The incarnation of Jesus Christ is such an important doctrine of the New Testament that without it there can be no true Christianity. “Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God” (I John 4:2, 3).
But how can the one who “was God” (John 1:2) from the beginning be the same one who “was made flesh, and dwelt among us?” (John 1:1, 14). How can He truly be “Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us?” (Matthew 1:23). How can the infinite, eternal God become finite and temporal? Such a concept seems impossibly paradoxical, yet millions quite properly believe it to be a real and vital truth.
Perhaps the most amazing aspect of the incarnation is that a God who is absolute holiness could reside in a body of human flesh. Is it not true that “they that are in the flesh cannot please God?” (Romans 8:8). Our human bodies have been formed through many generations of genetic inheritance from Adam himself, and “in Adam all die” (I Corinthians 15:22).
The paradox is partially resolved, of course, when it is realized that Jesus Christ came in a body which was not of sinful flesh. His body was truly “in the flesh,” but only “in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Romans 8:3).
But even this doesn’t resolve the dilemma completely, for how could His body be of flesh (carbon, hydrogen, amino acids, proteins, etc.), received by the normal process of reproduction of the flesh of his parents, without also receiving their genetic inheritance, which is exactly what makes it sinful flesh? “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5). “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble … Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one” (Job 14:4)….
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