The Missional Call of the Incarnation


BY BRITTON GAIL (@Britton_Gail)


When Christ came, it was to ransom men and women from every tribe, people, nation and language.[1] If anything, the Incarnation (Jesus’ first coming) was an act done by God for God’s own glory. This humble King put on flesh and dwelt among us that we might find all our purpose and satisfaction in Emmanuel, “God with us.” The Incarnation has this missional mandate: that, to the ends of the earth, those who were without hope would taste and see great fulfillment in Christ the Savior. Because Jesus was born, the promised Messiah of Israel, to die and rise again according to the Scriptures for the salvation of His people, it follows that we must follow His command to tell the world of that Good News. Christ’s incarnation naturally leads us to Christ’s Great Commission.

The Excellency of Christ’s Coming

Not knowing that within a few short months I would come to a saving faith in Jesus —the most excellent, soul-satisfying experience of my life—I can remember sitting alone fuming at the thought of God’s existence. At the same time, I wept at what a horrible person I had already become. I was twenty years old, and neither God nor the church seemed remotely appealing; rather, they seemed dismal and boring. I couldn’t even begin to comprehend the overwhelming excellency of Christ’s saving power or of His amazing grace, kindness, joy, beauty, satisfaction, faithfulness, and mercy! How could I know of something that I had not yet experienced? 

It has been thirteen years since that glorious moment when the Holy Spirit shone forth marvelous light into my soul, giving me a heart of flesh for my heart of stone, bringing me from a hopeless state into salvation by the power of His transforming love. Just one year later, I boarded my first flight overseas to do mission work, placing me in a foreign land with nearly opposite cultural values and lifestyles. I fell in love with a people group and wrestled with cultural annoyances—all for the purpose of the crucifixion and sanctification process, for the discipleship of my person unto the discipleship of unreached people. Looking back at these years in the Lord, I am left stunned by the goodness of the Lord. Through joy and suffering, He has remained faithful to produce in me the natural outworking of my salvation in Him. His Great Commission has a dual mission: to save the lost, and restore His image within me.

When I survey the Incarnation, I am brought nearer to the depths of Jesus’ mercy, love and faithfulness— His past, present, and future grace. God became a man to reveal the glory of the Father. God, in Jesus Christ, tasted death so human souls might taste of the supreme satisfaction of His life.[2] He brought me from an addiction to all things finite and fallen into a perpetual state of magnifying the glory due His name—to soul-satisfying salvation. The Incarnation compels human hearts to give joyfully of themselves to others as a witness of Christ, for the joy and satisfaction of other souls, namely, that they too would taste and see that the Lord is good.[3] 

The Excellency of Proclaiming Christ

Matthew 26:6-13 memorializes Mary of Bethany pouring out her costly oil upon the feat of Jesus, an inheritance worth a year's wages; this is the biblical model for which the soul delighting in God’s merciful salvation must disciple and be disciple.[4] What’s often missed in this story of devotion is that the disciples appeal to social justice, out of indignation, saying, “What a waste, this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.”[5] Why does this woman’s act of devotion get memorialized that we should mention this wherever the Gospel be preached? Jesus is not implying that we should not care for the poor. Jesus is emphasizing His worth. He is showing us that devotional adoration of Himself is more important. A heart soaked in devotion to Jesus is more important than social justice. Social justice, rather, becomes an overflow of devotion to Jesus. We care for the poor and needy out of lovesick obedience toward Jesus. If our social justices are founded upon devotion to Jesus, how on earth would we leave the preaching of the Gospel out of the equation, in the name of “love”? We must not! Preaching the Gospel is love. A soul coming to Christ is the ultimate justice! Avoiding the preaching of the Gospel is the ultimate social injustice! Fallen humanity needs Christ. Feeding the poor and clothing the naked may bring temporary solutions to their problems, but a warm, full belly without Christ leaves their soul bare, empty and in danger of an eternity that has far more consequences than being poor and naked. The greatest act of love and kindness we can give a person is the Gospel of Christ. 

The proclamation of the Gospel, according to Mary of Bethany, is a demonstration of costly devotion. Jesus is worthy to glorify. Let us gladden ourselves in the delighting of glorifying our Savior by proclaiming His amazing grace and mercy. Adoration of the excellency of Christ is the compelling factor in the presenting of the Gospel. We overcome the fear of evangelism by surrendering our person to the satisfying pleasures of Christ. One who reconciles within them an equal understanding of the kindness and severity of God, it becomes unnatural to keep quiet. The satisfied heart in God produces longing toward obedience in Christ.

O Come, Let Us Adore Him

Christ coming to us is all the motivation we should need to take Christ to others. If we adore the God-man Christ Jesus and what He has done for us, the natural response of one's adoration is to share the reason for such an adoration. The God of glory has placed His glory upon us! Go share that glory with those who know not the glory of God.

We go because He came! We go so He will come back. 

 

 

Britton Gail and his family give leadership to an FAI outpost in a Muslim-majority country, living to give a witness of Jesus to the unreached and unengaged. Britton is a contributing writer to FAI Publishing, endeavoring to encourage those with access to the Gospel to share their treasure with those who don’t. He can be reached at britton@faimission.org.


 

[1] Revelation 5:9-10

[2] Matthew 28:18-20

[3] Psalm 34:8

[4] Matthew 26:6-13

[5] John 12:1-8

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