The Gospel

Yesterday, we went to Kenosis – Sarawak, a young, growing effort to aid in the rehabilitation of drug addicts in Miri. It was a rainy Saturday afternoon and the young men were gathered to learn some English and how to make sushi!

It was an experience that made a deep impression on us. It is easy to dismiss these young men as unworthy, but we must remember that God sees the opportunity for salvation and renewal. We were certainly blessed to stand in the midst of the miracle and serve the cause.

One of the core beliefs of Christianity is that all have sinned. We were born sinners; it is not simply our actions that make us sinners, it is the posture of our hearts.

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

Genesis 3:6 (NKJV)

Sin doesn’t always appear evil on the surface. We sin because we want what is best for us, outside of God’s will. Sin isn’t just immorality, sin is the choice to remain separate from God. We chose the wisdom of the tree of life, which is not wisdom at all!

Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

1 Corinthians 1:20 (NKJV)

For sin invites shame and we are trapped in the viciousness of wanting to live by our own desires. We make makeshift coverings to hide what we don’t want others to see. They may not be Adam and Eve’s fig leaves. Instead, we find coverings in careers and relationships and adornment.

We want people to see what we want them to see.

The God we know sees us for ourselves. He was the one who gave us our will, knowing that the creation of beings who choose to love Him is more valuable than the creation of beings programmed to love Him.

So, He walks in the garden and He calls for Adam and Eve. And He put into motion a plan for reconciliation.

And she [Mary] will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus , for He will save His people from their sins.”

Matthew 1:21 (NKJV)

So, why are we talking about sin when the wonderful season of Christmas is about the birth of Christ?

Because we need to remember why Christ came. This Christmas, we celebrate the God who came to us clothed in flesh. Jesus walked as Adam was created to, fully reflective of the Father who loves Him and in full communion with the Godhead.

He came to die for us.

After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge on sour wine, put it on hyssop and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

John 19:28-30 (NKJV)

He came to make us right with Him. He came to allow us to make a home with Him.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

Revelation 3:20 (NKJV)

He didn’t come to give us everything we want, He came to give us everything we need. Jesus didn’t come just so we could be healthy and wealthy and blessed. He came so we could choose a life completely fulfilled in Him.

There is such richness in understanding the sacrifice of Christ. There is such wonder in being freed from sin and, therefore, the scourge of shame and fear.

Christmas is often a time where Christians find their way home. Some of them are the furthest from God they’ve ever been, some are God’s best friends. We don’t know where you stand, but we invite you regardless to reflect on the goodness of our God.