Try to imagine a world with no Gospel story. Keep, if you like, jolly ol’ Santa Claus and his reindeer. Keep, if you will, the bright lights, the beautiful trees, the tasty smells, and the shopping deals. But no Jesus. Would the old, old story of the birth of Jesus really matter to our fast-pace, gigabyte, Facebook, Twitter following world?
- To millions who have never heard of the Gospel…YES, the incarnation matters!
- To millions who have indeed heard of the joyful sound, but have never trusted Him…YES, the incarnation matters!
- To millions whose lives have been transformed by faith, whose records in heaven have been expunged, whose sin have been covered, whose positions have been changed from enemy combatant to joint heir with God and co-heir with Christ…without a doubt, YES, the incarnation matters!
But why? Why does the incarnation matter to sinners and saints, lost and saved, unbelievers and believers alike? The Apostle John put it this way,
“And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true: and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.”― 1 John 5:20
The incarnation matters because in the “infleshment” of the Son of God, He has given to believers an understanding of something that personally impacts every creature. What has the incarnation “given us understanding” of?
Of God’s HEART
“No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.”— John 1:18
Christ has explained…
- That God is more than force and intelligence.
- That God is a personal So personal that He knows your name and feels your pain.
- That God is a Father with a heart.
- That God is a God of self-denying, self-sacrificing love.
Of God’s GIFT
To the Samaritan woman who was astonished that a Jew would ask for a drink from a Samaritan woman, He said,
“If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”― John 4:10
This woman was ignorant of three important facts: 1) she was ignorant of WHO He was, 2) she was ignorant of WHAT He had to offer, and 3) she was ignorant of HOW she could receive it. When you stop to think about it, that’s the Gospel. Who is this Jesus? What does He have to offer? How do you receive Him? That’s the essence of the good news. This is why the incarnation matters.
Of God’s LOVE
“By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”―1 John 4:9-10
God is love and so He must communicate, not just in words, but in deeds. Here we see the greatest expression of His love in the sending of His Son. As Paul wrote in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
A.E. Brooke once said, “The true nature of God’s love has now been shown, in a way which men can understand and appreciate, in the fact and the purpose of the incarnation. God gave His best, that men might be enabled to live the life of God.”
Of the world’s VANITY
Jesus said, “The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil.” (John7:7)
“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lust; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.”― 1 John 2:16-17
Someone has say that “Vanity is what you get at the end of a popped soap bubble…nothing.” Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10b)
Because of the incarnation, we can know:
- God’s heart
- God’s gift
- God’s love
- The world’s vanity
- Have you come to know―in a warm, saving, personal way―the Lord Jesus Christ?
- Has God’s gift become yours by taking and trusting Jesus?
- Have the things of this world grown strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace?
The incarnation matters.