So far in our studies All About Jesus we have seen that he is pictured, present, and prophesied of in the Old Testament. This week we will enter into the New Testament, where we will begin to look at the life of our Lord Jesus Christ as he walked here on earth.
The Biblical teaching of God the Son coming to earth in the flesh is what we call the incarnation. This simply means “The act of clothing with flesh” [Webster 1828]. One of the clearest teachings of the incarnation can be found in John chapter 1.
• John 1:1 In the beginning was the ______________, and the Word was with God, and the _________________________.
Comparing this verse with its context, especially verse 14, we learn that the Word is a title given to the Lord Jesus Christ.
• John 1:14 And the _______________ was made _____________, and ____________ among us, (and we ______________ his glory, the glory as of the ________ _________________ of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Q. Why can we assume that John 1:14 is referring to Jesus Christ?
• 1 Tim 3:16. Q. Who was manifest in the flesh? ____________.
Q. By the description listed in the remainder of 1 Tim 3:16, who does this verse seem to refer to?
The Incarnation – An Essential Doctrine
Believing that Jesus Christ was in fact God robed in human flesh is not an optional doctrine for the Christian. • Look up 2 John 1:7,9.
Q. How does the Bible describe one who denies Jesus came in the flesh?
Q. Considering verse 9, do you think a belief that Jesus was God in the flesh is required for someone to be saved?
• 1 John 4:1-3. In these verses we are given a test for false prophets. How can we be sure that a spirit is NOT of God?
The Virgin Birth – God’s Means for the Incarnation
Essential to the incarnation of Jesus Christ, is the virgin birth. In order for God the Son to manifest himself on earth, in human flesh, he could not have been born of both a human Mother and Father.
• Romans 5:12. Q. This verse, speaking of Adam, indicates that he brought ___ ___ ___ into the world.
Q. What passed upon all men as a result of sin? _______________.
Q. What other impact did Adam’s sin have on all people?
• 1 Cor 15:22. Q. What happens to all those in Adam? _______________.
All descendants of Adam since this first sin have been born spiritually dead and separated from God. In order for Jesus Christ to be the sinless saviour of the world, he could not be born as a direct descendant of Adam. God, through the virgin Mary, provided Jesus a human body (Heb 10:5), yet prevented him from receiving only a fallen, fleshly nature by ensuring that Joseph was not the earthly father.
• Matthew 1:20. Q. How was Jesus conceived?_______________________.
• Isa 7:14, Matthew 1:23, Luke 1:27, Q. Mary was a __________________
A sinless mother was not required for the incarnation to take place. Nor was Mary a perpetual virgin. Matthew 1:25 indicates Mary and Joseph consummated their marriage sometime after the birth of Christ. Matthew 13:55,56 indicates that Jesus had 4 brothers and at least 2 sisters.
The miracle of the virgin birth was that God interceded in the generations of man and produced a child that was not a partaker of Adam’s flesh. Jesus was born not in the line of Adam, but as the progenitor of a new line of spiritual men and women.
• Look again at 1 Cor 15:22. In Adam all die, what happens to those in Christ?________________________.
• 2 Cor 5:17. What are those who are in Christ?____________________________.
The virgin birth was necessary for Jesus to be God incarnate. He was not born as a descendant of Adam, and through the new birth, allows us to escape the cursed line of Adam and enter into the line of Christ, as new spiritual creatures.
Reasons for the Incarnation
We have seen that a belief in the incarnation is essential for the Christian, and that the virgin birth was necessary for the incarnation to take place. For the remainder of this study we will look at some reasons for the incarnation.
It was necessary to destroy Sin, Death and the Devil
• Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of ___________ and _____________, he also himself likewise ___________________________________; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Q. According to that verse, for what purpose did Jesus become flesh?
• 1 John 3:8. According to this verse, why was Jesus manifested?
• Romans 8:3. Q. What did Jesus do in his flesh?
• 1 Cor 15:54-57. Q. What will happen to death at the resurrection?
Q. According to v57, how have we obtained victory over death?
Although God can do anything, he has chosen to govern himself according to His law and justice. Jesus took on flesh so that he could fulfill the law. If Christ did not become flesh, he could not have satisfied the penalty which the law sought to exact on mankind. Because he came in the likeness of sinful flesh, he was able to destroy sin, death and the devil by overcoming them in the flesh.
It was necessary to fulfill God’s covenant with David
• Psalm 89:3,4. Q. What was God’s promise to King David?
•Acts 2:30. Q. Who did David know would sit on his throne?
God promised David that his throne would be built up to all generations and that the one who sat on that throne would be of his seed. There was only one possible way for this covenant to be fulfilled and that was through the person of Jesus Christ, manifest in the flesh.
• Luke 2:4. Q. Who was Joseph descended from? ________________.
• Luke 1:32. Q. What did the angel tell Mary God would give to Jesus?
• Rom 1:3. Q. Whose seed was Jesus according to the flesh?___________
Jesus is the rightful heir to the throne of David and the only one who could fulfill God’s covenant with David. He was born in the line of David (his seed), and through the resurrection of the dead, will reign forever.
The Incarnation was necessary for us to be redeemed.
• Gal 4:4. Q. How did God send forth his son?
• Gal 4:5. Q. For what reason did God send his Son in this manner?
When Adam sinned all flesh was cursed by God. All men became lost and in need of redemption. Jesus, as God in the flesh, was the only one who had the right and ability to redeem us from that curse.
• Galatians 3:13 Christ hath ___________________ us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us…
It was necessary to make Christ our advocate.
• According Heb 2:17, why did Jesus become like his brethren?
• According Heb 2:18, what is Jesus able to do for us?
As our high priest Jesus intercedes on our behalf, is our advocate to the father, and helps us when we are tempted. (Succour means, help, aide or relieve). The incarnation is essential to our Christian faith. If Jesus did not come in the flesh, then we are still in our sins, death and the devil are undefeated, we have no advocate with the father, and we look forward to no resurrection! 1 John 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
1. What does Incarnation mean?
2. Why do you think the incarnation is an essential doctrine?
3. Why was the virgin birth necessary?
4. How many other children do we know Mary had? _________.
5. What are some reasons for the Incarnation of Christ?
6. Why do you think Jesus is referred to as the Last Adam in 1 Cor 15:45?