The gift Jesus gave us through His death on the cross means you and I can find forgiveness of our sins and one day spend eternity in Heaven. But being a Christian is more than just saying a prayer and receiving salvation. This Christian life is a journey. There’s the starting point… that point of justification when we put our faith in Jesus and nothing else and God declares us righteous… literally just as if we’d never sinned. What an incredible reality!
But God didn’t intend this point of justification to be the end… To God, it’s just the beginning. After justification, we live out our salvation day by day… He wants us to grow in obedience to Him… grow to look more and more like His Son, Jesus.
This part of the journey… the part between justification and being with Him in Heaven… this is called sanctification. And the reality is we have to rely on His grace and power as much for our day to day Christian life as we did for the moment He forgave us of our sins. Just like we could never earn forgiveness on our own, we can’t work out the process of growing to be more like Jesus… growing in holiness… without the grace and power He gives us.
How amazing is it that we don’t have to earn anything or try harder to do this on our own?!? The message God gives in His Word is clear… the pressure is off… we don’t have to keep trying to figure this Christian life on our own. We see it in the life of Jesus as we read God’s word… we are meant to live this Christian life by God’s grace and His power alone… and nothing else.
For centuries, animals had been offered up as sacrifices for the sins of men and women. The blood from the innocent animal was to be shed to cover the sins of mankind.
That first man and woman needed nothing… every possible need was met by their perfect Creator. There, in the Garden of Eden, it was God and mankind existing in complete unity.
As we move through these Christmas devotions over the next few weeks, let us ready our hearts and come together on Christmas Eve to worship this Jesus, this Savior.