- Sermon Notes
Why God Became Man
December 12, 2021
1. Why did God become man?
2. Did God become man because the Second Person of the holy Trinity had an opening in His busy schedule?
3. Or did God become man because God the Son felt bored wanted to try something new?
4. Why did God become man? Was it really necessary?
5. Yes, the Incarnation was necessary, and tonight, we will unpackage the “Why” behind God becoming man in order to discover the wisdom and grace of God’s plan.
6. My prayer is that after our study, we will never look at Christmas or for that matter, life itself, the same way again.
1. Last week we embarked on a new study through the Gospel of John.
2. During our study of the first thirteen verses from John chapter one, we noted that John boldly declared that Jesus is eternally God the Son, the Agent and Sustainer of Creation, the Life and the Light of men. (1-4)
3. After establishing the eternal deity of Jesus, John turned to another facet of the person of Jesus Christ, His humanity in verse fourteen.
John 1:14, And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us. . .
Transition – In order to understand the “Why?” behind John 1:14, we must turn to Genesis 1. From Genesis 1 we learn that. . .
I. “God with Us” is God’s Eternal Plan for Us
• What I mean is, God created us in order to have a relationship with us.
• And in that place of intimate relationship with Adam and Eve, God generously blessed the first couple.
Genesis 1:27-30, God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it. . .” Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you. . . I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so.
APPL – You see, contrary to popular opinion, God did not create us because He needed someone to pick up His dirty socks or weed the Garden of Eden.
• Nor did God create us because He wanted someone to bully, accuse, threaten, or abuse.
• God created us to have a relationship with us, an eternal, loving, blessed relationship.
• This is God’s heart for us, to bless us forever.
• This means the greatest blessing that God gave to us is Himself; the personal invitation to have a secure, intimate relationship with God.
Psalm 73:28, But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works.
A. But there was a Problem in Paradise
1. One of the blessings that the Lord God gave man is a free will, the freedom to choose the course of one’s life.
2. As a free-will moral agent, Adam was free to choose the good that God intended for his life, or not.
3. This means Adam was free to choose the blessings of the Lord’s presence as he served in the Garden with a worshipful, obedient heart, or he could disobey God and serve and worship something or someone other than the Lord God.
4. One’s choice reveals one’s will.
APPL – This is a critical point for us to grasp because it helps us understand why we are the way we are and, frankly, why our world is such a mess.
5. As I said, the Lord God gifted Adam, and all his children, with a free will; we are free-will moral agents.
6. Then the Lord God gave the first man the opportunity to exercise his free will when He placed Adam in paradise, the Garden of Eden, and issued one positive and one negative command. . .
Genesis 2:16-17, From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.
7. Both trees, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, were located in the middle of the Garden.
8. So each time Adam walked by the two trees, which was likely often because they were in the middle of the Garden, he had to make a choice.
a. Bountiful blessings for obedience.
b. Catastrophic consequences for disobedience.
9. No one coerced or forced Adam to eat the forbidden fruit on that fateful day; neither Eve nor the devil made Adam eat the forbidden fruit.
10. If Adam had been coerced or forced to eat the forbidden fruit, then God would have declared Adam innocent because he was unable to exercise his free will freely.
11. Rather, Adam chose rebellion over obedience, the devil’s enticing lie over the Lord God’s command, and the consequences were immediately seen:
a. Nakedness and shame.
b. Fear and separation.
Genesis 3:7-9, Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”
APPL – “Where are you?”
• Why did the Lord God, the Second Person of the holy Trinity, Jesus, ask Adam and Eve such a question?
o Did the Lord lose track of the first couple within the dense growth of the Garden?
o Or was God fooled by the fallen couple’s fig leaf-inspired, camo gear? No.
• The Lord God’s question revealed the radical shift in Adam and Eve’s relationship with God.
o “Where are you?” is the Lord asking them, “Why are you hiding?”
o “Where are you?” is God asking them, “What have you done?”
o “Where are you?” is the Lord God asking them, “Was the nakedness, shame, fear, and separation that you now feel because you ate the forbidden fruit really worth it?”
• I believe the Lord has been asking people the same question ever since, “Where are you?”
• Why? Because “God with Us” is God’s eternal plan for us.
Transition – Another important reason for “Why God Became Man” is. . .
B. Adam’s Rebellion Unleashed God’s Curse
1. Choices have consequences and sinful choices have deadly consequences.
2. The consequence for Adam and Eve’s sinful choice was a series of divine curses.
a. First, spiritual warfare between humanity and the devil’s minions. (Genesis 3:15)
b. Second, painful childbirths and contentious marriages. (Genesis 3:16)
c. Third, a cursed creation and difficult labors. (Genesis 3:17-19)
d. Fourth, Adam and Eve’s physical death, a death that spread to all of their children. (Genesis 3:19)
Romans 5:12, Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned
3. Lastly, the Lord God evicted Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden; never again would they enjoy its blessings nor the fruit from the tree of life.
Genesis 3:22, 24, Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”. . . So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.
APPL – Why was it necessary for God to go to such lengths to prohibit Adam and Eve from eating the fruit from the tree of life?
• Because if Adam and Eve ate from the tree of life while in their fallen state, they would remain in that fallen state forever.
• This also means that Adam and Eve would remain eternally separated from God.
• So, when God prevented Adam and Eve from eating from the tree of life, it was an act of mercy and grace; a confirmation that “God with Us” is God’s eternal plan for us.
Transition – In fact, God is so committed to His eternal plan for us that He used Adam’s rebellion to reveal another facet of His wisdom and grace.
C. Adam’s Rebellion Unveiled God’s Cure
1. First, the Lord God cursed the serpent and that curse gave fallen humanity the first sign of hope.
Genesis 3:15, I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.
2. Please notice it is the seed of woman that will crush the serpent’s head, not the seed of man. Why is this so?
a. Because it is believed that the sin nature is passed from the father to the child.
b. This One, the seed of woman, would not have a sin nature.
c. So, this is the first prophetic declaration that the Messiah would be born of a virgin.
Isaiah 7:14, Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.
APPL – The Apostle Matthew declared that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin in fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14.
• Matthew also gave the meaning of the name “Immanuel”. . .
Matthew 1:23, “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name “Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”
• Again, can you see how “God with Us” is God’s eternal plan for us?
3. Now, after Adam and Eve sinned, God graciously replaced their fig-leaf camo gear with animal skins to cover their nakedness.
Genesis 3:21, The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.
4. This means an animal died to cover the nakedness caused by Adam and Eve’s sin; the first death in God’s good creation.
5. This is so because the Bible declares the penalty of sin is death.
Ezekiel 18:20, The person who sins will die.
6. Furthermore, the Bible reveals that without the shedding of blood, confirmation of death, there is no forgiveness for our sins.
Hebrews 9:22, And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
APPL – So, when the Lord God made coverings for Adam and Eve from animal skins, it revealed the gravity of their sin as well as the gracious provision of the Lord God to cover the nakedness their sin had caused.
• That said, the sin problem was not fixed.
• In fact, sin and death spread like a cancer to the children of Adam and Eve.
• Nor was the broken relationship between God and man healed.
• In fact, man rejected God’s eternal plan of “God with Us” and filled the infinite void left in their souls with finite, fallible, corruptible things.
Romans 1:21, 25, For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. . . For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
Transition – And this brings us to John 1:14. You see, God is so committed to His eternal plan of “God with Us” that. . .
II. The Word Became Flesh
• This verse is the most concise statement about the Incarnation in the New Testament.
• John 1:1 reveals that the Word is fully God.
• John 1:14 reveals that the Word is fully human.
• Also notice that the Apostle John links the God-man to Jesus Christ in verse seventeen.
John 1:17, grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.
• This means that Jesus Christ has two natures, divine and human, which were joined into one being.
• This doctrine is called the hypostatic union, the joining of Jesus’ two natures.
• The relationship of Jesus’ two natures is best seen in Philippians 2:6-8.
Philippians 2:6-8, . . . although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant,
and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
• The word for “emptied” in the Greek is kenosis, so this doctrine is called the kenosis of Jesus.
• Now, when we think of the word “emptied,” we tend to think of something being poured out, like water from a glass.
• But this passage states that Jesus Christ emptied Himself by “taking the form of a bond-servant.”
o This means God the Son did not “empty” Himself by subtraction but by addition; by adding humanity to His deity, Jesus “emptied” Himself.
o This also means that Jesus Christ did not lose any of the attributes of God when He became man.
o When the Infinite took on the finite, Jesus set aside certain prerogatives (rights or privileges) of deity and took on the limitations of being fully human.
• Last week, I stated that to deny the eternal deity of Jesus Christ is to commit heresy because the one who does so has misrepresented the very nature of Jesus.
• This week, I will add that to deny the humanity of Jesus Christ is to commit heresy because the one who does so has misrepresented the very nature of Jesus and has taken on the mantle of the antichrist.
2 John 1:7, For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.
• The importance of this doctrine cannot be emphasized enough, it is an essential doctrine of the historic Christian faith.
• You see, if Jesus is not fully God, then we do not have a perfect, sinless Savior whose life is of infinite worth to pay the penalty for the sins of the world.
o One person may die for another, but how would it be possible for one man to die for all who have ever been born unless that One person is of infinite worth?
o The only One who is infinite is God, so Jesus must be fully God.
• And, if Jesus is not fully man, then we do not have a Savior because He could not truly identify with fallen humanity and represent us on the Cross at Calvary.
APPL – By the way, this is why the sacrifices under the Mosaic Law, the Old Covenant, could not fully cleanse the conscience of the worshiper and needed to be repeated every year.
Hebrews 10:1, 3-4, For the Law. . . can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. . . But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
• But Jesus was born as a man in an actual place, at an actual time, to a human mother. (Luke 2:4-7)
o Jesus grew and developed as normal humans do. (Luke 2:40, 52)
o Jesus had a full range of emotions; He wept (John 11:35), He had compassion (Matthew 15:32), He demonstrated righteous anger (John 2:13-17), and He experienced agony (Luke 22:44).
o Jesus grew tired (Mark 4:38), He was hungry (Matthew 4:2 ), He thirsted (John 19:28), and He bled and died (John 19:30, 34).
• Therefore, since Jesus is fully God and fully man, we have a Savior who represents God to us and us to God.
• Jesus’ sinless life and sacrificial death were of infinite worth to pay the penalty of Adam and Eve’s sin and all the sins of their children.
Hebrews 10:12, He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD
APPL – Oh how great is the wisdom of God! Oh how great is the grace of our Lord!
Transition – Notice in John 1 that the Apostle John added his eyewitness testimony to Jesus Christ being the God-man when he wrote. . .
John 1:14, And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Transition – Let’s breakdown this and the remaining verses.
A. The God-man was with us
1. First, John testified that Jesus Christ, the God-man, “dwelt among us.”
2. The word “dwelt” means “tabernacled” which should immediately remind us God’s glorious presence dwelling with Israel.
Exodus 40:34, 38, Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. . . For throughout all their journeys, the cloud of the LORD was on the tabernacle by day, and there was fire in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel.
3. Second, John said he “saw His glory.”
4. When did John see Jesus Christ’s glory?
a. At the transfiguration.
Matthew 17:1-2, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.
b. But John also saw Christ’s glory as he witnessed Jesus’ unique life for three years; the miracles, the grace and the truth that emanated from all that Jesus said and did, culminating in Christ’s death and resurrection.
c. What a privilege that John had to be an eyewitness to it all!
5. Jesus’ glory, John adds, is a “glory as of the only begotten from the Father.”
a. The words “only begotten” have led some people to wrongly conclude that Jesus was created and is not fully God.
b. But in this context, “only begotten” actually means “unique.”
c. In fact, the same word is used of Abraham’s son, Isaac, in Hebrews.
Hebrews 11:17, By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son
APPL – Was Isaac the only begotten son of Abraham?
• No. Ishmael was also born to Abraham through Hagar.
• This means that the writer of Hebrews used the same word that John used in John 1:14 to describe the unique relationship that Abraham’s son, Isaac, had to the promises of God.
• John’s point is that Jesus Christ is unique in His relationship to Father God, a “one-of-a-kind” relationship, because He is eternal and of the same essence as the Father.
6. John captures the essence of Jesus’ glory when he said it is “full of grace and truth.”
a. Grace is the “unmerited favor” of God, that through Jesus we have received what we did not deserve.
b. Truth is also part of the essence of who God is. God is true and the Author of truth.
APPL – The truth is God loves us.
• The truth is we are sinners.
• The truth is we can’t fix ourselves.
• The truth is we need what only Jesus can do for us:
o The forgiveness of our sin.
o The transformation of our lives.
o To bring us into a right relationship with God.
• How glorious is the grace and truth of Jesus!
7. You see, as John said, through Jesus we receive “grace upon grace.” (16)
8. The Law of Moses condemns us but “grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.” (17)
Transition – Lastly, God Became Man so that. . .
B. We might be with the God forever
1. John closed his prologue, writing, “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.” (18)
2. This means that no one has witnessed the full and infinite unveiled manifestation of God’s essence.
3. Why has no one seen God at any time?
4. Sin. Sin has separated God from us.
a. But Father God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for our sins and purify our hearts so that we may see God one day.
Matthew 5:8, Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
b. We will be with Him forever because Jesus is coming back for us; God with us.
Revelation 21:1, 3, Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away. . . And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them”
APPL – You see, if you want to know what God is like, then look to Jesus.
• Jesus perfectly explained the Father so much so that He told Philip. . .
John 14:9, He who has seen Me has seen the Father
• And if you want a relationship with God, then trust in Jesus.
John 14:6, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
APPL – “Does God really want to be with us?”
• The answer is, “Yes, God wants to be with us.”
• As I have said, “God with Us” is God’s eternal plan for us.
• “God became Man” so that “God with Us” might be our eternal reality.
• The real question is, “Do you want to be with God?”
• The choice is yours, life with God or life without God.
• In my opinion, the choice is easy; life with God is the blessed life.
• Why would you want anything else?
• It is the meaning of Christmas.
• It is the meaning of life.
• God with us and us with God.
• Will you accept the heavenly Father’s invitation and receive His Son, Jesus Christ?
14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us; and we saw His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John *testified about Him and called out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who is coming after me has proved to be [a]my superior, because He existed before me.’” 16 For of His fullness [b]we have all received, and [c]grace upon grace. 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth [d]were realized through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time; God the only Son, who is in the [e]arms of the Father, He has [f]explained Him.