While it is true that commercialism, consumerism, and paganism seem to dominate our culture this time of year, it certainly does not hurt us to use this opportunity to focus on a biblical truth often neglected during the rest of the calendar year—the Incarnation of God. The Bible says much about the birth of Christ. A godly man once wrote, “Christmas commemorates not only the birth of Jesus but the incarnation of the eternal Word of God.” We must remember that Jesus was not only a man, but the King of kings who has existed from eternity past (Jn. 1:1). He is God (Jn. 1:2). He is the Creator of all things (Jn. 1:3). He is also “the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6) who will return to earth and rule the world yet future.
Yes, Jesus was born of flesh and blood in an earthly manger long ago, but He is also God manifest in the flesh who came to earth to give His life a ransom for all. God the Father loved the world so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for our sin. Another godly man once wrote, “Let us rejoice that Christ was born in to the world, but let us not forget that He came to die and not to live. It was not the death of Christ that brought God’s love into the world. It was God‘s love that sent Christ into the world to die.” Yes, God loved us so much that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to reconcile us to God.
Notice what the apostle John says about the God-man who came into the world to die for our sins: “And we beheld His glory … full of grace and truth” (Jn. 1:14). Jesus is not only the author of a perfect salvation (full of grace), but He has perfectly communicated God the Father to mankind (full of truth). He has revealed truth to mankind in His Person as well as in His written Word, the Bible. Without His birth—His incarnation—we would fail to enjoy and realize His grace and truth. During the next several days, dwell upon Jesus’ birth as it relates to His person and His work in the world!
THE GIFT PROMISED
“Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).
“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2).
“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name JESUS” (Luke 1:30-31).
“Behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matthew 1:20-23).
THE GIFT DELIVERED
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:10-14).
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….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 and truth” (John 1:1, 14).
“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).
“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1 Timothy 3:16).
THE GIFT OFFERED
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up (Jesus on the cross): That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:14-17).
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
THE GIFT RECEIVED
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him” (Romans 5:6-9).
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
“But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 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 and truth” (John 1:12-14).
THE GIFT FULFILLED
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13).
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father‘s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. Thomas saith unto Him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” (John 14:1-6).
The Lord offers the most wonderful gift ever given—the forgiveness of sin and eternal life! God the Son shed His blood on the cross for our sins and rose again for our justification. Yes, indeed, “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15). Have you received God‘s gift? If not, why not? By faith, take God at His Word and trust (believe in) the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior today! — Matt Costella