Each day during this year's Advent season, I will be sharing a devotional here to help aid our hearts in preparing for the coming of Christ. These come from a book entitled "Come, Let Us Adore Him" by Paul Tripp. I pray that these thoughts will aid your heart in worship.
The incarnation of Jesus Christ is God’s clear demonstration that he will always make good on all of his promises to us.
Read the huge comfort of Paul’s argument in Romans 8:31–39:
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Paul powerfully argues that when God fulfilled his promise to send his Messiah Son to earth, he guaranteed that he would fulfill every other promise he’s made to us. Paul also argues something else: the past grace of the birth of Jesus guarantees that we will receive the present grace that we daily need and the future grace that is our hope in this life and the one to come. How can you not love the comfort that comes from these words: “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things”? What sense would it make for God to go to the extent of sending his Son to be born for our sake, and then to abandon us along the way? Since God was willing to make such a huge investment in his grace, isn’t it logical to believe he will continue to invest in his grace until that grace has finished its work?
You see, the real historical events of the incarnation of Jesus are our guarantee that God will continue to deliver to us everything we need. We need divine rescue, we need forgiveness, we need to be transformed, and we need to be delivered. We need God’s faithfulness, we need his patience, we need his wisdom, we need his power, we need his mercy, we need his rule, and we need his love. None of these things are at stake. None of these things will wear out. None of these things will quit working. God will never get tired of blessing us with these things. God will never get impatient and decide to quit. He will never get so irritated with the things we say and do that he’ll turn his back on us and walk away. He will not get distracted or become weary.
Think about the fact that over the thousands and thousands of years between the sin of Adam and Eve and the birth of Jesus, God stayed faithful in every way and in every moment to his purpose to send his Redeemer Son. God exercised his power and authority to guide human, natural, and international events so that the time and circumstances would be as they needed to be for the coming of the Messiah. The biblical narrative is filled with hope. The years between the fall of Adam and Eve and the coming of Jesus present a powerful promise to us that God can be trusted. They tell us that no matter what it takes and how long it takes, God will always do exactly what he’s promised to do.
But Paul preaches something more to us. He ends with this wonderful thought: if God was willing to send his Son to restore our relationship of love with him, you can be sure that he will not let anything separate us from his love. You see, the Christmas story is the world’s best love story. It’s about a God of love sending the Son of his love to live a life of love and die a death of love, so that all who believe in him would be welcomed into the arms of his love forever and ever. Embedded in the Christmas story is a promise of unbroken love for the children of God. You can do the dumbest thing, and God will still love you. You can have a day when you ignore his existence, and God will still love you. You can fail to do what he’s called you to do, and he will still love you. I am not arguing that sin is okay or that you should not take it seriously. I’m arguing that the security of our relationship with God has never depended on the faithfulness of our obedience. If God withdrew his love every time we failed, there would be no hope for any of us. The unbreakable faithfulness of God’s love for us is such a huge comfort precisely because we are unfaithful. The unstained perfection of God’s love gives such hope to us because we aren’t perfect.
The Christmas story is one big, beautiful promise. The fulfilled promise of Jesus’s birth guarantees that God will, in his perfect timing and in his wise way, fulfill every other promise he has ever made to us. Past grace is your guarantee of present grace and of all the future graces you will ever need. And at the very center of the guarantee is the promise of God’s eternal love. God sent his Son to us because he loves us. His Son now lives within us because God loves us. And we will live with him forever because God loves us. As you celebrate the birth of Jesus, celebrate the unbreakable love that his birth guarantees you.
For further study: Romans 8:18–39