Sunday, December 25, 2016

The Word Became Flesh

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. - John 1:14

I love this video from John Piper, one of his best sermons I have watched and the reason I say that is that he does such a great job of pulling the pieces together, all of the pieces we so often read as if they were unrelated little moral stories instead of a seamless story that covers the entirety of human history that culminated in the resurrection of Christ but that also continues to unfold today as we wait for the coming of eternity.

It might seem odd to look at the Gospel according to John for the "Christmas story" since it pretty much is covered in one verse, John 1:14, but as beautiful and important as the recounting of the events surrounding the birth of Christ are for the church I can say, with not a little trepidation and trembling at the suggestion, that the why of the Incarnation is more crucial than the how of the Incarnation.

I weep at how we need this sort of thinking in the church, the pulling together all of these threads to show the entire tapestry of the covenant fulfillment of the God who is glorified. Oh how desperately we need to move past the theology of the felt animals of Noah's Ark from the children's room at church and get into the deep and weighty questions of God. One of the great needs of the church in the days to come is to encourage and teach the church to think. To really think for ourselves. A dangerous pitfall in church leadership is that it is far easier to tell people what to think instead of helping people learn to think. It is especially dangerous because it is not only easier because so many people seem to want that but it appeals deeply to the ego of leaders who are supposed to be equipping the saints, not telling them what to think.

The manger leads to the cross. If it did not, then it was meaningless. A baby born to a virgin is a historical novelty but a baby who grows into the Son of Man who dies for the sins of His people and rose again changes history forever. Jesus is the innocent babe who would one day walk into Jerusalem in order to suffer and then be cast out to be murdered on a cross. The way His life ended and miraculously was resurrected is the real "reason for the season". Enjoy your Christmas season with family and friends but ponder what it all means while you drink your eggnog. Nothing makes the season more rich than to see the Incarnation in light of the totality of redemptive history.

She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." - Matthew 1:21


UncoverMedia said...

So if the Messiah were also God, how is it so miraculous that he lived a perfect life? If he was God, how miraculous is it that he rose from the dead? Which leads to another question; how is it that God died?

Nothing personal, but you trinitarians have quite a time trying to explain a doctrine that was never taught in either the OT or NT and was only contrived hundreds of years after the apostolic age. Protestant churches cry blasphemy when Catholics speak of the "ex cathedra" of the Catholic Pope, yet they guard their trinity doctrine as if it was set in stone by Yahweh Himself.

“The kingdom of the world has become
the kingdom of our Lord (Yahweh) and of his Messiah,
and he will reign for ever and ever.” Rev 11:15

Just who in this passage regarding the end times is Yahweh's Messiah and why is this Messiah not addressed as the same God?

4 John, to the seven assemblies that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Yahweh, who is and who was and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits who are before his throne; 5 and from Yahshua Messiah, the faithful witness, the FIRST BORN OF THE DEAD, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us, and washed us from our sins by his blood; 6 and he made us to be a Kingdom, priests TO HIS GOD AND FATHER; to him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. Rev 1:4-6

Two important things in this passage: 1. Yahshua is the "first born of the DEAD" - implying that he was in fact DEAD. So how is it that God died? 2. When it says, "he made us to be a Kingdom, priests TO HIS GOD AND FATHER" it also implies that Yahshua does in fact have a "God" - who is also our God - Yahweh. So how can God have a God?

When you say, "...the why of the Incarnation is more crucial than the how of the Incarnation." you imply that your belief in the trinity is based on something other than biblical facts that can be either proven or disproved.

UncoverMedia said...

I listened to John Piper and was astounded with his explanation of the trinity. I need only to quote his beginning to make my point:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. So all the way back into eternity there was the word and this mysterious statement; the word was God, and paradoxically, the word was with God. Was God, with God? And immediately you’re into weighty Trinitarian matters aren’t you; I mean you don’t have to go reading theology books to know – that’s strange. How can you be God and be with God at the same time? Well, that’s why we are who we are; in Trinitarian - he is God, the son is God, the spirit is God, the father is God there’s one God in three persons – they’re with each other and they’re one.”

Well, that simply clears it up for me. It's no different an explanation than I have heard from every other sheeple herder.