Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Incarnation by Beeke and Jones

The work of Christ manifests the wisdom of God as both just and the justifier of the ungodly; but the person of Christ also reveals the preeminent wisdom of God, for in the incarnation the finite is united with the infinite, immortality is united to mortality, and a nature who made the law is united to a nature under the law, all in one person.  This union “transcends all the unions visible among creatures” and for that reason is incomprehensible.  And while the finite can never comprehend the infinite, not even in the union of the two natures, nevertheless the divine nature is united to every part of Christ’s human nature. Because of the incarnation the Son of God is able to mediate between God and sinful humanity. Charnock expresses this well in the following words:

He is a true Mediator between mortal sinners and the immortal righteous One. He was near to us by the infirmities of our nature, and near to God by the perfections of the Divine; as near to God in his nature, as to us in ours; as near to us in our nature as he is to God in the Divine. Nothing that belongs to the Deity, but he possesses; nothing that belongs to the human nature, but he is clothed with. He had both the nature which had offended, and the nature which was offended: a nature to please God, and a nature to pleasure us: a nature, whereby he experimentally knew the excellency of God, which was injured, and understood the glory due to him, and consequently the greatness of the offence, which was to be measured by the dignity of his person: and a nature whereby he might be sensible of the miseries contracted by, and endure the calamities due to the offender, that he might both have compassion on him, and make due satisfaction for him.

In short, the incarnation reveals the wisdom of God in appointing the Son as Mediator. Only the God-man could effect reconciliation between God and man, and communion with God is only possible for us because God became man. Indeed, the incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity gave Him an experimental compassion that the divine nature was not capable of, and so the efficacy of Christ’s priestly office, in all of its aspects, depends upon the union of the two natures in one person. The incarnation, then, is one of the many ways God has revealed His wisdom to men. God’s wisdom, which brings together both mercy and justice, among other things, would not, however, be effectual if God were not powerful.



Beeke, J., Jones, M. Doctrine for Life: A Puritan Theology.