by Ralph Bouma
"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." MAT 1:21.
The spirit of this season is to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but is it being done in the Spirit of Christ?
ROM 8: 9 says, "…Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." It is in this name, Jesus, that we receive the good news of the gospel, but there are many questions about what constitutes the gospel. The Apostle Paul warns of the seriousness of this question in GAL 1: 6-7.
"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ."
The gospel of Christ teaches that the name JESUS means SAVIOUR, but Saviour from what? The answer is in our text, "…shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." Jesus warns in MAT 21: 8-44 against seizing upon the death of the Son for the inheritance without the fruit of true repentance.
The gospel of Christ teaches how Jesus saved His people from their sins. "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." ROM 5:19. This points to the eternal wonder of Christ’s perfect obedience. Jesus stepped into those waters of baptism voluntarily. There was no compulsion upon Him. Jesus immersed Himself under the holy wrath of His Father to pay the penalty of sin and came up again of His own voluntary act. In JOH 10: 17-18 we read:
"Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father."
If our eyes are opened to see but one glimpse of that eternal wonder—Christ’s obedience—then we will begin to understand the words spoken in Phil 2:8-11:
"And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
The Father was glorified by the obedience of Jesus unto death, even the death of the cross.
The gospel of Christ teaches in 1JO 1: 7:
"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."
Salvation will not be merited by our keeping the law. The only merit we shall ever plead for salvation is that sacrifice of Christ and His imputed righteousness. However, let’s not forget that the Father is glorified only by obedience.
JOH 15: 8-14 says:
"Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you."
"Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" ROM 6:16.
The Father is a holy God;
His holy Son he gave;
Who freely shed atoning blood,
A guilty world to save.
A Worshipping Christmas
This Christmas, and every Christmas, we need to be reminded that Christ is the greatest gift and worship is the only proper response. After all, worship was the response of every actor in the very first Christmas drama.
Christ the Lord
The Christmas story is one of the most amazing moments in the Bible, probably rivaled only by the crucifixion. It's the story of Christ's birth, the moment when God took on human form.
From One Father to Another by Max Lucado
Dramatization of the thoughts of Joseph at Bethlehem - conversation/prayer with God.
Malankara World Christmas Supplement
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