What is the Incarnation?

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And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us

 


Those are the words of the beloved apostle John, found in his gospel, in chapter one verse fourteen. They purely represent the most descriptive portion of God’s Word as it pertains to God becoming flesh and dwelling among us. So then, this verse is a wonderful place for us to begin our study this month on the first advent of our Lord.

However, the above portion of that verse cannot be isolated from its overall setting. Therefore, this context helps us to see the union of verse one and all of verse fourteen, 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 have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. Taken together, these verses give us a large and very deep lesson on many vital doctrines. First, they portray the eternal triune God as the living Word who’s already present in the beginning. Second, we learn that the Word is in intimate fellowship with God (the Father); and thirdly, we see again that the Word is God of very God! Lastly, we come face-to-face with this stunning doctrine of the Word becoming flesh (and then tabernacling or pitching His tent) among men. In other words, the glory of heaven has come to earth! Just as, our Lord said in John 17:5, and now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. Notice how this glory unveils the Son of God as being eternally pre-existent. So, He’s there, in the beginning. Then, he’s literally face-to-face with God (the Father), and the Word was with God. And then, we read, and the Word was God. But this amazing portion of God’s Word does not end here. The Word then becomes …flesh and dwelt among us. Colossians 2:9 tells us this as well, For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily; John 10:30 affirms this too, I and the Father are one; as does John 14:9, Jesus said to him, Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?  In addition, these amazing truths continue the natural outflow of Psalm 113:5-6’s instruction, who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high, who looks far down on the heavens and the earth?  This can only mean that the God-head (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) have come to earth! Yes, the Word was miraculously born in human flesh, near an Inn, in a barn, then placed in a manger, all located in a back-water village named Bethlehem, about one day’s journey from Jerusalem, just as the prophet Micah had foretold, But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days (5:2). That is, the “Ancient of Days” (Daniel 7:13-14) was born as a man in an obscure place. And further, “mighty God” will be born as a the “Son” child while also being born assuredly as the “Father.” This is why Isaiah 9:6-7 brings us closer to pulling all of this mysterious activity together, For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this (Isaiah 9:6-7). In conclusion we read, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. This glory which appeared at a dark time two-thousand years ago, The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone (Isaiah 9:2) was seen by the apostles, and is seen by all “wise men” today who have responded to the truth (John 14:6) by receiving His “Free grace” (John 1:12). And this is why we celebrate the Incarnation!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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