“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
Romans 8:35-36 (NKJV)
I’m pretty certain that many of us don’t see much of a Christmas story in the Book of Romans. So, even though I can’t see your expression this morning, I bet you took one look at todays Freedom Fighter title, squinted your eyes and went… “Wha?” (or maybe not, after all, some of you have already figured out by now who todays author is. Anyway…) For those of us with a copy of Paul David Tripp’s devotional, “Come Let Us Adore Him”, we’ll see that he is dead smack in the middle of The Book of Romans today (which also made me say where’s the Christmas story in Romans) and he’s talking about the birth of Christ.
Tripp will ask his reader this question, “What sense would it make for God to go to the extent of sending His Son to be born for our sake, and then 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?” Well, the easy answer to this is yes but how deeply are we willing to go to completely understand that we needed divine rescue, forgiveness, transformation and deliverance? Chances are not much further than the Advent candles….sad, but true.
Not many realize that the Christmas season really begins with, “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” (Genesis 3:15) and guess what? God ain’t saying that to Adam and Eve, He’s saying that to our Adversary. Mull that one around before you start singing, “You’re a foul one, Mr. Grinch, you’re a nasty wasty skunk. Your heart is full of unwashed socks, your soul is full of gunk, Mr. Grinch…The three words that best describe you are as follows, and I quote, “Stink, stank, stunk!”
But isn’t it really cool to know that all of God’s promises were fulfilled from the time He told our Adversary that He was gonna fix what Satan decided should be broken all the way to the moment you made your confession of faith in a Risen Savior, who comes to us and meets us at our level? You ain’t gonna get that from any other religion or self-help book. Granted hundreds of years elapsed from covenant to covenant, dispensation to dispensation or even from exile to exile. Through it all God made and kept His promises to us. Gotta remember He does stuff on His clock, not ours.
Now what does all that have to do with finding Christmas in the book of Romans? Glad you asked. Maybe I oughta quote Tripp here for a moment, “…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 believes 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.”
The bottom line is no matter what’s going on at this time of year, troubles, calamities, being persecuted, finding ourselves hungry or destitute, in danger of or being threatened with death, alone, hurt, melancholy over broken relationships, or any other thing that may be easy for me to type but not live through myself, “nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39)
When we realize just how far the Creator was willing to go to reconcile His creation to
Himself it seems kinda silly for us to give each other gifts on a day that ain’t your birthday, don’t it? I gotta agree with Tripp with his view of Romans 8:31-39 that, “Past grace is your guarantee of present grace and of all the future graces you will ever need.” But this also comes with the apostle Paul’s guarantee as well, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh. But according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1) May that same Spirit find you today…and Merry Christmas. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a husband, a father, has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Think About This: “All things whatever, in heaven and earth, are not so great a display of God’s free love, as the gift of his coequal Son to be the atonement on the cross for the sin of man; and all the rest follows upon union with Him, and interest in Him” – Matthew Henry