KNOWING CHRIST AS THE WORD MADE FLESH OR KNOWING CHRIST AS MAN
A Sermon by Wayne Camp
SERIES TEXT: Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.
TEXT: John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (KJV)
1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (KJV)
1 Timothy 2:5 For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the MAN Christ Jesus. (KJV)
INTRO: Which would be worse, to deny the Deity of Jesus Christ or to deny his real humanity? Neither would be worse than the other for to deny either means eternal damnation. Those who deny his deity are guilty of not believing the record of God’s Son. Those who deny his perfect and complete humanity are guilty of the same crime. Furthermore, we learn from John that it is the spirit of anti-christ which causes anyone to deny that Christ is come in the flesh.
This message is Knowing Christ As The Word Made Flesh Or Knowing Christ As Man.
I. TO KNOW CHRIST MEANS TO KNOW HIM AS ONE WHO WAS DEFINITELY MADE FLESH
A. He was no mere phantasm or theophany; he did literally become flesh as our first text declares. Jn. 1:14
B. God had sworn to David he would be made flesh. Acts 2:30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne.
C. Paul confirms that Jesus was made flesh of the seed of David. Romans 1:3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.
D. Concerning the flesh, Jesus descended from the Jews. Romans 9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
E. In the light of Paul's bold statement to Timothy, there can be no doubt that the word was made flesh. 1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
F. Those whom he would redeem were flesh and blood, therefore he took on him a body of flesh and blood so that he might be as near a kinsman as possible. Hebrews 2:14 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.
1. He must be made like us in every way except for sin. Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
2., He must be all of one with us if he would be our redeemer. Hebrews 2:11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.
G. If he would be our great High Priest he must be taken from among us and be identified with us, therefore he did not take on him the nature of angels but the human nature of man. Hebrews 2:16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
H. I will deal with the necessity of his being made man another message but felt it should be mentioned in this message if we are to fully appreciate the fact that he was made flesh.
I. I would remind you again of the importance of this matter in the light of John's declaration that it is the spirit of antichrist that causes one to deny that Christ is come in the flesh. 1 John 4:1-3 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 2 John 7 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. TO KNOW CHRIST WE MUST KNOW SOMEWHAT OF THE NATURE OF HIS BEING MADE FLESH
A. We must know that he became a man and man is flesh. Philippians 2:5-7 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.
B. We must know that the expression, the word was made flesh, means more than merely the meat that was on his bones. Jn. 1:14
1. Francis Turretin said, "Here the word 'flesh' is not to be taken strictly for one part of man, but broadly and synecdochically for the whole human nature, including the soul with the flesh."
2. A. W. Pink wrote, "The plain meaning of these words is, that our Divine Savior took upon Him human nature. He became a real Man, yet a sinless, perfect man.
3. Hengstenberg wrote, "Flesh means all that man is . . . there can be no doubt that man is here designated as flesh to call attention to the depth of condescension in the Logos."
4. Thomas Whitelaw wrote that the word flesh in this verse means "human nature in its totality, as consisting of a true body and a reasonable soul."
5. Whitelaw quotes another who says, "The word sarx describes the whole man, as he consists of body and soul, as a sensuous, earthly being, in antithesis to God."
6. John Gill said, "Flesh here signifies, not a part of the body, nor the whole body only, but the whole human nature, consisting of a true body, and a reasonable soul . . . it was a real human nature, and not a phantom, or appearance."
7. Matthew Henry wrote, "This intimates . . . that he was really and truly man."
8. It refers to his entire humanity. John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
9. His being made flesh obviously means he took upon himself a complete human nature; as truly man as is any other man.
D. We must know that he was formed in his mother's womb just as we were.
1. He was not created in the manner that Adam was, that would not have made him our near kinsman.
2. He brought no element of his human nature and being from heaven, he was given his complete human nature in the womb of Mary.
3. He was miraculously conceived but naturally formed in the womb of Mary. Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Matthew 1:16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. Matthew 1:20-23 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Luke 1:31-35 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
4. He is called the seed of the woman. Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
5. He was made of a woman. Galatians 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.
6. He is called the fruit of the womb. Luke 1:42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
7. He was born in the same manner that all children are born. Psalm 22:9-10 But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts. I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.
E. We must know that he grew up and developed physically as any other child would develop.
1. He nursed his mother's breasts for nourishment just as any other child. Psalm 22:9 But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.
2. He developed in stature as does any other child and young man. Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
F. We must know that he developed mentally as do other children. Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
G. We must know that his flesh was the same as our flesh.
1. He was a man and all men are of the same kind of flesh. 1 Corinthians 15:39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
2. He had the same kind of blood as we have for he was a man and all men have the same kind of blood. Acts 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation.
3. Those whom he would redeem are partakers of flesh and blood therefore he took the same flesh and blood as they. Hebrews 2:14 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.
G. We must know wherein the human nature of Christ differs from ours.
1. It was conceived miraculously. Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. Matthew 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
2. It was especially prepared by God. Hebrews 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me.
3. It was untainted by sin. Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
4. He took on the likeness of sinful flesh but not the sinfulness of the fleshly nature. Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.
5. For him to take on our sins, God had to make him sin. 2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
III. TO KNOW CHRIST WE MUST KNOW SOMETHING OF THAT WHICH HE ACCOMPLISHED BY BEING MADE FLESH
A. He gave us the true bread from heaven which we must eat by faith if we are to have eternal life. John 6:51-56 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
B. He made it possible that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us in spite of the weakness of our flesh. Romans 8:3-4 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
C. He abolished the enmity of the law by keeping and fulfilling it in a human nature like ours. Ephesians 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace.
D. He did every thing necessary to present us holy, unblamable, and unreprovable in his sight. Colossians 1:21-22 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreproveable in his sight.
E. He revealed God in his flesh. 1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
F. His glory was the glory of the only begotten of the Father. John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
G. In him dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Colossians 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
H. He destroyed the power of Satan and delivered his people from the fear of death. Hebrews 2:14 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.
I. He has opened up the way for us to enter into heaven. Hebrews 10:19-20 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.
J. He suffered for our sins and brought us to God. 1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit. 1 Peter 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin.
K. He made peace for us through his blood. Colossians 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be] things in earth, or things in heaven.
CONC: In another message we will consider the absolute necessity of the incarnation, the necessity of the Word being made flesh. In this message I have tried to concentrate primarily on the fact of his being made flesh, on knowing him as man, and on the nature of that humanity which he assumed. It is essential that we know him as God for he is God of very God. It is equally, and I did say equally essential that we know him as man. For to deny his humanity is a mortal sin and the spirit of antichrist. It is a fundamental of true faith in Jesus Christ.
I have said many times that if you do not believe in the deity of Jesus Christ you cannot be saved. It is equally true that if you do not believe in the humanity of Christ you cannot be saved. It was in the flesh that he was put to death. It was his flesh and blood that he gave for our eternal life. To deny that is to deny the very bread and drink of eternal life.
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Last updated on Saturday, May 08, 2010