By John W. Hanson
In 1921, William Edmond Booth-Clibborn, the grandson of the man who founded The Salvation Army, wrote this powerful song:
Down from His glory,
Ever living story,
My God and Savior came,
And Jesus was His name.
Born in a manger,
To His own a stranger,
A Man of sorrows, tears and agony.
O how I love Him! How I adore Him!
My breath, my sunshine, my all in all!
The great Creator became my Savior,
And all God’s fullness dwelleth in Him.
Not only did Mr. Booth write a beautiful song, but he recognized a powerful truth that many in our world (including many Christians) may have failed to appreciate. Namely, that the baby in Bethlehem’s manager was more than just a prophet or a miracle child. Baby Jesus was God manifested (revealed) in the flesh. (I Timothy 3:16)
There are many important implications of this truth. I would like to mention five:
When a person realizes that Jesus was God incarnate (God in flesh), they will elevate His life and teachings to a much higher category than those of other great writers, prophets and teachers. To acknowledge, as Scripture does, that Jesus is both Savior and Creator (John 1:3) is to acknowledge that God is one, that there is no a god beside him, and that God became flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:14)
It makes a lot of sense that Jesus was God in a human body. After all, Jesus raised the dead, forgave sins, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven.No wonder there is so much power associated with the name of Jesus, and no wonder the disciples baptized people in Jesus’ name. (Acts 2, 10 &19) If Jesus was God incarnate, that means the Father was in the Son. (John 14:10) That also explains how Jesus could promise His disciples that he would die and then come back and live in them. (John 14:18) All God’s fullness dwelleth in Him. (Colossians 2:9)
In our times there is a fresh attempt to disqualify Jesus Christ as deity and categorize him as just another great religious leader. Such concepts clash violently with Scripture. Jesus was God, who robed himself in flesh and dwelt among us. (Philippians 2:3) He laid aside His splendor and came to live and die for us. Such behavior demands our full appreciation. Such behavior proves that our God is a God of love and grace.
What does God becoming flesh mean for everyday people like me? It means that I serve the one and only Sovereign of the universe. It means that the King of kings was gracious and loving enough to condescend and give his temporal life so that I can have everlasting life. It means that I am valued and loved by the One who created me. It means that He has walked in shoe leather and proven that I can live an overcoming life, if I have His Spirit within me. It means that God cared enough for me and you to break all the barriers that could keep us from having an eternal relationship with God through faith in Jesus name. It means everything!
John W. Hanson
This article God Incarnate by John W. Hanson was personally contributed by J. W. Hanson to Apostolic Information Services. Used by permission. It may be used for study & research purposes only.