WSC Question 22: How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?
Answer: Christ, the Son of God, became man, by taking to himself a true body, and a reasonable soul,being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and born of her, yet without sin (Heb. 2:14, 16, 4:15, 7:26; Gal. 4:4; Luke 1:27, 31, 35, 42).
An explanation: Christâ€™s became man in the Incarnation because of His love for His own people, and a commitment to fulfill the Covenant of Grace that He had made with the Father and the Spirit before the foundation of the world (Heb. 13:20-21; Eph. 1:3-14). He said in obedience to the Father: â€œSacrifice and offering you have not desired, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required. Then I said, “Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me. I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heartâ€¦â€ (Psa. 40:6-8; cf. Heb. 10:5ff).
The Eternal Son of God did not merely appear to be a man in the Incarnation, but he did take upon Himself a real human body in personal and permanent union with Himself: â€œSee my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I haveâ€ (Luke 24:39).The Apostle John teaches the importance of confessing this of Jesus Christ: â€œBy this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from Godâ€¦â€ (1 Jo. 4:2). Jesus Christ not only has a real human body, but also a true and reasonable soul like all other men, yet without sin (Heb. 2:14, 17a; 4:15). During His earthly suffering, Jesus said: â€œMy soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with meâ€ (Matt. 26:38).
The conception of Jesus Christ was unique in that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary: â€œThe Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy- the Son of Godâ€ (Luke 1:35). The Spirit of God prevented Jesus from being contaminated from sin, and although He was like man in every way, He was sinless, and â€œholy, harmless, undefiled, separated from sinnersâ€ (Heb. 4:15; 7:26). Although unique as Savior and God-Man, Jesus Christ, grew up and matured, and completed His work of salvation for all of His own similar to other men dependent upon Godâ€™s Word and the Holy Spirit: â€œAnd the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon himâ€¦.And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and manâ€ (Luke 2:40, 52).
Jesus willingly laid down His life in our nature (John 10:18), and was raised in our nature for the justification and vindication of His people (Rom. 4:25). Now Jesus Christ is seated at Godâ€™s right hand in heaven as a glorified man united permanently to Deity as our only Mediator (1 Ti. 2:5), to send forth His Spirit to uphold, equip, and sanctify and comfort His people (Acts 2:32-33; John 14:26ff; 16:12-15), and to forever intercede for us according to Godâ€™s will (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25). We can summarize the Gospel thus:
â€œGreat indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.â€
(1 Ti. 3:16; cf. Col. 2:9)
Prayer: Thank you, dear Jesus, Savior and Friend, for ruling and reigning in heaven as my Mediator. Full of power, grace, and truth to help and encourage me as I journey to heaven, keeping my eyes on you, the Glorious Author and Perfecter of my faith!
In Christâ€™s love,