Points to Ponder

by David and Stephen Olford

David and Stephen OlfordText: "The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth" (John 1:14).

Thought: John's message in his prologue is that God the Son, who ever was the Eternal Word, after having expressed Himself as the Creative Word by bringing into existence the universe, became the Incarnate Word in order that men and women might have the knowledge of God. What is implied and involved in His becoming the Incarnate Word must now engage our thoughts.

The Mystery of the Divine Condescension: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us" (v. 14). In lovingness the Lord Jesus left the glory of heaven and came to earth to reveal that love in terms of a redemptive life and death and resurrection power. Truly, Love "came down at Christmas." Certainly He came in lovingness, but certainly also in lowliness. Man only aspires; God alone condescends. Paul says "He humbled Himself, even unto the death of the cross" (Phil. 2:8). So we see the mystery of the divine condescension (see 1 Tim. 3:16!)

The Miracle of the Divine Operation: "The Word became flesh" (v. 14). It must be understood that the life and work of Christ stands or falls with the incarnation. It is quite clear from Scripture that in order to be the Savior of the world the Lord Jesus, of necessity, had to experience a sinless birth (Matt. 1:21, Lk. 1:35), and also a supernatural birth (Lk. 1:34). In thus becoming flesh, God the Son gathered up into Himself all the elements of humanity. Thus no form of human life has an exclusive right to Him. This distinguishes Christianity from all other religions-they are all limited to the people who originated them-but Christ touches man at every point, since He represents total humanity (Heb. 4:15).

The Marvel of the Divine Revelation: "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth" (v. 14). The revelation of the Incarnate Word is that of a personal God. We would never have known God personally but in Jesus Christ. Furthermore, this revelation of Deity through the incarnation reveals Him as a purposeful God. The Lord Jesus came to dwell among us-not only to show us what God is like, but also to show us what God wants us to be like. So we read, "Of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace."

Thrust: "O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord."

David Olford makes possible the continuation of this column by editing material
from his father's writings. Through his efforts, Points to Ponder continues
to bless, encourage, and challenge readers.

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