“and they shall call his name Immanuel (which means, God with us)” – Matthew 1:23 (ESV)
The only way, a Holy God could be with a sinful creature like us, was by Christ laying down His life to propitiate the wrath of God. And that is exactly what Jesus came to do. He came to grant us forgiveness of our sin, and to initiate us towards a new life. And so, the only reason way we could once again be with God, is because Jesus came down for us.
But the message of Christmas does not end here. If Christ came to abolish sin, we who profess to be forgiven, cannot continue to live in sin. We cannot say, ‘God is with me’ while we continue to live in sin. If we continue to live in sin, that is a clear indicator that we are not with God, but with sin. The Apostle John writes, “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil.” (1Jn 3:8, ESV) If we say ‘God is with me’ it will show in our pursuit of the New Life. “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2Cor 5:17, NLT) Finally, if we say ‘God is with me’ it will show in what we treasure. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1Pe 1:3-4, ESV)
Every year we celebrate, Christ’s descend to be with us. But we seldom check, if that “us” includes “you and I“. And I suppose, it is healthy to check ourselves in accordance to what the scripture says. If I am of God, and God is with me, it will show in three aspects of my life. One, I will not persist in sin. Two, I will pursue godliness. And finally, three, I will have (heavenly) hope of eternal life. But I want to take a moment here, and remind you. Yes, there are times we falter. And no, no one is perfect. But that shouldn’t discourage us. If we say we believe in Christ. We should also believe that He also grants us the grace to pursue such holy living. “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.” (2Pe 1:3, NLT) Let us pray and hope that Christmas this year, would empower us to live holier lives.
Read previous entries in this Series:
(i) Introduction: What Christ wants this Christmas (ii) December 1: Prepare the Way (iii) December 2: Mary’s Magnificent God (iv) December 3: The Confidence of Redeeming Hope (v) December 4: A Big God for Little People (vi) December 5: What He Willed to do (vii) December 6: Peace to those with whom He is pleased (viii) December 7: Messiah of all (ix) December 8: Christ is Central in Christmas(x) December 9: Two Kinds of Oppositions (xi) December 10: Our Treasure (xii) December 11: Why Jesus came (xiii) December 12: Replacing the Shadows (xiv) December 13: Christ, the Real Thing, the Perfect Priest (xv) December 14: Making Transformation Real (xvi) December 15: Abundant Life (xvii) December 16: An Unlikely Route to Victory (xviii) December 17: Freedom & Joy Secured in Him (xix) December 18: Pass Me Not (xx) December 19: Overcoming the Power of Death (xxi) December 20: Salvation Unites Us (xxii) December 21: LOGOS (xxiii) December 22: The Importance of Awe (xxiv) December 23: Secured from False Preachers (xxv) December 24: Why the Son Appeared