Jesus didn’t come just to save us from our sins. Our failure to grasp this is why most Christians struggle so much.
SPECIAL CHRISTMAS EDITION
Why Jesus Came
This Christmas season it seems appropriate to remind ourselves why Jesus came to earth in the first place. We know He came to seek and save the lost by dying for our sins (Luke 19:10). But He also came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8) and to bring us abundant life (John 10:10). Judging from the way most Christians live their lives, I’d say the devil is having his way and the “abundant life” is just a dream. Most Christians I know do more struggling than thriving, but why?
I think part of the answer lies in one of the works of the devil Jesus came to destroy. Satan is the father of lies and he has perfected the art of convincing God’s people to believe his lies. Here’s how he does it. God says that every human being on earth was not only born as a sinner, but is so wretched and useless that he (or she) is beyond hope of being fixed or made better. He must be replaced by something better so he can become a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). That “something better” is the life of the resurrected Christ.
Satan has convinced us that our old life was just fine and only needs some help from time to time. Since no one wants to believe he is wretched and hopeless, Satan’s lie sounds like great news. The result is that most Christians live their entire lives trying to improve something that is beyond hope. They live completely in the flesh, stopping from time to time to ask Jesus for some help. The truth is that we don’t need Jesus’ help. We need His life. If we would just acknowledge that we had to die with Christ (Gal. 2:20), we would know how essential it is to walk in the Spirit so Jesus could live out His abundant life through us.
Jesus has done His part. He destroyed sin’s power over believers at the cross, but we must acknowledge that we (the old us) died with Him so that Christ could become our life. Our problem is that we have bought into Satan’s lies and have refused to live in light of the truth-what has already been accomplished for us. If we’re living in the flesh, it’s no wonder we’re struggling so much. We keep striving to become something God has already made us to be.
When Jesus uttered the words “It is finished” just before He died, He meant more than we realize. He made us a finished work. There’s nothing in us to be fixed or improved. He meant that He had already blessed us with every blessing we could ever desire (Eph. 1:3). When we received Christ, we received everything we would ever need. It’s ours right now (2 Peter 1:3). We don’t need to ask God to bless us. He already has, more than we realize. When we stumble in our spiritual walk, it’s not because we’re insufficient in any way. Our problem is that we’re still learning to walk in light of the truth of who God has already made us to be.
This is the abundant life Jesus came to bring. He has accomplished His mission. If we’re constantly living “under the circumstances,” we’re acknowledging that Satan has also accomplished his. What a shame! If you’re ready to start living and bringing glory to God, stay tuned. In 2021 I’ll share from my recent spiritual journey how you can turn your life around and start living the abundant life. Christmas may be over, but this is a gift you can still give to yourself and your family.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Santa’s helpers are subordinate clauses.
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