Thursday, August 30, 2007
THE BIRTH OF THE REDEEMER, CHRIST JESUS THE LORD
When most religious people think about Christmas, their thoughts usually consist of those things traditionally associated with the holiday, i.e., the baby Jesus in a manger, the shepherds abiding in the field, and the wise men with their gifts for the Christ child. Now these things are historical truths and they are to be believed on as the Word of God. The problem is most people think by this historical story God is teaching mankind a lesson about how important and essential it is for us to give to others who are less fortunate than we are as proof we are Christian, or even worse to give in order to attain or maintain salvation. Nothing could be more contrary to the truth of the Gospel - “Not by WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” (Titus 3:5)
We could give everything we possess to those who are less fortunate, and it is absolutely worthless when it comes to our justification before God - “Knowing that a man IS NOT JUSTIFIED by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” (Galatians 2:16)
Even though we know that God’s elect, justified sinners will be lovers of mankind and generous people, that isn’t what the story of the birth of Christ teaches mankind.
The birth of Christ was the beginning of the fulfilment in time of every condition of salvation required to eternally justify all of God’s elect. The birth of Christ wasn’t an after thought of God to correct the sins of man, but the purposed birth of the Lamb of God - “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To REDEEM them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” (Galatians 4:4,5)
Think about who that person was that was born!
That infant in the manger was none other than God in human flesh - “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh.” (1 Timothy 3:16)
In order for Christ to effectively represent us, He had to be like us, ONLY WITHOUT SIN. The Child born to Mary began at His birth to fulfill every “jot and tittle” of the law because it was required of all those He represented. Every step He took from the cradle to the grave wasn’t for His benefit, but for the benefit of His children. Christ loved God perfectly and loved His neighbor, including His worst enemy, because God required it of me, AND I COULDN’T DO IT. This is the God’s story of the birth of His Son: that an Infinite, Eternal, Sovereign God would provide everything necessary to glorify and honor Himself as “a just God and a Saviour” through the giving of His Son, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST to redeem His people - Matthew 1:21.
By Richard Warmack