In our time, knowledge of the incarnate Christ can become very perplexing. Some who have been faithful church attendees for years still lack true orthodox understanding of who Christ is. I have been exposed to Gnosticism, tri-theism, bi-nitarianism and other forms of heresy in a church setting.
Beyond all these, I would like to mention briefly one that is fairly subtle. This is concerning the eternality of the logos (the word). The 4th century Creed of the church, the Nicene Creed, deals briefly with the matter of the incarnation when it says: … “came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man…” The Creed implicitly denies any variation on the status of the Logos prior to his incarnation. It “was made man!” When? When He came down from heaven.
James White makes this point clear when he states in the Forgotten Trinity that, “The Logos was not eternally flesh. He existed in a non-fleshly manner in eternity past. But at a blessed point in time, at the Incarnation, the Logos became flesh. The eternal experienced time (p.59).” The Apostle Paul establishes a starting point for that event when he says: ” But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law (Gal. 4:4 ESV).” Here Paul reiterates what he taught in Philippians 2 regarding the estate of the incarnated Christ. The flesh of the Son composes his hypostatic union. Indeed, we can say that the Son did not always possess two natures, but only when the fullness of time arrived did humanity become an essential part of who Jesus was and is and ever shall be.
In order to understand Christ we must realize that fleshness is a necessary requirement for his earthly mission. It was not needed prior to his entrance into the cosmos. This knowledge will keep us from falling into the subtleties of unorthodoxy.