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The Doctrine of Christ

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    LESSON NINETEEN The Purposes of the Incarnation

    1. To reveal God to the world. John 1:14, 18; 11; 17:6, 26; 1 Timothy 3:16.TDOC 52.1

    2. To bear sin. Isaiah 53:6, 11; 1 Peter 2:24; Hebrews 9:28; John 1:29, margin; 1 John 3:5, ARV, margin.TDOC 52.2

    3. To destroy the devil and his works. Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 3:8; John 12:31; 16:33; Romans 8:1-4.TDOC 52.3

    4. To bring God and man together. Genesis 28:12; John 1:51; Matthew 1:23; 1 Peter 3:18.TDOC 52.4

    NOTES: The incarnation and our salvation

    “The incarnation is a true entrance of the eternal Son of God into our nature for the purposes of man’s salvation.”TDOC 52.5

    “His birth was the entrance of the eternal Son into human life in order to save from destruction the human race.”TDOC 52.6

    “If the incarnation of Christ mean anything real in this direction, anything for human need and hope to rest upon, it is that God, then and there, joined in mysterious but harmonious union divinity and humanity for the world’s actual redemption from the penalty and power of sin.”TDOC 52.7

    “In some actual and fundamental, though to us inexplicable, way, the divine Savior so united himself with the sinful race of man that he bare in his own body, in his own personal experience, not only the weight of its sorrow, but also the weight, though not the guilt, of its sin.”TDOC 52.8

    “He shows us ... the purpose of this whole manifestation of God in Christ to be the presenting of men perfect in purity, before the perfect judgment of God.”TDOC 52.9

    Our way to God is a person

    “Then is our way back to God a person-a divine-human person not any spoken, word of God simply, however true and potent, but ‘the Word made flesh, and dwelling among us.”TDOC 52.10

    A vast moral achievement

    “Christ assumed, not the original sinless, but our fallen humanity. In this second experiment, he stood not precisely where Adam before him had, but with immense odds against him-evil, with all the prestige of victory and its consequent enthronement in the very constitution of our nature, armed with more terrific power against the possible realization of this divine idea of man-perfect holiness. All this considered, the disadvantages of the situation, the tremendous risks involved, and the fierceness of the opposition encountered, we come to some adequate sense both of the reality and greatness of that vast moral achievement: human nature tempted, tried, miscarried in Adam, lifted up in Christ to the sphere of actualized sinlessness.”TDOC 53.1

    The problem stated

    “The problem which in the assumption of fallen human nature, Christ proposed and accepted for himself, was none other than this namely, by personally identifying himself with all its ill fortunes, and sharing the very lameness super induced by sin, to master, in it and for it, the infernal power which had wrought all the mischief and woe.”TDOC 53.2

    God meeting our need

    “He was God manifest in the flesh, and came to this earth ‘that he might bring us to God.’ It is this that makes Christ central and dominant in every life that receives him, winning trust, redeeming from sin, eliciting devotion, and inspiring hope. It is because he is God manifest, God entering into human life, God meeting human need.”TDOC 53.3

    The two halves of the story

    “The revelation of the love of God in the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ and his death f or the sin of the race, and the wonderful blessings with which the Christian life is enriched even in this world, are but the assurance of other manifestations of the divine grace in the golden ages of the endless future. We have only told half the story of the divine love when we have spoken of the descent of the Son of God from his greatness and majesty to the sorrows and conflicts of this earthly life; and that half of the story is incredible until we make it clear that he came in order to lift up the race to the heights of God.”TDOC 53.4

    I am He

    “He was manifested and let us not read into the ‘he’ anything small or narrow. If we do, we shall at once be driven into the place of having to deny the declaration that he can take away sins. If he was man as a man merely, then though he be perfect and sinless, he cannot take away sins if into the ‘he’ we will read all that John evidently meant according to the testimony of his own writing, we shall begin to see something of the stupendous idea, and something of the possibility at least of believing the declaration that ‘he was manifested to take away sins.”TDOC 53.5

    “Consider the manifestation and sins, as to man. The terms of the final promise of the incarnation were, ‘Thou shall call his name Jesus; for it is he that shall save his people from their sins.’ When the songs to which the shepherds listened were heard, what said they? ‘There is born to you this day ... a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’ The promise of the incarnation was that of the coming of one to lift sins.”TDOC 54.1

    He in us and we in him

    “And if there be some, as, alas there are, who know not man’s calling, as chosen in Christ to be the heir of all things, let them, looking in the face of Jesus, see God’s love to man, who so loved us that he gave his Son to be for us a perfect man; to know our relationships, and our sorrows, and our toils, and at last our death, that in everything he might be linked with us, and through his death, still not loosing us, might in himself lift us up, to sit in heavenly places, angels, and principalities, and powers, all subject to him as man, a pledge that to us also they shall be subject in due season. Oh, might the mystery of his incarnation come home to us as befits its glory! O that we might understand what it witnesses of God’s purpose touching the sons of men; that he should be our everlasting dwelling-place, and we his temples; that he should be seen in us, and we be hid in him!”TDOC 54.2

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