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THE INCARNATION

"The Logos Was Made Flesh and Dwelt Among Us"--John 1:14--

The common thought in respect to our Lord's manifestation in the flesh is usually expressed in the word incarnation.

This usual thought we believe to be wholly incorrect, unscriptural. The Incarnation theory is that our Lord's human body, which was born of Mary, was merely a clothing, a covering for the spiritual body. The thought therefore attached to our Lord's earthly life, according to this theory, is that our Lord during his earthly life was still a spirit being, exactly as before, except that he used the flesh that was born of Mary, and that was known as the man Christ Jesus, as his veil or medium of communication with mankind, after the manner in which angels had appeared in human form in previous times--to Abraham, to Manoah, to Lot, and others. (Gen. 18:1,2; 19:1; Judges 13:9-11,16) Because of this incorrect premise, many confused and unscriptural ideas have been evolved respecting the various incidents of our Lord's life and death: for instance, this theory assumes that our Lord's weariness was not real, but feigned; because he, as a spirit being, could know no weariness. The logic of this theory would imply also that our Lord's prayers were feigned, because, says this theory, he was God himself, and to pray would have been to pray to himself; hence it is argued that his prayers were merely pro forma, to make an impression upon the disciples and those who were about. The same theory is bound to suppose that our Lord's death was merely an appearance of death, for they argue that Jesus was God the Father, who being from everlasting to everlasting, cannot die: hence that the apparent agony and cry, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" and the dying, were merely pro forma, to make the impression upon the minds of those who heard and saw. The logical argument of this theory, therefore, is that there was no real death for man's sins, but merely an appearance of one, a spectacular effect, a dramatic show, a Cinematographic representation, a deception produced for a good purpose--to favorably influence the sympathies and sensibilities of mankind.

All of this is wrong, and violently in opposition to the truth on the subject, as presented in the Word of God. The Scriptural declaration is not that our Lord assumed a body

of flesh as a covering for a spiritual body, as did the angels previously; but that he actually laid aside, or, as the Greek renders it, "divested himself of," his prehuman conditions, and actually took our nature, or, as our text above declares, "the Logos was made flesh." There was no fraud, no sham, about it: it was not that he merely appeared to humble himself, while really retaining his glory and power: it was not that he seemed to become poor for our sakes, yet actually remained rich in the possession of the higher spiritual nature all the time: it was not that he merely put on the clothing, the appearance, of a servant. No, but he actually became a man-- "the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all." 1 Tim. 2:5

When we come to consider particularly the ransom feature of his work, that it was absolutely necessary that he should be a man--neither more nor less than a perfect man--because it was a man that sinned, man who was to be redeemed, and the divine law required that a man's life should pay the redemption price for a man's life. "As by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead." (1 Cor. 15:21) But let no one misunderstand us by this to mean that our Redeemer became a man such as we are, full of inherited imperfections and blemishes. Quite to the contrary of this: the same word of God declares that he was "holy, harmless, separate from sinners." Heb. 7:26,28; Luke 1:35

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