Weekly Devotional 12-21-15 God’s Wondrous Gift to Us
“1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4In Him was life, and the life was the light of men…. 14And the Word became 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” (John 1:1-4; 14).
What an amazing declaration; God, the creator of the world, became part of His creation. Why would He do such a thing? We will address the answer to that question below but for now let us read Matthew’s account of how God the creator became part of His creation. We read: “18Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18-20). Certainly This baby’s origin was unique, without a human father, born of the seed of the woman (See Genesis 3:15) and the Holy Spirit, no other human has ever been so conceived. This baby, born of a human mother and of God the Holy Spirit was God in flesh, the Godman. This then opens the door to the answer of why God would do this.
Us Christians know why, but there are some of our readers who may not know so I take us back to the garden of Eden where we read of God’s creation of Adam and Eve and His blessings to them. He placed them in a garden where He walked and talked with them. They had complete freedom to do as they would with one exception, they were not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This was for their own good and protection. But alas, when tempted by Satan they took of the fruit and were separated from God. Taking of that forbidden fruit they instantly experienced spiritual death. The fellowship they had with God was severed and the process of physical death began. Created to live forever they now had an expiration date imposed on them (See Genesis 2:7-3:19).
The tragedy of this is, their condition passed to their offspring, to the entire human race. We read from Romans 5:12-14 > “12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned–13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
The good news however is, God did not want this, He loved man and wanted them to be restored to Himself. Continuing with our passage in Romans we read: “15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.”
18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The bad news is, man did/does not want that restoration, man loves the experiences of their/our fallen nature (John 3:19-20) and this love needed to be/must be overcome. For four thousand years God blessed man in numerous ways, still they would not repent of their sin but worshipped and served gods of their own imaginations. He even created a nation (Israel) with whom He dwelt giving them a spiritual structure by which they could be acceptable to Him, yet they also turned to other gods.
But the good news is “16 God so loved the world that He gave s only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).
This only begotten Son was the child that issued through Mary as the Holy Spirit brought to life the seed that was within her. Belief in Him and commitment to Him overcomes the love of those things that are resultant of man’s separation from God. We read from Ephesians 2:1-10 that this is truly God’s gift to man as man could not and desired / desires not to turn from the love of those things. “1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
The baby’s birth we celebrate on December 25th was and is Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, the Creator of all there is. He is the Redeemer of all those who turn to Him in faith for the forgiveness of their sins. Someday, perhaps soon, we will be part of the heavenly chorus and we will sing “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” (Revelation 5:12). This Christmas let us remember why we “born again Christians” celebrate Christmas; as should all of humanity.
Transforming Power; the Work of God on Behalf of Man