From the moment our human ancestors, Adam and Eve, disobeyed God in the Garden, sin and its consequences have been the pervasive problem of the human race. This rebellion against God, the Creator and Giver of Life brought separation from God and introduced suffering, sickness, decay, and death into His perfect earth.
Immediately, God set in motion His plan. The plan, from the beginning to the end, is declared in His Word (Is. 46:9-10). It unfolds in the “fullness of time” across 7,000 years. It’s ultimate purpose is “that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth” (Eph. 1:10).
“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Gal. 4:4-5).
Our Lord’s first coming was not the climax, but the pivot point in the plan, for it made reconciliation and reconnection to God and the God-kind of life possible once again. That is why the angels who had been waiting so long through the ages to sing the appointed song, rejoiced, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14).
When Jesus bore the penalty for sin on the cross of all mankind, He gave the greatest gift of all—the gift that keeps on giving. In the face of alienation and separation, He brought peace and reconciliation. He restored the possibility of personal intimacy with God.
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together” (Rom. 8:14-17).
In our troubled times, we are tempted to look at the natural fruit as Eve did, but instead of seeing something good, we see the accumulated effect of lawlessness abounding. But the wonderful gift of the “Son given” does not include a spirit of fear, but of Spirit-endowed power, the fruit of God’s love in us and through us, and a sound, disciplined mind established on God’s Word (2 Tim. 1:7).
“In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1: 11).
When our Lord comes again for all the world to see, we shall experience fully the hope of our calling at the rapture. Then we shall be seated with our Lord as the heavenly, immortal government to rule over the earth for the final 1,000-years. We shall execute God’s vengeance against evil. Justice shall be served. And we shall dwell together forever with our God and Savior in eternal righteousness in the new heavens and new earth.
Glory to God! Peace and good will to all. May your Christmas be blessed and may you know the power of your identity in Christ throughout the coming year!