Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Importance of the Incarnation

'...[E]very spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.…'
- 1 John 4:2

'Although the work of redemption was not actually wrought by Christ till after His incarnation, yet the virtue, efficacy, and benefits thereof, were communicated unto the elect in all ages successively from the beginning of the world, in and by those promises, types, and sacrifices, wherein He was revealed and signified to be the Seed of the woman, which should bruise the serpent's head, and the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world being yesterday and today the same, and for ever.'
- Westminster Confession of Faith 8:6

Lo! th’ incarnate God ascended,
Pleads the merit of His blood:
Venture on Him, venture wholly,
Let no other trust intrude

- Joseph Hart, Come Ye Sinners, pub. 1759

'We see Him among the thousands of Galilee, anointed of God with the Holy Ghost and power, going about doing good: with no pride of birth, though He was a king; with no pride of intellect, though omniscience dwelt within Him; with no pride of power, though all power in heaven and earth was in His hands; or of station, though the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in Him bodily; or of superior goodness or holiness: but in lowliness of mind esteeming everyone better than Himself, healing the sick, casting out devils, feeding the hungry, and everywhere breaking to men the bread of life.'
- B.B. Warfield, a sermon on 'Imitating the Incarnation', The Person and Work of Christ, p. 564

'If, however, Christ is the incarnate Word, then the incarnation is the central fact of the entire history of the world; then, too, it must have been prepared from before the ages and have its effects throughout eternity.'
- Herman Bavink, Reformed Dogmatics, volume III, p. 274

Dear Christ Our Redeemer Family and Friends,

The Christmas season has begun, but often what is lost during this time of year is the importance of the Incarnation. Truly, the Incarnation alone, makes sense of the beginning, center, and end of world history. In fact, history is unintelligible without it. Without the Incarnation the study of history is a fool's errand, for without the Incarnation there is no 'telos' (purpose or goal) to man's existence. The Incarnation offers explanation for man's inhumanity to man; the Incarnation offers remedy for man's predicament; the Incarnation gives hope for man's present life; and the Incarnation provides assurance for man's future. Under the conception by the Holy Spirit, God became a man. In Christ, this God-man lived a life of unblemished perfections. In Christ, this God-man died at the hands of sinful men for sinful men. In Christ, this God-man was raised on the third day in a body of flesh and blood, yet, now incorruptible. In Christ, the God-man now lives bearing humanity-inflicted wounds for all eternity in His own fleshly body.

As we consider this Christmas season, let us consider the importance of the Incarnation.

Pastor Dan

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