Goal: The Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ is the ultimate love of God to humanity.

Introduction:

Christ’s Incarnation in Christianity is a cornerstone, redeeming and uniting doctrine.

1. Cornerstone: Its absence means no Christianity.

2. Redeeming: It is the basis to our Salvation. How can we be saved without redemption? And how would we be redeemed without satisfying God’s justice for the death penalty to our forefather Adam? And who would be eligible to die on Adam’s behalf unless there is some one who is equal to God? And how would God die without incarnation?

3. Uniting: When our Lord Jesus Christ took flesh, He opened the way to God’s living in the human being uniting with him.

What is the real need for the Incarnation?

Why did God not forgive Adam’s sin of disobedience to avoid His Incarnation and death?

God said to Adam: “for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” Genesis 2:17

The death corrupted Adam’s human’s nature which was holy (in God’s image) thus death was eternal and to satisfy God’s justice

So even if Adam’s disobedience “action” was forgiven, the death penalty still existed in the human “nature”=> God’s Justice

Therefore, God’s Mercy has to “repair” the human nature to “regain” man’s holiness and eternity which necessitates God’s Incarnation.

How did the Incarnation happen?

The Creed stated all about Christ’s Divinity until it states:

…Who for us all and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnated of the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin Mary and became man.

God, whom we believe in, is eternal and existed from the beginning.

When He wanted to redeem humanity from the original sin which corrupted the human nature by the way of the natural birth in all generations since Adam and Eve, the Son of God came from heaven and took the image of the human being, Galatians 4:4.

The birth of Christ occurred over three steps; two of them are “divine” (beyond our understanding) and the third was “human” (natural per the human process), Luke 1:31, 34, and 35.

Step 1, Divine: The body that the Son of God had did not come through the natural way of birth as the human being (from man and woman) but from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary. The Holy Spirit formed, from the Virgin Mary’s blood and flesh a full body with a living soul that the Divinity united with it resulting in “God Incarnate”.

Step 2, Human: “God Incarnate” grew in the virgin womb of St. Mary as any baby grows in the womb of his mother; He took from her body all the constituents that a baby needs to grow in his mother’s tomb.

Step 3, Divine: The Baby Jesus was born as “God Incarnate” preserving St. Mary’s virginity then and forever; Ezekiel 44:2.

Therefore, St. Mary deserved the title of “The Mother of God” not in the sense that she is the origin of divinity that lived in her womb but due to her carrying “God Incarnate” inside her.

Christ is True Man and True God (Table B):

Note: Table A (Divinity of Christ) was mentioned in lecture DG_3.

God humbled Himself because He loved us, took same flesh as ours and manifested Himself in flesh as a Man (1Timothy 3:16).

In John 1:14, the word “became” does NOT mean “changed” but means took flesh.

God Incarnation does not mean that God has bound Himself in the human body but empties Himself from the glory, Philippians 2:7.

Heretics do not understand how God humbled Himself and became Man despite the Old Testament prophecies on Incarnation (Genesis 3:15, Isaiah 7:14, Micah 5:2, etc.), the apparition of God in different shapes (Abram, Lot, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Daniel, the three young men, etc.), and symbols (Jacob’s ladder, Moses’ fiery bush, Manna descending from heaven, tabernacle, Aaron’s rod, etc.).

Table B below proves that who was born from St. Mary is “God Incarnate” of two natures in one without change of God’s divinity, as in the Liturgy ‘He (God) made It (Christ’s Body) One with His divinity without mingling, confusion and alteration’.

 

As True Man

As True God

Born in Bethlehem, Matthew 2:1

Born before all ages, John 8:58

Was the Son of Man, Luke 19:10

Is the Son of God, John 20:31

Did not know the day of final judgment, Mark 13:32

Accepted Peter’s Statement, John 21:17

Prayed, Luke 22: 41-42

Answers prayers, John 14:13-14

Was weary, John 13:21

Said, Matthew 11:28

Was troubled, John 13:21

Said, John 14:1

Said, John 14:28

Made Himself equal to God, John 5:18

Died, John 19:30

Raised Himself from the dead, John 10:18, 11:25

Was Hungry, Luke 4:2

Fed the multitudes, John 6:5

Said, I thirst, John 19:28

Said, John 7:37

What are the blessings of the Incarnation?

Revealed God’s deep love to Man; John 3:16.

It was the first step for Man’s redemption; John 3:17.

Renewed the corrupted nature of Man; 1Cor 15:53.

Gave the Man the knowledge about God; John 1:18.

Presented to Man the highest example for human perfection; John 8:46.

 

Homework:

From the Coptic liturgy, show two examples on the Doctrine of Incarnation.

Choose 2 examples from the Old Testament to prove Christ’s Incarnation. Explain them.

Christ is God, how can you explain what He said on the cross “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me”, “I Thirst”?

 

What is the significance of the term “and became Man” after stating Christ’s Incarnation (meaning, God took human flesh)?

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