“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” (John 3:18)
If you were standing in a full-on burning building and the fireman who had intimate knowledge of the property and situation was directing you to the one, single way out, my hope is that you would be willing to follow the one who has come to rescue you and bring you to safety.
Whether you want to believe it or not, this world is on fire… but there is a way out.
“For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:16-18)
Because we are all sinners and fall short of God’s glory (Rom. 3:23), we are condemned to eternal punishment and separation from God from the start. While this sounds like a really unfair and cruel way for God to position us within this world, the fact of the matter is that our own sin and the sin of humankind got us here… but He has given us a way out. (more…)
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
Jesus is the Word, and the Word is God. While remaining fully God, He also became fully human at the same time. Through this His glory would be known, and all who receive Him and believe in His name would have the right to become children of God. (more…)
“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” (Luke 2:1-7)
The story of Jesus birth was anything but the grand welcoming of a king. Matter of fact, his birth story was littered with hardships and inconveniences more fit for a slave than royalty. (more…)