Article II-B of The Baptist Faith & Message 2000 reads:
“Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever present Lord.”
Simply stated, the doctrine of the Incarnation means the eternal Son of God took on human flesh in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. As such, Jesus is one person in two natures: divine and human. As the apostle John writes, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).
The importance of this truth should not be overlooked. If Jesus is not divine, he cannot be the Christ; if he is not human, he cannot be our Mediator.
The doctrine of the Incarnation flows naturally from a biblical understanding of the Trinity. Historic Christianity affirms belief in one infinitely perfect, eternal, and personal God, the transcendent creator and sovereign sustainer of the universe. This one God is triune, existing eternally and simultaneously as three distinct, but not separate, persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
In this light, Jesus clearly may be seen as the eternal Son of God who, in the Incarnation, set aside his privileged position (but not his deity) at the Father’s right hand in order to become a sinless human who rescued us from sin by becoming sin for us on the cross (2 Cor. 5:21).Continue reading