Archive for the 'Incarnation' Category

The Incarnation Revealed

FRIDAY

God revealed to man that he should expect a God-Man savior, where this Savior would enter the world, how He would enter and when He would enter the world. All that remained was for Him to enter the world. Paul tells us in Galatians 4:4 that in the fullness of the time, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law. This momentous event took place about 2,000 years ago in the birth of Jesus the Christ.


NAU Luke 2:7
And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.


NIV Luke 2:7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.


KJV Luke 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.


When this took place, the miracle of the Incarnation was on display and continues to be on display before the entire world.

NAU John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. 14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth

NIV John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, {14 Or the Only Begotten} who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

KJV John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. 14 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.


The angels summarized this event best when they made the birth announcement to the shepherds:


NAU Luke 2:11
for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

NIV Luke 2:11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ {11 Or Messiah. “The Christ” (Greek) and “the Messiah” (Hebrew) both mean “the Anointed One“; also in verse 26.} the Lord.

KJV Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.


Praise to Jesus, our God, The Anointed One, the promised savior of Genesis 3:15!

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Messiah’s Date of Appearance

THURSDAY

God has revealed through the prophets to expect a God-Man savior, that this Savior will be born in Bethlehem and will be born of a virgin. It only remains to know when He will appear. God has revealed with pinpoint accuracy when the Savior would enter Jerusalem to die in Daniel 9:25, 26. It will take a week of devo’s to unpack these verses to show how precise was our God in the warning of this momentous event (and I will around the time of the celebration of the Resurrection). But for now, understand that God’s people knew when He was coming to enter Jerusalem, and therefore, knew the time ABOUT when He would be born. They were on a Messiah watch.

NAU Daniel 9:25 “So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. 26 “Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.

 
NIV Daniel 9:25 “Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree {25 Or word} to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, {25 Or an anointed one; also in verse 26} the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. {26 Or off and will have no one; or off, but not for himself} The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.

 
KJV Daniel 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. {be built…: Heb. return and be built} {wall: or, breach, or, ditch} {troublous: Heb. strait of} 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. {but…: or, and shall have nothing} {desolations…: or, it shall be cut off by desolations}

The Virgin Birth

WEDNESDAY

 
Not long after Micah prophecied where the Messiah would be born, God revealed how the God-Man would enter the world – through a virgin birth.

 
NAU Isaiah 7:14
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

 
NIV Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you {14 The Hebrew is plural.} a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and {14 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scrolls and he or and they} will call him Immanuel. {14 Immanuel means God with us.}

 
KJV Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. {shall call: or, thou, O virgin, shalt call}

 
The Hebrew word for ‘virgin’ is almah and can also mean a young woman of child bearing age. Some scholars, in an attempt to disprove the virgin birth of Jesus have focused on the latter meaning of the word rather than the former. However, there are two strong indications why ‘almah’ should be interpreted as virgin rather than a young woman of child bearing age. First, of the nine uses of ‘almah’ in the Hebrew Scriptures, eight refer to virgins. Second, and most convincingly, the Greek word used to translate ‘almah’ in Mat 1:23 can mean ONLY virgin!

 
NAU Matthew 1:23
“BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.”

 
NIV Matthew 1:23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” {23 Isaiah 7:14} –which means, “God with us.”

 
KJV Matthew 1:23 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. {they…: or, his name shall be called}

 
God indeed is with us in the Incarnation.

Prophecied Birthplace

TUESDAY


God prepared His people for the Anointed One (Messiah or Christ) with 350 prophecies stretching over 4,000 years. About 700 BC, God through the prophet Micah, identified the place where the Incarnate Messiah would be born – in Bethlehem, a small village within 4 miles of Jerusalem. His people now know to expect a God-Man savior and where He would be born.


NAU Micah 5:2
“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.”


NIV Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans {2 Or rulers} of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins {2 Hebrew goings out} are from of old, from ancient times.” {2 Or from days of eternity}


KJV Micah 5:2 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. {everlasting: Heb. the days of eternity}


But how and when will He come. The answer will come on Wednesday and Thursday !

INCARNATION – 1st Promise

MONDAY

With Christmas rapidly approaching, it is only appropriate that we look at the mysterious work of God that made possible our salvation – The Incarnation of Jesus the Christ. We cannot begin to explain the mystery of the Incarnation, we can only marvel at its occurrence. The God-Man, Jesus, 100% God and 100% man fused together into one, continues to be difficult for man to comprehend. It took six church councils (beginning with Nicea in 325AD and ending at the third council of Constantinople in 681AD) to describe the nature of the Incarnation. Without the Incarnation, man would continue to be hopelessly separated from God because man on his own is incapable of accomplishing the righteousness necessary to enter into the presence of God. It took the work of God in the form of a God-man to do what man cannot do. This week we will look at the promise by God of the Incarnation and work forward to the event we attempt to celebrate at this time of the year.


The promise of the Incarnation begins in Genesis. God has created a man (Adam) and a woman (Eve); put them in charge of His creation with one rule by which to live life. When the woman and the man violated His standard, God responded with discipline against the guilty parties. But in His discipline, He provided a promise for the ultimate solution to the human dilemma. The promise is found in Genesis 3:15. The English reads:


NAU Genesis 3:15
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.”


NIV Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring {15 Or seed} and hers; he will crush {15 Or strike} your head, and you will strike his heel.”


KJV Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.


This is the only reference where ‘seed’ is identified with a woman and is introduced in the promise of salvation as coming through the woman in contrast to the man. What is interesting is how Eve understood this salvation. Her understanding is found in Genesis 4 immediately following the promise in Genesis 3. When she gives birth to Cain, she literally says in the Hebrew, “I have gotten a man YHWH!”  But look how the verse is translated in the English:


NAU Genesis 4:1
Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a man-child with the help of the LORD.”


NIV Genesis 4:1 Adam {1 Or The man} lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. {1 Cain sounds like the Hebrew for brought forth or acquired.} She said, “With the help of the LORD I have brought forth {1 Or have acquired} a man.”


KJV Genesis 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. {Cain: that is Gotten, or, Acquired}


A more proper way of understanding the Hebrew phrase is as the promise of the God-Man later identified as Messiah. While Eve’s theology is correct, her application is incorrect. That she realized her mistaken application is seen in the next verse when she names her second born son Abel which means ‘vanity’ – a statement of application correction by Eve.

The rest of the week will be spent briefly tracing a few of the 350 promises of God leading to the Incarnation event that began with the Genesis 3:15 promise.