In part one I mentioned that “Immanuel, God with us” meant that Jesus’ birth marked the long anticipated glory invasion of God coming in flesh to live among us. And that God is not only with us but He is also for us. He’s on our side.
But as wonderful as this is, God not only came to be with us, He also came so He could live in us. And even more wonderful that this, we can now live in God. This is truly glorious!
And if we don’t get this, we won’t truly understand the full wonder of the Christmas story.
You see, everything I mentioned in part one is not the main purpose for Christ coming to us. These things, as wonderful as they are, are only a means to a much greater end.
Jesus didn’t come so that He could defend us and enhance our lives as much as He came so that we could live His life. The Father circumcised our old self on the cross and put us in Christ, so that wherever He is, we are!
Imagine what would it would be like if we actually believed this!
This was the Father’s plan all along, from before the foundation of the world, that our lives would be “in Christ” as His holy and faultless sons and daughters.
Listen to how Paul begins his letter to the Ephesians…
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. 4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. (Eph.1:3-5 NLT)
Predestined for Him
You see, what Paul is saying is that your adoption into the Father’s family, your union with Christ, was in the Father’s mind and heart before the world began. He predestined mankind to live with Him forever.
And no matter what you’ve been told, predestination does not mean that He picks some and rejects others. NO! Frankly, that’s a lie from the pit of hell.
The Bible is clear…Jesus was born, lived, died, and rose again…for everyone (1 John 2:2) This offer is to anyone who will respond to His free gift.
It means…the Father wanted you to be His and live in Him. This is your destiny, should you choose to accept it.
This is biblical predestination. The other is nothing more than fatalism, which is closer to Hinduism than Christianity.
From before the beginning of everything, your heavenly Father’s plan and purpose for you was that you would be with Him and be home in Him.
And as Paul emphatically states, “This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.”
And it gave Him great pleasure. This is the heart of your Father. He’s not an angry god who has to be appeased. No, it gives Him great pleasure to fit you and fashion you for life with Him.
But love can only truly exist between free persons. For love that is not freely given and freely accepted is not love. So this Father–who IS Love and the fountainhead of everything good–gave you free will to choose or reject His overture.
We are made holy and faultless
Here’s what all this means. This is why Jesus came. For His atonement was the way that the Father could have us back to Himself. You and I could be fashioned and shaped, made holy and faultless.
Why did He shape us this way? To make us a suitable being for life with Him!
You need to understand something here. “Holy and faultless” is not a behavior. You don’t become holy and faultless by not sinning anymore. (Please get off that treadmill!)
Holy and faultless is a state of being. It’s who you are in Christ; what you’ve been shaped into by receiving Him. Holy and faultless is the new creation.
Holy means “set apart, conditioned.” We’ve been set apart and conditioned to be His and to enter into the “fullness of joy” found in this relationship in the Trinity.
So that we could enter into Holy communion in the Trinity
This was the Father’s desire all along, that we would enter into the holy communion of the Trinity, what the Father, Son and Spirit have had for eternity. This is what eternal life is–entering into God’s very life.
So, by being placed in Christ, we could be made suitable in order that we might live in “heavenly places” while on the earth, like Jesus did (John 3:13), and join in the fellowship that the Father has had with the Son from eternity.
This is eternal life (John 17:3), the holy communion (2 Cor.13:14). We were predestined to be in union with Father in Christ. That we would be one as they are one (John 17:21). It’s entering into His life, and we access it by faith (Rom.5:2).
Would you open your heart to this wonderful reality and make this the most glorious Christmas of all? Because, like the gifts under your tree, you must receive it, accept it, before you can enjoy what has given your heavenly Father great pleasure to give you, what He has desired for you all along.