John brings to us the most basic and yet most important truth for the Church to understand. Without understanding of what he is saying we may find ourselves preaching but not proclaiming the gospel.
Here we begin to understand how God became flesh without ceasing to be God. We behold Him as He takes upon Himself the same human nature that is ours. The reference to flesh in scripture is far more than skin over a bone structure. Flesh refers to all that fallen man is without God. Flesh is mankind in total spiritual darkness.
By taking on flesh God enters Adams world. He takes on flesh without giving up divinity. In Jesus a union is forged, on one side is God, purity, fullness, joy, rightness, and integrity. On the other is human existence hiding, broken, corrupt, diseased, and perverted. The incarnation unites these two worlds. In Jesus, Adam [the human race] ashamed and hiding meets wholeness, purity, love, and fullness.
How can these two worlds unite? How can something this impossible happen? The answer is it can not happen unless something changes. There has to be a conversion, a transformation. To put it in the Language of the new covenant spoken by Paul, a reconciliation.
Reconciliation is what happens in the life, death, burial, and resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. Adams human existence got turned around, crucified, and reordered.
Jesus stood in Adams shoes [flesh] and refused to be like Adam. He is going to live in the likeness of sinful flesh but reveal a new image of the true God. His father loves the world that is why Jesus came.
“...no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” Matthew 11:27
Jesus will reveal the God he knows not the one Adam has misrepresented.
Jesus entered into fallen human existence and refused to fall. He went to the cross and died for all and as all. What emerges on this side of calvary is a human being from the fallen stock of Adam who is utterly righteous,completely right with with God. This Jesus is now at the centre of all authority, the right hand of God, the right place, at the right time, for the right purpose,representing a new race, the reconciled.
It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor). (2 Corinthians 5:19 AMP)
Paul didn't say he was reconciling the Church but rather the world. The Gospel that we are to proclaim is power. I can not improve on what Paul said, so here is our message to a world not as lost as we might imagine.
So we are Christ’s ambassadors, God making His appeal as it were through us. We [as Christ’s personal representatives] beg you for His sake to lay hold of the divine favor [now offered you] and be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:20 AMP)
The revelation of what God has accomplished in Christ leaves but one option: faith in God.
-Pastor Bill Annis, FCF Canada President