In the dictionary, the word ‘incarnate’ is defined as “embodied in flesh; in human form.”  That is exactly what is said of the Lord Jesus in John 1:1 and 14, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word was MADE 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.”  Jesus is God in human form! 

Concerning his birth, we read in Matthew 1:23, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, GOD WITH US.”  It is so important to realize that the birth of the Lord Jesus was not His beginning.  He has ALWAYS existed as we read above that “In the beginning was the Word…”  Let us look at a verse that shows this truth.  Isaiah 9:6 says, “For unto us A CHILD IS BORN, unto us A SON IS GIVEN and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” While it is true that the child Jesus was born in Bethlehem, He was already a Son before He was born in a manger.  That same truth is brought out in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” We also read in 1 John 4:9, “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that GOD SENT HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON into the world, that we might live through him.”  Isn’t that crystal clear?  The child Jesus was born, but as Son of God, He has existed eternally.

Of the incarnation, we read in 1 Timothy 3:16, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”  God was manifest (make known) to us in the flesh.  Jesus IS God in the flesh.  What a marvelous and necessary truth.  The Lord Jesus said in John 14:9, “…he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” 

We read in Philippians 2:5-11, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, as He already existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself by TAKING THE FORM OF A BOND-SERVANT and BEING BORN IN THE LIKENESS OF MEN. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death: death on a cross. For this reason also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (NASB).  The Lord Jesus, in past eternity, existed in the form of God (read John 4:24) and for Him to claim to be equal with God was not something that he was taking that was not already His.  He IS God.  Yet, he ‘emptied himself’ (some translators say that He ‘veiled His glory’), and took on the form of a bond-servant.  Indeed, here God was ‘manifest in the flesh’: here Jesus was God incarnate!

Before closing, let me emphasize that when God became a man, He did not cease being God.  We often say that Jesus is fully man and fully God.  When God became a man, He became something He had never been before, but He did not cease being what He always was…He is eternally God.  (CC)  (489.6)