Grace Bible Church
Basic Training in Doctrine
September 18, 2007
The Doctrine of the Incarnation, Part 1
Point 1: Definition and description. The incarnation is the doctrine of the revelation of God the Son’s birth into this world as a human being, thus becoming true humanity without loss of any aspect of His deity, and remaining as both true natures forever in one person. The incarnation is the reality that God the Son became a man, and as such retains all the characteristics of both natures without overlap, yet being both natures in one person forever. The incarnation is not just the doctrine of the virgin birth, but it is the entirety of all that Christ accomplished for mankind from the time of His human birth to all of eternity. 1. The creation of the angelic hosts, COL 1:16. 2. The creation and restoration of material things including man, GEN 1:1-31. 3. The incarnation, JOH 1:14. 4. The spiritual and physical death of Christ, JOH 19:30. 5. The resurrection of Christ, Matt 28:5-6. 6. The second advent of Christ, REV 19:11-16. 7. The creation of the new heavens and the new earth, REV 21:1;ISA 65:17. The descent from the infallible heights of heaven in which the Second Person of the Trinity dwelt in eternity past, to the sphere inhabited by mere creatures of His hand, in order that He might lift them to the sphere of His eternal glory, constitutes an event of boundless importance. God didn’t wait for acceptance before He was born in this world as a man. His mission was to redeem fallen man and to reveal the truth of God whether these things would be valued by His creatures or not. The event of the incarnation makes for the most unique Person of eternity past, time, and eternity future. His incarnation reveals a truth about His uniqueness as the God-man. He is true Deity, He is true humanity, and together He becomes the theanthropic person. Point 2: Who became incarnate? God the Son descended from the third heaven and became true humanity, but without a sin nature. The deity of the Son never left Him, but He remained God as He will for all time and eternity. The deity and the humanity of the Son never overlap or mix but they are both in the person of Jesus Christ forever. He is true humanity and undiminished deity in one person forever. If Christ is replaced by someone’s “idea” of who He is, which is contrary to the reality of Him, then all of Christianity loses its value and power. 1 Cor 3:11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Christ originates the universe as its Creator and continues to be the object of faith for salvation. He sits now at the right hand of God and in His deity He continues to hold the universe together and control human history. He is an advocate at the right hand of God who continually defends believers from the accuser satan, and offers prayer on behalf of His bretheren. Only God could have created this reality in which we live, and if Christ is God and man then He is our reality because He has taken, as a part of Himself, the same nature as us. Christ is God in His divine nature and man in His human nature, but in His Personality as the God-man He is neither one nor the other apart from the unity which He is. Ps 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. The union of His two natures was an event in time, but will continue forever. 1 Peter 1:20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you Acts 2:23 this Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. EPH 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. EPH 3:11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, MIC 5:2 “But as for you,, Too little to be Bethlehem Ephrathah among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.” prototokos pasees ktiseos = Begotten before every creature. Thus, pasa ktisis has not to be taken ‘the first-begotten of all creatures,’ but in its strict sense, which is ‘before every creature.’ These passages guide the mind of the believer who is positive towards the word of God that the eternal Son of God has entered the human sphere. Point 3: How did the Son become incarnate? Jesus Christ was born into a human family and thus came to possess His own human body, soul, and spirit. There is a large difference here between a divine indwelling, which means God in a man, and incarnation, which is no less than Deity assuming a complete humanity. The virgin birth was simply an important step in the whole incarnation undertaking. The incarnation is the whole life of the Son of God from the virgin birth on to eternity to come. Christ would not discard His humanity after His mission on behalf of man was accomplished. It is amazing to think that God will exist as a human (not an angel or any other created being) for all of eternity. Zech 13:6 And one will say to Him, ‘What are these wounds between your arms?’ Then He will say, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’ Phil 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; Phil 3:21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. Christ’s glorified human body has become a revelation to all angelic hosts of that reality which the saints will display in heaven when they, too, shall have received their resurrection bodies. HEB 5:8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. HEB 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Now God the Son in Hypostatic Union sits at the right hand of God as One who understands and sympathizes with our weaknesses and He prays to the Father on our behalf. 1 John 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; HEB 7:25 Hence, also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. Point 4: For what purpose did He become incarnate?