Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Faithfulness

I have preached on the incarnation of Jesus Christ for many, many years. I never tire of thinking about the miraculous, majestic, magnificent meaning of the Son of God becoming man resulting in our salvation. The rich depth and cavernous truth contained in this biblical and doctrinal truth concerning the incarnation of Christ is overwhelming and enriching. How can any thinking Christian get bored with this story and message?

One of my very favorite parts of the incarnation of Jesus Christ is how the promise of Jesus' birth, the birth of Jesus itself, and the surrounding contextual narrative of the nativity manifests gloriously the faithfulness of God. The coming of Jesus Christ to earth proves once again that God is faithful, and He can (and ought to be) trusted as the dependable and trustworthy God. God's faithfulness is found everywhere in the biblical narrative concerning the promise and birth of Christ. Some messianic and divine promises fulfilled in Christ's birth include the following: God said in Micah that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (and it was so). Matthew explains that the birth of Jesus was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah that a virgin would conceive and bear a son, and His name would be called "Immanuel - God with us." The Magi coming from the east fulfilled the Old Testament promise that the Gentiles would come to Christ's light. Even Simeon's experience with the Christ-child eight days after Jesus was born, was a fulfillment of the promise God made to Simeon, indicating that Simeon would not die until he saw the Christ of God. That promise was fulfilled.

As we think about the faithfulness of God in the incarnation of Christ, let us ponder the following thoughts that seem to be profoundly imbedded in this incarnational truth:
1. God is by nature faithful, thus He is absolutely and immutably faithful to every promise He makes. He cannot be unfaithful.
2. God's faithful promises center in the person and saving work of Christ.
3. God's promises are intended for His covenant people; we can depend upon God undeniably.
4. Just as God's promises were fulfilled in Christ's first coming, so God's promises will be fulfilled in the second coming of Christ.
5. Redemption itself is anchored in the faithfulness of God to save His people in Christ.
6. God's promises are fulfilled in history in the remarkable experiences of God's people.
7. As Christians journey on to the celestial city, they should look to the faithful God who promises faithfully to faithfully care for them and fulfill their deepest hopes for divine glory. Heaven itself is colored with divine faithfulness.