What is the reality of Christmas for a Christian? Simple. Yet, profound: a celebration of the moment that Divine God became man, FOREVER. Incarnation. GOD WITH US. Later, this same reality becomes, GOD IN US, forever Divine! Do I have your attention yet?
GOD WITH US: Incarnation.
First, the Promise of this coming redeemer, this God-Man, comes through Isaiah,
“Therefore the LORD Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name IMMANUEL” (Isaiah 7:14), “which translated means, “GOD WITH US” (Matthew 1:23).
A miracle of miracles. The promised Messiah would come through a virgin birth. That’s a pretty amazing feat. And it happened. Prophecy fulfilled hundreds of years later. In Bethlehem.
Only once in all of history. Most people did not recognize the season of their visitation from God Himself, transforming from the Divine into the Human (yet who never lost His actual Divinity in the process; see Philippians 2:6-8).
The angels themselves recognized the miracle and declared,
“For today in the City of David there has been born for you a SAVIOR, who is CHRIST THE LORD (Messiah)” (Luke 2:11).
So, GOD WITH US. A God-Man appears. To quote from the Apostle’s Creed, the earliest record of truth that Christians everywhere still adhere to like super-glue:
But what of the rest of the story? What of us sharing in that unique Divinity? Could it be that part of the plan of God is to become ONE SPIRIT with His people?
GOD IN US: Incarnation.
First, remember the promise of sharing in God’s nature. The actual Divinity coming WITHIN actual people. Real God-qualities infusing with our human-qualities. Here was the promise through Ezekiel, who once declared,
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh, and I WILL PUT MY SPIRIT WITHIN YOU and cause you to walk in My statutes” (Ezekiel 36: 26-27).
Jesus lived in the Holy Spirit. He promised an in-filling was to come to all who would receive Him by faith. He calls it, “living water flowing from your innermost being” (John 7:38).
Crucifixion, death, & burial followed for this God-Man who walked in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Again, from the Apostle’s Creed:
Death is the debt that all men pay. The wonder and mystery of Jesus is that He did no sin to deserve this cruel death. He lived spotless and sinless. Death could not possibly hold Him. So He became a friend who died in your place. He took the cross that you deserve.
He doesn’t stay in the cold, stone tomb. He arises! Changed forever from God-Man into Man-God! He is the Man-God today! He first “breathes upon His disciples” this new, Heaven-born, champion Divine LIFE!
He then promises this life to come within these very ones (and all believers of all times) and on the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit FILLS the human spirits and they are truly BORN FROM ABOVE. Man and woman begin to experience the Divine life, within, right now.
“The triumph of the gospel is enough to make any man the wildest kind of an enthusiastic optimist. The unifying of the nature of man and God is the crowning achievement of Jesus Christ. The reason for the cross was thus revealed. Man in God and God in man one and indissoluble, one mind, one purpose, one effort, one power and one glory.” –John G. Lake
BY INVITATION ONLY.
“Behold, I am coming quickly. And my reward is with Me” (Revelation 21:12).
His reward: INCARNATION FOREVER. You have a foretaste now. Then, you will have the FULLNESS.
And finally, if you are outside of Christ today, make a commitment to Him in your heart this Christmastime. He offers you a foretaste of His Divinity. Real LIFE, now. He calls you to surrender to Him.
Don’t wait until tomorrow.
Receive Him today, BY INVITATION ONLY. “And the Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come!’” (Revelation 22:17).