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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.”—Romans 3:22–24 (NLT)
Every year, we celebrate Christmas. It’s a time of joy and good tidings. We decorate a tree, string up lights, sing beautiful carols, and give wonderful gifts. And every year Christians like to remind everyone that “Jesus is the reason for the season.” But how often do we truly reflect on why He is the reason for the season? Why is there a season at all? Why did Jesus leave heaven to come to Earth?
The short answer is our sin. That’s right, the story of God’s perfect peace coming to us was set in motion by the very first act of disobedience, which brought sin into the world, which made all of us who descend from Adam and Eve sinners, and it’s this sinful nature—according to Romans 5:10—that makes us God’s enemies.
You see, God made us in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:27). We were the crowning jewel of His creation, made to know Him, love Him, and live with Him. We were meant to enjoy a perfect relationship in His presence forever as His beloved children, like Adam and Eve experienced. They walked with God, talked with God, and enjoyed His presence. But then it all went wrong . . . when the fall happened.
Adam and Eve allowed their pride and selfish impulses—their desire to be “like God”—to cloud their judgment. And because they allowed themselves to be deceived by the serpent, they, and all of us, fell from grace. In that moment, “sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12 NIV). The worst part is that the very thing they were seeking, to be like God, they already had. They bore His image and likeness, and His imprint was on their hearts and souls.
In Sin and Redemption, John Garnier states that, “Sin, thus produces alienation and enmity towards God, or, in other words, a moral separation between the sinner and God, which is spiritual death; and the contrary to this is to be quickened, or given life, i.e., to be reconciled to God.” The sin of Adam and Eve infected all of their children, every single person in human history. It caused a separation between us and a holy and perfect God.
In Romans 6:23 (NIV), Paul says, “For the wages of sin is death.” The sin in the Garden of Eden brought immediate spiritual death upon all humanity, and the final debt for one’s sin is the complete death that occurs upon physical death. Thus, in order to cover the debt of sin (which is death), something (or someone else) needed to die in place of the sinner. For this reason, the act of sacrifice became necessary in order to pay for the debt of sin. Why? Because the cost of our sin is death “and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22 NIV).
The first instance of this is seen directly after the fall. Genesis 3:21 (NLT) says, “And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.” But in order for God to cover Adam and Eve’s shame, the shedding of blood was required. But here’s the thing, “It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4 NIV). Only a perfect sacrifice from a perfect, eternal God could make peace between us and God possible. And this is what makes the Christmas story so powerful!
It's the moment God’s glorious plan became reality. How? “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” (John 3:16 NIV, emphasis added). Jesus paid the wages of our sins, once and for all, in order to give us the gift of God, which is “eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 NLT). Because of Jesus, we can glorify and enjoy God even more intimately than Adam and Eve ever could. We not only get to walk with God, but we also have the Spirit of God within us!
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.