“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6
The word incarnate means “to become flesh.” Jesus did this, literally. He laid aside his rights to godliness and took on our fragile human form – living, laughing, loving, bleeding, dying.
In a profound reversal, we the Church also use the term ‘incarnate’ to describe OUR life-long process of growing in Christlikeness. But what does it look like to become like “the Word made flesh?” (John 1:14)
It’s this version of incarnation that is incredibly intimidating. What could be more lofty or unattainable than the desire to become LIKE Jesus? How is that even possible?
Scripture offers great insight into what this kind of living looks like. We are asked to love one another (John 15:12), lay down our lives for one another (1 John 3:16) and walk in the way of love and obedience to the Father (Ephesians 5:2, 1 John 2:6), just as Jesus did.
Thankfully we are not abandoned to somehow try and work out this kind of living on our own. Yes, we learn and grow in the living and the failing, but it is also much more than that. “For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power.” (1 Corinthians 4:20) When we allow God’s Holy Spirit to work within us then incarnation is no longer a lofty concept. We become Christ’s hands and heart and words of hope.
First published in the 2015 Summer issue of Agapé MOVE magazine.
The views expressed in this blog post are personal to the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the GC network.