What is the incarnation?

by Matt Slick
4/3/2017

Jesus walking The term "incarnation" means "to become flesh." The incarnation is that event where the second person of the Trinity, the Word, became flesh and dwelt among us. John 1:1, "in the beginning was the word, the word was with God, and the word was God." John 1:14, "And the word became flesh and dwelt among us . . . " When the Word became flesh, he dwelt in the womb of Mary and was born as Jesus. Jesus is the incarnation of God. He is God in flesh. Col. 2:9 says, "for in him dwells all the fullness of deity in bodily form." Another term for the incarnation of God in reference to Jesus is the hypostatic union. The term "incarnation" does not appear in the New Testament, but the concept is definitely taught: John 1:1, 14; Col. 2:9; Phil. 2:5-8; 1 Tim. 3:16; 1 John 4:2; John 20:28; Heb. 1:8.

 

 

Inside CARM

Definition of the Incarnation
To incarnate means to become flesh. The incarnation of Jesus is when the human nature (Jesus the man) was added to the nature of God the second person of ...

If God is unchanging, how can Jesus be God in flesh?
But, how do we reconcile the incarnation of the Word (which was God) and the doctrine of God's unchangeableness (His immutability)? The answer lies in ...

What Arianism teaches about the incarnation
At Jesus' incarnation, the Arians asserted that the divine quality of the Son, the Logos, took the place of the human and spiritual aspect of Jesus thereby denying ...

What Gnosticism teaches about the incarnation
The danger of gnosticism is easily apparent. It denies the incarnation of God as the Son. In so doing, it denies the true efficacy of the atonement since, if Jesus is ...

 

The Incarnation in the Bible

What Jesus said:
John 6:38, "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me."

What Paul Said:
Philippians 2:6–7, "who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men."

What the Old Testament Says:
Isaiah 7:14, "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel."

What the New Testament Says:
John 1:14, "And the Word was made 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."

Easton’s Bible Dictionary says: “that act of grace whereby Christ took our human nature into union with his Divine Person, became man. Christ is both God and man. Human attributes and actions are predicated of him, and he of whom they are predicated is God. A Divine Person was united to a human nature (Acts 20:28; Rom. 8:32; 1 Cor. 2:8; Heb. 2:11-14; 1 Tim. 3:16; Gal. 4:4, etc.). The union is hypostatical, i.e., is personal; the two natures are not mixed or confounded, and it is perpetual.” (Easton, M. G. Easton’s Bible Dictionary. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1893.)

 

 

 
 

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.