Incarnation (Intro & A)

If we are allowed to take your minds on an adventure into that about which we know little, then bear with the speculations that follow. When we discuss those things concerning the interaction of God with His creation, we feel quite inadequate to explain such with the words of our dictionary. We thus understand the possible frustrations on the part of the Holy Spirit when He was restricted to search through our dictionary in order to reveal to us those functions of God that were and are far beyond our comprehension.

For example, Paul was once “caught up even to the third heaven” (2 Co 12:2). He “was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words which it is not lawful for a man to speak” (1 Co 12:4). The words were not lawful to speak simply because they were heavenly words that had no earthly definitions of the things that were revealed to him. We feel the same in using earthly words to explain the heavenly in reference to the incarnation. Therefore, we must know from here on in our discussions of this subject that we are confined to the definitions of our finite words that the Spirit used to excite our minds to the fact that God in the spirit indeed came in the flesh of man.

A. Conceived of the Holy Spirit:

Our understanding of the incarnation begins with the Holy Spirit recording the following words for us: “His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found with child by the Holy Spirit” (Mt 1:18). The Holy Spirit wanted us to know that the unborn children in the womb of Mary was “by the Holy Spirit.”

The Spirit’s narrative of the subject then continues with the pronouncement of an angel who came in a dream to Joseph, the betrothed husband to Mary: “Do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 1:20). The Greek word in both statements is ek, meaning “from.” The miraculous conception was the result of the direct work that came from the Holy Spirit.

Now we must stumble into the realm of speculation concerning the “materialization” of God in the spirit into the flesh of man. We reserve our dogmatism on this matter for other subjects. But at the same time, that which happened in incarnation must in some way be explained in order that we be humbled by the overwhelming sacrifice that was made on the part of the Son of God. It was not just a body that was torn with nails on a cross outside Jerusalem. It was the destiny of a Creator who agonized at the end of a sacrificial journey in order to collect us for Himself for eternity. He was the One who originally created the flesh through which nails could be driven (Cl 1:16). And it was in flesh and blood that He agonizingly suffered on our behalf.

The angel’s words, “of [by] the Holy Spirit,” will take our minds on a journey of marvelous wonder that is most incomprehensible for finite minds. As soon as the angel said, “of the Holy Spirit,” our thinking must disengage from the natural processes of birth in order to focus on the supernatural. Therefore, we begin our quest to understand what was embedded in this utterance by reflecting on the Hebrews 10:5 statement: “A body You have prepared for Me.” How was this body prepared? How can we ever connect the dots between “of the Holy Spirit” and “a body You have prepared for Me”?

[Next in series: June 11]

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