Peace, Love, & Joy | Overcoming the Power of Death | Christmas Special | Devotional Series | Part 20 of 27 | December 19, 2019

The fear of death has a certain power, and that is – shortsightedness. The fear of dying, arises from the fear of unknown. It is the fear of not knowing what will happen to us after we die. The power, such fear holds on us, is one of nonchalance. It makes us care less about the future. And urges us to indulge in the present bodily pleasures. It is hedonism govern by mortality. You don’t know what happens after you die, so you might as well enjoy life while you can.

The fear of death, is the power of sin – this is the law of sin and death at play. This is one of the two laws that governs human lives; the other being the law of righteousness. (Rom 8:2) The Apostle Paul explains, you are either a slave under the law of sin, or you’re a slave under the law of righteousness. (Rom 6:15-23) The latter of which, is a status that Christ came to grant us. (Heb 2:14-15) And so, for that reason – Christ had to reincarnate as a man – to pay the debt as a man, for the sins of mankind. Because no man could meet the requirements of the law.

Piper writes, “Jesus became man because what was needed was the death of a man who was more than man. The incarnation was God’s locking himself into death row.” (pg. 39) Christmas marks this incarnation or perhaps more appropriately – incarceration. Jesus subjected Himself to the law of sin and death, that through Him we could partake in His victory over it. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” (1Pe 2:24, ESV) “Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.” (Rom 7:4, ESV)

Christ has overcome the power of sin and death. It means, He has granted us victory over it, and through Him, and in Him – we overcome the power of death. It means, our life after death is certain. He has secured eternity for us. If we are truly His, and if we truly believe Him, it means there is no uncertainty (after death) staring back at us. It means, fleeting moments of temporary pleasure, holds no greater sway on us, because we are confident about eternal life. It means, you are victoriously living with the whole armour of God put in place. (Eph 6:10-18) It means a life that is not indulgent in sin; which ultimately means, a life free from guilt and condemnation. In other words, overcoming the power of death means – a life of righteous living, in pursuit of holiness.

Christmas should mark a commencement of such life for you and me. Rightfully so, the Prophet Isaiah proclaimed Christ as the Father of Eternal Life. (Is 9:6) He overcame death, so you and I could begin living, as people risen in Christ.


Note: All of Piper’s quotations are from “Good News of Great Joy”


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

Peace, Love, & Joy | Pass Me Not | Christmas Special | Devotional Series | Part 19 of 27 | December 18, 2019

Pass me not, O gentle Savior, hear my humble cry; While on others Thou art calling, do not pass me by.” – Fanny Crosby[1]

The greatest danger to our faith is not a hostile government. Our danger is not even our trials and tribulations. Our danger is not a failure in our private business venture. It is not a failure in our career. It is also not a broken marriage, home, or family. It is not social evils, ostracization, or any form of discrimination. The greatest danger to our faith is none of these. The greatest danger to our faith is disbelief.

Rev. C. B. Samuels in his sermon “Nevertheless: The Government is on His shoulders[2] expressed how we forfeit the joy of Salvation every year. (Is 9:3) Because we only want to celebrate the baby Jesus on Christmas. Because we do not want to confront Jesus the Son on whose shoulder the government will be established. (Is 9:6)

There are two reasons why we don’t want to confront the Son on Christmas. First, we don’t want to confront out sins. And second, we don’t want to submit to God.

The message of the advent was/is clear and simple: “repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” (Mat 3:2, NLT) The response to this message is same now, as it was when John the Baptist preached. Some stepped forward, repented, and were baptized. And some malign the very act by their mere presence. A majority of us fall on the second lot. This is how we forfeit eternal life, and its inherent joy. We take comfort in the fact that we are born (brought up) in a Christian household, or lived in a Christian community, or know a Christian, et cetera. We take false refuge in the fact that we identify as Christians – which automatically immune us from eternal damnation. The Baptist retort “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones.” (Mt 3:8-9, NLT)

The second half of the message, is the announcement of YHWH’s Sovereign Rule. “The Kingdom of Heaven is neara son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders.” (Mt 3:2, Is 9:6, NLT) YHWH not only demands submission, but He declares, He is going to take it. But we don’t want to give up control. We don’t trust God enough to satisfy all our needs. We don’t want to submit to Him. We want to be the God of our own lives. And so, we forfeit the entire Kingdom of God.

Christ concluded this reality, in clear coherent words to Nicodemus. “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God… I assure you; no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.” (Jn 3:3, 3:5-6. NLT) Let us pray, and seek Christ, that the Holy Spirit would regenerate our hearts and save us from our own disbelief. So that we could repent, be a part of His Kingdom.


[1] https://mereorthodoxy.com/reading-the-hymns-pass-me-not-o-gentle-savior-2/

[2] Delhi Bible Fellowship South, 15th December 2019


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

Peace, Love, & Joy | Freedom & Joy Secured in Him | Christmas Special | Devotional Series | Part 18 of 27 | December 17, 2019

Sin is an impediment to a joyful life. Because sin separates us from YHWH who is Holy. This is the human condition, in the Biblical context. We want good things from God, but don’t want God Himself. Jesus Christ laid himself down as a solution.

YHWH brought His people together through Christ, not by coercion but by love – by lying down His life for us. Piper writes, “How shall a holy and just God treat us sinners with so much kindness as to give us the greatest Reality in the universe (his Son) to enjoy with the greatest joy possible? The answer is that God put our sins on his Son, and judged them there, so that he could put them out of his mind, and deal with us mercifully and remain just and holy at the same time.” (pg. 36) And so, by the blood of Christ we are granted the New Covenant. Wherein, the Holy Spirit moves our hearts to love Him, not through outward restrain but by regenerating our hearts from the inside.

This is what we celebrate during Christmas. The commencement of a joyful life. Because the Father of everlasting life Himself, has reached out to us to save us from ourselves. (Is 9:6) And so, what does that mean for you and me? Piper writes, “Which means that God is now free (since sin has been dealt), in his justice, to lavish us with the new covenant. He gives us Christ, the greatest Reality in the universe, for our enjoyment. And he writes his own will—his own heart—on our hearts so that we can love Christ and trust Christ and follow Christ from the inside out, with freedom and joy.” (pg. 36)

Today, despite knowing Christ has secured our freedom and joy in Him, if we seek our satisfaction elsewhere, what a lost that would be.


Note: All of Piper’s quotations are from “Good News of Great Joy”


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