- Eternal Triune God
- Author of Creation
- Creation is Good
- Created in God’s Image (Male and Female)
- Created with Purpose
- Glorify God
- Enjoy Him Forever
- We Betrayed God
- A Declaration of Independence
- Shame and Guilt
- All of Creation Cursed
God’s Plan All Along
- All of Mankind
- Sinners from Birth
- We are Depraved
- Slaves to Sin
- Unable to Submit
- Subject to Justice
- and Wrath of God
- Dead in our Sins
Back to God’s Plan…
- First step of God’s love
- God’s purpose to save us
Ephesians 1:3-6 ESV
- He chose us in Him
- Before Creation
- So we could be holy and blameless
- He predestined us to adoption through Christ
When we were dead
Ephesians 2:4-9 ESV
He chose individuals unconditionally
Election is nothing but the preparation of Grace
The Stairway to Heaven
Ever since the fall, mankind has been on mission. One such example is the tower of Babel in Genesis 11. This mission however is not back to God, but to elevate ourselves.
Salvation belongs to the Lord — Jonah 2:9 ESV
Points toward a point in history when God would become human.
And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”
And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
Michael Horton explains
Jesus is Jacob’s Ladder!
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Jeff Purswell explains “the Incarnation is the ultimate display of God for the ultimate need of sinners.
- To understand God we must understand Jesus
- To know God we must know Jesus
3 things about the Incarnation
God became man
In the beginning
- The Word (logos)
- He is God
- The Father is also God
- The Son is not the Father; he was with the Father
- He is uncreated and eternal
- All things made through Him (Jn 1:3)
- Source and sustainer of life (Jn 1:4)
- Gives supernatural, spiritual rebirth (Jn 1:12)
- Became flesh (Jn 1:14), (Matthew 1:23)
Wayne Grudem defines the Incarnation as “the act of God the Son where He took to Himself a human nature.
The Word, the Son, became human without ceasing to be God.
The second Adam
Jesus lived all that constitutes human existence in an archetypal way.
Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
– Hebrews 2:8-9 ESV
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
– Romans 5:12-19 ESV
He can relate to us all.
Hebrews 4:15 says
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
God’s glory is revealed
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Dwelt is the same word as tabernacled (pitched a tent) in Exodus 25:8.
Glory is not something we do, it is something God has. J.I. Packers calls it
The Incarnation displays the Glory of God
Want to see God? Fix your eyes on Jesus.
God’s grace is provided
And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
– John 1:16-18 ESV
It is grace substituted for grace. The grace of the cross replaces the grace of law.
The forumla of Grace and Truth
The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”
– Exodus 34:5-7 ESV
We see God’s steadfast love (grace) and faithfulness (truth). His gracious love and never failing, rock solid commitment.
Jesus is Grace and Truth in fullness on display
- Glory of the Son of God is graciousness toward sinners without compromising God’s truth.
- Became human in order to die. Hebrews 2:14-15
- Full payment for sin and reconciliation
- Ultimate Grace
- John 12:20-23
Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
- The Cross is the royal throne
Seeing Spiritual Glory
- Ephesians 1:18 … the eyes of your heart
- Unbelievers are blinded … 2 Corinthians 4:4
- Physical sight not necessary … John 20:29
- We are born of God through the gospel (1 Peter 1:23-25)
- When you are given spiritual life, you see spiritual glory (John 1:4 and John 8:12)
The glory of the incarnation is not in the nativity scene, it is the cross.
Jeff Purswell sums it up,
Do you want to know Jesus? You must know the savior who died in your place for your sins.