Christmas 2019: Behold My Son, in Whom I am well pleased, part 4.
Sunday Januray 5, 2020
God so loved the world that He became a part of it.
Christianity is the presence of God in the world in the person of Jesus Christ.
Summary of world conditions (very brief) at the time of Christ’s birth.
Israel had lost the spiritual core of the law and the prophets. They put a shell or a fence around the Law. The people were aching for substance when all they had was rituals and procedures for day-to-day living. Israel also lost the deep spiritual truths of the conflict between good and evil (big picture). This is a loss of the transcendent battle that wages on in spite of people’s individual lives. The Pharisees and Sadducees had turned the Law into a day by day task, which a part of it is, but that is not all it is.
The Law and the prophets and the writings revealed a world-wide war and an ultimate victory by God through a suffering Servant.
The Jews indeed saw the victorious Servant as the Messiah, but they interpreted the passages concerning the suffering Servant as referring to the nation of Israel. This was a mistake because it ignores the means by which God would achieve victory. Not to mention, the nation wasn’t supposed to suffer, but to be prosperous. Even the disciples didn’t understand this after being taught it by Jesus for years. They wouldn’t understand until after His resurrection.
Morality is a day to day battle within every man. The battle of Christ against darkness is bigger than this and doesn’t depend upon it.
Focusing on ourselves and our day-to-day lives without understanding of the big picture of the invisible war, the angelic conflict, we will find our lives mundane, boring, and meaningless.
We must not lose focus on our day to day struggle, but we must always see it in light of the invisible war that rages in the universe that doesn’t depend upon our lives.
Some lose the focus of one or the other, to the detriment of their spiritual lives. Losing the big picture, life and all its details becomes mundane. Thinking only of the big picture, we don’t do anything.
Morality or ethics are a day to day battle that wages within every man. The believer knows this more than anyone, and if he is in the know, he understands that God has fully blessed and empowered him, by grace alone, for complete victory in that battle - every day. This is a part of the story of every person because what it does not include is God’s works in the world that defeat His enemies. Let me clarify. Our daily lives can enjoy the benefits of God’s victory, but they do not contribute to it.
Heb 10:5 Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says,
"Sacrifice and offering Thou hast not desired,
But a body Thou hast prepared for Me;
Heb 10:6 In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou hast taken no pleasure.
Heb 10:7 "Then I said, 'Behold, I have come
(In the roll of the book it is written of Me)
To do Thy will, O God.'"
The victory of the Lord was on the cross. That happened and was going to happen whether I experienced victory in my life, or even if I ever existed at all. This truth is a wonderful blow to our pride.
There is a far greater picture encompassing all that God is doing than what is happening in my own life. Knowing this, knowing that the whole story of humanity lies in the victory of the Lord of glory, my own perspective of my own life, and that day to day struggle of morality and ethical living as unto Christ, takes on a softer and wonderful hue. It is not just me alone in the battle against my flesh and the world and Satan, cold and alone and mundane, but a vast undertaking of victory that includes all of the body of Christ, my brethren in my church, and most of all the victory of my Lord who sits at the right hand of God anticipating return. Can you see what happens to the day by day striving for morality when the big picture and the Lord’s magnificent and transcendent work to overcome all sin and evil opposition is ignored?
The suffering Servant was ignored in Israel when Christ was born, and when He began His public ministry He focused directly on the deep spiritual core of God’s revelation to Israel.
Joh 8:31 Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;
Joh 8:32 and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
Joh 8:33 They answered Him, "We are Abraham's offspring, and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, 'You shall become free'?"
It is a lie that they are free due to their pedigree.
Jesus’ reply: Are you a sinner? The Law should have made clear to you long ago that you are. If you are a sinner, you are a slave, no matter who your ancestor is. That is a profound and possibly life saving truth.
Joh 8:34 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.
Joh 8:35 "And the slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever.
Joh 8:36 "If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.
What is so wonderfully clear here is that we cannot free ourselves from sin. Only the Son can make us free. To do this He would have to ransom us or redeem us. He didn’t say that He would make us sinless and therefore qualify us for freedom by that fact. He said that He would free us, and by law that is the right of the Kinsman Redeemer. All who believe upon Him become Ruths who leave the gleaning fields and enter the house.
Joh 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Joh 3:17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
Joh 3:18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Joh 3:19 "This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.
Joh 3:20 "For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
Joh 3:21 "But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."
1 Cor 11:25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me."
1Cor 11:26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes.