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The Person and Work of Christ - Incarnation Print E-mail
The Person and Work of Christ

I.  Introduction:

Tonight we are going to shift from looking at the Person of Christ to the work of Christ. As I have said in weeks past, we do not want to make the mistake of thinking that these two (Person and work) are unrelated. In fact, is it very clear as we consider the work of incarnation that Jesus’ work is connected to His Person. There could be no work of incarnation without Christ being fully God and fully man. Thus, His work is dependent upon His Person. My hope is still that as we look at the work of Christ, we will begin the better understand the clear connection between them and His Person. Tonight we are considering the work of incarnation.

II. The Baptist Faith and Message:

The Baptist faith and messages gives us a couple of sentences regarding the incarnation of Christ. It reads: ‘In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin.’ We have already discussed most of this as we looked at the Person of Christ, so I will not repeat it here. Yet, I do want to point out the thoughts that ‘Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God,’ and ‘identifying Himself completely with mankind.’ These thoughts affirm Jesus’ work of revealing the Father to us as a man, a truth I want us to focus upon tonight.

III. Passages

A. Since we have looked at many passages already that speak of Christ being fully human and fully divine, I want to focus our attention on the passages that look more at the purposes behind the incarnation.

B. John 1:18, 14:8-11 In his prologue, John tells us that Jesus, by taking on flesh and dwelling among us, has mad him (the Father) known. Jesus tells Philip that whoever has seen me has seen the Father. Thus, Jesus came in the flesh to reveal the Father to us.

C. Colossians 1:15, 19 Christ is the image of the invisible God and in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell. Again, if we want to know God, then we look to the Son who has made Him known.

D. 1 Timothy 2:5 Again, Christ is the only One who is uniquely qualified (as both fully God and fully man) to serve as the Mediator between God and man. Thus, part of the work of incarnation was to become our Mediator.

E. Hebrews 2:14-18 We could spend the majority of our time together on this passage because the author of Hebrews says so much about why Christ had to take on flesh. What are some of the reasons he gives? He took on flesh to destroy the one who has the power of death through His own death as the God-man. He took on flesh and died to deliver all those through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. He took on flesh to help not angels, but the offspring of Abraham. He took on flesh to become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, and to make propitiation for the sins of the people. Finally, He took on flesh and was tempted in order to be able to help those who are being tempted. Indeed, the work of Christ’s incarnation is many faceted and truly glorious.

F. 1 Peter 2:21 Christ came and suffered as the God-man to leave us an example of faithful suffering. Christ is the pattern for faithful living and obedience to God, which we will look at more next week.

IV. Implications, or Why did Jesus come in the flesh?

A. Jesus took on flesh to save us and reconcile us to God for His glory. The Hebrews passage makes this abundantly clear. Without the incarnation there would be no salvation. We will look at this more in the weeks to come, but it is obviously important to mention here. Jesus became a man to redeem sinful men.

B. Jesus took on flesh to reveal the Father to us. John tells us in his prologue that no one has ever seen God, but Jesus came in the flesh to make Him known. He reveals to us the character of God. As Jesus said, if we want to know the Father, then we can look to Him, for He came to make the Father known. This involves specific attributes of God. The incarnation teaches us about God’s love and justice and mercy and kindness and power. Piper writes specifically about the mercy of God being revealed in Christ. He states: “The aim of the incarnation was to magnify the mercy of God for the enjoyment of the nations.” Thus, Christ took on flesh to reveal the Father to us.

C. Jesus took on flesh to become our Mediator. We have mentioned this before, but it needs to be said again: Christ is uniquely qualified to serve as the Mediator between God and men. This was at least part of the work of His incarnation.

D. Jesus took on flesh to be our example. What does it look like for a man to serve God faithfully? To answer we simply need to look to Christ. This is not necessarily the primary reason why Jesus took on flesh, but it is at least part of why He came, as we are told in 1 Peter.

V. Conclusion:

Once again, we see how all of this teaching comes together. The work of our salvation was not possible without the work of incarnation. The work of reconciliation was not possible without the work of incarnation. The work of mediation was not possible without the work of incarnation. And in all of this, the work of incarnation involves Jesus, the eternal Son of God, becoming fully man. His Person uniquely qualifies Him for His work. As we approach the Season in which we celebrate His incarnation, may we once again be reminded of the glory of Immanuel, God with us!! Amen.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 11 November 2008 )

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