December 22, 2015
THE GEORGIA CHRISTMAS DEVOTIONAL - 22 December 2015
Was the baby Jesus born to the virgin Mary in the town of Bethlehem nearly 2,000 years ago a mere man? According to the Bible, that Jesus was more than a mere man. He was, indeed, very man, but He was also God of very God (i.e. true God of true) as the Nicene Creed emphasized. When He assumed human flesh and a human nature, He did not become any less God, nor was He any less than true God. As adopted initially at the First Council of Nicaea, AD 325, the Nicene Creed confesses:
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.
Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.
And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
The Old Testament prophets predicted the coming of the Savior. In select passages of their inspired writings, they revealed what is the called the “deity,” or “God-nature,” of the Messiah. For instance, David, in Psalm 2:7, wrote that Jesus is God’s only begotten Son. Isaiah 9:6 declares the Messiah’s title to be “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father (e.g. “One who is eternally a Father with respect to His people”; “He acts toward them like a Father”), Prince of Peace.”
The prophet Micah (5:2) wrote, “His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.” None but the Lord God Himself could rightfully claim such titles. Jeremiah 23:6 proclaimed that the Messiah is “The Lord our Righteousness.” Clearly, the Old Testament writers foresaw that the Promised One would be more than merely a mortal man.
Jesus, the Prophesied One, became a true man — yet without sin — while always being true God. He would be able to accomplish the plan of redemption. He would be able to experience manhood entirely while accomplishing his work of redemption. As we contemplate biblical passages and Bible doctrine, it should be evident that the Child of Christmas was very much a newborn baby who would mature as a true man. He is the Promised One who would “bruise the head” of Satan at his first coming, and destroy the devil’s influence upon the earth at his second coming. He is the Anointed One of God who has been identified as the most unique person in the history of the world.
He is the prophesied Lamb of God who was born to die on the cross at Calvary, as a sinless substitute for depraved humanity, and thereby pay the price and remove the consequences of sin. He is the death-conquering Savior who rose literally from the dead and conquered sin and death once-for-all time, so that those who have been redeemed may be free from the slavery that sin and death maintain in this world. He is the Prince of Peace who will bring internal peace to those He has saved, and external peace when He returns a second time to establish his earthly reign on his father David’s throne.
He is God the Son who loved the world so much that He would lay aside the eternal glory and majesty that attended Him in heaven, to become a man, a servant, who would give his life to death in obedience to his Father’s will, so that those who believe in Him would receive his life for eternity. He is the Child born to die. The three words, “born to die,” state simply and clearly that our Lord Jesus Christ laid aside his glory, majesty, and rights as God Almighty and took upon Himself the nature of a man. The Child of Christmas became a man, who gave His life so by grace through faith in his work alone, we may live with Him in the fullness of his glory for eternity. MERRY CHRISTMAS, indeed!!
God's Grace and Peace to You,
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia