The article “why God became man,” written by Lehman Strauss, is probably one of the most widely divisive and debated issues in Christianity and the secular world today. To read the article in full, please click on this link: https://bible.org/article/why-god-became-man
Though, full of important and practical truths, Strauss begins the article by making a clear distinction between the Incarnation and the Virgin Birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ—pointing out that while the Incarnation of the Son of God is the fact of God becoming man, the Virgin Birth is the method by which God the Son became man.
Strauss uses the first section of the article to scripturally explain and defend: (1) the facts about the Incarnation, and (2) the method of the Incarnation, which is the miraculous conception of Jesus Christ in the womb of a virgin (page 1). Citing Apostle Paul’s statement in Philippians 2:5-11, he reminds a careful and concerned reader that before His Incarnation, Jesus was in the form of God, had the nature of God, and existed as God (page 2).
The second and by far the longest section of the article deals with the exposition of relevant Old and New Testament passages that supports the reasons of Why God Became Man (pages 3-10). According to Strauss, Jesus came to reveal God to man (pages 3-4), to reveal man to Himself (pages 4-5), to redeem man (pages 5-6), to restrain Satan (pages 6-7), to rescue the whole creation (pages 7-8), to restore Israel (pages 8-9), and to reign (pages 9-10).
Overall, the article is convincing, well presented, and supported with Scriptures. The author, without doubt, gives a comprehensive meaning to this topic and ultimately leaves the reader with proofs about the Incarnation of Jesus Christ.
There is no doubt Strauss’ article is very captivating and contains some basic biblical truths one cannot afford to ignore. The most helpful and basic strength of his work is how he carefully handled all the major Old and New Testament passages that tend to provide support for his argument. His citing of the Scripture overwhelmingly convinces one on this significant and one of the most difficult questions facing Christians, especially, when confronted with by non-Christians. Obviously, Jesus’ Incarnation is at the center of Christianity, and also at the center of many debates in the past and also in today’s secular world.
In our studies of Church history, we discovered that many groups deemed to be heretical, such as the Gnostics, the Arians, the Apollinarians, and the Nestorians have rejected the Christian view of the Incarnation—that is, the view that God became human in Jesus Christ, and for that, Jesus is fully human and fully God.
There are those who believe that the Incarnation was a “myth.” In other words, the Virgin Birth did not happen, nor did any of the supernatural events described in the Gospels—which means, no miracles, no healings, no prophecies, no resurrection, and no ascension. They accused the Church as having invented these stories to show that Jesus had been a special person.
Also, others—for example, some theologians, unfortunately, have sometimes had difficulty balancing the understanding of Christ’s humanity and Deity. While some have given too much emphasis to Jesus’ manhood, others focus only on His divinity; and yet some evangelicals make similar errors by removing Jesus’ teachings from the real world of history.
Regardless of the opinion of any one or any group, the biblical fact (as Strauss has demonstrated in his article) is that God, through Jesus of Nazareth, has taken on human flesh and become God in human form. This clearly means that Jesus is fully God and fully human. Both of these facts are absolutely necessary parts of God’s redemptive plan—there is nothing anyone can do about it.
Apparently, the Incarnation explains the mystery of the identity of Jesus and the goal was the Cross (once-for-all atonement and victory over sin—see Hebrews 7:27-28; 9:26), and its result was Christ’s exaltation (see Philippians 2:6-11).
In the Incarnation, Jesus became a perfect human being; and as God in human flesh, He suffered God’s wrath for sin as an innocent substitute; and being both God and man, He revealed God’s will for human life and brought sinful people together with God through His own perfect life and death.
Therefore, to all of us who have been purchased at a price—that is, redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, let us glorify God in our body and in our spirit, which are God (1 Corinthians 6:20). Because of the Incarnation, those who believe in Christ have peace with God and new life from God.
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