Advent 2019 – Philippians 2:5-11 – The Wonder of the Incarnation

It’s a joy to reserve this part of the year to remember and celebrate the birth of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. This, of course, is what Christmas is about in the truest sense. Amid all the tinsel, the gingerbread cookies, and the trees and stockings and gift shopping, true Christians pause to reorient our thoughts and our affections to what Christmas is really about: the incarnation of the Son of God.

And that kind of theological shorthand has become so familiar to us that we cease to be amazed at the truth we speak of when we speak of the incarnation. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.”

God. Becoming man. The infinite, eternal, self-existent, self-sufficient, almighty God, without shedding His divine nature, taking upon Himself—in addition to His divine nature—a human nature—truly becoming one of us. In the incarnation of the Son of God, it can properly be said that the immutable, unchangeable God became what He wasn’t, while never ceasing to be what He was.

The incomprehensibility of that thought alone is sufficient to bow our hearts and intellects before divine wisdom in worship. This kind of mind-bending wisdom is so lofty—so far beyond our natural understanding—that we wouldn’t believe it if Scripture didn’t teach it so plainly. We already referenced John 1: The Word was God, and the Word became flesh. We also see it in Philippians 2:6–7, where Paul tells us that while Christ was existing in His very nature as God nevertheless assumed to Himself the very nature of a servant, and was born as a man.

You see, the Lord Jesus Christ did not come into being at the incarnation; He existed for all eternity as God Himself—the Second Person of the Holy Trinity—God the Son. And so as God, He fully possesses all the attributes of God: infinity, eternality, omniscience, immutability; everything that properly belongs to the nature of God the Father belongs to the nature of God the Son, for they share the very same nature, the same essence, the same being. And yet, God the Son became man! Again, becoming what He wasn’t while never ceasing to be what He was.

Dear Christian, does [this] still astonish you?

Can you slow down the holiday hustle and bustle long enough to let your mind ponder these astonishing truths? to let the eyes of your heart fix their gaze upon the glory of the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ? My prayer for you this Christmas is that you would do just that. That you would take these truths and turn them over in your mind—like Mary, to treasure these things and ponder them in your heart (cf. Luke 2:19). And that your heart would be stirred to worship God in Christ for the peculiar glory of the incarnation. For then, and only then, are you truly celebrating Christmas.

Mike Riccardi

Read Philippians 2:5-11 and consider the marvelous wonder that the eternal, infinite, all-powerful God became lowly man. As you reflect on this idea, how does this affect your worship of him and how you follow him?

Angels From The Realms Of Glory by Henry Thomas Smart

Posted on: December 5, 2019 - 10:00PM

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