Paul's Passing Thoughts

The Christmas Gift: Wear it Well

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on December 25, 2010

Here we are at that time of the year, once again, when we “celebrate” the birth of Christ. We do so (even though Christ has only commanded us to remember his future return, not His birth), by exchanging gifts on a day of which the date is not documented by God’s word, though many other days in the Bible are. And the gift thing: what’s that all about? Most say that the gift-giving represents the ultimate gift given to mankind by God, the baby Jesus, but trust me, that means many different things to many different people.

Most people walking the face of the earth are familiar with the Judeo-Christian representation of the gospel. Christ came to die on the cross to satisfy God’s demand that the penalty of sin be payed for because God is a righteous, holy, judge. But why did Christ come as a baby? Well, lest you see God as judge only, this shows another side of God’s loving character towards mankind. Christ came and first lived among mankind to fully identify with us and our struggles before enduring the incomprehensible shame and suffering of the cross. That’s God. He desires to have fellowship with us, and makes that desire known by coming to us where we dwell. His children will not spend eternity in heaven; God will come and spend eternity with us. Revelation 21:1-4 states it this way:

“I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth were completely gone. There was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem. It was *coming down*[emphasis mine] *out of heaven from God.* It was prepared like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne. It said, “Now God makes his home with people. He will live with them. They will be his people. And God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or sadness. There will be no more crying or pain. Things are no longer the way they used to be.”

Heaven first came down in the form of “Emmanuel” (God with us), but in the end, heaven will come to us, and dwell with us forever. But Christ came to offer us a gift that will make that eternal dwelling possible: the gift of righteousness; his righteousness, the only righteousness that can dwell with God. We receive this gift by faith alone because there is nothing we can do to earn it. Besides, we have all sinned in the past, and therefore, “all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory.” That’s the issue. What can we do by ourselves to gain the righteousness God requires? I think you know the answer to that.

However, if you have accepted this gift, you have been given the true righteousness of Christ in the truest sense. But like that new sweater grandma gave you for Christmas, will you put it on? “That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:20-24).

In fact, the Bible says that those who have accepted the gift of righteousness by Christ, will put that gift on: “If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.” Sure, what still needs to be “put off” will remain in a continual lesser degree until Christ comes to get us; but, because of the day that Christ does say to remember, his return, let us be wearing the Christmas gift, and wearing it well: “And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming” (1John 2:28).

paul

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