Christmas Hopes and Joys

Dec 24th, 2009 | By | Category: The Basics (click on Article name)

Christmas Hopes and Joys

LUKE 2:8-20
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”

The Star of BethlehemOur confidence in Jesus that he was the sent of God, the Redeemer, the Messiah, the Deliverer of his people, rests not merely upon the testimony of the apostles in the New Testament records, wonderful and convincing as these testimonies are: they gain nine-tenths of their weight and importance from the fact that they evidence the fulfillment of promises, types and prophecies given by the Lord with more or less explicitness from time to time throughout the preceding 4,000 years. He who does not discern something, at least, of the divine plan of the ages in connection with our Savior, his birth, his three and one-half years’ ministry, his sacrificial death, his resurrection, his ascension, etc., fails to get the real strength of the divine revelation, designed by the Lord to be the firm foundation for his people’s confidence in him and in all the glorious things which he has promised he would yet accomplish through this great Savior.

Note the original promise of the Savior shortly after sin had wounded our first parents and brought them under divine sentence. (Gen. 3:15.) Note the promise made to Abraham respecting Messiah that he should be of his posterity. (Gen. 22:18.) Notice the same to Jacob. (Gen. 28:14.) To David. (2 Sam. 7:12-16.) Through Isaiah the prophet, his coming and his greatness are foretold. (9:6,7; 11:1-9.) Daniel, the prophet, also refers to the importance of his work of making an end of sin and bringing in everlasting righteousness, and thus sealing the visions and prophecies which the Lord had just given respecting him and the favor to come through him. (Dan. 9:24.) We recall also how he was typified in Isaac who was not only the heir of the promises made to Abraham, but who was also in a figure put to death and received again from the dead. We remember also the types and figures of the Mosaic arrangement, and how Moses himself was declared to be like unto the greater one to come after him.

The message continues, “I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people.” How slow the Lord’s people have been to believe this message and to accept the Savior at his full worth! How prone they seem to be to suppose first of all that he was to be a Savior merely for the Jews; or secondly, a Savior merely for a special elect class; or thirdly, a Savior only for those who under present darkness, ignorance, prejudice, superstition and devilish influences, manifest a special love for righteousness! But how broad is the statement–great joy–for all people! Our faith is not broader than the positive declaration of the Scriptures, when we hold firmly that our God graciously has arranged that every member of our poor fallen race shall yet be blessed with a clear understanding not only of his own weaknesses and imperfections through the fall, but also by a clear understanding of the great redemption price paid by the Savior, and a share in the glorious opportunities thus secured to return, if he will, back to full harmony with God and to full blessings and everlasting life.

The angels did not declare that our Lord came to bring universal and everlasting salvation to all people; but they do declare that the good message of joy, of privilege, love, hope, shall extend to all people. The explanation of this is that a Savior had been born –a deliverer of the weak, the helpless, the dying, able to succor to the utmost all who would come to the Father through him; able to open the blind eyes and to unstop the deaf ears that all may come to an appreciation of the goodness of God shining toward them in the face of the Lord Jesus.

The word Savior, otherwise rendered Deliverer, signifies in the Syriac language, literally Life-giver. What a wonderful thought is conveyed by that word! What is it that our poor, dying race needs? It needs deliverance from the sentence of death, and then it needs deliverance from death itself, into life complete and abundant and everlasting. Our Lord has already become our deliverer in the sense that he has bought us with his precious blood, that he has settled our account with Justice. As a result of this work already done (since the church which is the body of Christ has followed in the footsteps of our Lord and has about “filled up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ,” (Col. 1:24), very shortly now, under the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet, the mystery of God will be finished,–completed,–and atonement for the sins of the world shall be proclaimed with a full emancipation proclamation to all people. Good tidings of great joy it will surely be! Full of gracious opportunities for enlightenment, restitution and obedience, and for a full return to all that was lost by father Adam, including life in perfect degree–lasting life

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