If I had to summarize what the whole Bible is about, it would be this: God is faithful to His people and His creation and in the end, He will fulfill all His promises and purposes for the world through Jesus Christ. In other words, God is reconciling the world to Himself, through His Son Jesus.
God Is Making All Things New
The Christian Gospel is a story of redemption and restoration. God will so vindicate His righteousness, that every mouth will be silenced regarding their own righteousness, and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. Everything that now doesn’t make sense, even for the Christian believer, will make sense when we see Jesus face to face. Even the unredeemed will grudgingly acknowledge that God is worthy of all praise and glory.
Jesus is creation’s righteous covenant Lord. God is portrayed in the Judaeo-Christian Scriptures as always dealing with His people on the basis of a covenant. This is why the Bible’s two main parts are called Old Testament/New Testament or Old Covenant/New Covenant.
Whenever God entered into a new phase of fulfilling His promises and purposes for His creation, He would always do it on the basis of a covenant with His people. At key stages of redemption history, God entered into new relationships with Noah (Genesis 9), Abraham (Genesis 12 & 15), Moses and the Israelites at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19-24) and David and his descendants (2 Samuel 7). The final covenant God entered into was with us, Jews and Gentiles, through Jesus Christ and the New Covenant (Mathew 26:17-30, Mark 14:12-26, Luke 22:7-23, 1 Cor. 11:23-26). In each of these covenant relationships, God made His purposes for the world more and more clear.
Over and over in Old Testament times, God was frustrated in fulfilling His promises and purposes for His creation through the unfaithful and hardened hearts of Israel, His covenant partner. So what did God do? Did He let the earth go on in its darkness, death and despair?
No! Thank God! He came to us as a baby in that first Christmas. This is why the angels were so exultant with joy when the they announced the birth of the Christ Child to the Shepherds in Luke 2:10, 11:
Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ, the Lord.
Notice that the angels say that the birth of Christ will be cause for great joy for all people, both Jews and Gentiles.
Becoming Friends With God
Through Jesus and in Jesus, a new faithfulness is made possible for God’s people. God has not only entered the human race in Jesus Christ, but God has also entered the believing human heart through the indwelling Holy Spirit. When we repent of our sin and trust Christ and His work on the cross, we become regenerated or alive to God through the Holy Spirit. By coming into our hearts, God is able to work from the inside of His people, so that a greater faithfulness is made possible. In other words, more grace is made available to us through the New Covenant of Jesus.
Christmas is an invitation by God. He says to us: “Look what I have done to come near to you. Now draw near to me. I don’t want to be a mere concept to you, I want to be your friend.” God’s pursuit of us not only caused Him to take on a human body, but it led all the way to the passion of the cross. My dear friend, have you ever taken God up on this invitation? You will never regret it. God is a good friend!
For those of us who have been God’s friend for a while now, I want to leave you with a friendly exhortation. Many people consider Secretariat’s win in the 1973 Kentucky Derby as the greatest horse race ever. When Secretariat won that race, each successive quarter-mile in the race was run faster than the one before. The longer the race went, the faster the horse ran.
May we not slack off in our faithfulness to Jesus. May we not become sloppy in our obedience. But may we be faithful to the Lord to the very end. And may we be faithful to our spouse, to our children, to brothers and sisters in our Christian community, and to those outside of Christ who desperately need to hear, in word and deed, the message of God’s faithful and forgiving love……………A love that even conquered death!
This is the Good News of Jesus Christ!
QOTD: Are you living your life on this earth as God’s good and faithful friend?