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Don Stewart :: Why Did Jesus, as God, Become a Human Being?

Don Stewart

The great truth revealed in the New Testament is that the eternal God became one of us; He became a human being.

And the word became 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 1:14).

The Apostle Paul echoes John's thoughts:

Who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of humanity (Philippians 2:6,7).

The Incarnation Of Jesus Christ

God became a human in Jesus Christ. This is known as the "incarnation." Incarnation is from the Latin meaning "in flesh." Although it is not a biblical word it presents a biblical truth. Jesus is the eternal God who became flesh and blood. Jesus became a man at a point in time in history. He did so without giving up His oneness with God. He became a human being without a sin nature. "In flesh" means more than Jesus had a physical body - He was a complete human personality.

Jesus Took On A New Nature

By the incarnation we do not mean that God was turned into a human or that Jesus ceased to be God while he was a man. The incarnation means that while remaining God, Jesus took upon a new nature - a human nature. The incarnation was the uniting the divine and the human into one being, one person. Jesus Christ was fully God and fully human.

Jesus Laid Aside His Heavenly Glory

In becoming a human being Jesus laid aside His heavenly glory to live among us. The question is, why did He do it? The Scriptures give us several reasons why Jesus came to earth.

1. He Wanted To Further Reveal God To Humanity

The first and foremost reason was to give a further revelation of God to humanity. If you wish to know what God is like you need go no further than to look at Jesus. The Bible says.

No one has ever seen God, but God the one and only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known (John 1:18).

This verse teaches that Jesus explained God to humanity. We need no longer wonder what God is like; Jesus shows us. Jesus Himself said.

Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'"(John 14:9).

Jesus Did This By Both Words And Deeds

Jesus claimed that God guided both his words and deeds.

Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these" (John 5:19,20).

Jesus said.

But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father (John 10:38).

Jesus' work of reaching out to the vilest of sinners revealed the heart of God the Father. Those who criticized his work among the worst sinners revealed their lack of understanding with God's desires.

The Old Testament Revelation Is Incomplete

While God revealed Himself to humankind in the Old Testament the revelation was incomplete. There were a number of things that waited till God Himself came to earth in the Person of Jesus Christ. Thus Jesus revealed God to humanity in a personal way.

2. Jesus Came To Fulfill God's Promises To Certain People

God made a number of promises to people like Adam, Noah, Abraham, and David.

Adam

To Adam He was the promised Messiah - the seed of the woman

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel (Genesis 3:15).

Abraham

To Abraham Jesus was his one descendant who would bless the world.

I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you (Genesis 12:3).

David

To David Jesus was the promised King that would come from His family.

When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom (2 Samuel 7:12).

The coming of Jesus fulfilled this promise. The angel said to Mary.

You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end (Luke 1:31-33).

Jesus Came To Bring Salvation To All Humanity

The covenants He made with them promised salvation for both Israel and the Gentiles. With the coming of Jesus to the world, these promises were fulfilled.

For I say that Christ has become a servant to the circumcision on behalf of the truth of God to confirm the promises given to the fathers, and for the Gentiles to glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, "Therefore I will give praise to you among the Gentiles, and I will sing to your name" (Romans 15:8,9).

3. Jesus Came To Fulfill The Law Of Moses

Jesus also came to fulfill the Law of Moses. Jesus said.

Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished" (Matthew 5:17,18).

By living a perfect life here upon the earth Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the Law in every respect.

4. Jesus Came To Die For The Sins Of The World

When sin entered the world God instituted the concept of substitutionary sacrifice where God required the sacrifice to die. However the sacrifices of animals could not take away sin. Neither would the death of an ordinary human being be satisfactory to take away sin. What was needed was the perfect sacrifice. This was accomplished with God becoming a human being. Christ's coming was to die on the cross for the sins of the world. When Christ came He sacrificed Himself on Calvary's cross. Jesus Himself testified.

Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28).

His death on the cross has paid the penalty for ours sins. He died in our place so that we do not have to suffer eternally for our misdeeds.

The Bible says.

God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the ministry of reconciliation . . . he made him sin for us that we may be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Corinthians 5:19,21).

Jesus Christ came into the world to become humanity's Savior. Without His coming humanity would not have a Savior.

5.Jesus Came To Bring In A New Covenant

Jesus not only fulfilled the promises of the old covenant, His coming brought a new covenant into existence.

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body." Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Matthew 26:26-28).

6. Jesus Came To Destroy The Works Of The Devil

His coming also was to destroy the works of the devil and the hold he has had over humanity.

For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).

Jesus' death on the cross frees us from the power of sin. The devil no longer has any right to control us because Christ has given us the freedom to choose not to sin.

7. Jesus Came To Judge The World Righteously

Jesus came to be a righteous judge of humanity. Scripture says that it is He who will judge the world.

Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son (John 5:22).

Jesus also said.

And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man (John 5:27).

He is qualified to judge humanity because He became a human being. Since He has lived as a human being His judgment will always be righteous and fair.

8. Jesus Came To Sympathize With Believers As The Great High Priest

Because Jesus, the God-man, lived here upon the earth and experienced the limitations of being a human being, He is able to sympathize with the problems and concerns that humans face. The Bible says.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16).

9. Jesus Came To Be An Example For Believers

Jesus also came to provide an example for the believer on how to live one's life. When a person puts his faith in Christ he has an example to follow. Jesus lived the perfect life as the perfect man with faith in His Father. Hence we are told, "to walk just as He walked" (1 John 2:6). Peter said.

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps (1 Peter 2:21).

Jesus Christ provides the pattern of how believers should live.

10. Jesus Came To Prepare Humanity For A Heavenly Destiny

Finally, Jesus came to earth to prepare humanity for their heavenly destiny. The Son of God became a human so that human beings could eventually be fitted with a new nature - a perfect one. One day we shall be like him.

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is (1 John 3:2).

We shall have a body like his.

Who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body (Philippians 3:21).

Believers who have borne the image of the earthly man Adam will also bear the image of the heavenly man - Jesus. Paul wrote.

The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven (1 Corinthians 15:47,48).

The thing that hindered this from happening was sin.

Summary

The incarnation means that the eternal God became a human being. When the Bible speaks about Jesus coming in the flesh it means that He had a complete, sinless human nature.

The coming of Jesus Christ into the world was for the following reasons. Jesus came to provide a further revelation of God. The Old Testament was incomplete and the coming of Christ completed God's revelation. Jesus also came to fulfill promises to individuals. The Old Testament records promises made to a number of individuals that were fulfilled in Jesus. Jesus also came to fulfill the Law of Moses - He perfectly kept the commandments of the Law. Jesus also came to be the sacrifice for the sins of the world. Because He lived a sinless life He could sacrifice Himself. The coming of Christ not only fulfilled the old covenant, it also brought a new covenant into affect. Christ's coming was also to destroy the works of the devil. Christ also became an example for believers. His perfect life sets the standard. Finally, Jesus coming has prepared the way for believers to receive their new body - one without sin.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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