Salvation Step-by-Step

God Became a Man
in Jesus Christ to Save Us

by | May 30, 2020

Thank God, He never gave up on
His original purpose

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
— John 1:14

For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh.
— Romans 8:23

The miracles of God’s salvation begin with the incarnation of Christ.

“Incarnation” literally means “to take on flesh.” It is truly a wonder that the God of the universe, the Creator, would humble Himself to become a lowly man so that He could redeem His fallen creatures, but that is exactly what He did. As we’ll see on the next page, there simply was no other way. And because God would never give up on His original purpose, He was willing to take this step, the first step of His full salvation.

As for this symbol, it is not really possible to accurately depict the relationship between the divinity and humanity of Christ in His incarnation. We just signify the incarnation of Christ by placing the star, symbolizing God, over the three circles, signifying man. So, He was both the complete God and a perfect, genuine human being, so that in Him the two natures, the divine and the human, were wonderfully mingled together.

However, at the same time it is also right to say that, since He was a typical, normal man (in fact, the only truly normal human being who has ever lived on this earth) there is a sense in which His humanity was not divine. The Bible does not explain how this could be, so neither should we. Rather, we simply accept it as a divine mystery of the incarnation.

One thing that we do show in this symbol, however, is that through the incarnation the Lord took on “the likeness of the flesh of sin” (Rom. 8:3); as Calvin said, He took on “the stinking filth of our flesh.” (See his Commentary on John 1:14). He did not have sin, as we do (Heb. 4:15), but He did have the appearance of the sinful flesh, i.e., He had an actual fleshly human body, but one without the sin that inhabits our body. In the Bible this is typified by the bronze serpent that Moses lifted up in the wilderness for the healing of the children of Israel (John 3:14; Num. 21:4-9). Unlike an actual serpent, the bronze serpent was completely harmless, without any poison, but it did have the appearance of a serpent.

So, while we use black circles to depict our own fallen soul and body, in the case of Christ the soul is clear white, and the body is gray, not fully black.