Just finished watching a program titled “In Search of Christmas”. It was certainly an interesting look at the history of the birth of Christ. It contained the usual attempt to provide a balanced look at the events as interpreted by skeptics and supporters and in reality did a pretty good job.
One thing I found intriguing was the viewpoint of several of the learned scholars and experts regarding the purpose or result of the coming of Christ, even those who profess to be Christians. Most interpreted the purpose and the desired result of the coming of Christ in light of the impact it has on how we live with each other. One after another they spoke of how the life and message of Christ was about teaching us to treat one another better and defining what humanity really should be; teaching us how to live in peace with one another.
I certainly cannot, nor do I desire to, deny that Christ’s message spoke of and showed us a better way to live with our fellow man. But was this the sum of His message? Was it the ultimate purpose of His coming? To believe so dilutes who He is and what He accomplished.
Christ is the Son of God. He is God. We are the creation of God and through sin had become separated from God. We had become his enemies (Romans 5:10 says “For if, when we were God’s enemies…”). God desired to reconcile us to Him; to no longer be separated, but to be at peace with him. To again be the children of God. This is what was ultimately accomplished through the coming of Christ; not a “can’t we all get along” message to be nice to your fellow man. Being made children of God, being forgiven and renewed, will certainly carry with it expectations of conduct in regard to how we live with each other, but it is the product of what Jesus came for (to save us from our sin and give us eternal life) not the purpose.
How did we get to the point where our learned scholars, along with so many of us, believe the ultimate purpose of Christ’s coming was to teach us how to live together as humans? Do we resist the idea that we are enemies of God, sinners in need of grace? Do we so not want to face the fact that without the sacrifice of Christ at the crucifixion we will remain as enemies, as sinners separated from God? Are we so resistant to the message that we cannot save ourselves from this plight? That we cannot merely listen to and try our best to conform to and live by some code of conduct taught by Jesus and thus find ourselves ‘okay’?
Nay, without faith in the grace of God as provided by the sacrifice of Christ and our belief in His resurrection, and our need for this provision, we cannot see God. It is not, nor will it ever be, enough for us to conform to a standard of living. We must acknowledge the state of our soul and seek the forgiveness of Christ and accept His gift of life for us. Then we shall be the children of God, and not a moment sooner. Then we can live this standard of living in sincerity and truly we will impact how we live with our fellow man.