Wednesday, December 23, 2015

“God… Manifest In the Flesh"

"God… Manifest In the Flesh"

    Christmas declares that God does Divine things through human means.

    "Great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifest in the flesh" (I Timothy 3:16).

    Our Heavenly Father's "eternal purpose in Christ Jesus" involved His Son taking humanity upon Himself so that He might "reconcile all things unto Himself" (Ephesians 3:11; Colossians 1:20).  Thus, the most Divine of God's intentions were and are being fulfilled through the most human of His actions.  The Apostle Paul affirmed in the present tense that our Savior is "the man Christ Jesus" (I Timothy 2:5).  He is no less Divine for having taken flesh upon Himself, but His central role in the fulfillment of God's purposes requires the Son of God to remain both now and forevermore the son of man (Matthew 24:30).  

    In the light of such Truth, we must expect our Lord to accomplish His will in our lives through means that may seem unexpected and very human.  The principle of the baby conceived in a virgin and laid in feeding trough upon His birth applies to God's present activities.  He works through a Man, and He works through people to do what He does.  This primarily involves the church of the Lord Jesus, namely, the Blood-washed and Spirit-birthed company of believers who trust and submit themselves to God for the holy purpose of serving as His tangible expression in the world.   We awaken to every new day as members of the body of Christ, and thus to view our hearts, minds, voices, hands, and feet as the human vehicles whereby Divine wonders manifest themselves through the agency of "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27).  Yes, pondering Bethlehem in this season hearkens to the consideration of our personal venue, namely, our homes, neighborhoods, workplaces, churches, marketplaces, and wherever we may venture in the love of "God… manifest in the flesh."

    In this moment, let us remember with loving and awed gratitude the condescension of Christ taking upon Himself eternal humanity.  Then let us realize that He dwells within our particular humanity to accomplish God's Divine purposes in our particular sphere of influence.  He leads, motivates, and empowers such activity, often in ways of which we are unaware, and sometimes in ways that we know.  Whatever the case, we are the holy scene of God's grace, serving as human means like unto the womb of a virgin and the manger of a Baby wherein Divinity and humanity united for the glory of God and the fulfillment of His redemptive purposes.  "I will dwell in them and walk in them" (II Corinthians 6:16).   Divine actions through human means - this is Christmas.  And this is today.

"The Word became 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)
"We are members of His body, of His flesh and His bones."
(Ephesians 5:30)

Weekly Memory Verse
    I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for Thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
(Psalm 4:8)


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