Thoughts on Christmas
As we are in the Christmas season and Christmas day approaches various groups of people have thoughts and wants. Actions follow. Many think of Christmas in terms of feelings. The Hallmark Movie Series highlight the feeling aspect of the Christmas season. At Christmas time people generally feel good and are inclined to fellowship and even to give. The Christian may even announce Happy Birthday to Jesus. He may go a step further and consider the supernatural birth of Christ and the Incarnation. Others simply focus on the good feelings and as result do something nice. This is truly an interesting time.
Consider several thoughts.
- The Incarnation is the doctrine that describes the event in which Jesus Christ became flesh. Humanity was added to His divine nature. Jesus was actively involved in His own assuming a human nature. However, His preexistence is also assumed (John 1:1; 6:38; 8:56-58; Gal. 4:4; Phil. 2:6-7). No eternal Son of God and no Incarnation.
- In the Incarnation we find the infinite and finite linked: mysteriously and miraculously. Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, eternally and forever begotten by the Father took to Himself a true human nature. This fact is beyond human comprehension and speaks to the inscrutability of God.
- Yet, we know for a fact that Jesus became man all the while continuing to be God. He is the God-Man, two natures, one person forever. Again, this is beyond human comprehension.
- The Incarnation was necessary if the Triune God was to fulfill His redemptive plan. Sin entered into the world with God’s judgment of Adam after Adam’s first sin. The Incarnation was necessary for God to fulfill His promise given in Genesis 3:15. It is proper to say that the mysterious and miraculous beyond all human comprehension was conditioned by the presence of human sin. But there is more. All things are ordained by God. The fall did not catch God by surprise. Neither did the Incarnation.
- The Incarnation highlights the functional unity of the Trinity. The Incarnation as is every aspect of redemption/salvation is Intratrinitarian in nature. The Father planned, the Son secured, and the Holy Spirit applied the work of Christ for salvation. Another way to express this Intratrinitarian truth comes from Ephesians 2:18 and 3:12. The believer is saved to God for God in Christ and by and through the Holy Spirit.
- The shepherds, considered second-class citizens, and the wise men, Gentiles from far away, knew Jesus to be, not simply the Christ, but King Christ as they honored and glorified Him.
What does this have to do with you and me? The Incarnation is the beginning of the fulfillment of the great Immanuel principle (God’s presence prophesized in Genesis 3:15). Jesus was born in a lonely deserted place surrounded only by animals and Mary and Joseph. The place points to the hardness of our hearts and points to Jesus’ desire to please His Father. Thus Christ humbled himself under God’s mighty hand. Just think, the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Creator and Controller of the universe, came down to earth and hid His glory so He could live and die perfectly in the place of wicked, sinful, perverse people such as you and I.
Such is the so-called Christmas story. It is a joyous time because Christ’s birth and humility declared it so (Luke 2:9-11). From eternity past, the Triune God designed redemption for sinful men through a voluntary, spotless, undefiled, bloody sacrifice. This Christmas get a grip on God’s greatness by focusing on the incomparable doctrine of the Incarnation. The Incarnation is the Triune God’s means by which Christ was constituted the Messiah and the Messianic Son of God. Only then would creation and redemption be linked. In God’s timing, the new heavens and the earth will follow and all things will be made new.
- Write out the significance of the Incarnation.
- How do you respond to the Triune God given that Christ came to under earth under the guidance of Holy Spirit in order to please the Father?
- Salvation is an Intratrinitarian activity that deserves your full attention. See Matthew 1:20-23; Luke 1:29-35; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal.4:4 and determine whether you agree or not. Write out your answers.