But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
(Ephesians 4:4-7 ESV)
We have been looking how God formed the plans for Christmas before the world began and how He has been proclaiming for centuries that a deliverer is coming. Last week we looked at how God was working even though He appeared to be silent. But Christmas is finally here and our souls cry out,
Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Christmas is here and it is the celebration of a love which came to rescue dead people. The celebration of God’s love for humanity to provide the way for us to come back to Him. Christmas is the celebration of the promise of the great deliver being delivered. Christmas is the story of God’s love and grace which revives us, rescues us, and raises us. Come thou long expected Jesus.
God’s Love Revives Us
Humanity is born into this sinful condition (Rom. 5:11) and as a result of this sinful condition we are born dead. We are dead sinners and deserve God’s judgment and wrath poured out on us, but God. Those two words are so filled with love. But God, because of His mercy, grace and kindness, saw it fit to come down and bring dead people back to life. God’s love through Christ provides a way for the dead to come to life.
When you think about Christmas, it seems strange that Jesus was born to die so that the dead can be born to live. But that is the story of Christmas, God’s love through Christ sent to revive us for the glory of God. Come thou long expected Jesus.
God’s Love Rescues Us
I am thankful God’s love revives us. God’s love and grace does more, God’s love rescues us from our sinfulness. The apostle Paul tells us,
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. (Eph. 2:1-3 ESV italics added)
Do you notice anything? Notice all the past tense phrases Paul uses to point out our condition before Christ. We were dirty rotten scoundrels and the only person who could rescue us and enable us to live a new life is Christ. He is our rescuer. Come thou long expected Jesus.
God’s Love Raises Us
God’s love revives us from the land of the dead to the land of the living. God’s love rescues us from our sin to a new way of living. God’s love also raises us and gives us a new identity in Him. When the apostle Paul points out who we were before Christ, he does so to contrast who we now are in Christ.
God raises us out of the pit of our sinfulness and gives a new identity in him. We are raised with Christ and seated with Him. This new identity in Christ is astounding read and be amazed,
The Word of God Says in Jesus Christ…
I am faithful (Ephesians 1:1)
I am God’s child (John 1:12)
I have been justified (Romans 5:1)
I am Christ’s friend (John 15:15)
I belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:20)
I am a member of Christ’s Body (1 Corinthians 12:27)
I am assured all things work together for good (Romans 8:28)
I have been established, anointed and sealed by God (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
I am confident that God will perfect the work He has begun in me(Philippians 1:6)
I am a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20)
I am hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3)
I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7)
I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me (1 John 5:18)
I am blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing(Ephesians 1:3)
I am chosen before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4, 11)
I am holy and blameless (Ephesians 1:4)
I am adopted as his child (Ephesians 1:5)
I am given God’s glorious grace lavishly and without restriction(Ephesians 1:5,8)
I am in Him (Ephesians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:30)
I have redemption (Ephesians 1:8)
I am forgiven (Ephesians 1:8; Colossians 1:14)
I have purpose (Ephesians 1:9 & 3:11)
I have hope (Ephesians 1:12)
I am included (Ephesians 1:13)
I am sealed with the promised Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13)
I am a saint (Ephesians 1:18)
and that is just the beginning. Come thou long expected Jesus.
Christmas is the expression of God’s love to us. God become man to revive us, rescue us and raise us for His glory. Come thou long expected Jesus.
Until next week
Soli Deo Gloria