus Christ as God who became man. In Saint Paul’s letter to the Philippians chapter two, verse. 7 referring to Jesus, Paul says “but made himself nothing,” Here the essence of becoming is clearly manifested.
It was from this situation that Jesus became human and Paul goes on to say that when Jesus became nothing he was becoming a human “taking the very nature of a servant” verse 7. Jesus previous condition according to Paul is that he was “in the very nature of God” Verse 6 in which he has moved to a different condition of becoming a human being. In his letter to the Romans, Paul describes the human condition in Chapter 3 verse 23, as being lost in sin and had fallen short of God’s Glory.
Paul categorically said that all have sin and God will punish everyone with sure death because of the sins committed. The gravity of man’s sins according to Saint Paul is that even men knew God “they neither glorified him as God, nor gave him thanks” Chapter 1 verse 21. Thus, Jesus becoming a human is an act of grace made available by God to human being. This is clearly explained by Paul in chapter 6 verse 23, which says, “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (NIV).
Here there are two theological discussions involve about the condition of human being. First, all human beings according to Paul have fall into sin and deserved God’s punishment. Andrew Purves and Charles Partee call this fallen condition as depravity. Although depravity for them does not mean of total abandonment of God of the human being, they pointed out that human depravity means, “nothing about us is beyond the reach of sin. In other words, all the human faculties are exposed to sin and are indeed contaminated by sin.
Paul admits this in Romans Chapter 7: 14-25, in his confession of his condition with sin contaminating all his being. Paul confessed that he wants to good but he cannot do the good he wants but the evil the he do not want to do. In verse 23 Paul explained that the reason of his struggle is that there is another law at work in him. Paul said, “But I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me prisoner of the law of sin at work within the members of my body” Romans 7: 23.
Because of this condition of the human being, Paul emphasized that there is an extreme need for human being to be rescued from the fallen condition. Theologians call this as redemption. This was exactly the purpose of Christ’s human becoming which Paul explained in his letter in Philippians chapter 2. G. M. Newlands contends that Jesus life, death, and resurrection were in relation to humanity in order to be reconciled to God. Newlands pointed out, “It is through the transformative humanity of Jesus Christ that we recognized the divinity within him” (p. 107).
He meant that God is not only compassionate on the human being’s predicament but also the source of effective transformation. The nature of God’s grace according to William B. Arnold, there are two important manifestations of God’s grace. According to him, God’s grace Comes to us “freely and without dependence on our asking” (p. 30). Paul in Romans Chapter 5 verse 8 explains this, Paul says “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ” Arnold pointed out that God’s transformative grace is God’s initiative.
The implication of God’ transformative grace in human being is that it reconciled man to God, in a way that his fallen nature has been restored to its former condition prior to his fall in to sin. Paul stated in Romans chapter 11 verses 30 that gentile people had been at one time disobedient to God “have now received mercy as result of their disobedience. ” Conclusion Human becoming must be seen in the context of Jesus intension of taking human dorm and live a human life, and die on the cross for the forgiveness of sin and for the redemption of humanity from the fall to sin.
The transformative grace of God has been the God’s initiative and the proof of God’s love for his creation, as he did not totally leave humans just by them selves despite of their sins. The transformative grace is the grace of God that enables human to able to be united with God, through the work of the Holy Spirit. It is also the saving grace of God given to human being through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, that who ever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life, John 3: 16. He be then a new creation and his old fallen nature is gone I Corinthians 6:17.
Work Cited Arnold, Williams. Introduction to Pastoral Care. Pennsylvania, USA: The Westminster Press, 1982. Newlands, George M. Christ and Human Rights: The Transformative Engagement. England: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2006. Purves, Andrew and Partee, Charles. Encountering God: Christian Faith in the Turbulent Times. USA: Westminster John Knox Press, 2000. Wawrykow, Joseph Peter. The SCM A-Z of Thomas Aquinas. London: SCM Press, 2005. John 3: 16 Romans 1:21 Romans 3:23 Romans 5:8 Romans 6:23 Romans 7:14-25 Romans 11:30 I Corinthians 6:17
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