I’m posting this video on Christmas Eve, so I thought it only right to focus on Jesus’ incarnation. But I also know many of you read these articles for biblical relationship advice. So in this article I want to apply the doctrine of the incarnation to how it affects a Christian’s ability to have a godly relationship.
Ultimately Jesus came to earth not to give you a great marriage one day but to give you eternal life. But we would be dishonoring God’s gift of grace to us in Christ if we did not also learn how to allow Jesus’ life to transform our lives. While our human romantic relationships are not as important as our relationship with God, it is one aspect of our lives which God does want complete control over.
With that said, here are 3 reasons Jesus’ incarnation is needed if you desire to have a godly relationship one day.
1. Jesus’s Incarnation Is Needed for a Godly Relationship Because God Will Bless Us Because Jesus Deserves It
Romans 3:23 says, “. . . for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” And just before that Romans 3:10-12 states, “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
From the first man Adam to the last baby just born seconds ago, no one has ever lived a perfect life nor will any of us live a perfect life. There is literally not one human who is righteous, “not even one.” This is why Jesus needed to become a human. Jesus needed to live the perfect life for us and obey every command so he could earn the blessings of a perfect life and then transfer them to us.
Throughout the Bible God promises both blessings for those who obey and curses for those who disobey. This is why without Christ we are all cursed because we all disobey. But Jesus obeyed God perfectly thus he earned all the blessings that God promised to those who obey. As Jesus said in Matthew 5:17, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”
So how does this relate to you having a godly relationship now or in the future? A godly relationship will not be earned. You, me, and every human besides Jesus does not deserve a godly relationship because in our lives we have sinned and betrayed God. But through the gospel God give us what Jesus rightfully earned. I’m not saying that God has promised everyone a godly marriage. But the blessing of a godly marriage would not exist without Jesus’ perfect birth, life, death, and resurrection.
On the cross God gave Jesus what we deserved and through faith and by grace God gives us what Jesus deserved. In Romans 5 Paul compares Adam to Christ. In Romans 5:19 it states, “For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.”
2. Jesus’ Incarnation Is Needed for a Godly Relationship Because We Need Christ’s Perfect Life to Replace Our Imperfect Pasts
One of the most common questions I get from someone in a dating relationship goes something like this, “I’m finally in a godly relationship but I’m afraid to be honest about my past. I’ve sinned sexually in the past and I don’t know how to talk about this in my new relationship that is headed towards marriage?” Some people email and confess that they can’t even get into a godly relationship because they are so ashamed about their past that they run from godly singles because they feel they are unworthy.
This is why Christ came. Not so you can get into a godly relationship, but so you can be free from the shame of sin for God’s glory. While sin does have consequences, our sin can never outweigh God’s grace. As Romans 5:20 states, “but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” When you become a Christian, everything Christ accomplished is transferred to you. Jesus never sinned sexually. He was perfectly sexually pure. Thus, through the gospel, God transfers the purity of Christ onto you. Yes, in your own humanness you are sinful. But as a new creation God transfers all the perfection of Christ onto you. As 1 Corinthians 1:30-31 (NLT) states:
God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, ‘If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.’”
This verse must also affect you even if you think you have lived a pure life and even a sexually pure life. While abstaining from sexual sin will help you not have to deal with certain consequences that someone will deal with who has committed sexual sin, it is dangerous to think that you can be sexually pure without Christ. Again, notice what it says, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”
No matter what you have done or have not done, your past is not perfect thus you are not pure in your own power. Only Jesus makes us pure. Through the gospel, God replaces your imperfect past with Christ’s perfect past.
3. Jesus’ Incarnation Is Needed for a Godly Relationship Because Jesus’ Life Is Our Perfect Example to Follow
Most of us did not grow up with parents who had an amazing godly relationship with each other. And even if we did, no matter how great our parents’ marriage really was, it was not perfect. Not only that, this world constantly throws false ideas at us about relationships and constantly tries to tempt us to follow the poor examples of relationships we see.
Premarital sex becomes normal, bouncing around from person to person becomes normal, and seeing relationships as a false god becomes normal. To avoid following the bad relationship examples all around us, we need a better example to follow. While Jesus obviously did not set us a literal example for romantic relationships while he was on earth, by studying Scripture it becomes clear that his life and how he loves his church is meant to be an example to us on how to love a man or woman in a godly relationship. Of course it is much more than that, but it is also that. As Ephesians 5:31-33 teaches us:
‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
If you want a godly relationship, you have to follow the example Jesus set for us through his earthly life and love like he loves. As 1 Peter 2:21-22 states:
For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.”