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11. Incarnation, not three gods, but One God Almighty

Bible readings Colossians 2vs9; Luke 2vs11. My life (put) alongside God's word, volume 1.

Early in 2011, when the then Southerners voted overwhelmingly to secede from Sudan, two new countries were created: the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan. When one left the other, two new countries were formed.

When God the Son left the glory of heaven and came to earth as baby Jesus, it did not affect God the Holy Trinity. All of God was still in the heavenly realm even though all of God was also present in Jesus Christ on earth. “For in Christ the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form”, Colossians 2:9.

God’s presence in one place does not exclude His presence anywhere else. I understand some of you pastors now have congregations in both Sudanese countries, because some of your people have migrated back to their original tribal homelands while others have chosen to remain in the rather more developed north. How unlike God we humans are! It is only as we think about these deep and glorious issues that we begin to understand a very small part of the mysterious Incarnation of God. All of God is present everywhere. We can’t even be in two places at once! This remarkable God came to save us from sin and from ourselves.

Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord”, Luke 2:11.

Some people wrongly believe that Christians worship three gods. This has led to some heated discussions between Christians and others. Yet we know that Jesus is not the production of God and Mary in any normal biological sense and Jesus is not the result of the Holy Spirit and Mary in any natural, sexual way. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you,” Luke 1:35.

In a totally miraculous way, never before or afterwards duplicated, God the Son – one aspect of the plural singularity of God – this God the Son, chose to become a human embryo in Mary’s virgin womb, just so that He could live and die for humankind.

Please note: Our word “aspect” means, “appearance to the eye; the way in which an idea may be considered”.

  • “Plural” means, “composed of more than one person, thing, item, etc.”

  • “Singularity” means, “the state, fact or quality of being singular –

  • with “singular” meaning “remarkable, exceptional, extraordinary, unusual, unique, not more than one””.

Slot these dictionary definitions into the previous paragraph and I’m sure your heart will begin to uplift to a larger vision of Who God is and what He has done.

My try is, “God the Son, appeared to the human eye as the complete God, a remarkably unique human, yet opening a window into being a God Who is so much more!”

If you get the sense that our language is straining to put this Almighty Creator God into words, you are totally right! Describing God, or attempting to define God, will stretch any language, Arabic, Dinka, Nuer, Mabaan, Loro and even my Englishman’s English!

Jim Packer writes, “Ordinary language is being used for extraordinary purpose when we use it to speak of God”.[1] Think for a moment: how unlike us is God? This is a good question to ask because we tend to think only in ideas we can understand. When we think this “understandable” way about God we are in danger of misunderstanding because God Almighty, our Creator, is incomprehensible – we can never fully appreciate what He is like, or, in a sense, Whom He really is. When we reach a particular point in our investigation we must stop and simply bow ourselves in absolute worship, admitting we do not know, nor do we need to know, now. We have eternity to discover God!

Within God the Holy Trinity we have three Persons Who in themselves are different but not distinct.

  • “Different” means “not identical or the same as”, while

  • “distinct” means “easily sensed or understood”.

Christians believe in One single, lone God Almighty before Whom every human being stands condemned as full of sinful selfishness. We try to understand more of God, while what we do know forces us to look at how we must be saved before we meet God on our own at Judgement Day.

Thankfully, our God looked with loving pity on the entire human race since Adam walked, then stumbled, in Eden’s garden. One of the early disciples of Jesus wrote, “We have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Saviour of the world.”

1 John 4:14.

At the Incarnation (that is, Christmas) celebrations Christians remember, “the assuming of a body by the Son of God”.

  • “Assuming” means, “taking upon oneself”.

God the Son existed forever before Jesus son of Mary was conceived. As One person of the Holy Trinity, God the Son is eternal, with an everlasting past and future. This God the Son became human just so that God could substitutionally sacrifice Himself for the collective sin of humanity.

The Ever-Living God humanly lived for only 33 years on our earth. He moved around real places including Bethlehem, Capernaum, and Jerusalem. People saw Him. The authorities knew Him as Jesus of Nazareth. Some followers expected Him to deliver the Jews from their Roman oppressors, but Jesus did much more than that!

He was interested in human living conditions – as He still is – but His primary focus and objective was to: “save His people from their sins”, Matthew 1:21.

It was this purpose that gave Him His name, JESUS, “a transliteration of the Hebrew, Joshua, meaning, “Jehovah is salvation”, “Jehovah is the Saviour””.[2]

Discussion questions:

1. Read Colossians 1:15-20, 2:8-10. Try to put in your own words (not simply quoting the

texts) “in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form”, Colossians 2:9.

2. John was one of the early disciples. He knew our Lord Jesus personally when he followed

Him, called from his fishing boat, Matthew 4:21-22. From the gospel accounts of our

Lord’s earthly life, what do you think helped John to his conclusion, written in 1 John


[1] J.I.Packer Honouring the People of God (Paternoster Press, Carlisle) 1999, p.90. [2] W.E.Vine Complete Expository Dictionary of Old & New Testament words (Thomas Nelson, Nashville) 1996, p.333.


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