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Christ's Incarnation



Do you believe in the incarnation? I mean, really believe. Do you believe that Jesus is the incarnate God?

The Jehovah Witnesses definitely do not believe this. The Christian church's neglect of this marvellous truth has left Christian's prey to their false religion that propogates a fatal delusion. The JW's fatal delusion sinks people and drowns them in a mire of catastrophically flawed teaching.

Belief in the incarnation is by no means a small matter. It is foundational to our faith. It is essential we establish our Christian faith on the incarnation of Jesus Christ.


The Gospel of Saint John starts with this truth - the incarnation of the Son of God. John builds up to it with the words, "In the beginning was the Word" and then hits us with the announcement of the incarnation, "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us." Joh.1:1,14

John's words "became flesh" are his representation of the incarnation. He is literally saying the Word, God, came in a human body to live among us. The birth of Jesus is the coming of God into the world as a human being.


Now as Christians, who've had a good evangelical upbringing in God's Word, we all know that. We say regularly "the birth of Jesus is the coming of God into the world" but how much of that are we truly taking in. Christian, in seeing the baby see the Man, the Son of God. This is God come in the flesh. Jesus is God incarnate.


It is His incarnation that Jesus speaks of at the synagogue in Capernaum. We find it recorded in the sixth chapter of John's Gospel. John provides us with a link word for the incarnation, the word "flesh". In chapter one he tells us "the Word became flesh", in chapter six Jesus tells us,

"The bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."

John 6:51 - Weymouth's translation


What is Jesus to give for the life of the world? It is His incarnation. He lays down His incarnation that we might live.


The link between the incarnation and the resurrection is an essential one. It is unbreakable and foundational. You can't have the resurrection without the incarnation. Indeed, the resurrection is consequential on the incarnation - you would not expect the end to turn out any other way.

God's plan of salvation for mankind works through the three part wonder - the incarnation, the Cross and the resurrection.


Paul, with his usual eloquence, puts it this way,

When the time was fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born subject to Law, in order to ransom those who were subject to Law, so that we might receive the recognition as sons.

Galatians 4:4 - 5 - Weymouth's translation


In that scripture passage "God sent His Son" is a declaration of incarnation, while "ransom" or "redeem" describes the death that He died. This death was then validated as a more than sufficient redeeming sacrifice by His resurrection.


Let's go back to what Jesus told at the synagogue in Capernaum as we have it recorded in John 6. As He spoke Jesus used the language of the Eucharist but this is not the theme of His response to the crowd asking for a sign from Him. As G.B. Caird points out in his book The Language and Imagery of the Bible, "The Eucharist is the source of John's language, not the theme or referent of the language."

The theme of Jesus' response is His incarnation, that is, the Son of God come in the flesh. Once you realise this the plainness of His speech about His origin and His presence in the world is startling. Listen to what He says,

God's bread is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. I am the bread of life...For I have left heaven and come down to earth.

John 6:33,35,38 - Weymouth's translation


This message that He was the Son of God incarnate wasn't missed by the listening crowd. They murmured about it saying,

"Is not this man Joseph's son? What does he mean by now saying, 'I am come down from heaven'?"

John 6:41-42 - Weymouth's translation


Jesus' response to this is to shift from His arrival as the incarnate Son of God to His laying down His incarnation in order to give life to the world. He was speaking, of course, about His death and the manner and purpose of it. He said,

"The bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."

John 6:51 - Weymouth's translation


The incarnation was for a purpose. The purpose was salvation, the salvation of man from sin. He was to make a redeeming sacrifice which would make a way for God to forgive. He who had no sin was to take the wages of sin upon Himself who had become deserving of no such wages in order that we ourselves would not have to receive those wages, namely, death. It was a redeeming sacrifice. A sacrifice of substitution. Rom.6:23, Gal.3:13, Col.1:14.

As I wrote earlier, the validation of this redemption was the resurrection. If the wages of were not rightfully due to be laid on Jesus then, in the end, death could have no hold over Him. It had to release its grasp. When the power of the Holy Spirit came upon Him in that place of death then death relinquished Him and He rose again. The resurrection showed the redeeming sacrifice to be more than sufficient to free man from sin. At the same time, it showed that Jesus had all the time been "the Word become flesh", the incarnate God, the Son of God come down from heaven.


Belief in the redemption, the resurrection and the incarnation are intimately linked. The one engenders the other. This is why Jesus goes on to say,

"In very truth I tell you that unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you."

John 6:53. - Weymouth's translation


You have to eat Him, all of Him - His incarnation, His redemption, His resurrection. Not just His incarnation but the sacrifice of His incarnation, His act of redemption for us all. Paul sums up the completeness of whom Jesus is for us when He writes,

Christ Jesus is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption.

1 Corinthians 1:30. - Weymouth's translation


Reflect on this. Reevaluate your belief in the incarnation. Let your faith in redemption and resurrection grow out of your renewed faith in the incarnation - "the Word become flesh."

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