More on Celebrating Christmas

Awake, mankind! For your sake God has become man. Awake, you who sleep, rise up from the dead, and Christ will enlighten you. I tell you again: for your sake, God became man.

You would have suffered eternal death, had he not been born in time. Never would you have been freed from sinful flesh, had he not taken on himself the likeness of sinful flesh. You would have suffered everlasting unhappiness, had it not been for this mercy. You would never have returned to life, had he not shared your death. You would have been lost if he had not hastened ‘to your aid. You would have perished, had he not come.

Let us then joyfully celebrate the coming of our salvation and redemption. Let us celebrate the festive day on which he who is the great and eternal day came from the great and endless day of eternity into our own short day of time.

He has become our justice, our sanctification, our redemption, so that, as it is written: Let him who glories glory in the Lord.

Truth, then, has arisen from the earth: Christ who said, I am the Truth, was born of the Virgin. And justice looked down from heaven: because believing in this new-born child, man is justified not by himself but by God.

Truth has arisen from the earth: because the Word was made flesh. And justice looked down from heaven: because every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.

Truth has arisen from the earth: flesh from Mary. And justice looked down from heaven: for man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven.

Justified by faith, let us be at peace with God: for justice and peace have embraced one another. Through our Lord Jesus Christ: for Truth has arisen from the earth. Through whom we have access to that grace in which we stand, and our boast is in our hope of God’s glory. He does not say: “of our glory”, but of God’s glory: for justice has not come out of us but has looked down from heaven. Therefore he who glories, let him glory, not in himself, but in the Lord.

For this reason, when our Lord was born of the Virgin, the message of the angelic voices was: Glory to God in the highest, and peace to men of good will.

For how could there be peace on earth unless Truth has arisen from the earth, that is, unless Christ were born of our flesh? And he is our peace who made the two into one: that we might be men of good will, sweetly linked by the bond of unity.

Let us then rejoice in this grace, so that our glorying may bear witness to our good conscience by which we glory, not in ourselves, but in the Lord. That is why Scripture says: He is my glory, the one who lifts up my head. For what greater grace could God have made to dawn on us than to make his only Son become the son of man, so that a son of man might in his turn become son of God?

Ask if this were merited; ask for its reason, for its justification, and see whether you will find any other answer but sheer grace.

Excerpt from a sermon by Augustine on the mystery of the Incarnation.

Understanding Redemption (Kenneth Copeland)

God is able to establish us in the faith according to the plan of redemption which had been hidden over the ages. After the Fall in the Garden of Eden, God spoke and outlined that plan. What He laid down put Satan out of business completely. Praise God! He has commanded that the plan of redemption be revealed to His people by His Word. This outline will help you, step by step, understand the reality of it and prevent Satan from lording over you. 

1. The Plan of Redemption Called for an Incarnation (The Union of Divinity With
     Humanity in Jesus Christ)
 
Man was the key figure in the Fall. Therefore, it took a man, Jesus, to be the key figure in the redemption of man. When we were born into this world, ruled by Satan, we did not naturally know God. Therefore, the objective of the incarnation is that men may be given the right to become children of God by receiving the nature of God (John 1:12-13; II Peter 1:3-4).
 
2. Redemption Comes From Knowledge
 
God’s divine power has already provided everything that pertains to life and godliness. You can escape from the corruption in the world and partake of the divine nature of God. And you can have peace and grace multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord (II Peter 1:1-4). It’s there for you!
 
But this revelation knowledge is not sense knowledge – doctrine, philosophies and creeds – it is the reality and full truth of the Word of God revealed by the Holy Spirit (James 3:13-18). Revelation knowledge is literally knowledge brought to you by revelation!
 
3. Satan’s Lordship Has Been Broken
 
Revelation 12:11 tells us that the believers overcame Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, or confession. Confession brings possession. Boldly confess, “I am an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of my testimony. I am redeemed from the lordship of Satan. I can stop his assignments every time” (II Corinthians 10:4; James 4:7). Satan is not the head of the Church. Jesus is the Head of the Church (Ephesians 4:15-16, 5:23; Colossians 1:18, 2:10). Satan has no rule over you. Hallelujah!
 
4. You Are Bought With a Price
 
I Corinthians 6:19-20 tells us we are the temple of the Holy Spirit which is received from God. This means that we don’t own ourselves. We were bought with the price paid through the plan of redemption. Because of that, we should glorify God in our bodies and spirits.
 
5. God’s Response 

When you begin to take your place and assume your rights and privileges in Christ, then God begins to respond to you. The Word gives us our inheritance (Acts 20:32; Colossians 1:12). As you study the scriptures in this outline, our prayer is that you come to the full knowledge of who you are in Christ, especially in light of the redemption plan. God will bless you! Amen!