Is the incarnation important? Every year, millions of Christians celebrate Christmas around December 25. Some people actually celebrate it because of the incarnation. God became a man -that is awesome! However, most people fail to see why that is awesome. The apostle John gives us a glimpse of why it is amazing: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14, ESV).
What is Glory
The incarnation shows the glory of Christ. That is an amazing concept; however, most people do not recognize what that means. Like most words which have been made to only have religious meanings, most people do not recognize what the word glory means.
The Greek word is δοξαν. It is in the accusative, feminine, singular. It is the noun form of the verb δοκεω, which means to “think, admit, claim.” This word was often used to mean, “’expectation, what is thought possible’; ‘In accord with our expectation, she goes straight to the mark.’” Yet, in Koine Greek, it became to be known as “esteem, honor.”
For the purposes of the New Testament Greek, glory came to be known as:
A biblical term used in reference to the unapproachable and mighty manifestation of the immediate presence of God. The biblical concept of glory carries with it connotations of inexpressible beauty and majesty.
Glory of Christ
Therefore, the glory of Christ is the majesty, esteem, honor of God seen in the God/Man Jesus Christ. This is astounding to be sure. Yet, John does not leave it there.
The majesty of Christ is seen in Him being God. He existed eternally as God, and with God, as the second person of the Trinity (John 1: 1). Eternally, He existed as the Word of God who created the heavens, the earth, and everything in them (vv. 2 – 3). He is the sustainer and the revealer of divine truth to mankind as the Light (vv. 4 – 5). Christ alone brings salvation to men as the one who defeats spiritual ignorance as light overcomes darkness (v. 5b).
These ultimate truths illustrate the glory of the incarnation. Christ is worth more than anything. If one were to take all of the treasures and pleasures of the earth (mountains of gold and entertainment) and place them on one side of a scale then place Christ on the other, he would outweigh them all in value. Nothing is worth more than the Creator.
The Backdrop of Sin
It has been said if one wants to see the beauty of a diamond, he or she needs to place it on top of a black cloth. John does that by showing when the Creator came into the world, it (the world) did not know Christ (vv. 9 – 10). The world did not know the creator because it did not seek the Creator. It was blissful living is spiritual darkness because they could perform their wickedness in secret (John 3: 19). When the Creator came and exposed their sin, they hated Him and wanted to kill Him (John 7: 7, 8: 37). That is why it rejected Him (John 1: 11).
It was not just the world in general that rejected Jesus, it was his own people. These were the people who had received the prophets and the Scriptures which pointed to Him (John 5: 39). These were the people who received the covenant, the ceremonies, and the sacrifices which also pointed to Jesus as the Christ (vv. 45 – 47). Yet, these were the same people who rejected Jesus for their love of sin, self, and power (John 11: 48). There was no such privileged people as the Jews (Romans 3: 1 – 2). Yet, they rejected Jesus like the rest of humanity did (Romans 3: 10 – 20).
Christ’s Glory in His Grace
Therefore, it would be just for Christ to judge everyone for their sin and send them to Hell. Yet, Christ gets glory in giving his people grace (unmerited favor). There are some, by the will of God, who do receive Jesus (John 1: 12 – 13). Jesus provided the way for people to become children of God by his blood atoning sacrifice which appeased God’s wrath on the cross (Romans 3: 21 – 26). Christ shows there is nothing which can keep God from showing His love and mercy to undeserving sinners (v. 25 – 26).
This is why Christ had to become flesh (John 1: 14). He became human in every way we are, yet, without sin (2 Corinthians 5: 21). He was a man with ancestors like we are (Matthew 1: 1 – 17). He was born of a woman as a baby (v. 25). Where he differed was in the fact he had no human father (vv. 20 – 23).
Why Celebrate the Incarnation?
The incarnation is worth celebrating. The creator of the universe decided to enter into space and time to become a human being. He did it specifically to be the atonement for our sin. He revealed the majesty and splendor of God in human flesh by his life, death, and resurrection. While the whole world is celebrating Christ’s birth, we get to celebrate him because of who He is and what He has done for us. We can use this moment of celebration to share the gospel to our friends and loved ones.
Here are some great gift ideas for your loved ones- the gift of biblical resources! If you want more biblical resources on studying the Scriptures, check out the store at strivingforeternity.org/store. There are also a lot of other articles on the website to encourage you to dive deeper into God’s Word. Please also check out Apologetics Live at ApologeticsLive.com, where Andrew Rappaport, Anthony Silvestro, and Justin Pierce answer your questions and teach you how to defend the faith. It is on Thursday nights from 8pm – 10pm EST. Also, do not forget to check out the Rapp Report, where you can hear the teaching of Andrew Rappaport. Lord bless you.