Welcome to Hive Resources! This post is the first in a three-part series on the Incarnation and what it proves to the world about God’s love. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any of the posts in this series – including a Christmas Flash Freebie on Friday!
At Christmas we celebrate the arrival of a special baby born in a supernatural way. We call his birth the incarnation, because in that moment the Son of God entered into human history and took on flesh in order to save the world from evil.
But the importance of the incarnation continues beyond the miraculous event that transpired on a dark night in Bethlehem. In our Christmas celebrations we speak much of the past event of the incarnation, but not as often of what it means for us today.
Primarily, the incarnation is indisputable evidence of God’s love for you. And understanding that evidence will change your life forever.
So, how is the incarnation proof of God’s love? The incarnation testifies to the goodness of God’s character.
“For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.” Ps. 86:5
The fact that God commissioned his Son to take on human nature for the benefit of his creation speaks to who God is – a good God. Because only a good God would choose to redeem – at great personal cost – a creation corrupted by their own choosing.
God could have easily have left us to our own destruction. But the goodness of his character – demonstrated through the incarnation of His Son – compelled him to act otherwise.
In his book, On the Incarnation, the 4th century bishop Athanasius of Alexandria puts it this way: “…such indifference to the ruin of His own work before His very eyes would argue not goodness in God but limitation and that far more than if He had never created men at all. It was impossible, therefore, that God should leave man to be carried off by corruption, because it would be unfitting and unworthy of Himself.”
I am thankful that God’s goodness compelled him to act on my behalf. But I’ve always wondered why God chose to manifest his love toward me through the incarnation of His Son.
Being the Almighty God, he could have chosen any manner of salvation by which to restore his fallen creation. Say, an apology, for instance? Why did his Son have to take on the form of a bondservant and die in our place in order to conquer evil in mankind?
What specifically makes the incarnation a testimony to God’s goodness and love?
Again, Athanasius answers that question for us.
Mere apologies are not sufficient because repentance does not “recall men from what is according to their nature; all that it does is to make them cease from sinning. Had it been a case of trespass only, and not a subsequent corruption, repentance would have been well enough.”
To redeem man’s fallen nature, God had to enter into human nature. God had to move on our behalf in a personal way.
The only way for men to be touched by the love of the King was for the Good Ruler to lovingly leave behind the glories of his throne and become a servant in His own kingdom.
With reports of the Newtown shootings fresh in my mind, I cannot help but cling to this Christmas truth: the incarnation of the God-man is concrete evidence of God’s good character and goodwill toward men.
Don’t let this very real Christmas application become overshadowed by the whimsy of animals, innkeepers, or traveling kings. God alone is good, and it is only by his good character that we see evil conquered in our lives and the world.
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Rom. 12:12
This Christmas herald the news that because the Good King was born and lived to triumph over the darkness, you and I possess the very real hope of living in a kingdom of peace one day.
“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:14
 On the Incarnation: Saint Athanasius with an introduction by C.S. Lewis (St Vladimirs Seminary Press, 2012), 32. There are many translations of Athanasius’ work available. However, the introduction to this translation – written by C.S. Lewis – is worth the price of the book alone.
 Ibid., 33.