Why God Had To Become A Man

During our recent trip to Israel, we noticed a big billboard-like sign in the city of Nazreth that read as follows: “O people of the Scripture (Christians)! Do not exceed the limits in your religion. Say nothing but the truth about Allah (The One True God). The Christ Jesus, Son of Mary was only a Messenger of God and His word conveyed to Mary and a spirit created by Him. So believe in God and His Messengers and do not say: Three gods (trinity)! Cease! It will be better for you. Indeed, Allah is the One and Only God. His Holiness is far above having a son.” (Emphasis mine)


We understand, of course, that it is Jehovah (Yahweh) – and not Allah – who is the One and Only True God. And while the Scriptures never describe or define Him as being a trinity, He does, nonetheless, have a Son. And His holiness requires that it be so!

On that long ago day when Jesus was born, God became something that He had never been before. At Bethlehem God became a Man! Why was this necessary? It was for our sakes! “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6 – emphasis mine) In Christ, God became a Man – and He did it solely for our sakes! It was necessary that He become a Man so that He might become our salvation. “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. (Isaiah 12:2 – emphasis mine)

Why was it necessary for the LORD from heaven to come to this earth as a man? Because the work of salvation required many things that only a human being could fulfill. For one thing – mankind’s sins could only be remitted through the shedding of innocent blood. No person on earth possessed that – “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) God Himself was our only hope of being saved! And yet He could not redeem mankind. Why? For, by His own decree, only man could make right what was amiss as a result of Adam’s fall. “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive… And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit… The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.” (1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 45, 47 – emphasis mine)

Indeed! The second man is the Lord Himself from heaven! That concurs with what the angel told Joseph.

And she (Mary) shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.  Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Matthew 1:21-23 – emphasis mine) This child was to be named JESUS precisely for this reason – because He shall save His people from their sins! “Jesus” literally means “Jehovah-Savior.” In Christ Jesus God became a Man. And He did it so that we might be saved!

Who was this child again? He was Emmanuel – God with us! “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself…” (2 Corinthians 5:19) Again, the only way God could reconcile the world to Himself was by becoming a man. “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me.” (Hebrews 10:4-5)

In 1921, William Booth-Clibborn wrote these beautiful words – later set to the music of Edwardo Di Capua’s famous O Sole Mio:

“Down from His glory, Ever living story, My God and Savior came, And Jesus was His name. Born in a manger, To His own a stranger, A man of sorrows, tears and agony…

What condescension, Bringing us redemption; That in the dead of night, Not one faint hope in sight, God, gracious, tender, Laid aside His splendor, Stooping to woo, to win, to save my soul.

 Without reluctance, Flesh and blood His substance, He took the form of man, Revealed the hidden plan. O glorious mystery, Sacrifice of Calvary, And now I know Thou art the great I AM.

 O how I love Him! How I adore Him! My breath, my sunshine, my all in all! The great Creator became my Savior, And all God fullness dwelleth in Him.”

 Joy to the world the LORD is come! Let Earth receive her King!

Rev. Robert Stroup is the District Superintendent of the Indiana District, United Pentecostal Church International. He is Pastor of Pentecostals of South Lake in Merrillville, Indiana.

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