Monday, December 13, 2010

What does Christmas mean to you?

Or this can be better said theologically, “What does the Incarnation mean to you?”

When the fullness of the time came, God sent his Son born of a woman.... Galatians 4:4

The incarnation is not just about Christmas, it could be said it is the prologue to Christianity. It is introducing to us the God-Man, who is eternally existing and who comes as fully God and becomes fully man. He becomes flesh and dwells among us. God is now one of us, God among people, personally conveying His Love, personally giving us His grace! As God extends His grace outward and forward to all people. God is the God of the universe-of all things. Christ brings the Gospel to all. Jesus is relevant to all people of all times, of all ethnicities, ages, and places. The only restriction is to those who are not His-who refused His offer.

The Incarnation simply means God came to be a man. He was fully man while remaining fully God. The Incarnation fulfills God's purpose, as Christ the Creator submitted to the Father in His manifestation into humanity, becoming Fully God and Fully Human, to become and serve humanity, this was His ultimate triumph. He is Holy and as the "incarnate Son," remained loyal and obedient to His own precepts and the challenge of sin and worldliness (Heb. 1:2; 3:1-2; 4:15; 5:7-14; 7:26; 9:14; John 1:1-18).
As the Gospel of John put it, The Word became flesh. Christ who is fully God-the ultimate "reason," the same "substance" and "essence" of God, the Creator-came into His creation as both an eternal being and a created being, a man-fully God and fully man. Not a half and half or some hybrid! The Holy Spirit and full force of God came together. Christ, who is not a created or made being, came into the world as one of us. This means that Jesus Christ, being fully Divine, was also born into the world as a full-fledged person who would live in our place, fulfill the law, and become our substitute for the penalty of sin we incurred. He took that penalty and paid it by His sacrifice on the Cross and His shed blood (Joel 2:32; Matt. 20:28; 26:36-46; John 1:14-19; 29; 3:13-18; 8:28, 58; 19:35; 21:24; Rom. 5:8; 8:32; 9:5; 10:9-13; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; 8:9; 12:8-9; 13:14; Phil. 2:5-8; Col. 1:15-17; 2:9; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:3-12)..

This is the heart and purpose and reason of not just Christmas but Christianity, of whom and what Christ is, and what He came to do. Without this Incarnation or His Virgin Birth, we have nothing of real substance, nothing that can save us; rather we just have a meaningless religion with some good ideas!

The Incarnation means Christ dwelt amongst us and is still dwelling in and within us. As the early Jews entered God's Tabernacle or Temple where God can be found, now we pitch our tent (life) with God, as now He comes to us. Theologically this indicates the temporary period of time Jesus would be on earth and, in context of the Gospels, the eternity He gives us to be with Him. Here is Jesus, being fully God, dwelling among His people, and now living in our hearts and in eternity. But wait, there is more! Now we have an active, involved, loving, and caring God who knows us as our Creator and who also lives humanity's experiences firsthand. He is the One in whom we can place our hope, love, and faith. Even though, the Divine is dynamically opposed to human nature, God made it possible for Jesus (Ex. 3:12-14; 25:8; 33:7-11; 40:34-35; John 6:35, 48-51; Acts 14:11; Col. 2:9).

The incarnation creates the Way, so Jesus could not only save us from our sins, but can also identify with our plight in life. As He lived a normal human existence for over thirty years, He experienced all that we experienced, including all the emotions, joys, hurts, frustrations, anger, relationships, and temptations. This means we receive His work of redemption and regeneration through grace, and we belong to Christ. We even share in the Son's rights as well as blessings we receive as the children of God. This also means we have victory as He delivers us and tramples our sin, our enemies; our future inheritance is insured. What we earn is placed as our eternal reward (Psalm 3:2, 8; 18:2; 35:3; 71:15; 132:16; Rom. 8:17, 29; Heb.2:10; 6:12).

The incarnation, as Hebrews puts it, God brings his firstborn into the world. This means Jesus as the "Royal Personage" who humbles Himself to "condescend" to be human, to assume our nature to battle sin. As the Firstborn, the Almighty Lord God (Yahweh) is applied to Christ. He takes the inheritance rights and is the ranking leader, The Supreme Superiority in the universe, a King of kings, LORD of lords-The KING. This does not mean Jesus was born, because He is eternal; rather it is His role to rule (Ex. 4:22; Deut. 21:17; Psalm 89:26-27; 97:7; Luke 2:13-14; Col. 1:15-17; Heb. 1:5-14).

The incarnation is exemplified in the Christmas story as God's angels worshiped Him. Angels worship Christ as they proclaimed His superiority by worshiping Him. Christ is superior and greater than any angel, deity, thought, religion, ritual, philosophy, idea, role or priesthood, or any tradition; He supersedes any decree of any religion, Prophets or Law (Heb. 2:5-18).

Do you just see a baby Jesus or do you see LORD Jesus?

More here

Have a very merry Christmas, and do not forget the Christ in the Christmas!


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