Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Incarnate Word

To the Greeks Logos was an abstract philosophy, and in fact a heresy had been growing in the church in John’s time that claimed Logos was a spirit that had entered Jesus when He began His ministry and then left Him before the crucifixion.

This heresy was called Docetism, from the Greek word “dokeo” which means “to seem.” It was a form of Gnosticism that said Jesus only seemed to be both man and God.

So John carefully chose his words to dispel any misunderstanding about Who Jesus is
And the Word became flesh [John 1:14a]
In the original Greek text those two words appear side by side, “Logos sarx became,” “The word flesh became.” The word, the creative thought and energy of the universe, became a soft, vulnerable baby. This is called the incarnation:
* the infinite became finite,
* the eternal became conformed to time,
* the invisible became visible,
* the supernatural one chose to reduce Himself to the natural.

He did not cease to be God. He willingly laid aside some of the privileges of glory, but He never gave up His deity. This is the hard part to truly grasp. Jesus is fully God and fully man.

Amazingly, this was what God had in mind from the very beginning. He designed human beings to be the bearer of Himself. Every person has the capacity for God and a hunger for God. God created people in His own image, the image of Jesus, and made us to correspond to Himself, the way Eve was made for Adam. Being made in God's image means that people are made as personal, moral and spiritual beings.

God gave some animals the ability to think and feel in a "soulish" way, as the Bible puts it, but only Adam received God's breath, or "Spirit". When a person is reborn, the Lord fills – totally saturates and permanently alters – believers with His Holy Spirit. People are designed to contain God's Holy Spirit in the most intimate communion possible.

People have intelligence, the ability to think and to know, to understand ideas -- we have the ability to think God's thoughts after Him, to share in the Mind of Christ.

We also have emotions, specially designed to experience God in a different way than thoughts: adoration of His beauty, reverence towards His holiness, awe at His power and perfection, a response of love to His own loving kindness, compassion and mercy. People have a will – the ability to make choices, to reject or receive the light.

God gave people the gift of language, the ability to communicate with God and to understand His unique revelation of Himself.

Jesus has always shined the light into darkness, by giving every person the innate ability to tell right from wrong, which is called the conscience. From the beginning God has always given each person a simple test, to teach us how to know, and understand in an experiential way, the difference.

Right is obedience to God's word, and wrong is choosing something apart from God's expressed will.

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