Tuesday, August 8, 2017

“Made Flesh”

"Made Flesh"       
    The Gnostic heresy that plagued the early church (and remains with us in various forms until this day) contradicted the very heart of the Gospel of Christ.  By espousing the error that matter is inherently evil, or even unreal, the Gnostics denied the Incarnation of the Lord Jesus.  They contended that God could not and would not have taken upon Himself a tangible body.  The matter was serious enough to warrant the Apostle John's direct mention and response in three of his epistles.

    "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14).
    "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life.  For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us. That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ" (I John 1:1-3).
    "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.  This is a deceiver and an antichrist" (II John 1:7).

   Denying the humanity of the Lord Jesus involves the distortion of His Divinely-ordained nature as the God who became man, and the man who remains God.  This constitutes a serious  breach of Truth because it presents the Lord in an incomplete revelation.  Certainly our Savior was a spiritual being before He was conceived in His earthly mother's womb.  Thereafter, however, Christ must be known as both Divine and human if we are to understand Him in a manner that first redeems us, and then empowers us to live faithfully for God's glory.  Failure to know Him as He truly is means that we cannot possibly "walk even as He walked."  A distorted understanding inevitably leads to distorted practice.  "They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness" (Psalm 82:5).

   Another equally serious implication that slithers from the Gnostic heresy concerns the Biblical teaching regarding Christ's death.  In order to save human hearts, human blood had to flow from a literal human being.  "Without shedding of blood is no remission (forgiveness)" declared the writer of Hebrews (Hebrews 9:22).

   "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil" (Hebrews 2:14).

   Without Christ's humanity, He could not have died for our sins and thereby nullify the power of Satan in those who believe.  It is easy to discern where such a deception originated.  Moreover, the devil continues to foist such darkness upon the unsuspecting in our day.   This is written to consider a particular aspect of darkness whereby the roaring lion seeks to devour those who fail to fully embrace the  wonder of our Lord's incarnation, and the literal sorrow, suffering, and death to which it led.  Our eternal destiny rests on the blessed fact, and our Biblically-based faith in who Christ is, and what He did.

"There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."
(I Timothy 2:5)
"Great is the mystery of godliness.  God was manifest in the flesh."
(I Timothy 3:16)

Weekly Memory Verse 
    Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
(John 14:27)

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