11th December 2011

The Incarnation:  All About Love

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men….”
1 Timothy 2:4-6 (NIV UK)

Jesus once told his disciples, “By this shall all people know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.” It is no wonder that love should be the central focus of everything related to our Christian faith. After all, as John tells us in 1 John 4:8, God is love. God is not only the origin and source of love; he has woven love tightly into the fabric of the universe. In a very real sense, as the song lyrics say, love does ‘make the world go round’, and human life is all about God’s love for us and God’s love in us.

God’s love for us is supremely demonstrated by what we call the Incarnation, that is, in the Son of God becoming human to make us his own brothers and sisters. Our salvation springs from the Father’s ever-faithful love and power. It is proven through Jesus Christ, the only name under heaven by which human beings can be saved, and it is ministered to us abundantly by the Holy Spirit.

God’s love in us makes us a new creation. When the Father and the Son live in us through the Spirit, we love others. In Christ, we are freed from fear, from pride, and from the hatred that conspire to prevent us from enjoying the life of God. When we are in Christ, we are free to love others the way God loves us.

Jesus did not come just to forgive our sins; he came to heal our sinful nature and make a new creation of us. He doesn’t force us to accept his love, but because he loves us so dearly, his earnest desire is that we turn to him and find true life.

Jesus was born, lived, died, rose from the dead and ascended to the Father’s right hand as Lord and Saviour and Mediator, having purified the sins of humanity. But he did not stop being human. He is still fully God and fully human. He is our advocate, our representative, standing in for us and substituting for us at the Father’s right hand. The apostle Paul emphasises this for us: “…the Man Christ Jesus…”

God has declared in Christ that you belong to him; that you are included; that you matter. Our salvation comes through the perfect will of the Father, who is unswervingly committed to including us in the joy and fellowship he shares with the Son and Spirit.

When you are in Christ, you are included in the fellowship and joy of the life of the Triune God. It means the Father receives you and has fellowship with you as he does with Jesus. It means that the love that God once and for all demonstrated in the incarnation of Jesus Christ is no less than the love the Father has always had for you—and always will.

Heavenly Father, so often we only think of Jesus’ first coming at Christmas time. Thank you that his coming applies for us all year round, for eternity. And all this stems from your love for us, a love itself that is eternal and the very essence of what you are. In that we can have assurance and trust. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by Joseph Tkach

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