From an Eternal standpoint
1 December 2019 AM – 1 Peter 1:18-21 – Incarnation – Scott Childs
Introduction: This morning we are going to begin a four-week series in both a.m. and p.m. services on the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. The word “incarnation” is a theological term that describes the coming of Jesus, God the Son, to this earth to take on a human body so that He could die in our place and pay for our judgment of our sin.
The incarnation was not an afterthought for God. He did not come up with this great idea after spending 4,000 years from Creation to the birth of Christ wondering how to fix man’s sin problem. God knows everything. He knew man would rebel against Him and sin, even before He created Adam and Eve. He also knew exactly how He would remedy man’s hell-bound problem before it even began.
Though it boggles our minds, because God is outside of time, He was able to plan, predict, and perform the incarnation in eternity past.
Transition: This morning, I want us to examine the Incarnation from an eternal standpoint that we might better understand God’s saving grace.
1. The Incarnation Planned
a. God foreordained the incarnation
1) Our text (v.20) states that Christ’s death for our sins was foreordained before the foundation of the world.
a) Foreordained means that God knew all about it before it took place.
b) God knew before creation that the people He was about to create would rebel against Him and sin.
c) God knew that His holiness would force Him to separate from those sinners whom He loved.
d) God knew that to be separated from Him would mean eternal damnation in hell.
e) God knew that His incarnation was the only solution to man’s doom (see v.18-19). Jesus, the second Person in the eternal godhead, would have to leave heaven’s glory and become the God/Man in order to die as man’s substitute.
f) God knew there was no other way to rescue sinful man from the lake of fire. (Acts 4:12) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
2) In eternity past, God purposed to fulfil this plan.
a) (Ephesians 3:11) “According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:”
b) (2 Timothy 1:9) “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,”
c) In God’s timeless mind, Christ was slain for our sins before creation. (Revelation 13:8) “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” [Beware; many new translations twist the words of this verse to say that Christ was NOT slain from the foundation of the world. However, the KJV follows the Greek text.]
b. For years, Christ’s incarnation was a mystery.
1) The Bible term “mystery” refers to a fact that God kept secret until He chose to reveal it. (Romans 16:25-26) “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:”
2) God revealed His mystery when Christ became a man, lived a sinless life and died on the cross for sinners.
2. The Incarnation Predicted
a. God gave Adam the first incarnation prediction
1) As God was dealing out the punishments for man’s sin in the Garden of Eden, when He addressed Satan and the serpent, He predicted their doom. (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.”
2) There would be enmity or hatred between Satan and the woman. There would be hatred between Satan’s seed and the woman’s seed (i.e., offspring).
3) Satan would one day bruise the heel of the woman’s seed (i.e., reference to the crucifixion), but He (the incarnate Christ) would bruise Satan’s head (i.e., Christ would have victory over death and eternally destroy Satan).
b. Many O.T. prophets predicted the incarnation.
1) (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.” This is applied to the birth of Jesus Christ. (Matthew 1:23) “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.”
2) (Isaiah 9:6) “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” This prediction could only be fulfilled by the incarnation of our eternal God. John describes that incarnation for us. (John 1:1) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” [Beware! Cults use the lack of a definite article before “God” in this verse to claim that Jesus was just “a god”. However, the definite article is also missing before “God” in Jn 1:6, 12, 18. Their argument fails. Jesus is the eternal God.] (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.” God became a man.
3) (Micah 5:2) “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
4) The entire chapter of Isaiah 53 describes the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. This could only be possible if he first became a man through incarnation.
3. The Incarnation Performed
a. Christ was manifest in these last times
1) Our text verse, 1Peter 1:20, declares this for us.
2) Just as God predicted in eternity past, Jesus Christ, God the Son, came to this earth, took on human flesh, and died to pay for our sin debt.
b. The incarnation alone gives us hope.
1) We note this in 1 Peter 1:21.
2) It is important; however, to note that the only ones who have this hope in Christ are those who believe God and place their faith in Christ.
3) Earlier we noted in 1Peter 1:18-19, that we cannot be redeemed (i.e., set free from sin’s bondage) by human effort.
a) You cannot buy redemption with silver or gold.
b) You cannot earn redemption by doing religious traditions of men (religious upbringing, baptism, confession, good deeds, church attendance, Bible reading, giving offerings, or saying prayers).
c) Redemption was 100% paid for by the blood of Christ.
d) It can only be received by repenting of our sinfulness and trusting Christ’s payment alone.
Conclusion: I trust that this sermon has given you a better understanding of God’s saving grace. If you delete any part of the incarnation, God’s entire plan of salvation will fail. In eternity past God planned the incarnation. Jesus Christ, the eternal God the Son would become a human to die on a cross and pay for your sins and mine. God predicted the incarnation from the fall of Adam down through the prophets. God performed the incarnation some 2,000 years ago to purchase our redemption.
What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. If you are depending upon Jesus plus ANYTHING else, you are not yet saved. Ask God to open your eyes and convict your heart. Then trust Him alone to save your soul.
Song: What can wash away my sin? 212