David Platt – Incarnation (2) Marvel of Nature

God in the Flesh

Philippians 2:5-11  (NIV)

  5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

He made Himself nothing. Taking the very nature of a servant.

What makes Jesus so unique?

  1. He is the sovereign Creator, yet He becomes a slave to His creation. Sometime when people read ‘He made Himself nothing’ or in other translations ‘He emptied Himself’ they picture Him taking off some of His divine qualities. But that’s not true. Jesus is fully God, He is in nature God. He exists as God. You can’t take off some things of who you are. So He didn’t empty Himself by taking off divine characteristics, instead, He emptied Himself by bringing something on to Himself. By taking the very nature of a servant. Jesus had 2 natures: The nature of God and the nature of servant.  They are not in contradiction to each other. Picture it with Jesus coming to earth. It’s not God minus something, it’s God plus something. It’s God taking on human likeness. By emptying Himself, Jesus perfectly reveals both deity and humanity to all creation.
  2. He is perfect, yet He pays the price for sin. Why did God become a man? Why is it important that Jesus become man- fully God and fully man, united together in one person? It’s important for the very meaning of our salvation. We have so salvation, no Christianity without the incarnation. As a man, He alone can substitute for human sin.
  3. He is transcendent over His people, yet He identifies intimately with His people. If you’ve grown up in a christian family, or in church, and you’ve not had interaction with other religions in the world, it’s hard to grasp what an incredible truth this is. This is the truth that sets Christianity apart. It sets Jesus apart. The major religions of the world are all grounded in, whether it’s a god called Allah or a higher being, or ultimate reality in the universe, it’s all based on this alternate reality of being completely different from us, above us, over us. And we’re down here. But, the beauty of Scripture is that His greatness is not just in His transcendence over us. His greatness is pictured in His intimate involvement with us, in us, a part of our lives. That’s Jesus, and that’s what sets Him apart. That He was made in human likeness. He took on the form of a man. The nature of a man. He became like us. He displayed the nature of God by taking on the nature of the servant. (v 7)

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