Faith Baptist Church
4258 Botetourt Road
Fincastle, Virginia 24090
(540) 473-2325

Celebration of the Incarnation

John 1:1-14

Christmas is the celebration of the incarnation of the Son of God. The Christmas we observe each year is an amalgamation of many cultural traditions as it was when it was first introduced as a Christian festival at Antioch on Dec. 25th 380 A.D. Keeping the unwanted aspects in which Christmas celebrations derived is possible when we keep in mind what Christmas truly is. It is our celebration of the coming of God [Immanuel] to live among men.

The term, incarnation means something which has taken on bodily form. In the case of our Lord it was human body form.

The Son of God took on the form of the only created being suitable for God to take on, and that being the form that was originally made in the image of God; man.

Heb.10:5 tells us God prepared a body for our Lord as a human being, born through the virgin Mary.

Heb.2:9 tells us why he became incarnate; “that he should taste death for every man”.

His life was never meant to be a life of fulfilling private desires. Because he was the God-man he came knowing he would be rejected by man, but in our Lord’s humanity this didn’t make it any easier. He had to experience life and suffering and loneliness and abandonment, and eventually the cruel death of the cross.

I Pet.2:24 “Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed.”

Gal.3:13 says he was cursed for us, “cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree.”

Deut.21:23 says from the law of Moses that rebellious offenders should be hanged from a tree till death. The cross was our Lord’s tree. The rebellion he suffered for was ours.

Peter repeats Isaiah who said “through his stripes we are healed”. The passive voice of the verb healed means we received healing. Through his suffering we receive spiritual healing. We receive the only cure for our sin sickness. Restoration to spiritual life and spiritual health is only possible because God came a man, Jesus Christ.

I Pet.2:25 read..

Peter goes on to say in 2:25 that we were like sheep going astray. The participle astray is a present passive participle, and should be translated, we were continually being deceived, and defrauded by sin and we didn’t even know it.

This is happening to people all over the world today. Sin is leading them astray. It is deceiving them into all sorts of avenues of straying away from the life of God.

The world, the flesh and the devil had lead us astray as it does the lost today. Everyone without Jesus Christ is like a wandering star as Jude 13 says. They are on a collision course with death and Hades, and as soon as they enter the atmosphere of death they will burn forever.

Without divine leadership mankind is instinctively led to self-destruction, and eventual sorrow. Mankind as a flower or grass of the field has his hay day and then we start to wither with time. We seek physical survival until our last breath is drawn, but we do not seek spiritual survival, instead, due to the deceitfulness of sin, we resist our spiritual survival. We are a planet of misfit souls looking for our spiritual orbit.

It is God’s desire that we return to him; that we be turned around and be converted. It is God’s desire that we be brought back to the Shepherd and Bishop, that is, the Divine Overseer, of our souls.

Why do we celebrate Christmas? Because the Bishop and Shepherd of our souls came to earth to rescue us from our fallen sinful condition.

The Greatest of Gift came down from heaven’s glories, presented as the baby Jesus. In that manger, in that stable, lay the hope for all humanity, both past and future. In that manger lay the only Mediator between God and man. He created the heavens and the earth, even the animals who stood near by. He created the angels that gave the proclamation to the shepherds on the hillside near Bethlehem.

He came to set a world free which was locked into the bondage to sin. He came to give hope in the heart of a grieving mother over the death of her child. He came to give hope to a grieving widow over the death of her husband. He came to restore peace in a home which was filled with hatred and violence.

Real Christmas is truly only enjoyed and experienced by those who have experienced the new birth.

I pray that you understand why Jesus Christ came. He came to die in the sinners place. You and I are sinners. He came to rescue you from your sinful condition. If you accept him as your Savior your sins will be forgiven and you will inherit eternal life. When you have eternal life, you really have all you need for Christmas. Trust him today. Let him save you today.

The Pastor
December 2011