I was preaching last Sunday about a point of doctrine in 1 John. It is great to have the privilege to publicly declare incredible, glorious truths. And even though I was the one preaching it, this great truth has been in my mind in the days since then.
I once met someone who said, “Doctrine doesn’t matter, all you need is to love Jesus.” What rot! It matters whether something is true or whether it is not. Loving Jesus will lead us into truth according to 1 John, but there is still the need to recognise what is truth and what is error.
The author used the issue of incarnation as a line in the sand. Incarnation means ‘in flesh’ and is about the Son of God coming and taking on human flesh and human nature. This should make a difference to how we think and how we live as believers.
Without repeating all I said (you can hear it here), the incarnation is in relation to the Trinity in that Christ came from the Trinity to earth. The incarnation is also seen in relation to humanity in that the Son became forever man.
It is a man that was born, a man that died, a man that rose, a man that ascended, a man that pleads before the Father, and a man that is coming again in the clouds to judge the earth. Just as this man is now seated at the right hand of God in heavenly place so we are next to him spiritually. In Ephesians 2:6 we read (When referring to our transformation in Christ) “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.”
Because of the incarnation the remote, unknown and unknowable God is now intimately accessible at once to anyone who calls upon the name of the God-Man, the Lord Jesus Christ. On Sunday I said, “Call upon him for salvation and your spirit is then sitting in heavenly places with Christ, even though you may be going through trials. Call upon him and you will live forever. Call upon him and you will be in his grip until the end of your days.”