Class Notes: 12/20/2015
John 1:1,14; At Christmas the Eternal Word became flesh and dwelt among us
The Christmas message is about God becoming human in order to save mankind from eternal condemnation by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.
It starts in eternity past in a beginning that was not really a beginning because God has always existed eternally with no beginning or end.
John 1:1; In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
This verse identifies "The Word" translated from the Greek word "Logos" as eternal God and coequal with the Father as preexisting the creation of the universe in timeless eternity past.
This is emphasized by the imperfect active indicative of "eimi" translated "was." The imperfect tense refers to continuous action in past time as a means of indicating that the "the Word," who became Jesus Christ, preexisted the creation of the universe.
The verb "eimi" that means "I AM" indicates existence. The imperfect tense indicates continuous existence in past time before the point indicated in Gen 1:1; as the beginning of the created the physical universe as the angels watched and rejoiced. Job 38:3;
This is how John tells us that "The Word" who became Jesus Christ was in continuous eternal existence at the point of creation.
The active voice indicates that The Word produced the action by means of the divine attribute of eternal life. The indicative mood indicates a statement of fact that predates creation.
John 1:1a; tells us that The Word had preexisted eternally before the creation of the universe in Gen 1:1; and then advances the narrative by telling us " that The Word was with God …
With this phrase we learn that this Logos, Who preexisted the creation, was also "with God," by the use of the accusative preposition "pros" translated "with."
In the accusative, this preposition indicates relationship, intimate association, or proximity and is often translated "face-to-face."
John 1:1b and The Word was face to face with or in in close association with God
John's final statement goes on to reveal "… and the Word was God."
The Logos preexisted creation, was eternally in close association with God and was in fact God.
John 1:1; The Word had preexisted eternally in the beginning of creation, the Word was in close association with God in the beginning of creation and the Word was in fact God.
John 1:14; And the Word (who John 1:1; tells us eternally existed as God) became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. This is what Christmas celebrates.
Under the grace policy of God, the Father provided everything necessary for the humanity of Christ to execute the plan of God in the hypostatic union of undiminished deity and true humanity.
The word translated "truth" is the genitive feminine singular of the noun "aletheia" that means "truth" or "doctrine"
During the Incarnation Jesus Christ who was The Word" was full of truth (doctrine) and communicated truth to all who would come to Him and listen. John 8:31-32;
God the Father provided Jesus with all of the grace assets that were necessary to inculcate the content of the eternal Word into His human soul.
These grace assets included the filling of the Holy Spirit that enabled Him to acquire through language the principles and standards found in the thinking of the eternal Word who comprised His Divine nature.
It is important for us to remember the definition of the hypostatic union that God created on Christmas at the moment Jesus was born as undiminished deity and true humanity in one person.
In the person of the incarnate Christ are two natures, divine and human, inseparably united without mixture or loss of separate identity, without loss or transfer of properties or attributes, the union being personal and eternal.
The protocol that God the Father provided for Jesus in hypostatic union means that Jesus' humanity functioned under the same system that God provides for church age believers.
When Jesus was born on that first Christmas God deployed the prototype of our spiritual life because Jesus' humanity learned God's Word using the same system that we do.
What the deity of Christ knew eternally, Jesus' humanity had to metabolize into His stream of consciousness by means of the same Grace Apparatus for Spiritual Perception that we have.
In order for the eternal knowledge possessed by the deity of Christ to be transferred into the soul of the humanity of Jesus, our Lord had to submit to the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit.
The end result was that He was full of grace and doctrine. He communicated that doctrine to others through language during His earthly ministry.
The cerebral cortex that He fashioned for Adam in the garden, was a part of the biological life He inherited from Mary that first Christmas.
He maximized His brain's capacity for language in order to process the content of the eternal Logos into His human soul.
Knowing that salvation would require volitional choice on the part of the human race, the Lord created the means by which the Gospel could be objectively understood as part of biological life.
The same cerebral cortex He created in Adam would eventually be used by His own true humanity to exploit God's grace and metabolize doctrine during His Incarnation.
John makes it absolutely clear that the Eternal Logos was not only God but also Man. A body was required in order for Him to be qualified as a substitutionary sacrifice for the fallen human race.
God's provision of biological life for the true humanity of Messiah is the subject of Heb 10:5; When He comes into the world ( on Christmas through Virgin Birth ), He says ( from His undiminished deity ), "Sacrifice and offering You have not desired but a body ( biological life ) You have prepared for Me."
Our Lord made this statement from His deity at the moment His deity was united with His true humanity when He was born that first Christmas.
The preparation of His body refers back to Luke 1:26 ; Now in the sixth month ( of Elizabeth's pregnancy ) the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth,
v 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David and the virgin's name was Mary.
v 28 And coming in He said to her, "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you." Net note 91
What makes Mary God's favored one? "Favor" is translated from the perfect passive participle of the Greek verb "charitoo" this word refers to the divine favor of grace that has been conveyed by God that constitutes a blessing from God.
Why was Mary favored to be the incubator for the biological life of Messiah and not someone else? The answer is found in the parsing of the verb. The perfect tense indicates that the blessing was determined before Gabriel announced it to Mary.
This blessing or favor was the result of God's decree from eternity past. After determining to permit the fall of mankind in the garden of Eden the Trinity developed a plan to save mankind from his sins.
The plan required one Member of the Godhead to take on true humanity in order to become the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of all mankind.
This sacrifice required that Messiah be provided with the same perfect humanity that Adam was created with so the Trinity had to select a human woman who was qualified to provide a body for Messiah to fulfill His mission.
According to the decree she must be a Jew who was a virgin who was engaged to be married, but the marriage not yet consummated.
Isa 7:14; "Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call his name Immanuel ( God with us ).
In Luke 1:27; The word translated "engaged" is the Greek verb "mnesteuo" that means to espouse or promise in marriage. Often translated into the English as "betroth."
Betrothal was an esteemed part of the transaction of marriage. Among the Jews the betrothal was regarded as binding so that, if marriage did not take place, owing to the absconding of the bridegroom or the breach of contract on his part, the young woman could not be married to another man until due process and a paper of divorce liberated her.
The formality of betrothal was not entered into until the marriage was considered reasonably certain and measurably near. The betrothed parties were legally in the position of a married couple and unfaithfulness was considered to be "adultery."
She must also be genetically in the line of Judah, the tribe from which all of Israel's kings are drawn including Messiah.
Gen 49:10; "The scepter shall not depart from Judah nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes …"
The woman must also be a descendent of the house of David in fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant.
2Sam 7:16; "Your house ( David's royal line ) and your kingdom ( Israel ) shall endure before Me forever; your throne ( authority of rulership ) shall be established forever." Luke 3:23-31; establishes this pedigree.
Her espoused husband must also be genetically in the line of Judah, house of David.
Luke 2:4; Joseph went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,
v 5 - in order to register, along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was with child.
The Holy Infant must be born in the town of Bethlehem. Micah 5:2;"As for you Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago from the days of eternity."
Luke 2:6; And it came about that while they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.
v 7 And she gave birth to her first-born son; and she wrapped Him in cloths and laid Him in a manger.
A woman who meets all these qualifications must appear at a precise point in human history described by Paul as "the fullness of time."
Gal 4:4; When the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law.
Therefore, Mary was in the right place at the right time and as a result God favored her to perform the service of incubating the biological life of Messiah's true humanity.
Other than being a believer, Mary had no special qualifications that caused her to be selected beyond those just mentioned a point brought out by the passive voice that tells us that Mary received the action of being favored by God.
Since Mary receives the action of the verb then it is a grace act independent of any merit from Mary. In fact, the favor directed to Mary is the same as the grace that is directed toward every member of the Church, the Royal Family of God.
Eph 1:6; So that we might praise the glory of His grace by which grace God has blessed us "charitoo" in the Beloved ( Jesus Christ ).
Mary's blessing was unique but she was the recipient because she met the qualifications at the precise moment that satisfied the requirements of the Divine decree.
Mary was therefore blessed as the woman God selected to provide the biological life of the miraculously conceived Messiah. The perfect participle indicates that God decreed the gracious act in eternity past.
All of this information contributes to a clear understanding of our Lord's statement from the manger that was His cradle that first Christmas.
Heb 10:5; When He comes into the world ( Virgin Birth ), He says ( from undiminished deity ), "Sacrifice and offering You have not desired but a body ( biological life ) You have prepared for Me."
In His concluding comment from the cradle our Lord states God's purpose for His incarnation. Heb 10:7; "Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God."
Our Lord would communicate that Divine will. He would use language to communicate it in His teaching and He would demonstrate it by fulfilling of the Law impeccably. Rom 10:4;
Following His crucifixion and resurrection the Living Word ascended into heaven earth leaving behind His Word in written form so that we could follow Him in spiritual growth as we live out our life witnessing of God's grace gift to all mankind. John 3:16; Mark 16:15;
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