Thursday, December 15, 2016

Incarnation (1)

I am struck by the number of Christmas messages that end up being about the cross. It seems that may preachers do not understand the wonder of the incarnation. Let me try to explain it.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. He gave authority over the earth to humans. Satan tricked Adam and Eve and they submitted to him, which gave Satan and his follower’s authority over the earth.

The powers of evil had stolen God’s earth. He had given authority to humans, so he could not intervene without their permission. Humans continued to sin, which made them slaves of the spiritual powers of evil. They made sure that humans did not seek him, so God was shut out of his own creation. For a millennium, the spiritual powers of evil had a free reign to attack and destroy the earth. They did terrible harm (Gen 6:5).

Then men like Lamech, Noah and Abraham began to call out to God and invite him to get involved. Moses led the people into Canaan and established a land where God would be free to operate. However, that did not last long, because the Israelites rebelled against God and were taken into exile. The land where God should have been free to work was controlled by evil empires.

The world was a mess, but God had decreed that only humans could exercise authority on earth. But only a human who had not sinned could be free from the spiritual powers of evil and take back authority on earth. None of the descendants of Adam could do it, so the situation looked like a stalemate.

God had created a dilemma. He had given authority over the earth to humans, and he does not go back on his word. Only a human could win the world back from the spiritual powers of evil. However, the spiritual powers of evil controlled humans so, they would not let humans give God authority to intervene. God is sovereign, but because he is faithful, he honours the commitments he has made.

  • Only a human could do it.
  • No human was human was good enough to struggle free and do it.
God had an amazing solution. He would become a man. That was amazing enough, but he could not just becomes an adult man (like Adam), he had to be a descendent of Adam (and Abraham). The only way that could happen was for God to be born of a woman.

The Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary and Jesus was conceived in her womb. He was truly human, so he would grow to be a man with legal rights to authority on earth. He would live a righteous life, so he could be defeat the spiritual powers of evil and take authority over the earth back from them.


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