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.