Luke 1:30-33 ESV
And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
The Son of God
Since the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden, all humans have been born with sin natures, separate from God, and unable in their own selves to be acceptable to God or to be for his praise and glory. We, as humans with sin natures, are also not able to attain the righteousness of God in our own merit, via good works. We cannot secure our own salvation from sin or our eternal life with God in glory, either. So, we, in our sin natures, are lost.
So, God the Father had a plan for how he was going to save us from our sins and to give us eternal life with him. He sent his Son to the earth to be born as a baby from the womb of a woman named Mary, who with God had found favor. And, the baby was given the name Jesus, for he was the Christ who was to come, the promised Messiah to Israel. And, not only was he the Son of God, but he was God, and he was with God from the beginning, and all things which God created were created by him (See John 1; Phil. 2).
Jesus was not born in any ordinary way, though. Mary was a virgin when she conceived the child of the Holy Spirit. So, when Jesus walked the face of this earth, he was fully God yet fully man. And, he was no ordinary child, either, for he was born king of Israel, but not a king in any ordinary way, either. For, Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world, but his kingdom is that of God and of heaven. Thus, it is a spiritual kingdom, not a physical kingdom. And, his kingdom has no ending date, either, for it is eternal.
Luke 1:46-55 ESV
And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
It was God’s grace and mercy which sent Jesus Christ to the cross to die for our sins so that we could be delivered from our slavery to sin, be made right with God, and now be able, by the Spirit, to walk in God’s righteousness and holiness. But, a true understanding of God’s grace, as taught in scripture, realizes that his grace, although free to us, is truly deliverance from slavery (addiction) to sin so that we can now live to Christ and to his righteousness.
So, what this means for us is that, if truly we have trusted in Jesus Christ to save us from our sins, and we have truly accepted his free gift of grace, then what we have believed in, and what we have accepted for ourselves is a crucified life, dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus, our Lord. So, by faith, we die with Christ to sin and we are resurrected with Christ (born again of the Spirit of God) to new lives in Christ Jesus, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (See: Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).
For, this is why Jesus died so that we would no longer be enslaved to sinful passions and desires, but that our desire would now be for him, to walk in his truth and in his ways. He died that we would no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. For, when he died, his blood purchased us back for God. So, by faith in him, we are no longer our own, but now Jesus is our Lord (owner-master), and we are servants of his righteousness, no longer slaves to the lusts of our flesh.
And, that is why it says here that his mercy is for those who fear him, because to fear God means to honor, respect, value, and obey him, and it is to submit to him, and to surrender our wills to his will for our lives. So, to fear him means we die with him to sin and we live with him to his righteousness, because those who continue to walk in sin do not fear God, nor do they know God, nor are they the recipients of God’s grace and mercy.
Scattered the Proud
There are many people today who are not preaching God’s grace and our salvation from sin in the light of what has just been discussed here so far, though. They have softened the true gospel of our salvation and have mixed it in with the world and the flesh, and they have made it more agreeable to the flesh of humans, so that it does not put sin to death, but it coddles it, and it entertains it, and it excuses it away under the guise of God’s grace.
So, instead of “believers” in Jesus having transformed lives of the Holy Spirit of God, filled with the Spirit, spiritually reborn, dead to sin and alive to God, as scripture teaches is the true picture of salvation, we have a whole lot of people claiming Jesus as Savior and heaven as their eternal home while they live not much different at all from those who make no profession of faith in Jesus Christ. The Spirit of God is not alive in them at all, for they are still dead in their sins living to please their own selfish and fleshly desires.
But, when someone is truly reborn of the Spirit of God, and the Spirit has come to dwell within them, they are humbled before God, and their pride is brought low, and they cry out to God in repentance, confessing their sins, and asking him to cleanse their hearts and to make them new. They realize the sinfulness of their lives, and they turn that over to the Lord, and they bow before him in submission to his will, to walk in obedience to him.
And, he fills them with his Holy Spirit (the living water) and with life eternal. And, this life in him is a life free from addiction (bondage, slavery) to sin, and is empowered and strengthened of the Holy Spirit to walk righteously before God. And, his Spirit within us counsels, guides, helps, comforts, encourages, convicts, nurtures, corrects, and disciplines us in the process of making us holy and in conforming us to the likeness of Christ.
But, the proud who use God’s grace as a get-out-of-jail-free-card and as an easy road to heaven, he sends away empty, because they refuse to repent of their sins, to obey him, to submit to him as their Lord, and to honor him as the Holy God that he is. They treat him as though he owes them his grace even though they disdain his word and his commands and they choose to continue in their sinful lifestyles, instead.
But, for those who have died and are dying daily with him to sin, and who are living daily to his righteousness, and are conducting their lives according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh, he helps them to resist Satan and to flee temptation and to live holy lives, pleasing to him. For, we do none of this in our own flesh or strength or power, but only in the power of our Lord as daily we yield our lives over to him and we allow him to work his will and his ways in our hearts in making us to be more like him.
An Original Work / November 21, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures
My people have forsaken Me,
Their Savior, who died on a tree;
Made idols, and they worshipped them;
So empty, they will ne’er fulfill.
Lord, You are the hope of Your chosen ones.
Those who turn away from You will be shamed;
The Spring of Living Water left behind.
Living Water satisfies.
The thirsty, let them come and drink;
Believe in Jesus as their King;
The gift of Jesus given them,
So they will never thirst again.
Indeed, the Living Water flows within.
It springs up like a fountain cleansing sin.
Eternal life in heaven promised them.
Living Water glorifies.
Oh people, won’t you come to Him?
Obey Him and repent of sin.
Let Jesus come and live within.
Surrender all your life to Him.
My people, won’t you turn your hearts to Me?
Forsake your idols and then you’ll be free.
Won’t you come now to Me on bended knee?
Living Water sanctifies.
Saturday, December 15, 2018