Summary: Some brief observations about what the Incarnation means to you and me today.
Recently the news was announced that water may once have existed on Mars. It seems the world is increasingly obsessed with finding and interacting with extra-terrestrial life.
Many people these days believe in alien life-forms. Many believe that we might actually one day, make contact with alien life forms who will share their intelligence with us so we can make the earth a better place to live.
I want you to hear the message behind what they are actually saying. They are saying that they’re looking for a Saviour; An intelligent life form that will solve all the problems on earth.
Isn’t this what the Christmas story is all about? Christmas, is a reminder that we don’t need radio messages from deepest, darkest space. Contact has already been made. The earth is a visited planet. The Bible puts it like this …
The Word [i.e. Jesus] became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only who came from the Father full of grace and truth
(John 1:14 NIV)
The claim the Bible makes about Christmas is that the God of the Universe became flesh – that is God became a human being, and went by the name of Jesus.
The One we are looking for to save us from the mess our world is in has arrived already. And the reason he has come is so that you can see and know God.
This uniquely Christian belief is what we call “The Incarnation.” Here are three brief observations about what the Incarnation means to you and me today.
1. ATTAINMENT OR OBTAINMENT
Does salvation come up from mankind through striving or down from above by an act of God? Is salvation an attainment or an obtainment.
That question separates Christianity from all other religions.
Non-Christian religions teach that salvation is the work of mankind; but Christianity teaches that salvation is the gift of God alone – an obtainment not an attainment.
Christianity alone falls in to the category of obtainment.
The very last words of Buddha to his disciples were, “Strive without ceasing.” How different these are to the last words of Jesus who said, “It is finished” (John 19:30 NIV)
II) THE INCARNATION IS UNIQUE
The incarnation is the chief distinctive of the Christian faith. That God became a man in order to save is a doctrine unique to Christianity. There is nothing like that anywhere else in the world.
… God … sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him” (Galatians 4:4 NIV).
So when you’re asked, “what makes Christianity so different to any other religion?” You say … “God became a human, so that humans could be see and know God.”
III) THE INCARNATION IS HISTORICAL.
John wrote this …
The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only (John 1:14a)
He says, “We have seen his glory,” which means that there is eyewitness evidence to support the claim that the Son of God came to earth as the man Jesus. Christianity is not just about values and principles; it’s about real events – happenings - awesome historical events. Some people see becoming a Christian as a blind leap of faith. Now there is a leap of faith needed to become a Christian – but it’s not a blind leap. There are many hard facts to back up the claims of Christ.
God has landed in an enemy occupied world as a man named Jesus – and he has come to save us.