The Importance of the Incarnation:
How many messages have you ever heard on the “incarnation”? I hope you will pay close attention today as we’ll read and study the incarnation.
Rom. 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh
Col. 2: 8-9 .8Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
“INCARNATION” — is a theological term for the coming of God’s Son into the world as a human being. The term itself is not used in the Bible, but it is based on clear references in the New Testament to Jesus as a person “in the flesh”
Jesus participated fully in all that it means to live a human life. But if Jesus were merely a man, no matter how great, there would be no significance in drawing attention to His bodily existence. The marvelous thing is that in Jesus, God Himself began to live a fully human life. The capacity of Jesus to reveal God to us and to bring salvation depends upon His being fully God and fully man at the same time.
There is nothing in fact or in fiction in the history of man that can come close to the mystery of the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
No one ever anticipated God’s intervention into human history by the birth of a child, born in a manger.
Not even the Jews were looking for their Messiah to come in this way.2 and now days it seems we have become so accustomed to the biblical narratives of the birth of our Lord that we have ceased to appreciate the mystery of the incarnation.
So today Lord willing I’ll try just for a little while to talk about the INCARNATION, that is, GOD coming to the earth in the form of a MAN.
ISAIAH 9: 6For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace
JOHN 17: 1-51These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
3And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ,** whom thou hast sent.
4I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. 5And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
Phil. 2:5-8 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross
If we are to properly appreciate the mystery of the incarnation, we must first come to recognize the importance of the coming of our Lord as God incarnate. Let us consider the reasons why the doctrine of the incarnation is vital to every one of us.
(1) The Doctrine of the Incarnation Should be the Focus of a Christian Celebration of Christmas.
If we are to properly appreciate the mystery of the incarnation, we must first come to recognize the importance of the coming of our Lord as God incarnate.
As we all know Dec.25th is the day that we recognize the birth of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ, although we’re not sure of the date of His birth, we certainly have many bible refererances telling us that He was born. He was born of the Virgin Mary
Throughout the centuries various elements of pagan celebrations have been included in the observance of Christmas.
And it is due to these “other-than-Christian” elements that the central focus of Christmas on the incarnation has been over looked.
~~Now it’s Santa clause, gift giving, eating here and there, holiday songs and the like.~~
If we are to truly enter into the spirit and celebration of Christmas in Christian worship, then we must focus our attention on the event of the incarnation, which really is the heart of the Christmas message.
The Doctrine of the Incarnation is Not Only Neglected by Christians Today; it is Under Attack By Those Who Would Call Themselves “Christians.”
While it seem as though our culture is open to “super-beings” such as superman and the like who are fictional, there has been increased hostility and opposition to the biblical doctrine of the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Þ AND THE WORD OF God says this about people like that.
1ST JOHN 4:1Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
The doctrine of the incarnation is vital to the Christian faith because other biblical doctrines will stand or fall with it. Where people stand on the doctrine of the incarnation is often the dividing line between true Christianity and the cults: The incarnation is a real stumbling block to many people such as the Jews, Moslems, Unitarians, Jehovah’s Witnesses,
~Along with the virgin birth, the miracles, the atonement, and the resurrection), they simple can’t accept it. ~
The uniqueness of the Christian faith is directly related to the biblical teaching of the incarnation of Christ: the Christian doctrine of the incarnation expresses the conviction of Christians that God has made Himself known, specifically and Personally, by taking our human nature into Himself, by coming amongst us as a particular Man, without in any way ceasing to be the eternal and infinite God.
· Just what is and was the Purposes of the Incarnation?
. The Bible reveals a number of purposes for the incarnation of our Lord. AND when we do away with the incarnation, these purposes will not be realized.
One of the purposes was To Reveal God To Men
In the past, God had revealed Himself through His works (as recorded in the Scriptures), His world (Psalm 19:1-6 1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. 2Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 4Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, 5Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. 6His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
In the past He revealed Himself in His word
(Ps. 19:7-11 7The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 8The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. 10More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
And finally God was revealed in the coming of Christ, God was revealed in the person of Jesus Christ:
Heb.1: 1God, who at sundry times and in divers manners** spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
(John 1:17-18 17For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. 18No man hath seen God at any time; [the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. ).]
The Lord Jesus can therefore say without any hesitation, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).
And not only does the Lord Jesus reveal the Father to men, He also reveals men for what they are in God’s sight:
John 1:4In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.--
9That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
Before, God had revealed His standard of righteousness in precept and in principle, but in Christ that standard was revealed in person.
EPH.4: 13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
The Lord clearly claimed to be the very One whom the apostles represented as the incarnate Son of God
Gal. 4:4-5 4But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons ).
To refuse to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, as God incarnate is therefore to reject all of God’s divine revelation, be that the Old or the New Testament Scriptures,
John 5:39-40; 39Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 40And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
John 6:45 45It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me
Matt. 22:29 29Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. .
Therefore it is little wonder, then, that those who reject the biblical teaching of the incarnation also reject the authority of the Scriptures, which so emphatically teach this doctrine.
Nothing could be more clearly documented in the Scriptures than the fact that the principle purpose of the incarnation was to save men from their sins:
(Luke 19:10; “For the son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost”
(I Tim. 1:15; 15This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; cf.
I Jn. 4:10 10Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. ).
Therefore eliminate sin as the occasion and redemption as the prime end of the Incarnation, and none of the other relations in which it stands, and none of the other effects which flow from it, will be fulfilled, at least in the measure of their rights.13
The inseparable relationship of the incarnation of Christ and the atonement can be seen at the communion table. Here, we are reminded that our salvation has been obtained through the shed blood of Christ on the cross of Calvary.
What two elements are used to represent the work of Christ on man’s behalf? They are the bread and the wine. Both these elements are evidence of the necessity of the incarnation.
The bread is a symbol of the body--the human body of our Lord which was given for man’s salvation.
The unleavened bread reminds us that His body was without sin, which was also a result of the incarnation of our Lord.
And the cup symbolizes the blood of our Lord which was shed for the forgiveness of our sins. Blood could not have been shed apart from a human body. Therefore the atonement, which our Lord accomplished for us, was dependent upon the incarnation.
To put in more directly, “apart from the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins” (Heb. 9:22), and apart from a human body, there could be no shedding of blood.
We should hardly be surprised that Satan would choose to give his best efforts at undermining the doctrine of the incarnation, for it is foundational to man’s redemption.