Oh, did I type that outloud?
(David Ashley, aka: “The Pastor of Pump” and also Holly’s hubby):
Here we are in December and wow what a year, let me just say God is good and He is faithful. As I sit here in my office in Tennessee and wondering what to write about this Christmas season, I am pulled back to what I challenged myself with last year and that is to study what is the gospel. You see as a trainer I like things that are strong and powerful and when I read in the Bible that the gospel is the POWER of God, well I just had to know more. So I went to the source and fell in love with the cross, “to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
So, what does this have to do with Christmas. Well Jesus came to die. And in order to grasp the enormity of that I turn to the Christmas story in John 1. You might not see it right away since there are no mangers, stars, wise men, or angels singing, but stay with me.
I must first set a little background starting in John 1:1-4.
GOD FOR US
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.
This is some heavy theological, and doctrinal stuff. But it will show later in our main verse that the Word spoken in these verses is Jesus
Since before the beginning of time God was always for us, He created us and gave us life. He was the Light of the world and put His light in us, so we could shine on the darkness of this world.
Then the Christmas story: John 1:14
GOD WITH US
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
The great doctrine of the incarnation. God became man without ceasing to be God. God with skin on. The second person of the Trinity adds to His Divinity, humanity, inseparable and beyond our understanding, but full of truth and grace coming to rescue sinners. Only God can satisfy the perfect wrath of God; and only the perfect Man could pay the penalty for sinful people like you and me. The only sacrifice that would satisfy the wrath of God had to be fully God and perfectly man without sin. The sinless sin bearer, Jesus Christ. Believe it and live forever with Him in heaven. Reject the God-Man and be separated forever from Him in the pit of hell. Not only did Jesus take on flesh and come to die to rescue His sheep, but He also dwelt among us. Yes, He was God with us, Immanuel/Emmanuel which ever you like. The birth of Christ brought the infinite, holy, and just God face to face with finite, sinful, and guilty man. He came to live with us, so we could live with Him. God came near, and He dwelt among us, that word dwelt means to tabernacle or to pitch a tent, so God became one of us and took up residence with us. How great is that GOD FOR US– gave us life and a purpose from eternity pass GOD WITH US– allowed Jesus to go to the cross as the God-Man, so that He could be GOD IN US for all who believe.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail the incarnate Deity,
Pleased as Man with men to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild—
God and sinners reconciled.”
(thanks to ancestry.com I, David, have learned I am a descendant from Charles Wesley, how cool is that?)
GOD IN US
The light of God finally shone in the world through the birth of Christ Jesus. This light still shines and is available to who will repent and believe the gospel and call upon Jesus as Savior and Lord. The light given at Christmas is a powerful light enabling sinners to become children of God.
Jesus came into this world to bring light into our spiritual darkness! Just as He stood in the darkness of creation and said, “Let there be light”; there was a day when He stood in the darkness of my heart and brought light to my soul. Listen to how Paul said it in 2 Cor. 4:6:
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
What is sad is that this world stumbles blindly in the dark seeking light in all the wrong places. And, they do worse than that! The lost world is actively trying to extinguish the light to prevent it from shining anywhere by repressing the truth in unrighteousness. But, I have news for them! The Light that has shone brightly from eternity past; the Light that beamed in Bethlehem’s manger; the Light that shone for 33 years while Jesus walked this earth; the Light that flickered briefly at Calvary but blazed forth at the entrance to an empty tomb will continue to light the path toward heaven for all those who believe!
Don’t get messed up with trying to give the perfect gift. Only God can do that, and He did when He sent Jesus into this world. He gave us His Son Jesus, the greatest gift. He gave Jesus to be life for our dead souls and light to our darkened hearts. He gave His all when He gave us His Son!
GOD FOR US, GOD WITH US, GOD IN US
Merry Christmas!! No King but Christ!!!
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