The second Sunday of Advent – December 10, 2023

Holy Trinity Church – Tom Mount

 

Scripture: John 1:1-4, 14

Introduction

  • What is Incarnation? Ln. incarnari (Latin: in = “in,” carni = “flesh,” “be made flesh, enfleshment.” In the biblical context, it refers to the enveloping of the infinite, immaterial Son of God with a material body (Jn 1:1-4, 14-15).
  • What did our Lord by means of his incarnation?

What did Christ accomplish through his incarnation?

  • He accomplished a lot of things. For example:
  • He sacralized materiality (contra Platonic anti-materialist philosophy).
  • He wed deity to humanity forever in an indissoluble bond within Godself.
  • He obliterated the works of the enemy!
  • Today, we will focus on just three things:
  1. The Son restored God’s honor which we besmirched.
  • God must uphold his own honor. God must value supremely that which is supremely valuable (Ezek 36:21-27).
  • The Israelites dishonored God in multiple ways (ex: Mal 1:6-8).
  • How do we Christians dishonor him in our day?
  • Jesus honored his Father supremely and consistently. He cleansed temple at the beginning and end of his ministry (Jn 2; Matt 21). He described his reason for coming in Jn 6:38: “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.” He prayed in Jn 17:4 “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.”
  • We are expected to follow our Lord’s example (1 Jn 2:6).
  • God is continuously honored in heaven (Isa 6:1-4; Rev 4-5). The only question is: will you join the holy ones in honoring him or join the unrighteous in dishonoring him?
  • The Son of God became a son of Adam to restore God’s honor.
  1. The Son satisfied God’s justice which condemned us.
  • Justice (righteous laws equally applied) is a transcendental: a non-negotiable foundational principle of all governance. You cannot have trust, peace, thriving without it. In the OT, it is often paired with righteousness (Ps 89:14).
  • This is why it is so deleterious to a civilized society to have unrighteous laws or righteous laws unequally applied. This is one of the most destructive trends in recent years: the unequal application of the law. It leads to lawlessness and resentment.
  • God is intrinsically merciful (Ex 34:6). In his mercy, he appears throughout human history to exempt certain people from justice (Ex: David), while holding others accountable to it (Ex: Korah). Reason: God forgives all who repent (Lk 18:9-14).
  • How can God forgive someone and be just at the same time? (Rom 3.21-26).
  • The Son of God became a son of Adam to live a righteous life—keeping Torah, fulfilling all the terms of the covenant—then die in our place on the cross.
  1. The Son reestablished God’s shalom which we vandalized.
  • Shalom = “peace, reconciliation, harmony, thriving, flourishing, prosperity.”
  • We were created to enjoy this shalom without interruption forever, but we vandalized it through our sin (our assertion of autonomy). All creation was affected.
  • God was not willing for his creation to devolve into nothingness. Why? Because it is good (Gen 1:4, 12, 18, etc.). Because he loves it (Col 1:16; Rev 4:11).
  • He redeemed us with a profound, pervasive and particular love (Jn 15:13; 1 Jn 3:1).
  • How did Jesus reestablish God’s shalom for us? It began with his incarnation; continued with his life, death, resurrection and ascension and will end with his return and future reign. In the process, he reconciles to God, refashions us and restores the whole of creation.
  • The Son of God became a son of Adam to reestablish God’s shalom.

Takeaway

This Advent season, meditate deeply on the wonder of our Lord’s incarnation which restored God’s honor, satisfied God’s justice and reestablished God’s shalom. Let yourself be astonished by God’s mercy and love, then share this astounding message of hope with someone else this week!