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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 18 No. 06   Christmas Ponderings #3???

 

As we looked earlier at Joseph, the earthly father to Jesus, a builder—the carpenter–, we find that while Joseph was a builder of various objects for life in has day, objects that might last a lifetime, some longer, some not so long; but Jesus built a bridge with HIS life, death and resurrection—a bridge that delivers us from sin, death and hell and opens the way into God’s presence.  This babe who was born in a barn and put to bed in a manger (a feeding trough), visited by shepherds and wisemen became the means of salvation for all who will believe in HIS substitutionary, atoning sacrifice for salvation!

Therefore being justified by faith,

we have peace with God

through our Lord Jesus Christ:

2 By whom also we have access by faith

into this grace

wherein we stand,

and rejoice

in hope of the glory of God.

3 And not only so,

but we glory in tribulations also:

knowing that tribulation

worketh patience;

4 And patience,

experience;

and experience,

hope:

5 And hope maketh not ashamed;

because the love of God

is shed abroad in our hearts

by the Holy Ghost

which is given unto us.

6 For when we were yet without strength,

in due time Christ died

for the ungodly.”  Romans 5:1-6

We receive the “Holy Ghost” (or Holy Spirit) of God, the Spirit that HE shared with Adam and Eve before sin—the part of them that died because of sin—the part that Jesus restored at Calvary—for you and me:

the blood of Jesus Christ his Son

cleanseth us

from all sin…”.   1 John 1:7b

One of the things that amazes me, is that God had this plan in place before HE created us; HE knew we would fail, that Adam would sin, and yet HE “so loved the world”—you and me, every sinner ever born (and the two who were directly created by God’s own hand!)—that HE had already provided for our redemption (to buy us back) from this sin of ours, and the death and hell that it leads to if unchecked by the blood of Jesus.  Why would I say this?  Because God said it in HIS Word by more than one author, and as we prepare to celebrate (or like me just plain celebrate Jesus every day!) Jesus’ birth, we need to understand that HE wasn’t ‘plan B’—HE was always the exact plan!  Let’s consider some scriptures to see what we find.

In the beginning

God created

the heaven and the earth.”  Genesis 1:1

And I will put enmity

between thee and the woman,

and between thy seed and her seed;

it shall bruise thy head,

and thou shalt bruise his heel.”  Genesis 3:15

And from Jesus Christ,

who is the faithful witness,

and the first begotten of the dead,

and the prince of the kings of the earth.

 Unto him that loved us,

and washed us from our sins

in his own blood,”  Revelation 1:5

Just as God “created” all things, (and remember the reference to “beginning”, means “our” beginning NOT God’s) HE knew that we would fail—that we would sin—yet HE had already prepared a plan to ‘buy us back out of sin, death and hell’, oh, praise HIS dear name.  Do you know Jesus?  Have you come in repentance and faith to the cross where HIS precious blood was spilled out for you and me?  This precious Lamb of God who, as John the Baptizer declared:

Behold the Lamb of God,

which taketh away

the sin of the world.”  John 1:29b

And when was this plan established?  Not when we sinned, but beforethe foundation of the world”!

And it shall come to pass,

that whosoever shall call

on the name of the Lord

shall be saved.

22 Ye men of Israel,

hear these words;

Jesus of Nazareth,

a man approved of God among you

by miracles

and wonders

and signs,

which God did by him

in the midst of you,

as ye yourselves also know:

23 Him,

being delivered

by the determinate counsel

and foreknowledge

of God,

ye have taken,

and by wicked hands

have crucified

and slain:

24 Whom God hath raised up,

having loosed the pains of death:

because it was not possible

that he should be holden of it.”  Acts 2:21-24

The “determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God” tells us that God had already established the plan before Jesus came.  And even before that!

And the Word was made 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.

15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying,

This was he of whom I spake,

He that cometh after me

is preferred before me:

for he was before me.

16 And of his fulness

have all we received,

and grace for grace.

17 For the law was given by Moses,

but grace and truth

came by Jesus Christ.”  John 1:14-17

In the beginning

was the Word,

and the Word

was with God,

and the Word

was God.

2 The same was

in the beginning

with God.

3 All things were made

by him;

and without him

was not any thing made

that was made.

4 In him was life;

and the life

was the light of men.”  John 1:1-4

Jesus, God the Son, was always God, always with God, and part of the very creation of all that we know!  Yet not only was Jesus before creation, but He was also the redeemer before “the beginning” all began.

Father,

I will that they also,

whom thou hast given me,

be with me where I am;

that they may behold my glory,

which thou hast given me:

for thou lovedst me

before the foundation

of the world.”  John 17:24

Not only was Jesus “before the foundation of the world”, and we were in the heart and mind of God for salvation then as well.

Blessed be the God and Father

of our Lord Jesus Christ,

who hath blessed us

with all spiritual blessings

in heavenly places

in Christ:

4 According as he hath chosen us

in him

before the foundation of the world,

that we should be holy

and without blame

before him in love:”  Ephesians 1:3-4

Forasmuch as ye know

that ye were not redeemed

with corruptible things,

as silver and gold,

from your vain conversation

received by tradition

from your fathers;

19 But with the precious blood of Christ,

as of a lamb

without blemish

and without spot:

20 Who verily was foreordained

before the foundation of the world,

but was manifest

in these last times

for you,

21 Who by him

do believe in God,

that raised him up

from the dead,

and gave him glory;

that your faith

and hope

might be in God.”   1 Peter 1:18-21

So, as we consider the “incarnation” of the babe in the manger, the savior of the world, the creator of all things, may we be grateful and mindful that HE came for us, not as a second thought but because HE chose us and prepared for our salvation before the foundation of the world.  Thank you, LORD, —Father, Son and Holy Spirit—for loving me/us and preparing the sacrifice for my/our salvation.  May my/our life be a true reflection of your glory, in all things—before, during and after this Christmas celebration!!!

Grace be to you

and peace from God the Father,

and from our Lord Jesus Christ,

4 Who gave himself for our sins,

that he might deliver us

from this present evil world,

according to the will of God

and our Father:

5 To whom be glory

for ever and ever.

Amen.” Galatians 1:3-5

Looking for that blessed hope,

and the glorious appearing

of the great God

and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

14 Who gave himself for us,

that he might redeem us

from all iniquity,

and purify unto himself

a peculiar people,

 zealous of good works.”   Titus 2:14

And the greatest celebration that we could have is to share the truth of Jesus’ eternal plan to save us unto Himself by grace through faith. May you truly know HIM.

For by grace are ye saved

through faith;

and that not of yourselves:

it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works,

lest any man should boast.

10 For we are his workmanship,

created in Christ Jesus

unto good works,

which God hath before ordained

that we should walk in them.”   Ephesians 2:8-10

May you find the hope that the “Babe” brought to all who will believe!  He came for you and me! Take heart my dear friends.  Jesus still saves and changes lives today!

Amen and Amen!!!