Why God became a Man
by Robert M. Solomon
Published by ARMOUR Publishing Pte Ltd, 160 pages
Armour Publishing’s showroom (1003 Bukit Merah Central
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The author expounds on the doctrine of original sin and why we all stand guilty of sin in God’s presence; in so doing he quotes extensively from Wesley’s book The Doctrine of Original Sin.
How does one know one is saved? For the answer, one should read Bishop Emeritus Dr Robert Solomon’s 20th book, Boundless Love.
In it, Dr Solomon discusses with clarity and profound theological knowledge the reasons “why God became a Man”. The book is divided into four parts with the titles ‘To Save Us’, ‘To Forgive Us’, ‘To Heal Us’ and ‘To Transform Us’, and each explores a key Christian theme. Through the person of Jesus the human race would see God’s salvation, and how the forgiveness, healing and transformation it brought would change the world forever.
The chapters are short and relatable, and often end with questions or insights that challenge us to reflect and act on the words just read. Part One reflects on the Incarnation – the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The author tells us that the Incarnation is a pivotal moment in the sad and hopeless history of humankind. Jesus came to earth as a man to save and rescue us from destruction. He shed His blood to redeem us – and did it out of His boundless love for His Father and for us.
Jesus knew that His mission was to save humankind from our sins and by dying on the cross He atoned for our sins. It is through this painful sacrifice that the world is saved and given eternal life, resulting in our reconciliation with God.
Part Two deals with our guilt and how Jesus brings divine forgiveness so that we can start a new life with a clean record and be reconciled with God. We feel guilt and anxiety at times; guilt because we have acted against the Creator and His laws, and anxiety because we do not know what will happen next.
The author expounds on the doctrine of original sin and why we all stand guilty of sin in God’s presence; in so doing he quotes extensively from Wesley’s book The Doctrine of Original Sin. Dr Solomon asks “How does God forgive us?” The answer is that God does so by giving His only Son Jesus as “the atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 2:2). Noted Dr Solomon: “To know and realise we are forgiven in Christ is medicine for our deeply disturbing guilt and anxiety.” The author then poses the question, “How does one know that one is saved?” He refers to two sermons preached by Wesley to address this question: The Witness of the Holy Spirit and The Witness of Our Own Spirit. The direct witness of the Holy Spirit in our spirits is a distinctive emphasis in Methodism.
Part Three explores how God heals us of our spiritual illness and frees us from the power of sin. Can a leopard change its spots (Jeremiah 13:23)? Yes, if God does it. Wrote Dr Solomon: “God’s Word acts as both medicine and vaccine: Medicine for those who are going through personal suffering and doubt, and vaccine for those whose lives may not be as difficult at this point, but who are well-advised to be prepared and fortified for possible and unexpected suffering in the days ahead.”
Part Four shows us that God does not just heal us, but transforms us with His love. The author writes that “the Spirit of Jesus strengthens and enables us to remain along the way of the cross so that we will become transformed into Christlikeness even as we faithfully walk on it”.
God became Man in Jesus so that we can be saved, forgiven, healed and transformed to be fit for life in heaven. This book reminds us that “God loves you with a boundless and eternal love. Would you not respond to Him with faith, love, trust, worship and obedience?”
Dr Tong Hoo Ing contributes to Methodist Message as a volunteer writer. A retired neurologist, he worships at Wesley Methodist Church, and volunteers with medical mission teams to third-world countries.