Why The Incarnation?

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Thank our Triune God again for making sure that we are eternally saved by the gift of His grace.

Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. I Corinthians 15:45

Why was it so important that the savior be both God and man? The answer to that question is at the center of the Christmas event we celebrate every year. It is the central tenet of the entire Scripture. For in order to understand the unifying message of the Scripture, we have to see the two most prominent men in the bible – Adam and Jesus Christ – and see how they relate to God’s two primary decrees – the Covenant of Creation and the Covenant of Redemption.

According to Paul, Adam was created from the dust and became a living being. God created him to be the primordial man – the man whom God appointed to act on behalf of that entire race that would issue from him. Representing the entire human race, God ordained that Adam would choose to rebel from God’s rightful and gracious authority. Rather than reveal God’s glory as the pinnacle of creation, he robbed God of that glory and gave it to himself. This is bad news for us all, since we bear that nature to this day.

However, according to Paul, God has also ordained another man to come – a second Adam. He, too, would represent a new human race that would issue from Him – not by natural generation, but by a supernatural regeneration given by God the Holy Spirit. The covenant of creation God established with Adam led to the fall. The covenant of redemption which God established with the Second Adam leads to life for all who believe. Thus, the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

Now back to the question – why both God and man? The simple answer is so that the covenant of redemption would not also end up on the ash heap of history. The last Adam had to be man to represent us. But he also had to be God for two reasons: first, to guarantee the success of Jesus Christ by giving him the ability to obey perfectly; and second, to provide a savior who would satisfy Divine justice by absorbing the infinite wrath of God by His death on the cross. Only Divinity could do this.

As you ponder again the miracle of the incarnation, thank our Triune God again for making sure that we are eternally saved by the gift of His grace – decreed by the Father, accomplished by the Son and brought home to you by the Holy Spirit.

May the Lord bless and keep us all as we seek to reveal His glory. May we love Him and each other with a true heavenly affection. May we enjoy the wonderful grace of His love in the very special place of our homes and our precious little church. Thank you for the privilege of letting Melissa and I be a part of your lives. May the Lord give each of you what is best for His glory and your spiritual growth in grace this coming year.

By Peter La Pointe