The Importance of the Incarnation

The Importance of the Incarnation

BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.” Matthew 1:23

The story of the Incarnation of Christ is the story of the God of the universe leaving His heavenly home to condescend to the place of man in order to infiltrate humanity by becoming a human. This was necessary to fulfill all kinds of prophecies and to make it possible for God’s perfect judgment to be satisfied. So why is the incarnation of Christ so important?

A perfect sacrifice was necessary and God could not accomplish this in His deity alone since blood was required to be shed (Leviticus 17:11). It also created a new opportunity for man to get to know God through the presence of the Son of God.

Martin Luther said, “The Son of God did not want to be seen and found in heaven. Therefore, He descended from heaven into this humility and came to us in our flesh, laid Himself into the womb of His mother and into the manger, and went on to the cross. This was the ladder that He placed on earth so that we might ascend to God on it.” God came to earth to rescue man from his humanity and this opened the door for man to have access directly to God. CS Lewis got a glimpse of this reality below:

“In the Christian story, God descends to reascend. He comes down; down from the heights of absolute being into time and space, down into humanity; down further still, if embryologists are right, to recapitulate in the womb ancient and pre-human phases of life; down to the very roots and seabed of the Nature He has created.

But He goes down to come up again and bring the whole ruined world with Him. One has the picture of a strong man stooping lower and lower to himself underneath some great complicated burden. He must stoop in order to lift, he must almost disappear under the load before he incredibly straightens his back and marches off with the whole mass swaying on his shoulders.”           

In John 3:13-14, “No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. 14 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up”. Heaven is not accessible to the man on his own. The example of the tower of Babel in Genesis 11 tells us that man cannot build a tower high enough to reach God. Instead, God reaches down to man and provides the perfect avenue, a divine ladder into heaven, itself.

Jacob got a glimpse of this ladder in Genesis 28:12, “He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven, and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.” Man finds this ladder in his exaltation of the Son of Man, who humbled Himself on our behalf.

Incarnation: His birth and His death

It is Christ’s humility that connects man to his God in the present realm. In Philippians 2:5-8,

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

The cross of Christ is connected to His birth in that the baby, wrapped in swaddling linens similar to grave clothes, was always intended to die. His eternal mission was to open the doors of heaven to all who believe in Him.

So then, what is the freeway that leads me to this amazing ladder? Isaiah recognized it in Old Testament times in a vision he received of the Milleniel Kingdom in Isaiah 35:8-10,

A highway will be there, a roadway, and it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, but it will be for him who walks that way, and fools will not wander on it. No lion will be there, nor will any vicious beast go up on it; these will not be found there. But the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord will return and come with joyful shouting to Zion, with everlasting joy upon their heads. They will find gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”

God has promised this Highway of Holiness to the Jews, but in the New Testament age, this avenue is by way of the partaking of His divine nature.

“3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.” 2 Peter 1:3-4

Dr. Carl Stevens, in his booklet entitled “Theantric Action”, says that “it is vital for every Christian to discern the contrast between living in his natural disposition with the effects of the Fall and abiding in the divine nature or disposition of Jesus Christ through the provisions of grace.”

Becoming a partaker of the divine nature is a matter of living by faith in His precious and magnificent promises, that the divine ladder is prepared by the work of Jesus Christ and not by human effort or accomplishment.

Incarnation: Theantric Action

Theantric action is the coming together of God (Theos) and man (Anthropos), with two wills coming together to function as one. The abundant life Jesus promises believers in John 10:10 is experienced through the appropriation of God’s promises. The believer accepts them as true for his life and thereby enters into an agreement with His will, and as a result, is able to submit to God’s ultimate provisions for every area of life.

A noted rabbi was delivering a powerful lecture about God and the Bible to a group of adults when one of the participants, a college professor, interrupted. He said, “I want you to stop speaking right now. If you continue, I might have to change my lifestyle – and I like my lifestyle!” The divine ladder begins when the believer decides to listen to the Word of God and is willing to change his lifestyle.

Incarnation: Seven Major Events in History

Lewis Sperry Chafer, maybe the foremost theologian of the 20th century, recognized the Incarnation of Christ as one of the seven major events in the history of the universe, along with the creation of angels, the creation of material things, the death of the Incarnate One, His resurrection, His coming again, and His reign on earth forever.

Read: God of Heaven

The Incarnation brings the reality of a living and personal God into clear focus to humankind and makes a relationship with Him not only possible but a living reality to all who see His supreme act of humility.

Lewis Sperry Chafer, maybe the foremost theologian of the 20th century, recognized the Incarnation of Christ as one of the seven major events in the history of the universe, along with the creation of angels, the creation of material things, the death of the Incarnate One, His resurrection, His coming again, and His reign on earth forever.

The Importance of the Incarnation

The Incarnation brings the reality of a living and personal God into clear focus to humankind and makes a relationship with Him not only possible but a living reality to all who see His supreme act of humility.

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