The Incarnation

Unless we have an adequate understanding of the Incarnation we will never begin to comprehend the magnitude of our Redemption.  The Incarnation is the work of God in Christ in which the Word became Flesh and dwelt among us.  This is mentioned in the first chapter of the Gospel of John.  The Word (Christ) became flesh and dwelt among us.  The Word is Jesus.   Here in John’s Gospel the “Word” is translated from the Greek “Logos” and John uses this term to describe Jesus Christ.  Let’s look at the first chapter of the Gospel of John beginning with verse 1:

 1 ¶ In the beginning was the Word, (notice that “Word” is spelled with a capital W) and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

4 In him was life (“Zoe” or the God-Kind of life. This is not “natural” life, but Supernatural Life; it is a Quality of Life.   God never fails.  If we live in the God Kind of life neither will we.  God has power and wisdom and love and all of His God Attributes.  If we live in the God Kind of life, so will we share in these attributes); and the life was the light of men.

5 ¶ And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

10 He (Jesus) was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. (Did not recognize Him).

11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power (authority) to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (If you have “received” Jesus He has given you authority to become sons of God with all the privileges that pertain to being a literal son of the Most High God.)

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (If you are “saved” you are Born Again of the Spirit.  You are not “after” the flesh nor “after” the will of man but you are Born of God according to His Will.)

14 And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

The Incarnation is the Fact that God condescended;  He left His place in Heaven, lowered Himself, and put on the clothing of humanity.  The Word became flesh and dwelt on earth among the human race and revealed to us the Nature of God and the Glory of God.  This is a foundational principle of our Redemption and we need to come into a full understanding about it.  Paul has something to say about this remarkable work of God in Philippians chapter 2: 

5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in the form (nature) of God, thought it not robbery (something to be grasped at) to be equal with God:

(When Jesus was in heaven with the Father He had the “form” or all the attributes of God… He possessed the Nature of God because He is God)

7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form (nature) of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

(When Jesus condescended to earth He “took upon Himself” the form [nature] of a bond slave or servant and was made [created] in the likeness of human flesh)

8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

(Where “form” refers to the “nature” of Jesus, “fashioned” refers to the outward appearance of Jesus.)

9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

10  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;  (three realms… heaven, earth and demonic)

11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

12 ¶  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure

We will attempt to present some of the benefits that have been made possible for every believer as a result of the Incarnation.   

When Jesus condescended to earth He “laid down” or left behind the nature or attributes of God that He had when He was in heaven with the Father.  The language in verse 7 says that Jesus “emptied” (made Himself of no reputation) Himself of His God nature and assumed the nature (form) of a slave made in the likeness of man.  He left His God Nature in heaven and took on the form or nature of a human being and that not just a “normal’ human being but the nature of a slave.  He became a “person” of the lowest caste… the most oppressed and humble of any human condition. 

Notice verse 8 where it is stated that Jesus was found “in fashion” as a man… in this case, “fashion” refers to the outward appearance where “form” refers to the nature or character of Jesus. 

Do you understand that what you see on the “outside” of a person does not reveal what is really on the “inside” of a person?  This is perhaps why the natural world missed seeing and knowing Who Jesus really was.  He did not “appear” to be God in the flesh but He was.  Jesus had the “fashion” of a man but He was actually God on the inside.   It is “natural” for us to believe what things “look like” but in reality, the real truth may be invisible to the natural eye… it is what is “inside” that is Truth.  This is one reason why natural man has difficulty understanding Truth…. Because natural man is programmed to govern his life by what He sees rather than what the Word says. 

Man was originally created so nearly like God (the Creator) until it was possible for God and man to be united in One Individual… Christ Jesus.  God created man in the beginning so nearly like Himself until it was literally possible for God and man to come together and be united in One Individual… the Man, Christ Jesus.  In Psalm 8 it is said that God made man a “littler lower than Elohim …”

4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels (Elohim), and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

At the Incarnation, God “took on” human flesh.  Every person alive on earth right now is “wearing” human flesh.  This means that you and I were created so much like God until it is possible for God to come and abide inside of us. 

This “Incarnate One” was prophesied many times in the Old Testament.  Notice:

Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee (the devil) and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it (Jesus, the Incarnate One) shall bruise thy head, (His victory over the devil) and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Satan’s attempt to destroy Jesus on the Cross)

Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (“God with us”)

Isa 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end…

These Old Testament Prophets, anointed by the Holy Spirit, looked through the eyes of Divine Revelation and saw Jesus coming into this earth as the Son of God, the Messiah.  They received the revelation that there would be a Man somewhere in the future, Who would come to earth and make it possible for alienated humanity, separated by sin, governed by the devil, destined to hell, and held captive by the enemy, to be reconciled or brought back to God.  The Messiah would be the Means for God and Man to be put back together again.  These Old Testament men saw this through the eyes of prophecy, but they never saw it in reality.  They saw it prophetically.  But you and I have the awesome privilege of living in an age that has revealed this profound Fact to us in reality.  They lived in hope.  We have the actual Record (the Bible) of His coming and we see Who He is through the eyes of Faith.  We do not have to Hope for His appearance, we can look back in History and know that Jesus Christ is the One Who made it possible for man to be reunited with God… He is the God Man… the Promised One… the Messiah. 

Man is the only living creature who was created in the same “class” with God.  He (man) was made or created to fellowship with God.  If man is to fellowship with God and if God is to fellowship with man, man and God must be in the same “class” otherwise, fellowship is impossible.  Man cannot “fellowship with an animal or a plant or any other created being other than another man or with God.  This is because only man and God happen to be in the same “class.”  The only beings capable of “fellowship” are creatures who are in the same class.  Man is in the same class with God;   he was created in the “image” of God. 

It was in Christ that God condescended into human flesh, and through His condescension (Incarnation) made it possible for man and God to be reunited.  In time and in eternity.  Not temporarily, but eternally.  This means that every man who is Born Again is in reality, human flesh with God living on the inside.  This is not damaging the deity of God, but we can see that, in fact, every person who is Born Again is an incarnation…. Because “incarnation” (with a small “I”) means “God in flesh” or “flesh with God inside.”   If you are saved, God lives inside of your flesh.  You are flesh with God inside.  He is “in you.” 

 Col 1:27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you…

If God is living in you, that means the power of God, the Nature of God the ability of God, the Person of God, all of God’s Attributes are latent inside of you and inside of every Born Again child of God.  This is why believers do not have to live a life of struggle and failure and fear and defeat….  God is inside along with His Power and His Ability.   We are able to overcome.  His Power is working in us. 

Eph 3:20  Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

The idea is for us to walk in faith and “let God out” of us when we are in hard situations.  We just walk around letting God out.  This is how we “work out” our salvation.  We “work out” what God has “worked in.”   Many have no knowledge of what (or Who) is “in them” and this lack of knowledge brings about their destruction.  

Ho 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:

 They live in a state of struggle and stress and failure… they “try” so hard and their “religion” and church and spiritual lives become such a burden until they are continually depressed and overwhelmed.  They are continually striving and working and laboring and attempting to maintain their salvation by and through their performance instead of by Faith.   A revelation of the Incarnation is life changing.  It will revolutionize your Christian Walk and give you assurances you never had. 

When we speak about “letting God out” we need to know how to “let Him out.”  It is a faith thing that is activated by our knowledge.  When we “know” the Truth the Truth we know, when acted on,  will make us free (deliver us from all demonic forces and powers.)   As we “acknowledge” every good thing (Jesus) that is in us our faith becomes “effectual” or energized.

Phm 1:6 That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.

Faith works by and through Agape or the God Kind of love.   The major means of releasing the God inside of us is through love.  Love never fails.  Love is the One Thing that always works and never fails. 

When we begin to release God out of us, Love is going to flow like rivers of water.  It will get deeper and broader and swifter.  Nothing we do or say or believe will affect the world as much the rivers of love that gush out of us as we release the God Who is in us.   If God is love and this is His Nature, and if He is inside of us then we are enabled to love others with the God Kind of love.  When we let God out Love begins to flow.  When love flows out of us the Nature of God is released into the earth. 

As we begin to release God out of us, Faith is also going to flow.  Faith is the Nature of God.  Faith is the result of what your spirit eats.  When your spirit eats the Word and gets healthy on a Word diet then “faith cometh…” for Faith is developed by hearing the Word.   

Ro 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Faith is a “natural happening” of a healthy spirit.  A healthy spirit hungers for more of the Word.   The Word in us produces the God kind of faith.  Faith working in us produces revelation.   Word revelation in us develops spiritual knowledge.  And when we act on that knowledge we are kept in victory. It is this Truth that makes us free.  Hallelujah.    

The human spirit has ears.  It has a mouth.  It has a mind.  It has emotion.  It needs attention.  When you continually and constantly feed your spirit the Word you become more and more conformed to the Image of Christ. 

The Incarnation is an established fact.  It is more than theory or theology or philosophy.    It is an historical fact.  Because the Incarnation is the fundamental principle of the Christian faith, the Christian Faith is Supernatural… not natural, but Supernatural.  It is supernatural because we have a Supernatural Redeemer.  His Incarnation is Supernatural.  He was born of a Virgin (Isa 7:14).  He is fathered by the Holy Ghost.  He is the “last Adam” Who completed and perfected the Eternal Purpose and Will of God that was thwarted in the Garden of Eden by the devil and disobedience. 

When God created Adam, God told him that He would create an “help meet” for him.  While Adam slept in a deep sleep, God took one of Adam’s ribs and from that rib made a help meet for Adam and called her a Woman… because she came “out of” Adam.  Then God commanded Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply” and replenish the earth.  All of their offspring were reproduced naturally.  Not supernaturally, but by and though the means of natural conception and childbirth. 

Adam was created by a Sovereign Supernatural creative act of God.  But you and I are created or produced by natural means.  We have a natural father and a natural mother and we were born through natural conception and childbirth.    Jesus was not born by natural means.  He was born of a virgin who was impregnated by an immaculate conception. His Father was not Joseph but God Himself.  Jesus was born of the Seed of Woman (Genesis 3:15) but a woman has no seed… she provides the egg, not the seed.  It is the Male that implants the seed.   The Seed of Mary, therefore, was the Seed of God Himself.  She brought forth a child that had in Him the blood and nature of God.  From the time of Adam until the birth of Jesus there was never a birth outside the natural means of conception and childbearing.  Every birth was by and through natural means.  But when Jesus came, He was born Supernaturally because He was conceived by the Holy Ghost.  The Holy Ghost “overshadowed” Mary, the young virgin, and she was found to be with child.  I cannot explain this.  Nor can you. Nor can anybody else.  This is a supernatural divine and sovereign act of God Himself.  We do not have to explain this… we simply are compelled to believe it.  This divine fiat took place at precisely the right time. 

Gal 4:4 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law…

God operates on a schedule.  He is always on time. He is never a day late or a day early.  Everything about creation (and our lives) is intricately and delicately planned.  God has a plan for everything and for everybody.  You are where you are and what you are because God has a plan and design for you.  When you follow God’s Plan and Purpose everything is good.  It may not appear good or feel good or look good, but it is good.  Because all things work together for the good of those who love God and who are called according to His purpose… (Rom 8:28) 

What was the “fullness of time” Paul writes about in Galatians chapter 4?  It was God’s time for His Redemptive Plan to be completed.  God causes the rise and the fall of nations.  He institutes and positions certain individuals in places of leadership and authority.  God is the Divine Creator and Orchestrator of all of Creation.  He exercises authority and power over all creation. 

When Jesus was born approximately 2000 years ago, the social, geographical and political conditions were ideal.   Not until this specific time had ideal conditions existed for the revelation and manifestation of the Promised Messiah.  The Greek empire had risen to significance and gave to the world the most unique and descriptive and comprehensive language ever mastered by man.  It is exacting.  It is flexible.  It is descriptive. It is the most beautiful and expressive language the world has ever known.  God knew He was going to have a challenge putting all the awesome things He had in store for you and me into a language that we could understand.  The Greek language is the most beautiful and descriptive language on earth.  God needed such a language in order to describe the greatness of His Grand Plan for man.  For example, in the English language there is only one word for “love.”  In the Greek language there are multiple words for “love” and each one describes a different kind of love.  In the English language there is only one word for “life.”  In the Greek language there are multiple words for “life” and each one describes a particular kind of life.  In the “fullness of time” or when God deemed that a language was available which could closely articulate His Will and Plan, the Incarnation took place… Jesus came to earth. 

Not only was the social condition right, but at this particular time in history, the political situation was right as well.   The Roman Empire had risen to power and had conquered the nations surrounding the   Mediterranean Sea.  All these nations had been brought under one government.  For their time, the Romans were far more advanced than many other empires.  They built a massive and intricate road system that provided transportation and communication for all the nations under the control of the Romans.  These roads were open and gave access to all the nations in the regions surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.  Not only did the Romans develop a system for land travel, but they also open sea lanes and began to develop commerce with all the nations they had conquered and brought under the control of the Roman government. 

In the “fullness of time” God saw to it that roads existed for travel, sea lanes were open for commerce and a language was in place for communication…. All of these are necessary to communicate and “export” the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The Good News.  The disciples traveled overland.  The Apostle Paul sailed the sea.  And the Gospel Writers had a medium to record the awesome Works of God.  “In the fullness of time.”  Now in this setting, God sent His Son “made of a woman.”  It is more than obvious that the Incarnation was not an accident or afterthought… but It was orchestrated and carefully planned to take place at this particular time by our Loving Heavenly Father… in order that we might be redeemed. 

The Incarnation makes a statement to the world.  If God was in Christ it is therefore possible for God to be in us. 

What benefits are available to every believer as a result of the Incarnation of Christ?  In Philippians chapter 2, our main reference regarding the Incarnation, notice:

7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

There is a particular word in this verse that is translated “made Himself.”  This word describes what happened at the Incarnation.  That word is “kenosis” which means “self-emptying” or “the emptying of self.”  There is no word comparable to this word in the English language.  Jesus “emptied Himself.”  This was an act of self will.  Jesus chose to “empty” Himself of His “God Form” He had in Heaven with the Father.  Jesus lived in this “God Form” with all the attributes and powers accompanying it throughout all eternity past.  At the Incarnation, Jesus “laid down” or “emptied” Himself of this “God Form” and took upon Himself the Form of Human flesh.   He did not do this temporarily.  He did not do this just for the 33 years He lived on earth.  When He laid down His God Form, He did it forever and forever.  Eternally.  He never “picked it up” and assumed His original God Form again.  He ascended into Heaven following His death on the cross, in a Glorified Human Body.  And He will be in that body when we see Him in heaven.  It’s amazing but He will have the only “imperfect” body in all of heavens’ population.  His body will be the only one with scars.  He arose and assumed His rightful place at the right hand of God… the focal point of all power in heaven and earth… and He rules there with a scarred body.  Pierced hands and feet and side and brow. 

At the Incarnation, when Jesus “emptied” Himself, it was His choice to eternally vacate His God Form and take on the Form of Human Flesh.  This Act of unimaginable sacrifice guarantees that every Born Again Believer will also live in a glorified human body throughout eternity in Heaven with Him.  Hallelujah.  This “heavenly body” will be resurrected, glorified, sanctified, full of the Holy Ghost, never sick, never sad, never tired, never worried, never aging, never flawed in any way… the mind will be open and unlimited, we will be able to Know even as God knows…can you possibly imagine living forever in a body like this? 

Look beginning at verse 9….

9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

There is power and authority in the Name of Jesus.  The disciples were commanded to go out and cast out devils in the Name of Jesus.  They were commanded to heal the sick and raise the dead in the Name of Jesus.  In His Name and under His Authority every knee shall bow of all things in heaven, in earth and under the earth.  That is Angels in heaven.  That is all creatures on earth.  That is all the demon spirits and forces under the earth.  They all recognize the Authority and the Power in that Name.  The Name of Jesus.  When we speak that Name, all these forces and entities must submit.   Do you know we are at the mercy of the devil if we do not know and apply the Word of God?  Do you know that we are at the mercy of the devil if we do not exercise the privilege we have of using the Name of Jesus to force demonic powers to bow at our command? 

12 ¶  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

This verse has been quoted many times and, through misunderstanding, used as an excuse for doubt and unbelief.  What does it really mean to “work out your own salvation?”  What does an athlete do when he or she “works out?”  A work out is an exercise.  If we are going to work out our salvation it will be a process of exercise.  To work out our salvation is to be exercising (doing) what Jesus has told us to do.   This “work out” means that we will be doing what God has given us the Authority and Power to do.  The Works of Jesus.  Preaching.  Teaching. Healing.  Delivering.  Ministering.   Loving.  Giving.  Jesus Himself told us that we would be doing even “greater works” than He did while He was on earth (John 14:12). 

We live in and enjoy victory when we work out what God has put in us.  We become a blessing to the Kingdom.  However, in order to accomplish this level of victory, we must exercise what God has given us.  In every place of failure in the Believer’s life, the cause is not exercising (through ignorance, or disobedience or laziness) what God has put in. 

“Fear” in verse 12 is better translated as “dread “and does not mean horror or terror.  The term used here describes a “wholesome dread of displeasing God.”  When we have a “wholesome dread” of displeasing God… when we had rather do anything other than displease  God;  when we want our life to be so perfectly patterned after His will that He will be “well pleased” with us just as He was with Jesus.  Remember what God said concerning Jesus?  He said, “this is My Beloved Son in Whom I a well pleased…” (Mt 3:17).  We can prevent “displeasing” God through “exercise.”  By working out what God has worked in.   Resist saying wrong things, believing wrong things… resist depression, worry, frustration, stress… just exercise and work out what God has worked in.

“Salvation” here is the all-inclusive word of God’s Grace… soteria and it means deliverance from all oppression and bondage, healing of sickness and disease; it means having a sound mind and it means preservation through all satanic attacks.  It also means having the ability and power of God  and possessing all benefits provided by the Grace of God. 

13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

What is God’s good pleasure?  We find out what God’s good pleasure is in Luke 12:32.

32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

The Kingdom is God’s Perfect Will being done on earth.  God wants to give you and me the Kingdom.  He wants to give us His Perfect Will. 

2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Here we see three levels of the Will of God:  good, acceptable and perfect.  The Perfect Will of God is the Word of God.  God’s Perfect Will is His Word.  God’s perfect will for you and for me is that we line up our lives with the Word of God.  When we do this, we find ourselves in the Perfect Will of God.  Anything less that this will get us in trouble.  We can examine our lives and discover the area in which we are having trouble.  Then we can search the Scriptures and discover what God says about it.  If we are having difficulty and problems with our health, we can search the Word and see what God has to say about healing.  Then, we can take authority over our body and force it to line up with the Word of God.  Our body must obey our spirit.  We can actually constrain our body to conform to the Word and refuse to take anything less than what God says we can have. 

The Bible says that the “thief comes to kill to steal and to destroy….” (John 10:10).  Do you know the main thing the devil is stealing from the church?  He is stealing the Word.  When we do not have the Word working is us, we are subject to all the attacks of the devil.  Whatever area of our life that does not agree with the Word of God is the area we will have trouble with.  It may be in the mental realm, or the physical realm, or the material realm… it may be in our relationships with others… whatever it is, we need to make our situation or circumstance line up with exactly what the Word of God says.  If we will “exercise” our authority over our body, our mind, our finances, our relationships, and our circumstances and make them submit to the Power that is in us… we will discover the “perfect will of God.” 

The Incarnation of Jesus Christ is the Foundation Principle of our Christian Faith and the core Truth of the Gospel. The concept is profound and often overlooked or misunderstood.  However, if we are to ever come into a fuller knowledge and understanding of the Nature and Character of God, we must have some measure of Revelation concerning this great Truth. 

This One Fact has proven to be the most assuring, confidence building and liberating principle that God has ever revealed to me.  It is a real challenge for me to mentally grasp the awesome details of the Incarnation and even more difficult for me to articulate it in a way others can fully appreciate it and accept it.  I pray that this study will open the door to a deeper and more passionate understanding of the Greatness of God and a fuller appreciation of the Measureless Love Jesus has for each of us.

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