Sunday, November 27, 2011

The First Sunday of Advent

"The Christmas message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity—hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory—because at the Father's will Jesus Christ became poor and was born in a stable so that thirty years later He might hang on a cross." ~ J. I. Packer, Knowing God

Today is the first Sunday of the Advent season. The season begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. Advent tradition has its roots deep in Christian history that can be traced as far back as the 6th century AD with certainty (possibly as far back as the 4th with some question). It is marked with anticipation and preparation for the celebration of the birth of the Messiah. It is anticipation and preparation for the celebration of the coming of "hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory" that came with Christ.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
~ Isaiah 9:6-7
We are entering a time where we celebrate the coming of the Messiah who did establish and uphold His kingdom "with justice and righteousness." The justice was God's wrath poured out on Christ on our behalf. The righteousness is Christ's righteousness that is imputed to us by grace through faith. Both come from God and both are necessary so that "He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." (Romans 3:26)

By His Grace,

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