Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,
Last week we saw the importance of seeking after Jesus during the Christmas season. The Magi and the shepherds found and worshiped the Christ Child because they went seeking after Him. Others chose not to, and thus they missed Him. As Jesus said in Mt. 7:7, “Seek, and you will find.”
I also mentioned that there are three gifts we receive upon receiving Christ. The first is the gift of forgiveness. The angel told the shepherds (Lk. 2:11), “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” The Savior was born, but we may ask: Why do we need a Savior?
Here is one way to answer that. Heaven is a perfect place. In heaven, everything is as it should be. But I am not perfect, and not everything is as it should be in my life, nor in the life of anyone. Thus, if God let us into heaven as we are, heaven would cease to be a perfect place. So, either God can keep heaven perfect, which means no human being could go there, or God could allow us into heaven, but then it would no longer be perfect. And really, who would want to spend eternity in an imperfect place with imperfect people?
But God had a solution to this dilemma. Acts 10:43 promises us that everyone who believes in Jesus receives forgiveness. We don’t have to work for it. We don’t have to earn forgiveness. We receive God’s forgiveness simply through faith in Christ. And how is this possible? Because “God made him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (II Cor. 5:21). Jesus bore all our sins at the cross. As a result, we are forgiven and God has made us righteous – not in ourselves but in Christ.
Perhaps you will receive some very nice presents this Christmas, maybe even very expensive presents. But none of are greater worth than the gift of forgiveness that we receive through trusting in Jesus Christ.
Grace and peace,