Why Did Christ Come into This World?
Thinking men and women everywhere must surely be agreed that there is
something very remarkable, and strangely unique about what we call, "The
Christmas Season". The attention of millions is somehow directed to that simple
event that took place that day in the little town of Bethlehem. It is as though God
Himself is rising up and saying, "All men, -take note; -this is the Answer to
everything". He would have every eye focused on that stable, and all that is
transpiring within it. He would have us know that this is His Way. The season itself is
one of His sovereign miracles.
I wonder, too, if it has ever occurred to you that every letter we write, and
every document that is registered, carries with it some recognition of the birth of
Christ. The very date it carries looks back through the centuries to that "day of
days", and to what God did for us at that time. Even the newspapers we read, are
dated according to that event. Surely an Almighty and AII- knowing God stands
behind this remarkable phenomenon.
The important thing for us, however, is to understand THE REASONS WHY
CHR IST CAME. To help us in this matter we shall now consider a number of
statements, which the Lord Himself made concerning it. When we put these
statements together, we shall have the perfect picture of the Christian Gospel. We
shall know precisely why He came amongst us. We shall then be faced with the
decision as to what we will do about.
The first of our verses will be found in Matt.5: 17, where our Lord said, "Think
not that I am come to destroy the Law: -I am NOT come to destroy, BUT to fulfill".
The Lord was referring here, of course, to the first five books of the Old
Testament, otherwise known as the Pentateuch, -and particularly to the Ten
Commandments, which are the very heart and core of that "Law". In Matt.5: 17, He
is saying that one reason for His coming is that He might "fulfill that Law. Let us look
closely at that statement.
There are a number of ways in which it could be said that Christ fulfilled the
Law. He fulfilled its Messianic promises, -and also its remarkable "types", -and
certainly He kept those Ten commandments, -but to get the Lord's own intended
meaning in that verse, we need to look at the passage that immediately follows it
(i.e.vs.21-48), -and explains it. Our Lord points out that, while Moses might simply
say, "No murder", He says, "No anger"; -Moses speaks of "No adultery", -but He
says, "No lustful LOOKING". And so it goes on. Moses speaks of some kind of
"selective loving"; -Christ speaks of LOVE FOR ALL, -sacrificial and unbounded (See
vs.43-48). It is in that sense that Christ "fulfilled the Law", -He brought it to its
"fullness". The Law only gave us a glimpse of Divine Righteousness; -now we are to
have a full view. And that will come to us through Christ; -through what He taught,
and through what He was.
We need to see that the single and simple purpose of the Mosaic Law was to
show us our sinnership (See Rom.3: 20; 5:20), and in that way, set the stage for the
Gospel of God's GRACE. Although elementary, it had sufficed for its own purpose, but
now it must be "filled out", -and Christ was here to do just that. He did not come to
destroy it, but to "fulfill" it. He would "fill it out", -He would bring it to its full stature.
We must add, here, that this, "filling out", or enlarging, of the LAW was itself
a great mercy from the Lord, for, while Heaven has everything to offer to convicted
sinners, it has nothing to offer to those who persist with their delusions that they
have some righteousness of their own. Some might foolishly think that they have
kept the ten commandments, but the fuller unfolding will surely convince them that
they need some other way, - the way of God's mercy and God's grace, -all about to
be revealed (See Eph.2: 8,9; Luke 14: 11). On all accounts, then, we must thank the
Saviour that He came NOT to destroy the law, BUT to fulfill it!
That brings us on, now, to the second key verse of our series, -again a
negative and a positive. We refer to John 3:17 where our lord said, "God sent not His
Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be
saved". The Lord is saying that He did NOT come to condemn, BUT to save.
Let us look at that negative statement first; -"not to condemn". There are
many who have grossly misinterpreted that statement, and made it imply that Christ
is somehow more lenient, and is able to disregard our sins, -and the righteous
judgement of them. That, of course, is FAR from the truth, as most of us will agree.
What the Lord was really saying was that He did not come to our world with
condemnation in His mind, -it was SALVATION that He had in view; -that was His
consuming passion. Moses and the Law were more than sufficient to condemn the
whole Adam race; -His was the positive task, SAL V A TION for those who were
already condemned. HE comes to lift us up again. All glory to His Name!
As for the positive side of John 3:17,- 0, how much could be said about that!
He came to save! 0, what oceans of happy Christian truth are found in that simple
word, "SA VE"! It is often said that Christ's salvation covers the past, the present,
and the future:- As for the past…He saves us from the PENALTY of sin (by bearing
that penalty for us, -1 Pet.2: 24; Isa.53: 5 etc.).
As for the present... He saves us from the POWER of sin (by working into us
our rightful share in His death and resurrection: -See Rom.6: 3-14).
As for the future... He will save us from the very PRESENCE of sin (by taking us
away, at His chosen time, to be with Him in Glory (John 14:2).
All that, of course, is true, and happy is the man who presses on into these
ever -deepening discoveries.
One thought we would like to add, relates to the original word used for
"saved" in John 3:17. That word is "SOZO" and it is also used in Acts 4 in relation to
the physical healing of an impotent man, and we are told he was "made whole"
(v.9), -shall we say "restored to 100% condition". Exactly the same word, "SOZO" is
translated "saved" in v.12, and there refers to spiritual salvation, -"we must be
saved". We can only conclude that spiritual salvation is also a "restoration to
normality", -a recovery of the divine plan for His human creatures. Thank God, we
can all be "made whole" in that sense also. Our Lord came to do just that, -not to
condemn but to "make whole". All praise to His Name!
The next statement we shall consider is found in Matt.20: 28, where our Lord
says -so beautifully, "The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to
minister", -in other words, He is here, not to be served, but TO SERVE. That is His
explanation to us that is why He came.
We notice, in the passage (v.20 onwards), the Lord had been drawn into a
discussion concerning His coming Kingdom, and He points out that in His Kingdom
there will be a big difference from all other kingdoms, -where the "top ones" are the
ones who hold the authority. In His Kingdom it will be the "low ones", or lowly ones,
who will be chief. It is at that point that He makes His statement that He Himself did
not come to be served, but TO SERVE.
Most of us will agree that this was something quite revolutiof1ary. Amongst
us, it is quite normal for any king to have, around him, a whole, retinue of courtiers
who are dedicated to the meeting of his needs, -providing him with every possible
comfort. Not so with the Great Son of Man. He is here to serve, -not to be served. He
is here to take the basin and the towel (See John 13:3-5) and wash the feet of His
ever-aspiring disciples. His Kingdom is, and will be, an entirely different Kingdom. It
will be "heavenly" -not "earthly". How slow we all are to learn that servant-hood is
the essence of real kingliness!
If we ask, -to what extent would He be prepred to serve us, -what will be
the limits? -the answer is supplied in the closing words of the same sentence, -to
serve, AND TO GIVE HIS LIFE A RANSOM FOR MANY" (Matt.20:28). In other words,
there are no limits! This Son of Man (Messiah) will pay the price for our sins; -He will
die for us ON CALVARY! 0, what a servant-hood is that, -Messiah dying for His rebel
creatures. What a revelation! And then will come the resurrection! Hallelujah!
Are we not right in saying that all this puts to shame our own mean thoughts
about "serving"? In the case of Christ it was to be a case of vicarious sacrifice, -the
Holy Lamb of God taking upon Himself, and "carrying away" the sins of the world
(John 1: 29). He was God's "Second Man" dying for the first man, -Adam and all
Adam's offspring. It was a great over- payment, but a payment just the same, -
willingly paid on our behalf. That, He says, is why He came, -that is the "service" He
will render. Bethlehem will lead on to Calvary, -Christ will die, "the Just for the
unjust, that He might bring US to God" (1 Pet.3: 18). That, He says, is why He
came. We say, surely, surely, there is no message like the Christian Gospel!
The question still remains, however, -"How can people like ourselves actually
receive the benefits of what Christ has done?" What will be THE WAY IN to all these
blessings? How are we to respond? Thank God, our Lord has made that plain also,
and, -in Luke 5:32, He shows us THE APPOINTED WAY. Again speaking of His coming
to Bethlehem, He says: "I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to
REPENTANCE". That, we may say, is WHY He came; -He is here to issue His call to
As to the so-called "righteous", He has nothing to say to them. If, in spite of
all they have heard, they still persist with their delusions that they have some
"righteousness" of their own, they must continue in their folly, -and to their doom.
They will hear no call from the Saviour. If, on the other hand, they will face up to the
truth, -sweet music will reach them, -the "music" of His voice, and the Gospel call.
It is interesting to note that, at the very commencement of His public
ministry, our Lord said, "Repent ye, and believe the Gospel (Mark 1: 15). As for the
word "repent", the original (METANEUO) signifies" a change of mind", or, "an
amendment in the seat of moral reflection" (W.E. Vine; - Gk. Dictionary). In our own
simple terms it just means a change in the direction in which we have been going; -a
genuine "about turn". For long, we have had our faces toward sin, and our backs
toward God; -now that whole attitude must go into reverse. As with those
Thessalonians believers of old, we must "turn to God from 'idols' to serve the Living
and True God" (1 Thess.1: 9). Or, as with that Prodigal Son, it must be "Backs to the
pigs, and faces toward HOME, - and to awaiting and patient father" (See Luke 15:14-
24). And how wonderful it is that God graciously HELPS us in that also! He" gives us
repentance" (Acts 11: 18), -and He "draws us to Himself" (John 6:44).
Let us all respond to those pleadings, and let us "believe" God's own glorious
Gospel. Christ has given His Life a Ransom for us; He is RISEN FROM THE DEAD, -
"alive for evermore" (Rev.1: 18). Let us make HIM our All. Christ came into the
world that we might do just that. May He, indeed, help us!
As we now bring our meditation to a close, there is just one more closelyrelated verse, which we would like to look into. Our Lord is again speaking about His
coming into the world, and giving HIS REASONS for that coming. And, once more, as
we shall see, His positive statement is immediately preceded by its corresponding
negative. We refer to John1 0: 10 where He says, "The thief cometh not, but for to
steal, and to kill, and to destroy: -I am come THAT THEY MIGHT HAVE LIFE, AND
THAT THEY MIGHT HAVE IT MORE ABUNDANTLY".
We suggest that this verse "over spans", or "binds together" those verses we
discussed previously, and it is the crown and glory of them all. He does not come to
rob or to kill, (we were, in fact, already dead! -see Eph. 2:1) He comes to GIVE US
LIFE, -LIFE ABUNDANT! 0, what a purpose was that; -to RAISE men from their
spiritual graves. What He did for Lazarus in a physical sense (See John 11, -the next
chapter!), He will do for us spiritually. We, too, have long been in our tombs (no true
contact with God, -out of touch with heavenly realities), but He will quicken us to Life
(Eph.2: 1). We shall live again! We shall be able to say "Abba; -Father", and
heavenly things will be to us the REAL things.
We notice that, when Lazarus "came forth", he was still "bound hand and foot
with grave - clothes" (v.44). But the great thing was that he was alive. And, very
soon, even those grave -clothes were "loosed from him", and he was "free indeed"
(John 8:36). Very soon (John12: 2) he had his place at the feast of thanksgiving,
and the whole house was filled with fragrance. Lazarus, and many others, had "seen
the Glory of God". All this, we say again, was why Christ came into our world (See
also John11: 40)"
Returning now to our key -verse, (John10:10), it is important to see that our
Lord's statement was made right at the center of His well known discourse on
"shepherding", in which He was emphasizing the vast difference between false
shepherds and true ones. There is no doubt that He had the "religious leaders" at
Jerusalem particularly in His view, -especially when we remember the tremendous
clash that is outlined in the preceding chapter, -John 9, -and which clearly flows on
into chapter ten. Christ is saying that it is those long -gowned "religionists" who were
the false shepherds; -they were the ones who were "stealing and killing and
destroying". He, on the other hand was here to GIVE life, and to give it more
abundantly. The others might be good at "taking",-He was hereto GIVE. He was no
thief, -nor would He ever be; -He was the Good Shepherd, -here to lay down His own
Life for the sheep (v .15). Indeed, as we now know. He had His plans to impart that
Life, -raised and glorified, into His trusting people, -thus forming that mystic but
mighty ORGANISM which we now know as His Church. Far be the thought that HE
would rob us of anything!
We do not hesitate to say that the mere suggestion that Christ robs His
people is an outrageous lie; -one of the most despicable deceptions ever devised in
hell. And yet, what multitudes have been duped by it! Right until today, there are
countless souls who hesitate to come to Christ for fear that He will rob them of
something. They continue to say, -"If I let Christ control my life, I shall lose so
much. I shall be stripped of the legitimate joys of life; -I shall lose my friends, and
my popularity, -and I shall even be worse off financially, because of those endless
'appeals' for this and for that". All this, of course, is a gross deception; -it is Satan's
lie. The true friends of Christ will heartily testify with Paul that "...godliness... is
GREAT GAIN" (1 Tim.6: 6).
It has been well said that "Christ only takes from us what He knows will
ultimately harm us, - or rob us of His best". From our own considerable experience,
we heartily endorse that. It is true!
We will do well to remember that the very lie we are discussing was the great
original lie, which Satan used when he first deceived Eve and Adam. Posing as Eve's
friend, he suggested that God must be robbing them of something by putting any
restrictions on the use of the trees of the garden of Eden (Gen.3: 1). Although our
parents were already surrounded by so many evidences of God's loving kindness and
gracious provision, Eve chose to believe the lie. She took of the forbidden fruit, - and
with what tragic consequences!
Should we not, then, ask God to deliver us from all those totally unfounded
fears about losing anything through yielding to Christ? And let us carefully avoid
those "false shepherds" to whom we earlier referred, and who, in a very deep sense,
are the real "robbers" of God's flock. How much better to place ourselves firmly in
the care of the Good Shepherd Himself, and know for ourselves that Life Abundant
which He gives, and which is so beautifully described in Psalm twenty -three. 0, may
the Dear Lord help us. Thank God, He came, -and gave us His reasons. All praise to
The Saviour Christ has come The Saviour Christ has come Our Blessed Lord from
Heaven God's own Beloved Son To seek and save the lost To pay sin's awful cost -
The Saviour Christ has come.
O praise the Lord He's come O praise the Lord He's come Down from the courts
above To manifest God's love la To meet my need He came All glory to His Name
The Saviour Christ has come.