The Word Became Flesh

It is imperative that we have a correct understanding of Christ. To go beyond the revelation of Jesus Christ as found in the scriptures is to believe in another Jesus (2 Cor 11:4). 

And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof you have heard that it should come; and even now already is in the world. 1 John 3:3 KJV

For many deceivers are entered into, the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in  the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 2 John 7-9 KJV

In previous posts we have looked at the scriptures that pertain to the deity of Christ. In this post I would like to explore those passages that deal with His incarnation, His becoming flesh. In John’s gospel we read a passage that reveals Christ’s divinity. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made (John 1:1-3 KJV). This is referring to Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God by whom the worlds were made (Heb 1:2). This passage also shows us the human side of Christ as well. We read on, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace an (John 1:14 KJV). This is the mystery of the incarnation, Christ becoming flesh, entering this world as a baby, living among mankind, to someday offer himself for our sin. 

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Phil 2:5-8 KJV

Theologians have pondered and argued for centuries what it meant for Christ to empty Himself. We may not understand how it was possible for Christ to empty Himself and come into this world as a human, but it does not negate the fact that this is indeed what happened. The gospel accounts show us that He was born of the virgin Mary. We read of the shepherds and wise men, the lowly stable. This was Jesus Christ, God become flesh, dwelling among men. People stumble over the concept of Christ being both God and man, yet this is what we clearly see presented in the scriptures.

In Romans we read, “Concerning his son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:3-4 KJV). 

Paul also writes this, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1 Tim 3:16 KJV).

These passages clearly reveal Christ’s divinity as well as His humanity. Jesus Christ is indeed God in the flesh. Jesus often referred to Himself as the Son of Man. Numerous passages throughout the gospels plainly show this.  In Galatians 4:4 we read that when the fullness of time came, God went forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law. He came into this world to deliver us from our lives of sin. 

The writer of Hebrews has much to say about Christ’s humanity. Concerning His birth we read this, “For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, and let all the angels of God worship him” (Heb 1:5-6 KJV). 

“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb 2:9 KJV). 

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil. And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” (Heb 2:14-18 KJV). 

It was necessary for Christ to take on flesh, so that He could set us free from sin and death.  Jesus faced the same temptations we all face, yet without sin. Therefore, He is qualified to be our faithful high priest. We can confidently approach Him to find grace and mercy in time of need (Heb 4:14-16). 

Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him (Heb 5:7-9).

While divine, Jesus, the Son of Man, lived in this world in a body of flesh and blood. He faced the same situations, trials and testings, that we all face on a daily basis. Yet instead of falling, Jesus overcame. He set an example for us, and much more than that, He became the author of eternal salvation, the only one fully qualified to be our Savior. There is not one man on this earth who is qualified to reconcile us to God, but Jesus Christ. We have our own sin to pay for. How can anyone else redeem another? We read that there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time (1 Tim 2:5-6 KJV).

Again, it is vital to our faith and salvation that we have a correct concept of who Jesus is. Which Jesus are we following? Are we following one that conforms to our ideas, a Jesus who is how we would like Him to be? Or, are we following the Jesus who is revealed to us in the scriptures. Jesus warns us of false Christs (Matt 24:23-24). We would do well to make sure we know and follow the real Jesus.

The Divine Son

Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. (Romans 1:3-4 KJV)

These verses show us the two natures of Christ; His human nature ( made of the seed of David according to the flesh), and His divine nature (declared to be the Son of God with power). Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, contained all the fullness of the Godhead in His earthly body (John 1:14; Col 2:9). The Apostle Paul writes,

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2:5-11 KJV)

Continuing with the theme of Christ’s divinity, let us look at Hebrews 1, a passage that gives us ample proof of the deity of the Son of God.

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom he also made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. (Heb 1:1-3 KJV)

In the first three verses we read that God created the world by His Son Jesus Christ, who is the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person. Jesus Christ is indeed God in the flesh, the crucified and risen Savior who is now seated on the right hand of God; a place denoting the authority of the King of kings, and Lord of lords. Jesus Christ, the Son, is God’s revelation of Himself to mankind in these last days. If we have “seen” Christ, we have seen the Father (John 14:9).

Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again when he bringeth in the first born into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. (Heb 1:4-6 KJV)

This passage is speaking of the incarnation of Christ, His entrance into this world as a human. Born of the virgin, He is Immanuel, God with us (Isaiah 7:14). Jesus Christ is exalted far above the angels, in fact, deserving their worship, something reserved for God alone. 

But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath annointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And , Thou Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thy hands: they shall perish; but thou remainest; and they shall all wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shall thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. (Heb 1:8-12 KJV)

Here we see reference to Jesus Christ as God; Unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever. This quote taken from Psalm 45:6-7, is applied to Jesus, declaring Him to be God, and looks to His reign and rule over all that He has created. All that He created is temporal; it will someday be no more, but Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God will endure forever, unchanged. 

One final passage we will examine is found in John’s gospel. The event is the feast of dedication, where the Jews confront Him about who He really is.

Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believe not; the works that I do in my Fathers name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.

Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of these works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?  If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. (John 10:24-38 KJV)

Jesus, in declaring Himself as the Son of God, enraged the religious Jews, who knowing full well what that statement implied, attempted to stone Him for blasphemy. In this passage we see Jesus declare that He was one with the Father, that He was the Son of God, and that as God, He was sanctified by the Father, and sent into this world.

Many individuals view Jesus as a good man, a teacher, a prophet. Some consider that He is the Messiah, that He did die on the cross to provide redemption for mankind, but yet He was not God, but only a man. Many of those who believe this will claim He is to be obeyed, worshiped, and that we are to yield our lives over to His Lordship, yet they still claim He was not divine. They fail to understand these clear passages of scripture that attest to His divinity. They also fail to realize that either Jesus was right when He made these claims, or deranged, or else He was lying. Why would we follow a deranged man or a dishonest man, entrusting him with the salvation of our souls? If Jesus was only a mere human being, it would be idolatry to worship Him, it would be wrong to yield up our lives to His service, as these are things only God has a right to. But the scriptures are clear, and He is worthy of our worship, and right in His demands upon our lives as Lord.

Christ’s Claim To His Deity

And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? What shall I say unto them? 

And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

And God said moreover unto Moses, Thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. (Exodus 3:13-15 KJV)

The name of God, I AM THAT I AM, speaks volumes of God. God the self existent; He is the uncaused cause of all things. There was no one before God, no one called Him into existence. He has always been, God the eternal, with no beginning and no end. God has always existed from eternity past. There is no set moment in time when God came into existence, for He has always been, and He will continue to exist outside of time, for all eternity.

These are two concepts that the theologians would call attributes of God; His self existence, and His eternal being. No one else can make claim to these two things, they belong to God alone. There is no man, no woman, who ever have existed upon this planet, or who ever will, that can lay claim to these two divine attributes.

There was one however who we read about in John’s gospel. His name is Jesus, and listen to the statement He makes to the religious people of His day, 

Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then they took up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. (John 8:56-59 KJV)

There is no mistaking the claim that Jesus was making here. He was boldly proclaiming His divinity by using the name of God, I AM. The people well understood what He meant by this, as they took up stones to stone Him for blasphemy, something they attempted on other occasions as well. Jesus was declaring His eternal, self existence, something that only God can rightfully claim. Abraham was born, lived on this earth, and then he died. Jesus has always been. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, Who is, and was, and is to come (Rev 1:8). 

Christ’s Deity Seen In John The Baptist’s Ministry

In Isaiah 40 we find a prophetic word concerning the coming of the Lord at some future time. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: and the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. (Isaiah 40:3-5 KJV)

In the gospels we read that John the Baptist is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. John came as the voice of one crying in the wilderness. Mathew records, In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. (Matt 3:1-3 KJV)

Mark records this concerning John, The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; as it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. (Mark 1:1-3 KJV)

Luke’s gospel puts it this way concerning John the Baptist, And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; as it is written in the book of the words of Esiais the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. (Luke 3:3-6 KJV)

In John’s gospel we find John the Baptist applying this prophecy to himself, He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. (John 1:23 KJV)

Now, look back to Isaiah 40:3-5 again for a moment. Who was the way going to be prepared for? The LORD. Who was a highway going to be made for? God. There was to be a forerunner who would prepare the way for the Lord God. The word translated LORD in our Bibles comes from the Hebrew word Yhovah.  According to the BDB definition, this  word means Jehovah = “the existing one”  The proper name of the one true God. Strong’s definition is as follows. The self existant or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God: – Jehovah, the Lord. There is no doubt that this is referring to God.

When we read the above quoted verses found in the gospels, we see the word Lord. This word comes from the Greek word Kurios, and according to Thayer is the title given to God, the Messiah. Strong’s definition is as follows, (Supremacy); supreme in authority, that is (as noun) controller; by implication Mr. (as a respectful title): – God, Lord, master, Sir. As the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophetic word, the term Lord, can only apply to God. 

Jesus, the very Word of God, became flesh and came into this world as the Messiah. In one of the clearest passages of scripture concerning the deity of Christ, we read, 

In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in  darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that light, but was sent to bear witness of that light. (John 1:1-8 KJV)

This scripture tells us that John the Baptist was sent to bear witness of Christ, the Word. Notice that this passage of scripture declares that the Word was with God, and the Word was God, declaring the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, existing from eternity with God the Father. We read on to see that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:14) This is still speaking of Christ, His incarnation (becoming man), the one to whom John pointed to when he declared, “And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.” (John 1:34) Truly, Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. 

 

The Divinity Of Christ As Seen In Creation

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Gen 1:1)

In the biblical account of creation we read that it was God who created the world we live in. The beauty of nature, the awesome expanse of the heavens above, birds and animals, all were created by God. 

And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness. (Gen 1:26a)

 In verse 2 we see reference to the Spirit of God, and we can see in verse 26 another subtle reference to the trinity. What did God mean by using the plural us, and our? We read of the role of Christ in creation in Paul’s epistle to the Colossian believers,

Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (Col 1:15-17 KJV)

Here we see the divinity of Christ in plain language. He is the image of the invisible God. We read in Genesis 1:1 that God created the heavens and the earth. We have just seen here that all things were created by Christ, and for Christ. The term firstborn does not mean that Jesus Christ was Himself created, but that He holds the preeminence and ultimate authority over His creation. These passages of scripture give ample proof of the deity of Christ. 

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom he also made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. (Hebrews 1:1-3 KJV)

Again we read that God made the world by Christ, who is the express image of his person. If we want to see God, if we want to know Him, we will see Him, and come to know Him, in the revelation of Jesus Christ. It is through Jesus Christ, as revealed in scripture, that we come to discover and truly know God in these last days.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehendeth it not. (John 1:1-5 KJV)

Finally, we again find that the Word, or Jesus, was present from the very beginning, at creation. This passage is in agreement with the previous passages concerning the role of Jesus Christ in creation, thus proving by the mouth of two or three witnesses, the truth of Christ’s deity.