December Series: The Incarnation–Its Benefits

by Ernie on December 14, 2010

So far, we’ve looked at the historical and philosophical contexts of the Incarnation of Christ.  Christ was born “in the fullness of time”, towards the end of a chain of historical events and in the midst of the blossoming of classical philosophical and political upheaval.  Rome dominated man’s political landscape, while aspects of Gnosticism, pluralism, emperor worship, and Judaism fought for preeminence in man’s intellectual landscape.  Right in the middle of all this the very Son of God was found in a manger, the promised Messiah, the Hope of Israel, the Light of the Nations.  In these next few posts, let’s take a look at how Christ was to meet man’s needs and highlight some of the key passages of Messianic prophecy in the Scriptures, and then we’ll move into the doctrine of the Incarnation itself. 

Christ was to provide the greatest legal relief for guilty souls.  Behind all of man’s philosophies and political scheming, there remains a human soul that still has impressed upon its consciousness, however much it may be suppressed (Romans 1:18-23Romans 1:18-23
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18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. in them: or, to them 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: so...: or, that they may be 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.  

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), God’s character and morality.  This character and morality stands as the supreme standard of right, and every man’s conscience is sensitive to himself in light of it.  Sin is not only terrible because it condemns us legally before a holy God, but also because it condemns us internally.  Souls not cleansed of sin’s filth and set free from sin’s condemnation are darkened and miserable.  O, praise, praise the Lord’s Name for Jesus!  He not only causes me to stand before God’s bar of justice, He causes me to come boldly into the Lord’s presence because, in His Incarnation, I have a fully perfect advocate at God’s right hand on high (Hebrews 4:16Hebrews 4:16
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.  

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)!  Because Christ took on human flesh, and in that real and sinless humanity worked out my salvation, I can now come to God with great confidence because the work which saves is done, worked out in the body of Christ!

 

Christ was to provide the final resting place for searching minds.  Nowhere is this more pointedly illustrated than in the question of Pilate to Jesus—“What is truth?”  Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, came so that we may be able to most appropriately ask Pilate’s question in a slightly different way—“Who is truth?”  In the midst of man’s schemes, philosophies, and conjectures, Christ called Gnosticism, emperor worship, and Judaism to drop their assumed garbs of self righteousness and acknowledge that truth’s ultimate discovery is necessarily tied to Divine Revelation and not to man’s mental cogitations.  Only in Jesus Christ can man’s mind find the climax and resolution to the hard issues of life, so that all is blended together in beautiful harmony in our souls before God.  Only in the divine wonder of Christ is the ever-growing need of the soul for greatness continually overwhelmed and satisfied.  The young child may be satisfied and amazed with a simple story, but the adult who lives in a world of skepticism must needs have his soul filled with the all the fullness of God.  Christ possesses this fullness, and, most importantly, because of the Incarnation He possesses this fullness bodily (Colossians 2:9Colossians 2:9
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.  

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).

The benefits of the Incarnation are so many.  The depth of its mystery unsearchable.  The sweetness of its story inexhaustible.  As we continue to survey some of the benefits, Scriptural prophecies, and actual content of the Incarnation, let’s never forget that Christ came to deal with God as He is from all eternity and man as he has become after the Fall.  This gracious reality will provide the context and driving force for all the benefits of Christ Incarnate, and will make every aspect of this doctrine forever full, deep, mysterious, and sweet to the taste of the ransomed people of Christ.

*images: 1, 2, 3


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