God united with humanity

Published 9:00 am Friday, December 1, 2017

By Steve Humble

God’s purpose for creation and for human beings is being worked out in the time-space world.

The Bible is not organized around theological concepts but rather around the story of God who created the world and everything and everyone in it, and who, after humans fell in Adam, provided for the restoration of humans and of creation through Jesus the Messiah.

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The late Robert E. Webber put it this way, “The fullness of God’s story is captured in the three words — creation, incarnation, re-creation” (Who Gets to Narrate the World?, Kindle Location 182.)

Christmas is the Christian celebration of the incarnation — that time in history when God the Son united with humanity in the womb of the virgin Mary in order to bring about the redemption and restoration of humanity and of creation as God had promised throughout the Old Testament beginning in Genesis 3:15.

We Christians rightly put great emphasis on the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus as the focal point of redemption.

Quite often, however, we do not give enough consideration to what God did in the incarnation.

It is easy to become so sentimental about the baby born to Mary that we fail to worship, awed by the reality that the creator of all things actually united himself to his creation in order to bring about its restoration.

In Christ, God has done far more than provide the way for us to escape from death and hell.

In the incarnation Jesus became one of us so that we who receive him as Lord and Savior may be joined together in a profound union with God.

In Jesus, God participates in human nature in order that we who are in Christ may become “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:3-4).

Irenaeus wrote, “So the Lord now manifestly came to his own, and born by his own created order which he Himself bears, he by His obedience on the tree renewed and reversed what was done by disobedience in connection with a tree…. He therefore completely renewed all things.” (Against Heresies, ca 175 AD)

Historically, during Advent, which begins Sunday, many Christians have prepared themselves both to remember the birth of God’s son, Jesus, and also to receive him when he returns to consummate the restoration and reconciliation of the heavens and the earth.

These days, there are so many parties and activities leading up to Christmas that it is extremely difficult to use the Advent season to reflect and prepare our hearts and lives for the coming of the Lord.

In fact, it is easy to get so busy buying gifts and partying that, by the time Christmas day finally arrives and packages are open and another rich meal has been consumed, it can almost be a relief to have it over with.

How much would our lives be transformed if our hearts were renewed by meditating on the incarnation during Advent in preparation to worship King Jesus on Christmas day?

Steve Humble has been an elder at Winchester Covenant Church since its beginning in 1991. He can be reached at 771-7138 or by email at steve.humble@twc.com.