Day 11

Righteousness Through Christ

from the Advent 2019: A Thrill of Hope reading plan


John 1:1-5, John 1:14-18, Romans 3:21-28, Ephesians 1:7-10, Colossians 1:13-14

There is so much we take for granted around Christmastime. I don’t mean friends, family, and all of the many ways God blesses us through the season and the year. And I definitely don’t mean the way we can get worked up when things don’t go right with our Christmas plans. No, I mean something much bigger. Something much more important.

Stop and think about what it is that we are celebrating for a second. Most often in our culture, we see Christmas celebrated, at best, as a generic time of peace and goodwill. Many may not know why it’s a time of peace and goodwill, of course. It just is.

However, as Christians, we do know what the deal is, don’t we? We’re celebrating the birth of Jesus! We’re not taking that for granted… are we? I can’t speak for everyone, only myself. And I can say this: I am absolutely guilty of taking this truth for granted during the holidays. Not the truth of Jesus being born—but who He is. Why He came. What the peace and goodwill the rest of the world knows about in a generic sense is really all about.

The Jesus we celebrate on Christmas, is the same Jesus John calls “the Word,” the One who was with God and was God, who was with God in the beginning, through whom all things were created (John 1:1–3). The same Word, the one and only Son who “is Himself God” actually “became flesh and dwelt among us” (vv.14,18).

Why did He come? So that we might receive “grace upon grace”—that the righteousness of God would be revealed in the person and work of Jesus Christ, and that all who turn to Him in faith would become its recipients. Through Him we have redemption, “the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he richly poured out on us” (Ephesians 1:7–8). Through Him we are rescued from death, “the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves” (Colossians 1:13).

All of this is wrapped up in the birth of Jesus. All of this is what we should be celebrating at Christmas. This isn’t some time of generic peace and goodwill. It’s the celebration of God coming into the world with the gift of “redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14). Christmas is about the gospel, and the greatest gift of all—the righteousness of God given “through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Romans 3:22).

Written by Aaron Armstrong

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