Why did God become a man?
The Incarnation of God in the person of Jesus is the true meaning of Christmas. There are numerous passages in the New Testament attributing words, actions, and titles to Jesus that could only be true of deity. In Matthew 1:23, His title “Emmanuel” means “God with us.” Colossians 1:19 says, “For in him [Jesus] all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,” and Colossians 2:9 says, “For in him [Jesus] the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.” In spite of the clear teaching of Scripture, many (including some who claim to be Christians) reject the doctrine of the Incarnation.
People reject the Incarnation for three main reasons: a rejection of the Bible as the inspired Word of God; a commitment to the philosophy of naturalism, resulting in the belief that miracles are impossible; a belief that mankind is basically good and does not need a savior. All three beliefs are in direct opposition to Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16, Heb 2:1-4, Rom. 3:23) and underscore the primary reason the Incarnation is rejected—the refusal to recognize the authority of Scripture.
Only the Scriptures can fully explain why the Incarnation was necessary. The Scriptures teach that as a man Jesus could represent mankind before God the Father. Adam, the first man, disobeyed God and plunged humanity into sin. But Jesus, the “last Adam” (1 Cor. 15:45) believed God and obeyed him perfectly, bringing righteousness back to the human race (Rom. 5:18-19). Because Jesus lived a sinless human life he could die in our place and pay the penalty for our sins. Because he was God he could pay the infinite price for mankind’s sin against an infinitely holy God.
Jesus, as both God and man, is the perfect mediator, representing man to God and God to man. 1 Timothy 2:5 says, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
The Scriptures also suggest that God became a man to fulfill God’s original purpose of mankind ruling over creation (Gen 1:26), to be a sympathetic High Priest (Heb. 4:15-16), and to be an example to follow (1 John 2:6).
Jonah 2:9 says, “Salvation is from the Lord,” meaning man is incapable of doing anything to save himself from eternal death. Salvation must come from God, a process which began when Jesus came to earth. The angel appeared to Joseph and announced that, “[Mary] will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matt. 1:21)
Why did God bother with us? Why didn’t he just destroy us and start over? In John 3:16, Jesus gives us the answer: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
We at Trinity wish you a very merry and Christ-centered Christmas!
Article by Pastor Billy Elkins.