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
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
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
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 PREACHING OF THE CROSS -4
Apostle Paul says in Gal. 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live: yet not I, but Christ liveth
in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and
gave himself for me". We have to give complete charge of our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ. That is the
purpose of having morning quiet time. His life should control us the whole day.
Thirdly, the Lord Jesus Christ died that we may die to the world. "But God forbid that I should glory,
save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world"
(Gal.6: 14). Not only should we be delivered from our sinful nature but also be delivered from worldly
attractions, such as honour, fame, fashions, glitter and glory of the world. We are easily attracted by
earthly glory, but the Lord Jesus Christ put an end to all these by His death. We must not imitate worldly
people in our conversation, deeds, dress and manners. "For our conversation is in heaven" (Phil.3: 20).
We see many believers imitating worldly people in dress, hairstyle etc. All these show that they are;
living in darkness, If we follow worldly people In conversation, dress, music etc, we become spiritually
weak. We- must die to all the things of the world. It is only possible by the power of the cross of our lord
Jesus Christ. Whenever a temptation comes to you to imitate worldly people, pray, "Lord, have mercy
upon me; I am tempted to follow the world in my ways and dress. Please help me to follow Your; ways".
We have to live as pilgrims and strangers in this world, as God's peculiar people. "But ye are a chosen
generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of
him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: Which in time past were not a people,
but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy. but now have obtained mercy" (1 Pet.2:9,
10). It should be seen in our dress, conversation, ways. and everything else that we are really a heavenly
people. But sad to say. Many believers become worldly. That is why they are dry spiritually; they have
knowledge but no power Only by a deep work of the cross, can one be delivered from these attractions.
See for instance, Joseph was the most wealthy man in the whole of Egypt. He was next to Pharaoh. But
he was never deceived by the glory of Egypt. Before he died he said to his people, "Carry up my bones
from hence" (Gen.50: 25; Exo..13:19; Josh.24: 32). If you go to Palestine, even today you can see Jacob's
well, and Joseph's tomb side by side. Even though his brothers deceived him because of jealousy, he felt
more one with them than with the Egyptians. He identified himself with Abraham and his people but not
with the people of Egypt. This is possible only by the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. We should not be
deceived by worldly methods, worldly fame, worldly glory, worldly honour, and worldly ways. It is a
great temptation in the West. But the working of the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ can deliver us from all
these and we can enjoy the things, which are kept for us in heaven.
Thus, the power of the cross of the Lord Jesus works in a threefold manner, First of all, the Lord Jesus
died in our stead that our sins may be forgiven. Secondly, He died that we may also die to our old sinful
nature and live as new people, for the new nature only will qualify us for Heaven. Thirdly, He died that
we may die to the world, that is, we may be delivered from worldly attractions and live as pilgrims and
strangers in this world.
May the Lord give us all a full experience of this power of the cross of the "Lord Jesus Christ.