As we are approaching the Christmas season, the presence of Christ Himself is less and less apparent. It’s no longer about “Merry Christmas” but more about “Happy Holidays.” This is, in fact, the very time that we should be paying attention to who He is. We (believers) are the people that need to say the words “Merry Christmas” to others rather than risk offending someone for stating the name of Christ.
Christmas is the time to reflect what God did for us. It’s a time to seek God’s Word and see what it says.
We often question the evidence of God’s presence in the world, but we are reminded that God is doing His work in our lives not according to our time, but according to His time. We need to wait upon The Lord and be patient and courageous. His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8).
2 Peter 3:8-9
8 Dear friends, don’t let this one thing escape you: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9 The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.
It takes God’s own time to grow and mature us. He is a patient and loving God because He cares about each and every one of us. Time is not an issue with God. He provides guidance for us that He is going to act at the appropriate time. Note this in Galatians 4:4:
When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
God acted in the fullness of time (according to His schedule), He sent His Son. The same thing will take place in future…Jesus will return in the fullness of time. When a fair trial has been given to all other schemes of salvation by mankind, God would send forth His Son.
The promise of Jesus’ first coming was noted in Genesis 3:15:
I will put hostility between you and the woman,
and between your seed and her seed.
He will strike your head,
and you will strike his heel.
Then God provides a little more information about this seed…
Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel.
After the great flood, man came up with their own ways to get to heaven.
19 When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father’s household idols.
Many historians point to this time period as the origin of Hinduism…the emergence of many different Gods. It’s origin goes back 4,000 years.
During the time of Daniel, Buddhism is growing through two branches:
Hinayana – Teaching primarily rationality
Mahayana – Exalts the individual’s salvation by faith and good works.
Through these periods in history, man gained knowledge and was developing civilizations. This additional knowledge also led people to seek their own ways rather than seek God;
1300 BC – Pharoahs
1195 BC – Saul becomes king
1155 BC – David becomes king
1115 BC – Solomon becomes king
At about the time of Solomon, China and Buddhism begins to emerge. All of these things and even more over time were taking place in history, but Jesus was not presented yet. It was only on the appointed time that God had chosen for Jesus’ emergence.
1 Now I say that as long as the heir is a child, he differs in no way from a slave, though he is the owner of everything. 2 Instead, he is under guardians and stewards until the time set by his father.
Basic principles of the world were taught to the people such as reading, writing, and many inventions were taking place. At the same time, all of the different religions and philosophies (or ways to focus away from God) were also taking place (and they continue to exist today):
In the same way we also, when we were children, were in slavery under the elemental forces of the world.
God sent His Son. He is coming from another place…not only to save us, but to teach us with knowledge AND truth.
…for the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
1. God wants to bless us and provides grace (because He favors us)
2. He wants to deliver us from the power of darkness (Colossians 1:13-17)
3. He is revealing the living God to us…God’s manifestation in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16)
4. He would be our faithful High Priest (Hebrews 7:25)
5. He came to destroy the work of the Devil (1 John 3:8)
4 When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!”
14 Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, Jesus also shared in these, so that through His death He might destroy the one holding the power of death—that is, the Devil— 15 and free those who were held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death. 16 For it is clear that He does not reach out to help angels, but to help Abraham’s offspring. 17 Therefore, He had to be like His brothers in every way, so that He could become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For since He Himself was tested and has suffered, He is able to help those who are tested.
God promised to bring forth Jesus from a woman. A woman is the medium for how all of us were presented in birth. He became like us, born of a woman, to bring us to Himself. He relates to us in every way of the flesh yet He was without sin. He took on the role of a High Priest and gave of Himself as the sacrifice by shedding His blood for us.
13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, because it is written: Everyone who is hung on a tree is cursed. 14 The purpose was that the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles by Christ Jesus, so that we could receive the promised Spirit through faith.
15 Brothers, I’m using a human illustration. No one sets aside or makes additions to even a human covenant that has been ratified. 16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say “and to seeds,” as though referring to many, but referring to one, and to your seed, who is Christ. 17 And I say this: The law, which came 430 years later, does not revoke a covenant that was previously ratified by God and cancel the promise.
The law constantly revealed to us as a people our sinfulness (as we are reminded each day). Christ sacrificed Himself for our sake to become the law because of his righteousness over the flesh. Without Him, we could never be righteous under the law.
3 What the law could not do since it was limited by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own Son in flesh like ours under sin’s domain, and as a sin offering, 4 in order that the law’s requirement would be accomplished in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh think about the things of the flesh, but those who live[d] according to the Spirit, about the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God’s law, for it is unable to do so. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10 Now if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then He who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through His Spirit who lives in you.