Merry Christmas, TVCOG! This week I preached a message called “The Sentence, the Sender, and the Sent.” Here is a summary:
Galatians 4:4 tells us that when Jesus was born, He was born under Law. The Law, given by God, is the direction for how we are to approach life from a moral perspective, a social perspective, and a spiritual perspective. The Law was given in order to help people understand the holiness of God and how sin offends God’s holiness. It was to explain the kind of Covenant Relationship God wanted with His people. It was given to help people understand just how doomed they were because of sin.
The Law was a taskmaster. People didn’t have enough personal goodness, personal commitment, or personal effort to keep it. You couldn’t get a 93% and be good to go. It was perfection or nothing. The broken, cursed state of humanity wouldn’t allow people to attain perfection through the Law. Therefore, we are all Lawbreakers. Galatians 3:10 “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do EVERYTHING written in the Book of the Law.”
Since God is infinitely holy and righteous which means He always does the right thing, He has to punish the Lawbreakers. If He didn’t, then His Law wouldn’t be Law because there is no Law without punishment.
God, the Sender of the wonderful “Message” of Christmas saw what the Law demanded. He saw what our limitations were to meet its expectations. He saw our despair and doom. What motivated God to send His Son that first Christmas was love. He didn’t send Jesus to put us in our place, but to take our place, to take our punishment, to become the curse for us so that we could go free from the curse and demands of the Law.
The One who was Sent came to take destroy our Sentence, and the LOVE of God was put on display in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. He lived a perfect, sinless life. The Law couldn’t condemn Jesus. He never felt short in any way. Jesus’ in love, stretched out His arms on a cross of suffering and torture to accomplish the Father’s love mission, and when He did, He took on the curse of sin for all of humanity, destroying its power forever.
Love, not the Law has come to save us. Ephesians 2:4-5 “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.”
The Sender has sent the answer to the sentence each one of us must face. Have you un-wrapped the salvation that is the result of the love of God the Father and the Son this Christmas?
Here are this week’s Advent Readings:
Sun. Is. 7:10-14
Mon. Luke 1:26-35
Tue. Is. 9:2-7
Wed. Mt. 1:18-25
Thu. Luke 2:1-20
Fri. Mt. 2:1-2
Sat. Luke 2:21-35
God’s best to you.