The Importance and Reality of the Incarnation.

The Christmas season brings our attention to when God became man. God was made manifest and shown publicly through the person of Jesus Christ. Romans 3:21-26 is one passage that highlights the importance and reality of the Incarnation.

This month, we will find three reasons the Incarnation was necessary.

  • to give us power over sin
  • to help us endure in the presence of sin
  • to provide ultimate salvation from the penalty of sin

It has become increasingly clear in recent years that our nation is divided. Many people have opinions about why this is so and how we can unite, but there is one ultimate reason. We will always be divided because humanity is separated from God as a result of sin. The solution is spiritual before it is practical. True peace is experienced only by those with whom God is pleased (Luke 2:14).

The Incarnation

This reconciliation of people with God is the purpose of the Incarnation. The word "incarnation" means "to embody flesh." William Shedd said, "The Logos of God did not unite Himself with a human person but with human nature." Another theologian said, "The Incarnation is a foundational doctrine of Christianity. It rests upon the triunity of God. Without the Trinity, there could be no Incarnation; and without the Incarnation, there would be no salvation from sin."

The Incarnation is not necessary to the divinity of Christ, but it is necessary for salvation. Loraine Boettner explained Jesus' incarnation in this way:

"God had to become man if there was to be any salvation from sin, because only a truly human person could suffer and die, and only a truly divine person could give that suffering infinite value."

Before we know Christ, we live under the power, presence, and penalty of sin. When we know Christ, we are freed from sin's power, able to endure in its presence, and promised deliverance from its penalty.

Context of Romans 3

Following the prologue, the theme of the book of Romans is given in Romans 1:16-17. The section following those verses through Romans 3:20 discusses the separation from God caused by sin. All our human efforts to fix that separation fail, even the keeping of the law through religious effort. Romans 3:21 begins to answer that dilemma through Christ, the Incarnate Logos of God.

Application Points

  • We can only experience unity and peace with one another when we have first enjoyed peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. God provided a way for unity with Him by sending His Son. He is the only way we can be pleasing to God. Are you united with Christ? Do you know Him as your Savior?
  • We celebrate God's purpose of restoration in a unique way at Christmastime, but we also celebrate that year-round by daily walking with God and enjoying fellowship, worship, and participation in God's mission to reach the world for Christ. Are you mindful of this in your everyday life?

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore
  • Matthew 28:20, John 6:51, 3:17, 1:4, 1 Timothy 1:15, 1 John 3:5, Philippians 2:7-8, 2 Corinthians 8:9, Hebrews 2:9, 10:5, Galatians 4:4, Romans 1:3, 8:3, Hebrews 2:14, 17, 1 Timothy 3:16 – New Testament writers express Christ's coming and the infinite value of God becoming man.
A Hymn to Encourage: "Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne"

Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown,
When Thou camest to earth for me;
But in Bethlehem's home was there found no room
For Thy holy nativity.
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
There is room in my heart for Thee.

Heaven's arches rang when the angels sang,
Proclaiming Thy royal degree;
But of lowly birth didst Thou come to earth,
And in great humility.
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
There is room in my heart for Thee.

Thou camest, O Lord, with the living word
That should set Thy people free;
But with mocking scorn, and with crown of thorn,
They bore Thee to Calvary.
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
There is room in my heart for Thee.

When the heavens shall ring, and the angels sing,
At Thy coming to victory,
Let Thy voice call me home, saying "Yet there is room,
There is room at My side for thee."
My heart shall rejoice, Lord Jesus,
When Thou comest and callest for me.