Long Lay the World in Sin and Error Pining

12.4.22 Devo Image

“Then the eyes of both of them were opened . . .”—Genesis 3:7 (NIV)

Every year, we celebrate Christmas. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, a time of joy and good tidings. We decorate a tree, string up lights, sing carols like “O Holy Night,” give gifts, and remind people that “Jesus is the reason for the season.” But have you ever stopped and asked why He’s the reason for the season? Or even deeper, why is there a season at all? 

Why did Jesus have to come? The short answer? Sin. 

What is sin? Well, the word used by Jesus for sin is hamartiōn, which means “missing the target; self-empowered wrong; fault, failure (in an ethical sense); action that brings about legal and moral guilt.” 

And now for the long answer: In Genesis 1, we read about the creation of the universe and how the crowning jewel of this creation was mankind. Why? Genesis 1:27 (NIV) says, “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them.” That means every single one of us—no matter who we are, where we’re from, what we look like, or what we’ve done—all have infinite and immutable (something that can never be taken away) value as image bearers of God. 

We were made by God and for God, to know Him, have relationship with Him, and be with Him forever! The first two people, Adam and Eve, got to experience this. 

Did you know Adam and Eve got to walk with God, talk with God, and enjoy perfect relationship with Him? They also got to live their purpose and enjoy a perfect paradise God made for them. But then it all went wrong . . .  

Genesis 3 tells us that Adam and Eve were tempted and turned away from God. They allowed their pride and selfishness, their desire to be “like” God, to cloud their judgment. We call this “the fall.” In that moment, the Bible says, “sin entered the world . . . and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people” (Romans 5:12 NIV). Romans 3:23 (NLT) tells us, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard,” while Romans 6:23 (NIV) outlines why this is such a problem: “For the wages of sin is death.”

The worst part is the very thing they were seeking, to be like God, they already had. Remember? They were perfect and made in His image; His imprint was on their hearts and souls. But because of their sin, all humanity was infected. Sin caused a separation between us and a holy God. Every child born since then has been born spiritually dead, separated from God—except for One. 

Basically, sin brought death and we were helpless to save ourselves from it. We needed divine intervention. Christmas is about the moment God intervened. How? Well, as the song “O Holy Night” says, “Long lay the world in sin and error pining, ‘til He appeared.” 

John 3:16 (NIV) tells us “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.” 

Earlier, we read Romans 3:23 (NLT), which gave us the bad news that “everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” But the next verse shares the good news: “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.” 

Because of Jesus, we can have our sins forgiven and be restored to right relationship with God. And not only that, not only do we get to walk in right relationship with God, but we also get the amazing gift of the Spirit of God within us filling us with the light of eternal life and guiding us every single day! 

Pause: What makes the coming of Jesus such a special gift?

Practice: Thank God today for His forgiveness through Jesus! Ask God if there’s anyone you need to ask forgiveness from or need to forgive.

Pray: Dear God, thank You for the forgiveness of sin that is available through Jesus. I know I’m not perfect like You. I know I’m a sinner and I don’t deserve to stand before You, and yet You have made a way! I praise and honor You for who You are and all You’ve done. And I ask You to help me to live for You, to flee from sin and temptation so I may not only enjoy closeness with You, but also help others come to know You. Amen.

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at 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.