Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Wondrous Gift


"Oh Little Town of Bethlehem"

I remember sitting in my church, with a feeling of pain, anger and sorrow. Pain and anger, because the life that I knew to be the truth was actually a lie. Sorrow came from the guilt of past sins, conviction, disappointment and despair that I had, all wrapped up in one.

The question that I couldn't get out of my mind was: "Why would a gracious and kind God love someone like me? Why would He choose someone like me to save?"

I couldn't get that question out of my mind, no matter how hard I tried.

Our Need for God

When you look back in Genesis when mankind first entered into sin, from that point forward there has been confusion, fear, pain, suffering and mistreatment (Romans 5:12). We were enslaved to sin - there was nothing that we could do to save ourselves from the curse of sin, and the "reward" for our works of sin is death (Romans 6:23). God's wrath reign over us and we are without any excuse (Romans 2). The punishment for sin is death, not just in the physical sense that our body's are decaying, but in the spiritual sense as well.

Romans 3 explains that "there is none righteous, no not one" (v.10). We are all guilty of sin in the eyes of God -  we deserve His wrath. God is kind and God is loving, but God is also holy and just. No evil can stand in His sight. We aren't justified (declared righteous, made right with God, see GotQuestions) by our works, but through our faith in Jesus Christ who was offered as the sacrifice for our sins (Romans 3:24ff).

 

"How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may hear His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Were meek souls will receive Him still,
The dear Christ enters in."
~Lyrics from "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem" (Carols)


I still find it amazing, these some years after being in church on that day, how merciful God is. There is nothing that we could have done to save ourselves - we're all sinners (Romans 3:23). There are no works, wages, or wisdom that can off-set any of our debt - our debt is astronomical, and all that we have belongs to God. In our pit of sin, God showed us the depths of His love in a two-lettered word: "so". God so deeply loved (and loves) us that while we were out still in rebellion against Him, He sent His only Son to die for us (Romans 5:8). 

Let that sink in for a moment.

Through God's wondrous gift, Jesus Christ, sent to earth silently and humbly, we are able with meek souls to receive Him, allowing peace with God through Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). Through Jesus' birth, death and resurrection, we're made in right standing with God. Although our sin was present, God's grace abounded much more. This world may be full of sin, pain, anger and suffering, our hearts and souls can and will be comforted when we receive the wondrous, indescribable gift of Christ (Romans 5:20-21, 6:23, 2 Corinthians 9:15).


SDG