Monday, December 20, 2010
Far away and long ago ---down through the corridors of time before the foundations of the world. God in all His splendour gave thought to creating this place called earth. A place where He could manifest His glory in beauty and majesty. So "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" Genesis 1:1 What a beautiful beginning!
Colossians reads in Col. 1:16 "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: ALL THINGS WERE CREATED BY HIM, AND FOR HIM.." We were created for HIM? God? The creator of the universe? Why? Because God had a purpose that only a Divine Father could ever have. He wanted fellowship with someone---anyone who would want to.
God could have created mankind like a scientist would build robots only to move or talk or listen or react at his command! But God wanted more. He wanted someone who would WILLINGLY CHOOSE to love Him! As a parent, don't we appreciate it much more knowing our children love and obey us .....just because? Instead of what we do for them or what they're going to get out of it? Of course, we do. So why shouldn't our Heavenly Father expect as much. He wants us to want and love Him because WE WANT TO!!
So He makes this perfect plan--creates a perfect place and puts Adam into the picture and even gives him THE perfect wife in a perfect environment--The Garden of Eden!!! So what happened?? Did He make a mistake?? Absolutely not! What happened was "The Test" He gives them the “free will" to make the decision to choose "To Sin?" or "Not To Sin?" THAT is the question. Well, we all know the story. The serpent.....the fruit...the tree of knowledge of good and evil........and two human beings with their 'free will'. Hmmmmmmm...what do they do? They choose not to consult God about this dilemma, but rather listen to what is given them in the choice of. "Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" and "Ye shall not surely die. For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil". Genesis 3:1b, 4b, 5. Wow! Gods....Us? Sounds pretty tempting, eh? Yummy? NOT!Well, God in all His glory creating the perfect couple in the perfect environment..because of His holiness and His standards...has to do what was necessary..."And the Lord God said unto the serpent “Because you have done this, you are cursed above all cattle etc." "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed, it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." Genesis 3:14a, 15. A way out?? Exactly! The first promise of the Savior to come...the first prophecy concerning the Lord Jesus....and strewn throughout the Old Testament Scriptures. God shares His plan of redemption for mankind!!
He gave a choice.....it was made......and then price had to be paid..Ephesians 1:3, 4 reads.."Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ; According as he has chosen us in him BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love". "For God so loved the world..that He gave His only begotten Son..that WHOSOEVER believes in Him..should NOT perish..but have EVERLASTING LIFE."
John 3:16 is commonly called, "The Gospel In a Nutshell". God made a way of escape because of Who He is and being the Holy God that He is, He could not allow sin to enter His presence. So in order for this to take place, a PERFECT, SINLESS SUBSTITUTE had to take our place as a sacrifice had to be made. A supreme sacrifice made by a "lamb without spot or blemish". The Lord Jesus Christ.
Luke 1:27, 28a, 30b, 31-33, 35 "To a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said.."Hail thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee......."Fear not Mary..for thou hast found favour with God.."And, behold , thou shalt conceive in thy womb,and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David; And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end..."...The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."
So, salvation's plan was begun. God chose to send His only Son into the womb of a woman to be born as a human so God incarnate or 'in the flesh' could be made known and real to all those who knew Him. But did they know Him?? Did they recognize their Messiah or Savior? Unfortunately not!! He lived a life apart from His Father and from the Glory of Eternity Past and Present and chose to die for our sins and become that supreme Sacrifice. You know that story, too, don't you? Yes, He was mocked, ridiculed, spat upon, beaten, stabbed, made to be a "king" with the crown of thorns, and then finally the ultimate--crucifixion upon a cross, a death only for the worst of criminals. Then if that wasn't so horrible there was the complete separation from His Father. The Holy God that could not look upon sin. He had to turn His face from the terribly mauled precious face of His Son because He was to bear the SIN for ALL mankind.
But this story has a wonderful end. Jesus just didn't die for our sins. He ROSE from the dead to become the first fruits of the resurrection. The hope for us all to come . I Corinithians 15 reads "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that died. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ, shall all be made alive." (Verses 20-22). And also I Corinthians 15: 3,4 "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures."
Very simple---why do so many people make it so difficult?? They say "There has to be MORE than to just accept that Jesus came to be our substitute...die on the cross...be buried...and rise from the dead. I have to do more, don't I?"
"For WHOSOEVER shall call upon the name of the Lord SHALL BE SAVED!" Romans 10:13. And, friend, that WHOSOEVER is YOU!! Put your name in its place. Don't delay, don't wait ANOTHER Christmas to miss that special Gift that God sent just to you. He's been knocking and knocking for years at your heart's door. "Behold..I stand at the door and knock..if any man (or woman) hear my voice and open the door I will come in to sup with him and he with me." Rev. 3:20.
Get into the wonderful family of God. A family that will be there for you with the unfailing love of a Father who loves you beyond measure.