17 Dec 2016

Joy To The World!

All Posts, Christian Gospel, Creation, Intelligent Design, Salvation No Comments

star-peaceGenesis and Revelation, written thousands of years apart, the first and last of the 66 books of the Bible; one written in Hebrew, the other in Greek; one that denies us the tree of life, the other that restores it to us; one that places us under a curse, the other that removes it; one that casts man out of a beautiful garden, the other that brings him a new earth. Sixty-six books written at various times over the millennia by numerous authors of different social backgrounds, cultures and places, yet each woven into an epic and true story with a perfect beginning and a perfect end, depicting the fall of man but promising man’s salvation and ultimate restoration through Jesus Christ.

And the One who is the Grand Editor of this magnificent work is God. It could only be God. For is there any man, or any group of men, that has lived long enough to write such a masterpiece or even have smarts enough to plan it? Truly all human history is His Story, whether men believe it or not. It is the greatest love story ever told. And none will ever better it. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

A man, Adam, lost our eternal intimacy and oneness with God; and so a man had to win it back. No man was good enough or equal to the task; and so it was, as the Old Testament prophets foretold, that Jesus came that very first Christmas morn to be born in Bethlehem. God came to earth as a baby to grow and to live as a man.

jttwHe was born in very humble surroundings that none might be deterred or disqualified from coming to Him for the priceless gift of eternal life and happiness He offers; for the gospels are clear that Christ rejects no one who turns to Him. As a baby He was venerated by both Jews and non-Jews, by poor Jewish shepherds and by the Magi, foreigners from the east. Tradition says the Magi were kings but they were in fact highest-tier, king-making priests of the Parthian Empire who practised a mix of astrology and astronomy. Thus they followed a star to find the Christ-child, and thus from the outset Christ was presented to the world as a king willing to receive all peoples regardless of their social status and previous religious background.

Christ came to share our humanity, to be tempted in life in every way, just as we are, and yet He resisted all temptations and sinned not.  He blessed and healed all who came to Him, and then went to the Cross willingly to die for us, to pay a price for our salvation that none of us can ever pay, because all sin and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Only light can have fellowship with light, righteousness with holiness, the perfect with perfection. He arose from the tomb in great glory. He returned in triumph to heaven as the one and only righteous and eternal, atoning sacrifice for our sins. Love and Justice were fully satisfied.

So Jesus has prepaid your ticket to heaven. You have only to pick it up by believing and trusting in Him. By choosing to believe what Jesus has done for you, you exchange your unrighteousness for His righteousness; but not so that you can go on living as you did before. No, you must ask God to forgive you your sins and you must determine to turn and live your life as best you can with His help according to His teachings. The Holy Spirit, as Jesus promised, will be your Helper and Guide. This is the just the start of a brand new life: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17).  Ask God to lead you to a lively church and to a good Christian mentor. Get yourself a Bible and start reading the New Testament. Don’t ever think that you can go it alone.

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