A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Monday, December 17, 2018
Note: Last week we did a series on words:
This week our messages will all be on "The Incarnate Word". These messages may tend to be a bit more theological in nature than many of our messages!
"The Incarnate Word"
Message summary: This week, as we can so easily get distracted by all the preparations for Christmas, let us not lose our focus on the incarnate Word.
Listen to our message on your audio player.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1).
Christ, by highest heaven adored, Christ, the everlasting Lord
Late in time behold Him come, off-spring of a Virgin’s womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, Hail, the incarnate deity
Pleased as Man with men to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel.
Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the New-born king!”
In the Bible the word "word" usually means just as we mostly use it today, to describe the words of our mouth, verbal communication. Last week's series used it in this sense.
Another common use in the Bible is the "Word of God" describing God's communication to the human race; at times verbally, at other times through His written Word, the Bible.
But this week let us examine a very specialized use of the Word in Scripture describing Christ's incarnation.
In the course of studying for this message I discovered there is a "University of the Incarnate Word" a private Catholic university in Texas.
Incarnate is a word most of us probably use exclusively in a theological sense and that indeed is its origin.
Incarnate means "invested with bodily and especially human nature and form, made manifest or comprehensible". In Christian theology, the doctrine of the incarnation holds that Jesus, the pre-existent divine Logos (the Koine Greek for "Word") and the second person of the Trinity, God the Son and Son of the Father, taking on a human body and human nature, 'was made flesh' and conceived in the womb of Mary.
The word, "incarnate" comes from the Latin verb "incarnare" which means "to make flesh". When we say that Jesus Christ is God "Incarnate", we mean that the Son of God took on a fleshly, bodily form (John 1:14).
John begins His gospel with the same three words as the first verse in the Bible in Genesis 1:1; "In the beginning". Three times this short verse refers to the incarnate Word. The Word (Greek Logos) is a title for Jesus as the communication and the revealer of God the Father.
The Incarnate Word Is Eternally God "In the beginning was the Word" The infant we focus on is infinite. Verse 2 states, "He was with God in the beginning". Christ is pre-existent. I recall a lesson many years ago pointing out that in this text there is no definite article in the first clause although it is added in English versions for readability. Ἐν ἀρχῇ. Our teacher felt this was significant since Jesus existed all through eternity without a definite beginning such as there was at the Creation.
The Incarnate Word Is Equally God "and the Word was with God" Christ is co-existent.
The Incarnate Word Is Essentially God "and the Word was God" Christ is self-existent.
Pastor Steven Cole writes that "John wants us to stand in awe of Jesus as God and as the One who reveals the unseen God to us, just as a word reveals an unseen thought. It is foundational to the Christian faith and crucial to your personal faith that you understand and embrace the truth that Jesus Christ is fully God."
This week, as we can so easily get distracted by all the preparations for Christmas, let us not lose our focus on the incarnate Word.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, how grateful we are that Jesus left the splendor of heaven knowing His destiny was the lowly hill of Golgotha there to lay down His life for me. Not only did He lay down His life for me, but He revealed Your character, Father God, and made it manifest in the flesh so that I could more fully understand and relate to the Triune Godhead. Jesus, the incarnate Word, is eternally God, equally God and essentially God made known to us in the flesh and blood person of Jesus Christ who gave His all for us. We will be grateful for all eternity. Amen.
We want to thank all who have financially supported our ministry this past year (and some for many years!). We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. Like many ministries, we typically see a spike in giving at the end of the year for which we are most thankful.
Our ministry labor is comprised of approximately half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive compensation. Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each would provide half of our ministry expenses and income.
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Stephen & Brooksyne
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Hark The Herald" Video Greater Vision
"O Word of God Incarnate" Video Jeff Pardo
"Jesus Messiah" Video Gaither Vocal Band
"Love Incarnate" Video Stuart Townend
"Love Came Down at Christmas" Video Lyrics from Discovery House
Today's outline points are from a sermon by Ken Boa
Further study: What does incarnate mean? How was Jesus God incarnate? and What is the meaning of the Incarnation of Christ? (from gotquestions.org)
Resources for Christmas Celebrations
(We will leave these resources posted below our daily messages through Christmas Day)
Each year we share several online resources that we have used over the years and that may be a blessing to families and churches during this Christmas season.
"In Remembrance of Me" pdf This is a passion-filled Scripture reading for two adults. For many years Brooksyne and I have used this reading with great receptivity during Christmas Eve services. We suggest, if possible, a musical background as the message is read. It is also a great lead-in to a Communion service. It should be thoroughly practiced and read with great feeling. It is suitable for a church or family gathering
"When Christ Was Born" pdf This is an adaptation to the tune of "How Great Thou Art". It's a great song to sing as a congregation since most are familiar with and love the tune.
Responsive Christmas Scripture readings for church or family:
John 1:1-18 pdf
"O Come Let Us Adore Him" pdf
My First Christmas In Heaven This is a blessed reminder for all who lost a loved one this year. This is the poem that Brooksyne read and wrote about in this message.
Christmas Knowledge Test
"Christmas in Heaven" Video Scotty McCreery Probably a bit syrupy for some but a source of comfort for those who have lost a loved one this past year. I heard this song on Saturday on the Gospel greats with Paul Heil
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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