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The significance of christmas part 3


Emeritus Prof. Mercy Olumide

Christ, the eternal God, became a human being (Phil 2:5-9). Humanity and deity were united together in Him. In a humble way, He entered human life with all the limitations of human experiences (cf. 3:17; 6:38-42; 7:29; 9:5; 10:36).

“The Word became flesh,” means becoming human. By doing so, Christ became (1) the perfect teacher—in Jesus’ life we see how God thinks and therefore how we should think (Philippians 2:5-11); (2) the perfect example—as a model of what we are to become, He shows us how to live and gives us the power to live that way (1 Peter 2:21); (3) the perfect sacrifice—Jesus came as a sacrifice for all sins, and His death satisfied God’s requirements for the removal of sin (Colossians 1:15-23).

“Only begotten,” Gk monogenous means “only” in the sense of a unique, one of a kind Son.

The term in the Septuagint translates the Hebrew yachid, “only,” which is also translated agapētos, “beloved.” Heb 11:17 applies to the term to Isaac as Abraham’s special, unique son—the son he loved, the only son of promise. John 3:16 emphasises that Jesus is God’s unique Son, and at Jesus’ baptism God’s voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mat 3:17).

The term “the only begotten” does not mean Christ was created sometime in the past. Rather, the statement refers to His unique relationship with the Father, i.e., to the fact that He is the One and only Son of God from all eternity. “The only begotten of the Father” means Jesus is God’s only and unique Son. Jesus is one of a kind and enjoys a relationship with God unlike all believers who are called “children” and said to be “born of God.”

When Christ was born, God became a man. He was not part man and part God; He was completely human and completely divine (Colossians 2:9). Before Christ came, people knew God partially. After Christ came, people could know God fully because He became visible and tangible in Christ. Christ is the perfect expression of God in human form. The two most common errors people make about Jesus are to minimise His humanity or to minimise His divinity. Jesus is both God and man.

“Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Heb 2:14,15).

“He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 Jn 3:8).

Because those whom Jesus came to redeem are flesh and blood humanity, Jesus also had to become a human being. For only as a true human being could He qualify to redeem the human race from sin and Satan’s power.
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