Summary: A sermon on 1 Timothy 3:16 focusing on the incarnation (Mostly taken from Max Lucado's book, God Came Near, and also at: http://maxlucado.com/read/topical/gods-greatest-surprise/)
In one verse Paul reminds Timothy of the gospel in all its fullness. Tries to cover the whole gospel. Some songs try to do that:
You came from heaven to earth, to show the way, from the earth to the cross, my debt to pay, from the cross to the grave, from the grave to the sky, Lord I lift your name on high.
One Day: Living He love me; dying, He saved me; Buried, He carried my sins far away; Rising, He justified freely forever; One day He's coming- O glorious day!
Focusing on one aspect of the gospel and that is the incarnation: the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body. 1 Timothy 3:16 speaks of a personal manifestation of God- God in the second Person was manifested.
The union of the divine and human natures is not like any other union. It is unlike the union between the soul and body of man; body and soul compose only one nature between them. Christ’s union with believers cannot be compared with the union of the divine and human natures in Christ, for the distinction between Christ and the Christian is maintained. Nor is it like the union among the persons of the Trinity. In Christ there is one person and two natures; in the Trinity there are three persons and one nature.
Like we said last week this serves as an example for us. Christians need to beware of pride. The Son of God emptied Himself; shall His children be full of pride? Jesus Christ took upon Himself the form of a servant; shall His people be lords to be ministered to and not to minister? Christ must be manifest in our flesh. When a person sees a Christian, he sees Christ manifest in him.
Great but the union of God and human nature in the flesh is not like any other union.
Thesis: Let’s talk about one last aspect of the incarnation
Author: Max Lucado from the book “God Came Near.”
Christ didn’t insist on plush, royal robes or gleaming, golden scepters. He didn’t come on wings of a heavenly host, live in a celestial palace, or march at the head of an angelic honor guard.
He was the son of a carpenter in a remote section of an oppressed nation. He was God’s greatest surprise. The heart of heaven wrapped in human flesh.
“You mean to tell me God became a baby…
The one posing the questions was puzzled. His thick eyebrows furrowed in doubt and his eyes squinted in caution. Though there were places to sit, he opted not to do so. He preferred to stand safely behind the crowd, unsure, yet intrigued by what he was hearing. Throughout the lecture he had listened intently, occasionally uncrossing his arms to stroke his whiskered chin. Now, however, he stood upright, punching the air with his finger as he queried.
…and that he was born in a sheep stable?”
He looked as though he’d walked down from one of the adjacent Colorado mountains: stocking hat, down vest, nylon leggings, hiking boots. And he sounded as though he honestly didn’t know if the story he was hearing was a mountain legend or the gospel truth.