The Central Mystery of Chritmas: The Incarnation

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The Christmas holiday cannot properly be understood or recognized without an understanding of what holds true to its central mystery: The Incarnation. This Christian doctrine is important to Christianity because without the knowledge of both who Jesus Christ is and, why we need Jesus Christ, there cannot be a complete understanding of the gospel or means to salvation. Portrayed in the first gospel is evidence of the importance of knowing who Jesus Christ is. Based on one simple question that Jesus asks his disciples, in Matthew 16:13, "Who do men say that I, the Son of God, am," a Christian from a non- Christian and a heretic from a non-heretic can be distinguished. The attempt to answer the fundamental question, "Who is Jesus Christ?" and further, "Why do we need Jesus Christ?" is important because it broadens and enriches our understanding of Jesus Christ and also points our hearts towards the reason for celebrating his birth during the Christmas season.
There have been numerous writings that attempt to help one understand who and why we need Jesus Christ. One book in particular stands among what may be one of the most profound of them all. C.S Lewis writes in the preface of the book written by Athanasius, the great 4th century bishop of Alexandria, that it is indeed a "masterpiece" and "is a picture of the Tree of Life." Athanasius offers an approach to the doctrine of the Incarnation, which attempts to defend the Christian faith in his treatise, "The Incarnation of the Word of God." In this work he seeks to refute the heresy of that time period and periods to come and to explain why Jesus is the Christ. His approach to this doctrine provides a scriptural based, helpful foundation for the importance of the incarnation. This...

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...ave a mother; no woman can give birth to God. Cyril of Alexandria suggested that Nestorius was proposing that Jesus has two natures joined in a purely moral union. After Nestorianism came Eutychianism. Eutyches who was repeatedly summoned to the standing Synod of Constantinople in 448, finally appeared and stated his position whereas Christ has two natures before the incarnation, that was but one afterwards. The result of the Synod was that Eutyches was deposed and excommunicated, and the one-nature doctrine rejected.

Works Cited
Erickson, Millard J.. The word became flesh. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1991.
Fitzwater, P. B.. Why God became man,. Chicago: The Bible Institute Colportage Ass'n., 1934.
Gore, Charles. The incarnation of the Son of God. London: J. Murray, 1891.
Streatfeild, George Sidney. The incarnation. London: Longmans, Green, 1910.

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