As the holiday season fast approaches, the church is given a unique opportunity every year to announce to the world why Christ has come. How will we witness to the miracle of Christmas this year? Will we focus on the celebrations and parties? Or will we return our focus upon the God-man and why he matters for a dying world?
Many churches continue to struggle to understand the importance of Christ’s coming into the world and why he matters. Did he ever specifically make the claim that he was God? Why did the world need “God in human flesh” to rescue us in the first place? Why did Jesus refer to himself as the Son of Man? Was this idea of a divine descent ever mentioned anywhere in the Old Testament? The hosts will address these questions and more as they begin a new series on The Incarnation on this episode of the White Horse Inn.
“All of God’s purposes converge in Jesus Christ. The Son is the eternal mediator of the covenant of redemption, which already in eternity, rendered him by anticipation the one who would become incarnate and give his life for his people. He’s also the second Adam who undoes the curse of the first Adam and fulfills the covenant of creation, thereby winning for his people the right not only to be the risen head, but the resurrection life-giving Lord. Therefore, the covenant of grace of which Christ is the mediatorial head, is secured eternally in that covenant of redemption, for all the promises of God find their yes in him, as Paul says. The mother of all promises is made in Genesis 3:15 to Adam and Eve on the heels of hearing the judge pronounce the guilty verdict. As the federal head of the human race, Adam’s treason was our treason. We inherit his guilt and corruption but God promised a seed of a woman who would crush the serpent’s head.
“Although Israel, like Adam, failed to drive the serpent out of God’s holy garden and instead succumb to the seduction of God’s archenemy, God pledges that he will not utterly destroy Israel but will preserve a remnant from which will emerge the Messiah who will bring an ultimate salvation and an everlasting kingdom of righteousness, not only to Jews, but to the nations. But why did this Messiah have to be God? Why couldn’t he have been merely a great prophet or king who inspires us by his deeds, teachings and example? Is there a danger, on the other hand, of emphasizing his deity to the exclusion of his humanity? Tune in…”
Term to Learn
“Of the Incarnation of the Son of God”
We confess, therefore, that God has fulfilled the promise which He made to the fathers by the mouth of His holy prophets, when He sent into the world, at the time appointed by Him, His own only-begotten and eternal Son, who took upon Him the form of a servant and became like unto man, really assuming the true human nature with all its infirmities, sin excepted; being conceived in the womb of the blessed virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit without the means of man; and did not only assume human nature as to the body, but also a true human soul, that He might be a real man. For since the soul was lost as well as the body, it was necessary that He should take both upon Him, to save both. Therefore we confess (in opposition to the heresy of the Anabaptists, who deny that Christ assumed human flesh of His mother) that Christ partook of the flesh and blood of the children; that He is a fruit of the loins of David after the flesh; born of the seed of David according to the flesh; a fruit of the womb of Mary; born of a woman; a branch of David; a shoot of the root of Jesse; sprung from the tribe of Judah; descended from the Jews according to the flesh; of the seed of Abraham; since he took on him the seed of Abraham, and was made like unto his brethren in all things, sin excepted; so that in truth He is our Immanuel, that is to say, God with us.
(The Belgic Confession, Article 18)