Bible Lesson 159

Romans 10:17

The Incarnation of Jesus Christ

“Every Spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God?..” 1st John 4:2-3

“He was made what we are, that He might make us what He is Himself.” Saint Irenaeus

“When considering the Incarnation, two important truths should be realized: (1) Christ became at the same time and in the absolute sense very God and very man, and (2) in becoming flesh He, though laying aside His glory, in no sense laid aside His Deity. His full Deity and complete humanity are essential to His work on the cross. If He were not man, He could not die; if He were not God, His death would not have had infinite value.” Lewis Sperry Chafer

There are many who seek God and seek to know God by studying the far flung universes and planets; but those who come to know God in Spirit and Truth, are those who come to consider and learn of Him (Christ), in the way He chose to manifest Himself to us as His creatures. We can read of, and understand God, as He was incarnated at the birth of Jesus Christ.

What we must understand is that Jesus Christ did not begin at His birth, because He had always been. We are told in the gospel of John chapter one, “In the beginning was the Word (Christ) and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” (John 1:1).

Then in verse 14, we read of the Incarnation, and that verse tells us, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His Glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father , full of Grace and truth.” (John 1:14). God who is, and was, and will always be, eternal chose in eternity past to save a people that He had not even created in a world that He would at some point in time create, to accommodate His creation.

Is it important that we believe what we just set down, with proof from the inerrant Word of God, the Bible’ Is it important that we believe in the incarnation of Christ, or is it sufficient to believe in the person of Christ’ It is, however, it goes to a sharper point than simply believing in the person of Christ. Many people in churches all over the world believe in the name of Jesus Christ, but they do not have any idea about the real Jesus. Our task becomes learning about the real Jesus, the God-man, Immanuel (God with us).

Who is Jesus Christ’ Why did He leave heaven and come to the earth’ On what wise was His birth, and what did He do, that no one else could do’ These are all weighty questions and unless we are willing to do the heavy lifting of study to learn all there is to know about Him, we will suffer from what we believe to be faith; but it will be a faith that does not save; because it is incomplete and it is not the truth that sets us free.

For some, that will be too much trouble, and they will reject any idea that involves reading and studying the Word of God, or attempting to gain an organized Theology. Please do not let the term ‘theology’ scare you because theology is simply learning the truths of Christ. We must train ourselves to read scripture until we gain a sense of the context of the Bible. Many people peruse, or scan scripture on occasion, but few people really seek the meaning of the verses that they read. Take for instance a favorite verse of many which says, “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matthew 7:1). You would be surprised to know that many who read the first verse of Matthew chapter 7, either go blind, or else they refuse to read that verse in it’s context. Most, simply take up the mantra that says, ‘We are not to judge anyone or anything”. If we are careful to allow scripture to explain scripture, and we seek the meaning of that verse we will read the verses around that first verse and understand it, in it’s context.

Let’s look at that verse and the verses that reflect on that verse. In verse 2-6 if we read them and think about what they are saying; we have to surmise that those verses in context do not forbid us from judging others. What it does is to forbid our censorious judgment, or personal dislikes being used to judge others. We are told to keep our lives in such a state that we are able to judge, what God has already judged, and that is all sin. If we look to the book of John chapter seven and verse twenty four, we find God with us (Jesus Christ), Who preached the verses in Matthew chapter 7, and He says there that we “are not to judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” John 7:24; Proverbs 24:23-25. Of course that has little to do with our subject for this lesson, but it certainly does weigh on how we gloss over contextual truths in the Word of God.

One thing that we must understand about the Incarnation of Christ, is that it is the manifestation of the Exchange of Heavens Best for the world’s Worst. It was the point where God came down from heaven and took on the form and flesh of mankind, to redeem those who would obey Him. It was that Miracle that was manifested, in the birth of a child to a virgin. There had never been and would never be again, another like it. The incarnation is a hard thing for us to understand and something that we never really investigate or properly understand.

We can begin to understand if we begin on the human level, at the dictionary where we find words that are in common usage by humans, and we find in the dictionary that Incarnation is defined more or less as taking on a form of something. The joining of two natures in the form of a man by Christ when He left heaven and came to the earth. That is about as far as we ever go in understanding the incarnation; however there is so much more to understand and I hope that we can better understand the glory of our Savior as we seek to delve a little deeper into what the incarnation really means. Let’s begin before that birth of Mary’s baby in Bethlehem. Where was Jesus before He came through the womb of Mary to the earth. First we have to understand that Jesus did not begin at that birth there in Bethlehem, He had always existed with God the Father (John 1:1). The question now becomes ‘why”why did Jesus leave heaven and come to the earth’ It was to do for mankind, what mankind could not do for himself.

In Adam and our quest for sin, we all had chosen to be sinners. God had placed a wage on sin and it was death, both physical death and eternal separation from God (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 1-4). So we had all ended up with a death penalty on our heads. Now the question becomes, did we begin to cry out to God for help’ No, it was God, who had known in eternity past, that man would foul His creation, and God had before He created anyone or anything, had planned the salvation of a people, from every tribe, tongue and nation. God never does anything that is not precise, and He had elected or chosen who those people would be individually, that He would save in time. Now, God did not put any marks on those who were chosen, but He knows those that are His elect, and they are the ones who will obey and submit to the Lordship of Christ. Man did not reach out to God, instead, God reached down to man. This is where the humiliation of Christ began, and I mean a humiliation that began in eternity past, in heaven, in the throne-room!

In eternity past, Christ suffered humility when He volunteered to lay aside all the blessings of heaven to come, in time, to the earth and be further humiliated. Christ suffered humiliation by allowing Himself to be thrust into the mainstream of a world and people who hated Him. He suffered the humiliation and indignities of the Creator, forced to live on the edge of His own people and His creation. Christ was humiliated by being judged and called to come to the bar of one of the most cruel societies that has existed. Imagine His humiliation when He was offered up to those who sought His death for the price of a slave (30 pieces of silver). His humiliation of being nailed to a cross and left to die, with only one or two of His disciples in the crowd. His worst humiliation was when the Father turned His face away from Him as he became sin for us, His death and burial in a borrowed tomb and all that went with that. Yes, our God and our Creator, our Savior and our Sustainer, suffered extreme humiliation, and yet He arose victorious over all those who sought to extinguish His light and glory. He defeated Satan and sin as He suffered on the cross and now stands as the judge of the quick and the dead.

In His incarnation He assumed, or took upon Himself, the form and flesh of mankind. It was predestined in eternity past that it would happen, and at just the right time, God brought it into being.( Ephesians 1:4-7; Ephesians 3:11; Revelation 13:8; Matthew 1:18-23). The Son of God, the Word, left heaven and came to this earth to be the sacrificial Lamb that would take away the sin of those who would obey Him, He came through the womb of a Jewish virgin, who had never known a man. His was a supernatural birth, and He came forth as one body but two distinct natures. Christ was 100% human and 100% God at one and the same time. When He left heaven, he laid aside His glory, but not His Deity. This God-man was necessary, and essential to His work on the cross. Had Jesus Christ not been fully man, He could not have represented you and I who are men, and if He were not God his death would be of no infinite value.

It is vital that we remember that these two natures existed independent of one another. That Baby in the manger had the nature that you and I have with the exception of sin. He was Mary’s baby placed in a manger, and yet He was God, and that can never change. Only God could have planned and brought to fruition that great supernatural mystery. If we stop to think about it Jesus Christ was God’s ideal man; and man’s ideal God. Right here I will give you who read this some homework to do. You can prove Christ’s humanity and His Deity if you will take your Bible and follow the scriptures that I am listing right here. He was man because, He became weary (John 4:6-10), He got hungry (Matthew 4:2), He agonized (Luke 22:44), He was tempted (Matthew 4:1), He prayed (Luke 6:12) and He died (Luke 23:46).

All of us that are humans have surely known those same feeling, we do get weary and hungry, and we are sometimes tempted and we all die sooner or later, some of us even pray on occasion, so Jesus was like us in every way except He never yielded Himself to sin. Otherwise He would not have been a proper sacrifice, and we would be in a heap of trouble. Jesus Christ had another nature’two natures in one body and these two natures co-existed, but never mixed. Jesus functioned within both of these natures on occasion in that Jesus ate and grew tired and he thirsted but he never ministered to any human need from His Divine nature, nor could He minister to His Divine nature from His human nature. The two natures existed fully side by side but never joined or met together. We can prove His Divine nature in that He raised up Himself from the grave and ascended back into heaven. We said that Jesus sometimes grew weary; however He called the weary to Himself for rest (Matthew 11:28). He got hungry and yet He called Himself the ‘Bread of life’ (John 6:35). He limited Himself in knowledge and yet He was the wisdom of God (Luke 2:52; Colossians 1:9-18). He was the son of the carpenter, yet He is the Way, The Truth, and the Life. (Matthew 13:55; John 14:6).

The are many reasons for the incarnation of God in the form of man. We all are aware, or should be aware, that Christ came to redeem a people that God had given to Christ in eternity past; but in order to set the stage for people to understand God more fully, God sent the second person of the God-head to reveal God to man. God, as we know, is Spirit and we as fleshly people have a problem relating with spirits. So God became a person just like you and I are today, yet without sin. God’s man, Jesus Christ was a perfect man, which means that man can now see man, as He was created to be, and realize his need for something outside of himself (Christ and Him crucified), to make him what God wants him to be. Christ was sent to be an example to those who submit to His Lordship, to show us how to live with each other and walk in this world (1st Peter 2:21). Christ came to be a sacrifice for the sins of those who would believe in Him to the degree that they would obey Him (Hebrews 5:8-9).

In being our sacrifice Jesus Christ became sin for us, and a curse for us on the cross (John 3:16-21; Isaiah53:7; John 1:29;Galatians 3:13; Romans 5:8; 2nd Corinthians 5:21). Christ came to defeat the works of Satan, who had tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden and she gave the forbidden fruit to her husband Adam. Adam’s sin nature was passed down to every person born into this world by natural birth, and sin became pervasive. Christ came in the flesh to destroy the works of the devil, (John 12:31; John 16:11; Colossians 2:13-15; 1st John3:8). In coming and living and dying here on the earth, Jesus Christ learned what it is like to be a human living on this earth, so that He might be our High Priest in heaven and able to identify with us in His intercession with the Father. Christ fulfilled the covenant that God made with David that there would always be a member of his family to sit on the throne of David, Christ will sit on the throne in the thousand year reign on the earth (Luke 1:32).

It may be hard for us to understand how the incarnation could possible unite, but separate, two natures (man and God) in the body of Jesus Christ; because of our limited understanding, but we know that it happened and it is not surprising to us, because we know that our Omnipotent God has done even greater things than that. This is only one of several places that we know it is true by faith. In our selfish and biblically illiterate society, we raise questions that are for the most part always connected to our faulty knowledge of God. That’s the reason that we are always encouraging those who follow these teachings on the site, to study and hunger after the truth, by reading and studying the Bible for yourself.

The major reason for Christ’s humiliation and death by the hands of the very creatures that He had created, was that it brought the one and only way of forgiveness for sin and reconciliation to God for those that are the elect. Now, I pray that you won’t be crushed by the term, and the idea that God has in eternity past elected a people to belong to Jesus Christ. Yes, if we believe the Bible, we must believe that God elected (Chose) a people, in eternity past that would be saved in time. Don’t allow that little piece of truth to scare you or turn you against our loving God, because God did not identify those that would be nor did He identify those who would not be. That can only be known by the life of those of us who live at any time on the earth. Those who evidence a newness of life that only Christ can bring, live in obedience to the Word and will of God, and walk like Christ did on the earth, will be identifiable as the elect, and those who do not will be those who were ‘passed over’ by God. Those who are recreated ‘in Christ’ will inherit heaven but those who run away from the Lordship of Christ and the Word of God and the Will of God, will inherit hell. (Romans 2:1-11). Think about this ‘ if God were to forget His Justice and Holiness, and set aside His plan for men and reach out and take one unrepentant sinner into heaven, they would be asking for a transfer out the first day; because heaven is going to be a group of people who are following Christ and working and praising and loving Christ for all eternity, and those who find it unattractive to do that on this earth while they are alive here, won’t like it in heaven.

There is entirely too much cheap grace preaching, preaching that never confronts sin in the lives of the congregation, too much knit-picking of the Scriptures to reach the souls of lost sinners. That’s the reason that we have churches today that have as many or more sinners than they have saints. That’s the reason that the churches do not attract many serious people to join them. There are clubs and fraternities and sororities that people can join, so the church when it turns into a social club has only one or two things to offer that the others do not and that is that the church will baby-sit your children. The attitude of most churches today is one of approbation of sinners”we welcome them into our fellowship because we say that “we are all sinners” and everyone of us wants to be the worst sinner in the bunch. Isn’t that an insult to God and to His Sinless Son Jesus Christ’.that we have made His House of prayer and worship a place of merchandise.

God meant for the church to be pure and blameless and to spread like yeast in bread dough through out the world; but instead of that we have reversed God’s plan and now the world is spreading it’s evil tentacles into the church. We have forgotten the reason that Christ ’emptied Himself ‘, gave up heaven and moved to this sin-sick world to tabernacle with us and finally to die a cruel death, become sin for us, and a curse for us so that we could live in Him. Christ came to defeat sin and Satan, and He did exactly that. The problem is that sinners have been in the business of resuscitation, since that time. We daily have millions who are blowing breath back into his lungs and compressing his chest, in the hope that they can give Satan new life. We would have to be almost blind and dim-witted to believe that many of those who profess to march under the banner of Jesus Christ, have any idea about what Christ was all about.

Jesus Christ left heaven and came to the earth to die to pay the penalty for the sins of those who would obey Him. We must know Him intimately in order to love Him. We must know the Biblical Jesus (Not the story book Jesus that is so often presented), and that requires some work on our part. Since it is not packaged and delivered in a form that we can understand with any work on our part, we never really attempt to know any more about Christ than we can hear every now and again in a church setting. The most important thing that we can ever consider, the thing that we all require more than we do anything else in the world is Jesus Christ and His Person and Work for us on the cross. So it is my sincere prayer that you will seek His Face, and study to show yourself approved of God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed. Remember’. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). So I leave you with the admonition ‘behold His Glory’ and worship the only one that is worthy of our worship.

Until next time,

may God bless and keep you

This is Bro. Bob