The Incarnate Word

 

“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 1:14)

 

If there is any verse in the Book of God marked with the special emphasis by God the Holy Spirit, surely this is one. Every word is of immense importance. Here is the Son of God, that glorious person so highly spoken of in the preceding 13 verses of this chapter, the Word. The Word, we are told, “was made flesh.” God the Son was “made flesh.”

 

            The best theologians warn us often, “God did not become man, but only became united to man.” I fully understand and share their concern that an improper understanding of the incarnation may lead men to have low thoughts of God and may diminish in the minds of men the greatness, infinity and immutability of the Triune God. But God the Holy Spirit, whose special office and work it is to glorify Christ our God and Savior (John 16:14) says, “The Word was made flesh!” The Son of God became what we are that he might make us what he is.

 

The word translated “flesh” is very strong. The same word is used in Romans 3:20, where we are told no flesh can be justified by the deeds of the law. In Romans 8:3 Christ is said to have been made “in the likeness of sinful flesh.” This word, “flesh,” has the same significance as the Hebrew words used in Genesis 6:12 to speak of “corrupt” and “corrupted” flesh. John could not have used a stronger, more emphatic word to speak of our Savior’s great condescension and humiliation in assuming our nature. Had John merely said, “The Word was made man,” the meaning would not have been so emphatic a declaration of degradation. (Philippians 2:5-8).

 

The Word was made flesh!” — The Son of God was made what we are, made to be our full nature, body and soul, a complete man. He who is God became man. He did not cease to be God; but he took our human nature into union with his divine nature, so that the Lord Jesus Christ is God and Man, the God-man, our Mediator.

 

The Word was made flesh,” as Augustine put it in the 4th century, “Not by changing what he was, but by taking what he was not.” This union of God and Man in one person is indissolvable and forever. Jesus Christ our Savior, our God-man Mediator is “the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

 

I have no idea what the length, breadth, height or depth of what I am about to say may be; but I cannot help linking these words to those of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:30. — “The Word was made flesh;” and “we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones!” So is it now, so it has been in all ages of the Church, and so shall it be forever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

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