The Incarnation in Your Life Today

25 December 2009

The charge from this past Sunday’s sermon follows:

Gregory the Theologian said, “What is not assumed cannot be healed,” and this is true.  For exactly that reason, Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Triune God, assumed full humanity at His incarnation.  In Jesus, we have a spectacular demonstration that man, the image of God, is an accurate image, and can partake in the divine nature.  Nothing human is foreign to Him; there is no part of you that you can point to and say, “Jesus didn’t have to deal with this.”

The Incarnation strips us of our excuses, but in exchange it gives us hope, hope that we can be holy as He is holy.  God designed every part of you to partake of the divine nature.   God in Christ redeemed every part of you in order to cause you to fulfill God’s design.  In the coming week, you will face the temptation to keep parts of yourself, or parts of your life, to yourself, and to keep the divine nature away from them.  The charge I leave you with is simple: Don’t give in to that temptation.  Hand that area to Christ, so that you may say with Paul, “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”

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You Can’t Leave Out the Dirt

2 August 2009

In the preceding post, I concluded by claiming that an abstract proposition is not the story “boiled down to essentials” because God made the world ex nihilo, entered it Himself in a body, and will resurrect it all one day.

Why would I say that?

God made the world.  Created it all from nothing, spoke it into existence.  In that world, things happen.  God enters into the world He made and acts within it.  God put us in that world — this world — and we act within it.  This is what really happens.  The stories are accounts of what really happened.  The abstractions are short summaries or interpretations of what really happened — but it’s the happening itself that is the reality.

When we say that “by grace you are saved through faith” is the gospel, stripped down to bare essentials with all the extraneous information left out, we are saying that it’s the idea — make that Idea — that matters, and not the incarnational reality.  We are moving, in other words, from Yahweh’s world to Plato’s.

This is a problem, because Plato’s world doesn’t exist.

Yahweh made dirt.  The Word of Yahweh became flesh and dwelt among us, and got dirt under His fingernails.  In the resurrection, redeemed men will get redeemed dirt under their redeemed fingernails, and glory to God for all of it.

Abstractions, important a tool as they are, are not the thing itself.  They always leave out the dirt.