Fight for Joy! Blog
Where Jesus Changes Everything
“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Every year about this time, political correctness reaches its annual pinnacle of stupidity. Is it a Christmas Tree Lighting or Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony? Should we say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays? These questions, and others like them, are asked under the guise of not wanting to offend anyone. But the reality is the god of this world—the Devil—desires to remove any vestige of the Christ of the Bible from the public square—thus removing any thought of Him from the minds of men and women everywhere. When it comes to what I believe, I try not to worry too much about offending others. As I tactfully informed a friend recently, “What I believe is what I believe and I don’t care what anyone else thinks about it!” At the height of what I believe is Scripture’s most profound reality. Christians call it Christmas, theologians call it the Incarnation but the Bible simply says, “And the Word became flesh.” These are simple words but their meaning is profound. John MacArthur says these words indicate “that the infinite became finite; the Eternal was conformed to time; the Invisible became visible; the supernatural One reduced Himself to the natural.” This means the second person of the Godhead—the Lord Jesus Christ—also known as the Son, and here the Word, “became flesh.” In other words, Jesus did not cease to be God but became God in human flesh—two natures, the Divine and human, joined together (not mixed) as one person—undiminished deity in human form. The human mind simply cannot wrap itself around such an amazing truth! Think about it. The Creator became the created. This miraculous event happened when He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary. This has always boggled my mind, the reason being, Mary was a sinner in need of salvation just as you and I are. Yet, the sinless Son of God allowed Himself to be conceived within her womb.
Christmas is Scripture’s most profound reality. It lays the foundation for the entire Gospel message, the rejection of which results in eternal damnation. One must believe the truth about Jesus—who He is and what He accomplished. Any belief system that departs from this very basic yet profound reality is heretical in nature. This would include Docetism, which teaches that Jesus was a divine being that took on human appearance but not flesh (see 1 John 4:2). It includes Areianism, a teaching which states that Christ was a created being (sounds a lot like the Watchtower doesn’t it?). It includes Nestorianism, which says that the Son of God and the man, Jesus, shared the same body but retained two separate natures. And finally, it includes Oneness Pentecostalism which teaches that there is one God, a singular spirit who manifests Himself in many different ways, including as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This stands in sharp contrast to the biblical doctrine of the three distinct and eternal "persons" of the Triune God. Indeed, Christmas is much more than the giving of gifts, discussions about tree lighting ceremonies or greetings. It is the direct intervention into human history by the Creator of history Himself—God “became flesh, and dwelt among us,” in the person of Jesus Christ. Try and wrap your mind around that!
Christmas teaches us that God came once to this earth. But it also assures us that He “will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him” (Heb. 9:28). When Christ appears at His second coming, it will be confirmation that the Father has been fully satisfied with His sacrifice on behalf of all believers. As we approach another Christmas season, all indications are Christ’s return for His Church is very near. He is coming a “second time.” He came once to pay your and my sin debt in full. He came once to provide for the forgiveness of your sins and mine. He is coming again—soon, very soon—to snatch away all those who have, by faith, placed their trust in Him for the forgiveness of their sins. As far as it concerns you, what will you celebrate in the days ahead—holidays or Christmas? Will you celebrate Scripture’s most profound reality or get caught up in the stupidity of political correctness, all of which is designed by Satan to draw men’s hearts away from the truth and further into the bondage of sin leading to eternal damnation? “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” (Heb. 2:3)
“What is man, that You remember Him? Or the son of man, that You are concerned about him? You have made him for a little while lower than the angels; But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:6-7, 9).
The Christmas season allows us a fresh opportunity to ponder the reason for the season – The Incarnation. The Incarnation is one of the greatest events in all of history. It is that event whereby the eternally existing Son of God, the Creator of the universe, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity became a man, just like you and me, yet without sin. Hebrews 2:6-7 refers to mankind – you and me. Hebrews 2:9 refers to Jesus becoming man. God, who had existed for all eternity beforehand, now has taken on a second nature – a human nature. He is now fully God and fully man – two natures, a Divine nature and a human nature, coexisting in one person. This is important to understand because there are groups out there today who do not believe Jesus is God. The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Him to be Michael the Archangel. Mormons believe Jesus to be a man who later became God. Both groups are wrong and their followers have been misled. Jesus is the eternally existing God who became man. Why? “So that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:9). God became a man, in the person of Jesus Christ, so that He could die for the sins of everyone. Everyone here refers to all people who would ever be saved. Therefore, Jesus Christ is your and my only hope for forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
How did He do this? What happened when He became a man? The Bible tells us He tabernacled Himself, or to put it another way, He veiled His glory. Had He not veiled His glory, it would have been daylight in Palestine 24 hours a day when He walked upon this earth. The Bible gives us a glimpse of this veiled glory: “Some eight days after these sayings, He took along Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while He was praying the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing became white and gleaming. Now Peter and his companions had been overcome with sleep; but when they were fully awake, they saw His glory…” (Luke 9:28-32). Speaking of Jesus Christ, the writer of the Gospel of John writes, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). This is the Word of the Lord!
The Bible tells us God is passionate about His own glory. Isaiah wrote, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory” (Isaiah 6:3). Furthermore, the Bible declares believers will one day be “transformed into conformity with the body of His glory” (Phil. 3:21). Peter says we will “receive the unfading crown of glory” (1 Peter 5:4). So what does all this mean? If God is passionate about His own glory, we should be as well. We should seek glorify Him in all we do. As we celebrate the Christmas season, let’s remember the reason for the season – The Incarnation. Furthermore, may we look forward with great anticipation to that day when we, along with all the Saints of all time, will gather around His throne and resonate His glory
You are welcome to leave comments and you don't have to necessarily agree with me. However, I expect a civil tone and charitable spirit. We can disagree with one another without being disagreeable. "Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt." (Colossians 4:6)
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