As Christmas draws near this year, I am awestruck yet again by how God brought to sudden fulfillment in time what had been planned from eternity (2 Timothy 1:8-10); His work of salvation foretold by His prophets of old (Luke 1:67-75)! For Christmas from the Bible is nothing less than the simple, but profound narrative of a loving God’s next in time action step among many before with a few still coming to save His fallen creature, man, from sin, Satan and death. Among those prior steps was the never before done in history calling out of a people through whom to bring forth His chosen Deliverer (Genesis 3:14-15, 22:9-18; Exodus 3:1-10; Deuteronomy 4:32-39, 18:15-19).
Though surrounded and obscured by various Gentile secular and manmade religious cultural traditions as I was led to write in a previous post,1 if there is to be an authentic, biblical celebration of Christmas it must begin with God and the divine plan to save among fallen mankind! The divine plan designating the Son of God as mankind’s Savior was formulated before there was ever a creation because God foreknew man’s fall (Acts 2:22-24; 1 Peter 1:20-21). Many--including some Christians I have taught--struggle with this truth. They wonder, “If God knew man was going to fall, why bother to create him?” The simple answer is bound up in God’s nature and wisdom as well as man’s purpose.
“God is love,” the apostle John emphatically declares (1 John 4:8, NKJV). The visionary desire of God to create man is rooted in the very depths of divine love. Thus, the existence of man is not the result of a divine whim, afterthought or experiment. In love, God would create eternal sons to love that would love Him back in the image and likeness of the eternal Son (John 14:31; 1 John 4:19)!2 In wisdom, God knew (and now, even we know) in order for His creature to love, he must not only be equipped with the ability, but the free will to choose to do so. For this reason too, created to loyally serve God and His eternal sons, angels also have free will (Psalm 103:20-21; Hebrews 1:13-14).
The sovereign God, who knows all things, saw in advance the first man would freely choose to disobey His command and bring forth upon himself the just judgment His holy nature demanded. Since this was no experiment where God discarding the first man, would continue trying like some mad scientist until He finally created one that obeyed, in perfect love and wisdom God constructed a righteous plan to save His fallen creature. No plan was made to save disloyal angels that chose to rebel against God; they would be condemned to Hell forever without recourse (Ezekiel 28:11-19; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10). But from eternity God in love would show man His grace!
Here is where Christmas gets really deeply moving for me and I trust you also if in fact, you are among those saved by God’s grace through repentance and faith in the Gospel of His Son, Jesus Christ! While some stumble over the fact God would bother at all with constructing a plan to save fallen man, I am completely blown away by the fact His plan involved choosing to become one of us, His creature, leading to the indescribable pain, suffering and death He endured in successfully carrying it out (Isaiah 7:10-14, 53:1-9; Luke 1:26-40, 2:1-38; John 1:1-18, 3:16, 19:17-37; Hebrews 2:5-18). I am overwhelmed attempting to search out the kind of love that would do this for me!
Away from the secular commercial clamor, most significant for me as a Christian is the joyful worship of the God of my salvation; my Savior as planned, foretold and fulfilled--the powerful in simplicity real objective of Christmas! Indeed, so powerful is Christmas as the joyful worship of God in celebration of His action step to save fallen men by sending us His Son, the world has sought to diminish it with its own satanically inspired fabricated, sentimental storylines and cultural traditions which many churches of Christianity the religion of men endorse and support. To their shame and condemnation over the centuries, a great number of these have themselves offered up many complicated and heretical doctrines that corrupt the simple biblical narrative of God’s work to save.
Contending also with what he later describes as “false apostles” and “deceitful workers” as those that were phony messengers “of light” like Satan (2 Corinthians 11:12-15, NKJV), the apostle Paul strongly appeals for the Corinthians and all Christians to be faithful to our Lord Jesus; retaining “the simplicity that is in Christ,” (2 Corinthians 11:1-4, NKJV). For as Paul was concerned in the first, so, it continues to happen right into this twenty-first century that professed Christians are abandoning the simplicity of God’s work to save us from our sins through the first coming of Christ Jesus. Instead, to their destruction they are going after false christs, other gospels and doctrines following deceitful spirits as foretold (Mark 13:5-6; Galatians 1:3-7; 1 Timothy 4:1-5).
In faith and God’s command to stand fast, however, let every aspiring strong man of God in Christ’s image proclaim and witness the truth prepared from eternity and fulfilled to his family, church and the world at Christmas (Isaiah 53:10-12; John 20:1-18; Titus 1:1-3).3 Let us also accurately teach that if all of God’s foretold action steps in His work to save us from our sins were fulfilled at Christ’s first coming, then, it must be soberly understood that every one of the remaining prophesied action steps of salvation’s consummation at His Second Coming are to be shortly fulfilled (Acts 1:4-11, 3:18-26; Hebrews 9:23-28; Revelation 1:1-8, 21:7-8)!4 The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
I will take next Sunday off as part of my Christmas celebration and Lord willing, return with a final 2018 post on December 30th. Merry Christmas!
1 See the December 2014 two-part post, Culturally Conditioning the Faith, under the category, The Faith. The Church is not a creation of culture, but Christ’s called out
assembly from it (Matthew 16:13-18). Therefore, the Church is not beholding to the culture its members have assembled out of, but to Christ as His “light” exposing the
darkness and His “pillar and ground of the truth” in it (Ephesians 5:8-14; 1 Timothy 3:15, NKJV)! Because this is true, I stand by every word and Scripture cited in the
post referenced in this footnote.
2 Read the June 19, 2016 post, Eternal Sons Of God, under the category, Instruction.
3 Learn more about the aspiring strong man and great woman of God in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. It is available at all major internet booksellers,
by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
4 Read Now Is The Day Of Salvation, posted December 4, 2016, under the category, Call To Repent. Also, while it is righteous not to attempt to declare a specific date or
hour of Christ’s return as He warned (Mark 13:32-37), a disservice is being done to the Body of Christ by those at this hour that say “it could be another thousand
years.” Not! The Lord also commanded us to watch for the prophetic signs He gave indicating His coming was near (Luke 21:25-36). Such signs have been breaking
out profusely since the time Israel became a nation again on May 14, 1948 which itself is the greatest of them so far and confirms as foretold that the punitive dispersion
of the Jews to the nations was only to be temporary (Hosea 3; Luke 21:20-24; Romans 11:1-15, 25-36)!
Rather than under the Black History category as would still be fitting, I am joyfully permitted by the Lord to put this edited 2012 repost paying tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. under Holidays as one our nation celebrates annually thanks to yet another hard won righteous battle fought by many souls. This year on April 4th will also mark the 50 year anniversary since Dr. King was assassinated. So, revisiting this post has had extra special meaning for me. For while the Christian dreamer was martyred, his dream has lived on through many like me who were blessed to be alive to experience some part of Dr. King’s Holy Spirit empowered rise to world prominence as God’s drum major.
King’s prominence on the world stage left on it the unmistakable fragrance of Jesus Christ in one of the most powerful “God moments” in modern times. And to think, not only was he a Christian, gifted preacher, pastor and prophet, but so important in my eyes as a child then and now, a black man.1 He was a man that stepped up to lead at just the right time and God used him mightily! Whatever all of their motives, there are those that want to diminish Dr. King and his spiritual legacy. But as I write in this repost, it is too late to tear down the divinely ordained work of Dr. King even if the man is found to have come up short as a sinner.
Originally Posted January 15, 2012
As is typical with celebrated, sinful human historical figures, there are those that have made it their business to inform us about their every personal failing, character flaw and sinful deed. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.--whose memory and legacy we remember this January 16th in a national holiday--has not escaped such investigation and exposure. While I respect the right of those so inclined to labor in this task, rarely does the effort seem to cause a major recasting of the historical figure into a new, negative light in the eyes of the public. This is especially true for those that were alive to see, hear and very importantly, benefit from the work of the targeted historical figure.
A fifty-something Bible student, I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt, Dr. King was a sinner just like me. Even if I did not think so, the Bible declares it (Romans 3:9-19, 23)! That also goes for every man since Adam except Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:14-15)! I trust God that whatever Dr. King’s sins without repentance, he was and will be dealt with by Him as I continually warn all of us (Hebrews 10:30). Thus, whatever dirt may be dug up and put out on Dr. King, it would not so shock me to my core that I would have to dismiss the spiritual and temporal appreciation I have for the man’s sense of divine mandate, mission and willingness to suffer to help others (which included me) that began in my eyes as a little boy.
I did not understand all of what was going on to be sure. But when I saw and heard Dr. King on our small, flickering black and white television screen, my heart swelled with admiration and hope that all he was fighting for would indeed, someday come to pass. Too, with a child’s heart I wanted to be like him and fight in his righteous cause to uplift black Americans; a cause I have not abandoned to this day.2 Dr. King challenged our nation about loving its black fellow citizens enough to treat them fairly and prevailed legally speaking. His life, however, was cut short by an assassin’s bullet.
In Chapter Four of my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, I name Dr. King as a high prolife aspiring strong man of God in the image of Christ because he fully answered the Lord’s call to serve Him.3 With faith, courage and zeal he repeatedly put his life in harm’s way to defend the cause of his politically weak, helpless and powerless people. Over and over again, Dr. King is heard to say, “I just want to do God’s will.” That is the heart of Christ, the Strong Man of God and every man aspiring to be one in His image. He was a dreamer, but Dr. King’s dream to better the condition of his people (and all the oppressed) was righteously rooted in the very real mission of his Master, Jesus Christ (Luke 4:16-21) and lives on in the hearts of every faithful Christian--if no one else!
1 Oppressed and mistreated from slavery, black men had been taught in contemptible word and deed by those that oppressed us that we were so insignificant and incon-
sequential in the earth that even the Almighty cared nothing for us. But the work of Dr. King as a Christian black preacher and his resulting global notoriety joyfully
spoke (and speaks) otherwise (Lamentations 3:25-36).
2 Though the biblical worldview of our experience I espouse on The From Slavery To Victory Education Project Web Site, www.fromslaverytovictory.org is rejected by
those among black Americans that revel in victimization, it nevertheless, is the filling up and consummation of the spiritual legacy of our faithful Christian forefathers
from slavery through the work of Dr. King. As a result, I am truly a free black man (John 8:31-36)! Read in particular the May-November 2006 Commentary Series,
The Renewing of Our Minds in the Journal Archives.
3 The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics is available through all major internet booksellers, by order from your favorite brick and mortar bookstore and in the
Strong Man Store.
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