Christ’s birth – the personification of reason

The incarnation of the Word

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Scripture: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14John 1:14
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.  

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celebrate reason billboard

In a recent publicity campaign, American Atheists erected a billboard stating: “You know it’s a myth. This season celebrate reason.” In their estimation, an acceptance of the Scriptural revelation of Christ’s birth is an unreasonable acceptance of a myth!

In fact, the narrative of the birth of Christ is the record of wisdom, knowledge, logic and truth incarnate/personified. Nowhere is that point more concisely made than in this text. The use of the Greek term Logos as a title for the eternal person of God the Son makes this point. All that is truly logical and reasonable is personified in Christ!

However, the reason/truth that is embodied in Christ, is beyond the capability of depraved minds to grasp. The understanding of man has been disabled in this key area! No matter how he may excel in natural wisdom, he is disabled in the area of spiritual knowledge and discernment. It is for this reason that men are atheists! It is because of this spiritual death that they defy the reasonableness of Scriptural revelation and fly in the face of God’s existence and commands.

I  THE ONE DESCRIBED HERE AS THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH.

This is a unique title, given to the Divine person who became incarnate. The Lord Jesus Christ is both God and man. The title Logos identifies the Divine person.

1. The Logos title defines a glorious function. ‘Logos’ = ‘word’—the meaning and message of a word; a word as it embodies/reveals a precisely defined concept/idea/truth. He is the embodiment of God’s revealed purpose. He is the epitome and source of truth, wisdom and knowledge revealed by God to mankind. This is obviously related to Christ’s messianic function as the prophet of God. Cp Acts 3:21Acts 3:21
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.  

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(Deut 18:15Deut 18:15
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;  

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), Heb 1:1-2, 2:1-3Heb 1:1-2, 2:1-3
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews 1 1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; 4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. 5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? 6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. again...: or, when he bringeth again 7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. And of: Gr. And unto 8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. righteousness: Gr. rightness, or, straightness 9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. 10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: 11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; 12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. 13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? 2 1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. let...: Gr. run out as leaking vessels 2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; 3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; 4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? gifts: or, distributions 5 For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. 6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? 7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: lower...: or, while inferior to 8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. for the: or, by the 10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. 13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. 14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. took not...: Gr. taketh not hold of angels, but of the seed of Abraham he taketh hold 17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; 4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. 5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? 6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. again...: or, when he bringeth again 7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. And of: Gr. And unto 8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. righteousness: Gr. rightness, or, straightness 9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. 10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: 11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; 12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. 13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? 2 1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. let...: Gr. run out as leaking vessels 2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;  

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2. He has discharged that function since the beginning of human history. The opening verses refer to the beginning, i.e. the creation. As the Logos, Christ is the Creator—the One who made the creative purpose of God tangible and brought it into being. He exercises that same function now in regard to God’s purpose in redemption. All the way through human history, Christ as the Word, revealed God to mankind, v18.

3. A remarkably simple statement. The miracle of the incarnation is simply stated as fact. The eternal Spirit-Word is clothed in flesh. No explanation is given for none is possible! In the purpose of God it was done, just as creation was accomplished, and the work of redemption proceeded. This truth to be accepted by faith.


II  HE DWELT AMONG MEN FILLED WITH GRACE AND TRUTH.

1. He is God among men. This is also the significance of Immanuel, Matt 1:23Matt 1:23
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. they...: or, his name shall be called  

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. Dwelt = ‘tabernacled’ among us. The emphasis is upon the temporary nature of His residence on the earth and to His identity with the frailties of human flesh, II Cor 5:1; and therefore to His own death. There is the added significance of his fulfillment of all that the OT Tabernacle and its system of worship symbolized.

2. Christ’s person and work was marked by a fulness of:

a. Grace. Cp Luke 4:22Luke 4:22
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

22 And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?  

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. His first advent is especially marked by kindness and mercy. What a wonder! Cp 3:17-18, 36. Wrath is withheld. Instead He is revealed as the source of all the graces that His people need, v16. The Word/message of God in this age is one of grace and mercy! See Rev 19:11-16Rev 19:11-16
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.  

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b. Truth. Cp 7:16-18, 8:40, 14:6. Absolute, uncompromised truth is what the Saviour reveals. As the Word He cannot lie. The fulness of truth marked Christ’s ministry among men.

3. A personal witness. Cp I John 1:1-3John 1:1-3
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

The Gospel According to St. John 1 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.  

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. John, speaking for the apostles and for all who believed and accepted Christ, v12-13, gives an eye-witness testimony to Christ’s character. This is what they proved Him to be. Here is the common experience of all who trust Christ!


III   HIS GLORY WAS VISIBLE THROUGH THE VEIL OF FLESH.

1. Those who received Him saw His glory. Those who have been born again, v13 and received Him by faith saw His glory. Even when His glory is displayed visibly—in the Scriptural revelation of His person, in His miracles and teaching about Himself—men are blind to it. Cp II Cor 4:6.

2. His glory is the glory of the eternal Son of God. The glory of His deity is seen in His humanity. This is the chief glory of Christ! This is what His people see.

3. This glory fascinates God’s people. The word that is used here has the idea of a formal inspection  – the way a commander may inspect his troops. It is not the look of a disinterested party. The believer looks for the details of the glory of God in the life and work of Christ and approves them with delight.

While blind sinners may rail against the birth of Christ as a myth, God’s people, having been born again, have been brought to see the truth and reasonableness of God manifest in flesh, full of grace and truth.



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