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Audio Message: John 1:14-18 The Incarnation

John 1:14–18 (NKJV)  14 And the Word became 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.   15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ ”   16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.   17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.   18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

The Word Becomes Flesh: Incarnation

  • Incarnation: the assuming by God of human nature in the person of Jesus Christ. The incarnation is the fixed and permanent physical dwelling of God in his world, as opposed to the temporary manifestation of the divine presence and power in a theophany.
  • Theophany – Manifestation of God that is tangible to the human senses. In its most restrictive sense, it is a visible appearance of God in the Old Testament period often, but not always, in human form.

God the Son assumed human nature: 1 John 1:1–2; 2 John 7

Jesus Christ’s incarnation involved a supernatural conception: Luke 1:35; Jesus is the Son of God both eternally as God and humanly in the incarnation

Jesus Christ Christ’s incarnation involved a virgin birth: Isaiah 7:14; His very birth was a miracle, evidence of His origin and nature

The cost of the incarnation: Philippians 2:6–7

  • KENOSIS –  the eternal Son of God chose not to exercise independent use of the divine attributes which were not consistent with a fully human existence… “kenoo” which means “make empty.”  Philippians 2:5–8; Mark 13:32; John 11:34; Luke 2:52; John 5:19; The reality is  “kenosis” is beyond our comprehension…
  • Hebrews 2:10  – How would you like to live the next 30 years KNOWING that at the end you would be utterly abandoned by all, accused and insulted unfairly, then tortured and murdered in the most horrendous way imaginable?

The necessity of the incarnation: Romans 5:17–19; only a person who is fully human and fully divine can be the effective mediator between God and humanity; 1 Tim 2:5;

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Verse 14  Christ as God was uncreated and eternal, the Word “became” emphasizes Christ’s taking on humanity; Hebrews 2:14–18

  • Profound: the Infinite became finite; the Eternal was constrained to time; the Invisible became visible; the supernatural One reduced Himself to the natural.
  • 1 Timothy 3:16 – the mystery

Verse 15  John the Baptist repeats the same claims of John, of Jesus eternal nature and deity

Verse 16-18  “grace for grace.”  emphasizes the superabundance of grace that has been displayed by God toward mankind, especially believers; Ephesians 1:5–8

  • The law, given by Moses, was not a display of God’s grace but God’s demand for holiness.
  • 1:18 Theologians derived the term “exegesis” or “to interpret” from this verse. All that Jesus is and does interprets and explains who God is and what He does

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  • The NT teaching on the incarnation balances the humanity and divinity of Christ.
  • Those two facts must harmonize in any theological system, for both are absolutely necessary parts of God’s redemptive plan.
  • In the incarnation, Jesus became a perfect human being.
  • As God in human flesh, he suffered the divine penalty for sin as an innocent substitute.
  • Being both God and a man, Jesus simultaneously revealed God’s will for human life and reconciled sinful people to God through his own perfect life and death.
  • Because of the incarnation, therefore, those who believe in Christ have peace with God and new
    life from God.