A Christmas Message

GOD’S WORD AND NEW CREATION

Celebrating Christmas by Being Up To What God is Up To

glights

A messenger spoke to Zechariah. His wife was Elizabeth.
The Forerunner was Born.

A messenger spoke to Mary. Then to Joseph.
The Promised One was Born.

I wrote these ten years ago, on December 24, 2005.  To this day, I am in awe of the glory, majesty and power of the way God brought about and continues to bring about His new creation in Christ by His Spirit and word.

This is what the angel told Mary:

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)

Mary’s response:

Screenshot 2015-12-24 13.16.32
“Annunciation” by Vasily Surikov, 1914

“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (verse 38)

Because of sin, God’s “very good” creation (Genesis 1:31) fell and came under the sentence of death (Romans 5:12-14). But because of the unfathomable riches of His mercy and grace, God promised in the Old Testament to send the Messiah (Genesis 3:15, Psalm 2:2, Daniel 9:25-26), the Savior of His people (Isaiah 53), who is both the New Creation and the New Creator (Isaiah 65:17, Revelation 21:1).

And how did God bring forth Christ the New Creation and New Creator into our fallen world? Luke tells us that it was through the Holy Spirit coming upon and overshadowing Mary, according to the word of the angel.

Gaddi_Taddeo_Announcement
“Annunciation to the Shepherds” by Taddeo Gaddi

And how does God save sinners and make them new creations? The Bible teaches us the following:

  1. The new birth is the work of the Holy Spirit. (John 3:5-8)
  2. People are born again through God’s word. (1 Peter 1:23)

Therefore, we pray,

“As it pleases You that we should pray for all mankind, we implore You, bless the spreading of Your holy gospel, that it may be proclaimed and received universally so that the whole world may know You. Enlighten the ignorant, strengthen the weak. May everyone by word and deed magnify Your holy Name. To this end send faithful servants into Your harvest and equip them to discharge the duties of their office diligently. Destroy, we pray, all false teachers, fierce wolves and hirelings who seek their own honor and profit rather than the honor of Your holy Name and the salvation of men.” (A Prayer for all the needs of Christendom)

Magi_tissot
“The Journey of the Magi” by James Tissot, 1894

As we celebrate Christmas, let us thank God for sending Jesus the New Creation and our New Creator. Through His incarnation, life, death, resurrection, rule and intercession, we are saved from the curse of sin, death and hell. By His Spirit and word, we have been born again and became new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Secondly, let us, by the Lord’s grace and help, continue to live out the new life that we have in Jesus so that we may glorify His name and serve as effective witnesses of our King, Savior and New Creator.

12308754_10208712725160603_4700368080504038420_nFinally, let us keep the vision of Gospel ministry and missions alive in our hearts. Let us keep on praying for pastors, missionaries and the work of evangelism and church planting worldwide. Let us continue doing our best to contribute towards the advancement of the Great Commission through giving, sending and care.

Because God has been and continues to be about His work of redemption and new creation in and for Jesus, His only begotten Son. And the best way to celebrate Christmas and live our whole lives is to be up to what God is up to: the glory of His name through the salvation of souls and the coming forth of His new creation in and for Christ, our glorious Redeemer and New Creator!

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