Behold, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they named him Immanuel, which translated means, “God with us!” Matthew 1:23
We are going to discuss theology in this Interruption. I will not be offended if you stop reading and wait until a more exciting topic tomorrow.
On the other hand, if you do not fully understand theology you will be in danger of at least not getting as much of a reward in heaven as those who read this Interruption – and, at most, losing your salvation completely.
Your choice … theology or no theology???!!
Let’s get started. Emmanuel is translated “Emmanuel” in the King James Version while most other English translations – NASB, NIV, NKJK, TPT & OGV – use “Immanuel.” The New English Translation and the older King James Version pull an exegetical sleight of hand with Immanuel in Isaiah 7:14 and Emmanuel in Matthew 1:23.
Theology isn’t so bad is it? We are getting our terms and Biblical references correct.
Let’s progress to “Incarnation!” God with us, God in the flesh, and the only begotten. As more stiff theologians would say, “Fully God and fully human.” As a less stiff Pastor Grant would say, “Wow!”
Incarnation literally means “infleshing,” which we read about in John 1:14:
The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us and we saw His glory, glory as of the one and only Son [only begotten], God begets God from the Father, and full of grace and truth! (NASB, NIV, KJV & OGV)
C.S. Lewis taught that the incarnation or “only begotten” meant that only God begets God. God created man and woman (and all of us) but only God begets God!
Take away “fully God” from Jesus, or take away “fully human” from Christ, and you eliminate Christianity. Instead, you have a religion reliant upon works, like every other religion in the world.
The incarnation allows forgiveness by grace, not by works!
Okay, here we go (we were just warming up); let’s get fully theological.
Jesus had to be perfect as fully human or His sacrifice was just like any other animal or human sacrifices throughout history. Justice requires blood, and without a sacrificed perfect God, imperfect sacrifices are, well, imperfect. As sin entered the world by a perfect man becoming imperfect, sin departs by the justice of a perfect man becoming sin for all of us.
Jesus had to be fully God, or his sacrifice would be ineffective. How can one sacrifice account for all sin? Since Jesus is God and eternal, anything that happens to an eternal God is forever, as there is no past, present, or future with Jesus. Only now. The “now” sacrifice of an eternal Messiah stretches from the cross backwards to the beginning of time and forward to His second coming!
Jesus died on the cross as fully human and fully God. A perfect and eternal sacrifice – for all of us! This is the importance of fully God, fully human, incarnate, only begotten, and God in the flesh.
Take off your “now” sophisticated theological caps, raise your hands, and shout, “Amen!” There is now no condemnation for those who profess Jesus as Lord and Savior.
As to this sacrifice, Hebrews 2:3 asks, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?”