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Incarnation

The word "incarnation" is not used in the Bible.

But a proper knowledge of this crucial truth in the Scriptures is essential to fully
understand and appreciate God's plan for redemption and the goal of our salvation. I
would even say that the incarnation is the beginning of the manifestation of the gospel
of God and a revelation of His eternal purpose.

Incarnate -- to give bodily form and substance to, to give a concrete or actual form to.
Incarnation -- the embodiment of a deity or spirit in some earthly form, the union of
divinity with humanity in Jesus Christ. (Webster)

I believe the greatest question anyone could ever ask is "Who is Jesus Christ?". Even
Jesus himself asked his disciples this exact question (Matt. 16:13-15). Was he really
God? And if so, how could that be? How did that happen? What does this mean? Or was
he just the Son of God? In what way was he the Son of God? And was he a genuine man?
Was he just like us? Did he ever sin? Was he even tempted to sin? What kind of man was
he?

All of these questions and more are answered in the incarnation!

There is a wonderful verse in the Old Testament that says, "For unto us a Child is born,
unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name
will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace"
(Isaiah 9:6). This verse is clearly a prophecy concerning the birth of Jesus Christ. A
child, a son, who is called the Everlasting Father. A mystery? Yes! But a mystery that
has been uncovered. Read Romans 16:25, 26.

Now let's take a look at some of what the New Testament says about this mystery of the
incarnation:

Matthew 1:18 -- "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was
betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit."

- A child conceived of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the young virgin Mary.

- He would be called Jesus, which comes from the Hebrew name Joshua and
means "the salvation of the Lord." He was to save his people from their sins (Matt.
1:21).

- He would also be called Emmanuel (Matt. 1:23) meaning "God with us"; the
fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14. Jesus! Emmanuel! God with us! This is the
incarnation; God becoming man; divinity putting on humanity; God manifested in the
flesh; the eternal, being clothed with the temporal; God and man becoming one!

John 1:1, 14 -- "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the
Word was God.... 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."
- The Word was God; the Word became flesh.

- No one had ever seen God; now He was embodied in the flesh (Col. 1:19; 2:9).

- His opposers knew He was making Himself equal with God (John 5:18).

- He told them that if they knew Him, they would know the Father (John 8:19).

- At least four times, He told them He was in the Father and that the Father was
in Him (John 10:38; 14:10-11; 17:21).

- He told His disciples that if they have seen Him, they have seen the Father
(John 14:7-9).

Romans 1:1-4 -- "Paul, a bond servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle,


separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the
Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of
David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to
the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead."

- The gospel of God, which is also called the gospel of the promise (Acts 13:32), is
concerning both the incarnation and the resurrection of the Son of God.

- His humanity was in the lineage of David; His divinity was from the Holy Spirit
of which He was conceived.

Romans 8:3 -- "For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh,
God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He
condemned sin in the flesh."

- Although He was a genuine man, He came only in the likeness of the flesh of sin.

- Yes, as a man He was tempted like us (Heb. 2:18).

- Yet, He was without sin (Heb. 4:15)

- Through Mary, God took on humanity; He put on the likeness of the flesh of sin.
But having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and not the seed of man, the sinful nature
was not passed on to Him. Now that we have some basic understanding of the
manifested mystery of the incarnation of God, the next question to ask is “why?”. For
what reason did God become a man? Why did divinity become one with humanity? My
simple answer would be: to accomplish redemption and produce many sons of God
(Gal. 4:4-5).

Since next week's topic will be on redemption, followed by other related topics including
the salvation which makes us sons of God, I expect that a greater understanding and
appreciation of the incarnation will develop during this period of time. Glory be to God!