By Dong Fan
We all know that in the Age of Law, God worked to guide man in the Spirit, then why was God incarnated to do the work of redemption through crucifixion in the Age of Grace? Is there any mystery in this?
Recently, we understood a bit about this aspect of the truth from a book, and we’d like to explore and enter into it with brothers and sisters. So now let us discuss this question from the following three points:
1. The Lord Jesus became flesh to redeem mankind.
From Biblical records we know: By the end of the Age of Law, people had become increasingly corrupt and were unable to obey the law. Everyone was in constant danger of being convicted by law and sentenced to death for breaking it. In order for people to continue to survive, in the Age of Grace, the first incarnation of God was nailed to the cross as a sin offering, taking on all of man’s sins. So all we have to do is, confess, and repent when we commit sins. As a result, He will pardon our sins, and thus we can come before Him and receive His continued blessings and guidance. Such outcomes are only made possible by the work of God incarnate. God is the Spirit, and it was not possible for the Spirit of God to be crucified. Only if God was incarnated as a man, could He redeem man from sin through His crucifixion; only in this way can man receive His . From this we can see that the incarnation of the was entirely for the sake of redeeming mankind. Just as says, “By the same token, during the first incarnation, only the flesh of God incarnate could redeem man through His crucifixion, whereas there would have been no way for the Spirit of God to be crucified as a sin offering for man. God could directly become flesh to serve as a sin offering for man, but man could not directly ascend to heaven to take the sin offering that God had prepared for him. This being so, all that is possible would be to ask God to run back and forth a few times between heaven and earth, not to have man ascend to heaven to take this salvation, for man had fallen and moreover man simply could not ascend to heaven, much less obtain the sin offering. Therefore, it was necessary for Jesus to come among men and personally do the work that simply could not be accomplished by man.”
2. The Lord Jesus was incarnated to do His work in order to allow man to better understand God’s will, and give us the most direct life supply.
Everyone who has read the Bible knows that, in expressing His words, the Lord Jesus incarnated expressed His requirements for man using human language, for example, He used many metaphors, so that His followers can understand His will more straightforwardly. God’s word says, “The best thing about His work in the flesh is that He can leave accurate words and exhortations, and His accurate will for mankind to those who follow Him, so that afterward His followers can more accurately and more concretely pass on all of His work in the flesh and His will for the whole of mankind to those who accept this way. Only the work of God in the flesh among man truly accomplishes the fact of God’s being and living together with man. Only this work fulfills man’s desire to behold the face of God, witness the work of God, and hear the personal.” From God’s words, we can see that when God becomes flesh to save corrupt mankind, He can use the language of us humans to clearly express His demands, His will, His disposition and all that He has and is. In this way, without having to cast about and search, we can understand His will clearly, know His demands and the way in which we ought to practice. We can also, as such, have a practical understanding and knowledge of Him. During the period the Lord Jesus worked in the flesh, He expressed the way in His words, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” And He requested all kinds of demands from man, such as loving God with all one’s heart, with all one’s soul, with all one’s mind, and with all one’s strength, loving one’s neighbor as oneself, loving one’s enemies, and so on. As an event recorded in the Bible, when Peter’s brother sinned against him, he didn’t know how many times he should forgive his brother, so he asked the Lord Jesus about it, and then the Lord gave him a clear answer (see Matthew 18:21-22). From this we can see that God’s incarnation can feed and support men whenever and wherever He goes, giving man the most practical and direct supply, whereas the Spirit’s work cannot achieve the same effect. Therefore the Spirit must assume the flesh and become a man speaking to us face to face. This way, we can hear and understand God’s demands, and accurately behave to God’s liking.
3. The incarnation of the Lord Jesus to do His work was entirely to expose mankind and distinguish each type of person.
God’s work is real. Only through the Lord Jesus’ incarnation as an ordinary, normal man, could man’s corruption be fully exposed, and could the true believers, false ones and the hypocritical Pharisees be revealed. When the Lord Jesus became flesh and came to work, those that sought the truth, like Peter, John, Matthew, and Nathanael, recognized that He is the promised Messiah when they saw the Lord Jesus’ word and work were full of authority and power, and so followedand received His salvation. Whereas the Jewish Pharisees, despite hearing the Lord Jesus’ sermons, still did not know the Lord Jesus’ utterances are the , and saw Him as a carpenter’s son, with no power or stature, and so they dared brazenly condemn and resist Him without the slightest fear. In the end they committed the greatest of sins in nailing the Lord Jesus to the cross. The Lord Jesus once said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). From this, we see that anyone who sincerely believes in God and hungers for the truth, once hearing the voice of God, will come to the light and return before God. Whereas all those who are arrogant, who do not know God’s voice, and who forsake God’s word, will be revealed and eliminated.
Thank God! The incarnation of the Lord Jesus to do His work has a deep and profound meaning, which cannot be replaced by the work of the Spirit. The Lord Jesus in the flesh could interact with man, talk to man, and supply man with the truth and life in time according to the practical difficulties and needs of the people. Thus we can understand God’s demands clearly, and act according to the words of the Lord Jesus, in order to be of one mind with God. And meanwhile when the Lord Jesus was incarnated to do His work, He exposed and eliminated all the false believers eating loaves and being filled, and resisting and condemning the work of His incarnation. This reveals God’s righteous disposition. All glory be to God!
» Further reading about Incarnation of God:
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