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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 19 No. 22 The Real Reason For Christmas???

I heard a most encouraging message on part of Romans chapter 1 from our faithful pastor this morning.  It set me to thinking of how we often miss the connection of all of scripture, so I thought I’d share a bit of a spin on what most of us think about when we consider the reason for Christmas; it may be a connection that you have never considered, and I pray that it will give you some food for thought.  Most of all I hope it helps us all see Jesus, the “light of the world”, in all of our personal celebrations; and that if you’ve never called on HIM to save you, today will be that day!!!

First of all, let’s consider the message that the angel brought to Joseph as he considered what to do about the pregnant Mary, with whom ‘he’ had not had relations.

But while he thought on these things,

behold, the angel of the Lord appeared

unto him in a dream, saying,

Joseph, thou son of David,

fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife:

for that which is conceived in her

is of the Holy Ghost.

21 And she shall bring forth a son,

and thou shalt call his name JESUS:

for he shall save his people

from their sins.

22 Now all this was done,

that it might be fulfilled which was spoken

of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child,

and shall bring forth a son,

and they shall call his name

Emmanuel,

which being interpreted is,

God with us.”  Matthew 1:20-23

God with us”–Jesus IS God with us!  So Why do we need “God with us”?  Because we (humanity in Adam and Eve, and YES, I believe in the Genesis account of creation; for to put it bluntly, if there was no Adam or Eve, there was no garden, there was no sin, and we wouldn’t need a redeemer–to “save us from our sin”!) sinned, yet God had already provided for our sin before we fell for ‘The Lie’ (See Genesis 3).  That is just beyond my comprehension, for I don’t like ‘messes’ and it is beyond amazing to me, that God knew we would make a ‘mess’, yet HE created us anyway; knowing it would cost Jesus His life’s blood.  Romans makes it all clear!

For when we were yet without strength,

in due time

Christ died for the ungodly.

7 For scarcely for a righteous man

will one die:

yet peradventure for a good man

some would even dare to die.

8 But God commendeth his love toward us,

in that, while we were yet sinners,

Christ died for us.

9 Much more then,

being now justified by his blood,

we shall be saved from wrath through him.

10 For if, when we were enemies,

we were reconciled to God

by the death of his Son,

much more,

being reconciled,

we shall be saved by his life.

11 And not only so,

but we also joy in God

through our Lord Jesus Christ,

by whom we have now received

the atonement.”  Romans 5:6-11

Peter also reminds us that God had this plan in mind before we needed it.

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.

22 Seeing ye have purified your souls

in obeying the truth through the Spirit

unto unfeigned love of the brethren,

see that ye love one another

with a pure heart fervently:

23 Being born again,

not of corruptible seed,

but of incorruptible,

by the word of God,

which liveth

and abideth for ever.”  1 Peter 1:18-23

Just FYI, this ‘living word of God’ IS Jesus–the living Word (See John 1:1-5), as well as the breath of the written Word!  How does this all tie into Romans?  To put it simply, “all scripture is inspired by God” (See 2 Timothy 2:15 & 3:16-17) so, let’s look at a few passages from the first three chapters of Romans.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:

for it is the power of God

unto salvation

to every one that believeth;

to the Jew first,

and also to the Greek.

17 For therein is the righteousness of God

revealed from faith to faith:

as it is written,

The just shall live by faith.

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven

against all ungodliness

and unrighteousness of men,

who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

19 Because that which may be known of God

is manifest in them;

for God hath shewed it unto them.

20 For the invisible things of him

from the creation of the world

are clearly seen,

being understood

by the things that are made,

even his eternal power

and Godhead;

so that they are without excuse:

21 Because that,

when they knew God,

they glorified him not as God,

neither were thankful;

but became vain in their imaginations,

and their foolish heart was darkened.”                    Romans 1:16-21

Paul tells us that “the gospel of ChristIS the “power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth”, and that is truly good–good news! The good news is “the righteousness of God revealed” to us–the same good news that Jesus gave to Nicodemus in John 3–that we must be born again, and when we are, Jesus will give us eternal life–real abundant life now–and life with God–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit –in heaven! Paul describes the first group we need to consider, the UNrighteous, who are “without excuse”.  If you would, those who are blatantly, deliberately rejecting God, His ways, and His Word–refusing to worship HIM as GOD!

Now, let’s move on to Romans chapter 2, which describes another group of people.

Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man,

whosoever thou art that judgest:

for wherein thou judgest another,

thou condemnest thyself;

for thou that judgest

doest the same things.

2 But we are sure that the judgment of God

is according to truth

against them which commit such things.

3 And thinkest thou this, O man,

that judgest them which do such things,

and doest the same,

that thou shalt escape

the judgment of God?

4 Or despisest thou the riches

of his goodness

and forbearance

and longsuffering;

not knowing that the goodness of God

leadeth thee to repentance?

5 But after thy hardness

and impenitent heart

treasurest up unto thyself wrath

against the day of wrath

and revelation of the righteous

judgment of God;

6 Who will render to every man

according to his deeds

…11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

12 For as many as have sinned

without law

shall also perish without law:

and as many as have sinned

in the law

shall be judged by the law;”  Romans 2:1-6 & 11

And whosoever was not found

written in the book of life

was cast into the lake of fire.”  Revelation 20:15

Regardless of what we may think of ourselves, Paul says that we cannot make our own selves righteous; if we measure ourselves by our own judgement, it will not make wrong right or right wrong!  God will “render to every man according to his deeds”, and it doesn’t matter what I “say”, for what I ‘do’ will reflect what I truly believe.  Jesus made that clear in Matthew chapter 7, that just “saying so, doesn’t make it so”!  Are you one who is counting on your own SELFrighteousness?  Or have you been to the cross for the cleansing blood of Jesus’ to save you?

…be ye reconciled to God.

21 For he hath made him

to be sin for us,

who knew no sin;

that we might be made

the righteousness of God

in him.”  2 Corinthians 5:20b-21

Just as we saw in Romans 5 above, only Jesus can save us and cleanse us from our sin and pay our sin debt, I hope that our last passage will bring it all together for you.  For it doesn’t matter if you are one of the “Unrighteous”, or the “SELFrighteous”, for we are all what God calls us in Romans chapter 3– “NONErighteous”!

For all have sinned,

and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23

For the wages of sin

is death;

but the gift of God

is eternal life

through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

This is the message of the first part of Romans chapter 3. (I encourage you to spend some time this week reading and thinking about Romans 1-3, and 5 if you can make the time!)

What advantage then hath the Jew?

or what profit is there of circumcision?

2 Much every way:

chiefly, because that unto them

were committed the oracles of God.

3 For what if some did not believe?

shall their unbelief make the faith of God

without effect?

4 God forbid:

yea, let God be true,

but every man a liar;

as it is written,

That thou mightest be justified

in thy sayings,

and mightest overcome

when thou art judged.

5 But if our unrighteousness

commend the righteousness of God,

what shall we say?

Is God unrighteous

who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)

6 God forbid:

for then how shall God judge the world?

7 For if the truth of God

hath more abounded through my lie

unto his glory;

why yet am I also judged as a sinner?

8 And not rather,

(as we be slanderously reported,

and as some affirm that we say,)

Let us do evil,

that good may come?

whose damnation is just.

9 What then?

are we better than they?

No, in no wise:

for we have before proved

both Jews and Gentiles,

that they are all under sin;

10 As it is written,

There is none righteous,

no, not one:

11 There is none that understandeth,

there is none that seeketh after God.

12 They are all gone out of the way,

they are together become unprofitable;

there is none that doeth good,

no, not one.”  Romans 3:1-12

My question for us today is, “Which group are you in?”  The UNrighteous, the SELFrighteous, or the NONErighteous?   For until we see ourselves as one of the “NONErighteous”, or a sinner, we have no need for a Savior/Redeemer who saves and forgives sin!

Giving thanks unto the Father,

which hath made us meet to be partakers

of the inheritance of the saints in light:

13 Who hath delivered us

from the power of darkness,

and hath translated us

into the kingdom of his dear Son:

14 In whom we have redemption

through his blood,

even the forgiveness

of sins:” Colossians 1:12-14

Finally, God paints another amazing picture for us in chapter 5, so let’s take time to ponder these things and be truly ready to celebrate CHRISTmas!

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.

7 For scarcely for a righteous man

will one die:

yet peradventure for a good man

some would even dare to die.

8 But God commendeth his love toward us,

in that,

while we were yet sinners,

Christ died for us.

9 Much more then,

being now justified by his blood,

we shall be saved from wrath

through him.

10 For if, when we were enemies,

we were reconciled to God

by the death of his Son,

much more,

being reconciled,

we shall be saved by his life.

11 And not only so,

but we also joy in God

through our Lord Jesus Christ,

by whom we have now received

the atonement.”  Romans 5:1-11

This is the reason that Jesus came and took on flesh, the reason that HE became Emmanuel–God with us!  He came to forgive us for our sin, to save us and give us eternal life; so we don’t have to be held accountable to pay for our own sin in Hell.  What will you do with the greatest gift of all this Christmas season?  Will you ignore Him, deliberately reject Him, put Him off, or bow before Him seeking His forgiveness and the new life HE can and will impart to all who come to Him in repentance of sin, and faith in HIS substitutionary, atoning, sacrifice?  And for we who already know HIM, may we commit ourselves afresh and anew to be more loving, obedient, and devoted children to our soon-coming KING, and as Paul so aptly declared, being a ‘bond-servant’ to Jesus Christ our KING!  From a Manger to a Throne!  Have you crowned HIM KING of your life?  May it ever be so!!!

Amen and Amen!!!