Q: #75. How can God become a man?
By: Steve Shirley
A: The word used for God taking on human form or flesh is Incarnation. The Incarnation of Jesus Christ is a crucial doctrine of the Christian faith. In fact, (1 Jn 4:2-3) says that if a person doesn't believe Jesus came in the flesh, they aren't from God. However, just believing Jesus was a man isn't enough. We MUST believe He is God (Lord) (Rom 10:9,13). [See: Q: #36. for more on this] I also offer many proofs for Jesus being God in my study Jesus "IS" God
Jesus never stopped being God during His 33 years on this Earth. He was EQUALLY God and man. However, He humbled Himself by voluntarily veiling His divine attributes. Here are three verses that describe this:
(Phil 2:7-8) but (Jesus) made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (8) and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
(Heb 2:9) But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
(2 Cor 8:9) For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
In other words, (2 Cor 8:9) is saying, Jesus was "rich" because He owned everything as God in Heaven, but He became "poor" by becoming man and laying all of that aside temporarily. Because He became "poor," we can be made "rich" (joint-heirs with Christ: Rom 8:17) in Heaven one day when we are born again.
We are told that Jesus freely laid down His life for us (Jn 10:17-18)(Mt 26:53). Why did He have to become a man, and then die on the cross? The Bible tells us a number of reasons.
(Heb 2:14) says Jesus became flesh and blood so "that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;"
(Heb 10:10) says "we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all." (Also see: Rom 8:3, Mt 20:28, 1 Pet 3:18)
(Col 1:22) says we can be presented to God as "holy and blameless" through the death of Christ's physical body.
(Jn 4:34)(Jn 5:30)(Jn 6:38-40)(Jn 12:50)(Jn 14:31)(Jn 15:10)(Jn 17:4)(Mt 26:39) tell us that Jesus came to do the will of the Father.
(Mt 11:27)(Lk 10:22)(Jn 14:8-11) tell us Jesus came to reveal the Father.
(Heb 2:17)(Heb 4:14-16)(Heb 7:11-28) tell us Jesus came to become our High Priest FOREVER.
Jesus also came to fulfill the dozens of prophesies made about Him (See: Biblical Prophecy for some of these)
We are ALL sinners (1 Jn 1:8,10)(Rom 3:23)(Eccl 7:20)(1 Kin 8:46). God is perfect. Only perfection can enter into God's presence for eternity. Since we are sinners and imperfect, the wages of our sin is death (Rom 6:23) or Hell. There is only ONE way we can be made perfect, and that is through the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on the cross for us (Col 1:14,20)(Eph 1:7)(Heb 10:16-19). Jesus lived a sinless life while on the Earth, and when we trust in Him, and come through His shed blood, His blood covers our sins, and His perfection is imputed to us. This makes us perfect before the Father. Jesus perfect righteousness becomes our righteousness: (2 Cor 5:21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might become the righteousness of God in him. (Also see: 1 Pet 3:18)
This is why Jesus as God had to become a man. Only God could have lived a perfect life. Man can NEVER do so. The Old Testament shows us this over and over. God gave man laws to keep, and if he had kept them all, he could be made perfect. We failed miserably... However, Jesus kept them ALL! He was tempted just like we are, but never once sinned (Heb 4:15). (Also see: 1 Jn 3:5, 1 Pet 2:22)
Why didn't Jesus fail? Because being God, He could NOT fail! He was the Word (God) who became flesh (Jn 1:1,14). All the fullness of the Godhead (deity) dwelt in Him in bodily form (Col 2:9). He was God manifest in the flesh (1 Tim 3:16).
I suspect most reading this believe in the omnipotence of God (that He is all powerful and can do anything). If you do indeed believe this, then couldn't God become a man if He so desired? Couldn't He take on human form, but still remain God at the same time? You have to say it is possible. The Bible tells us it actually occurred. Please consider these points and verses in light of God's omnipotence.