God became man

How do you explain love? What does love look like? We can see examples and displays of love but we can’t turn love into a concrete object to put on display. This was the Greek understanding of the term “Word” used in John. The term, “logos” in the Greek, is here translated “Word.” It means the reasoning, the music, the expression, the being of God.

We’ve adopted many Greek ideas about who God is. We see Him as ethereal, otherworldly, totally outside of us and, if you look at how we act and pray, we think He’s totally removed from us. That’s what’s so scandalous about John’s opening words. This idea, the logos, became flesh. He became man and is with us. How can He be God and become man? Because He is three united as one. This is in itself a miracle. He was the promise to save the world. He didn’t just extend Himself, He gave up His glory in heavenly places to join with us.

What does it mean that Jesus, very God of very God, became man?

He gave up his glory – Philippians 2:5-8

He was born of a virgin – Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:22-25

He is all God and all man – Colossians 1:15-18, Romans 8:3

Coming as man opened the way for us to be with God – II Peter 1:3-4

What are applications of the incarnation? How do we apply the incarnation to our lives? We don’t do it by trying to become God. There are many people trying that. That is the message of Eastern mysticism but Jesus rejected that and so should we. We are called to submit ourselves to Him, not try to become Him.

Humble yourself before others – Philippians 2:5
• Can you do what Jesus did? Can you lay aside your strength, your position, whatever it is that you possess that you rely on most? Jesus is the only one who ever lived who had the right to keep it all to Himself. But He didn’t.
• He let go of His glory, His reputation, His place always in the presence of His Father, to live with and save us.
• Paul directly calls us to the same life. What is it that you possess that you are proud of? There is something that we all possess, even if it’s that we proudly say we don’t take pride in anything.
• Obedience to God means give up what you prefer to submit to God’s better plan.
• This means not being always right. It means not expecting others to contour themselves to your preferences. It means yielding your expectations to God and allowing others to get their way even if they don’t recognize how much you’ve given.

Incarnation disturbs things – Genesis 1:2-3
• Here we see the spoken word accomplishing amazing things. What had been nothing is now becoming a great awe-inspiring event. Life and light are created. What had been before was completely and totally displaced.
• The coming of Jesus did the same thing. It was Jesus coming that caused Herod to slay the infant boys.
• We see that everywhere Jesus went there was usually a crowd either wanting something or challenging Him.
• Remember the time He healed the demon-possessed Gadarene? What did the people ask Him to do? They asked Him to leave.
• When the word is made flesh new things start to happen.
• Now the application here is not that you as a Christian are now free to make things rowdy wherever you go. But if you are enfleshing the word (putting it to practice), your life will be radically different than others.
• We must not be afraid of applying the incarnation to all that we see. The word of God is forming and shaping. If you are partaking it you will not see things the same way as non-believers.

What you do with your body matters – Romans 8:3
• Up to this point, being born meant you were doomed to fail often. All men are born in bondage to their sinful desires. These desires are different for different people, but we all have sinful desires.
• Before Jesus came, there was no hope of being able to walk free from sin. We were bound because our flesh is the same of our father Adam.
• Jesus came in the likeness of men and killed the sin nature – Galatians 2:20
• Jesus is our example but He’s not just an example. We couldn’t life faithfully before God with only an example. His coming in human likeness and defeating sin, the world, and the devil gives us victory over our sin.
• Before you are reborn you have no hope of defeating sin. You may try but you will lose.
• When the Spirit unites you to Christ you are given sanctifying grace to fight and defeat sin.
• You are given Christ’s victory over sin. But now the ball is to you. Jesus has given us victory over sin. Now we must partake in that victory. The enemy will not give up just because you say you have victory. You are called to live that victory.

Keep yourselves from idols – Luke 1:28-38
• The prophecy said the coming Messiah would be born of a virgin. Mary had to be pure in order to carry the incarnate God.
• If you live a life given to idolatry of this and that, you will not be able to make Jesus known to others.
• We are called virgins (II Cor. 11:2). A virgin unto Christ doesn’t give herself to every passing temptation.
• Living submitted to God doesn’t mean acting like a dead fish. Their called temptations for a reason. We want to engage in them but to do so is to not keep ourselves pure.
• James 1:27 – our religion must be pure. This is displayed by displaying mercy to those who won’t directly benefit us and keeping ourselves unspotted.
• I John 2:15 – don’t love the world.
• How is this done? The psalmist tells us in Psalm 119:9 and 11.

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