How can the incarnation of Christ be explained?

Paul wrote that the incarnation of Christ is a great mystery (1 Tim. 3:16). To go beyond the limits of what Inspiration has declared to man is to dig into mysteries the human mind can’t understand. The Lord declared, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9). Thus, human thoughts fail to comprehend fully God’s infinite love, wisdom, and power.

Christ both divine and human

The Bible simply affirms the fact that Christ was both divine (John 1:1) and human (v.14). He is divine in the total sense of the word; He is also human in the same sense, except that He “knew no sin” (2 Cor. 5:21). The Bible repeatedly and definitely proclaims this basic truth (Luke 1:35; Rom. 1:3; 8:3; Gal. 4:4; Phil. 2:6–8; Col. 2:9; etc).

Though Christ was initially “in the form of God” He “did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself,” and, “being born in the likeness of men,” was “found in human form” (Phil. 2:6–8, RSV).

The Son One with the Father

In Him was “all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9); nevertheless, “in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren” (Heb. 2:17). From the days of eternity, Jesus Christ was One with the Father but He stepped down from the throne of the universe and came to earth so that He might live among us and make us acquainted with His holy character.

The two natures, the divine and the human, were mysteriously unified into one Being. Divinity was dressed with humanity, not replaced for it. Christ didn’t cease to be God when He became a human. The two natures became thoroughly and inseparably one, yet each remained distinct. The human nature was not altered into the divine nature, nor the divine nature into the human (Matt. 1:1; Luke 1:35; Phil. 2:6–8; Heb. 2:14–17).

Although, as a man, He could have sinned, no stain of evil was found in Him; He was without sin. He was “tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). This is also the mystery of the perfect life of our Savior. For the first time human nature was led to victory over its natural tendency to sin. And because of Christ’s victory over sin, humans too can have victory over it (Rom. 8:1–4; Rom. 8:37; 1 Cor. 15:57).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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