Wednesday, December 9, 2015


What do you consider to be worst kind of evil or sin in our world?

Each one of us tends to grade sin through a set of moral lenses that are coloured by our world view or faith perspective.  Even those of us with a biblical world view who understand that we “are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God” would not consider ourselves as sinful as some of those really evil people out there!  You might say that our sin has a little ‘s’ as compared to others whose sin has a big ‘S’.

Yet, how does one grade sin before a righteous God who is completely without sin – big ‘S’ and small ‘s’?  Whatever scale we may use to rank our own righteousness only serves to expose the gap between sinful humanity and a holy God that cannot be measured or moved by our standards.

The unpopular truth is that our own self-righteousness does nothing to resolve the issue of sin in the world because it is the fallen nature of our humanity that is the source of the very thing we are trying to resolve.  No moral code, no government legislation, no humanistic values can deal with the issue of sin in the world.

The Apostle Paul addressed the issue of sin in his letter to the Roman church.  He teaches us through his letter two important truths that should reframe the way we view sin:

1.  The origin of sin came through the disobedience of one man bringing condemnation and death for all humankind.
2.   The cure for sin came through the obedience of one man bringing justification and life  for all humankind.

“Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people.  For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:18-19)

The curse of sin was broken through the gift of RIGHTEOUSNESS!

The good news and hope of Christmas is that this was not a one off gift for one time for a select group of people, but a gift that keeps on giving to all people for all time.

This gift of RIGHTEOUSNESS was given to Joseph not because of his righteousness, which would have led him to quietly divorce Mary as not to expose her to public disgrace (Matthew 1:19).  However, God’s righteousness required Joseph’s obedience:  “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a soon, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20-21).

This gift of RIGHTEOUSNESS was given to Mary not because of her righteousness, as she was a virgin pledged to be married but found to be pregnant (Luke 1:27).  However, God’s righteous found her to be highly favoured and also required her obedience:  “Do not be afraid Mary, you have found favour with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.  The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:30-33).

The gift of RIGHTEOUSNESS was granted to Joseph and Mary through the power of Holy Spirit who overshadowed their inadequacies and gifted them with the very presence of God through a son named Jesus Christ.

This same gift of RIGHTEOUSNESS continues to give today as His presence remains with us through the gift of HOLY SPIRIT.

Therefore, Paul’s message resonates with us today as clearly as when it was written:

“…how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!” (Romans 5:17)

The gift of RIGHTEOUSNESS is a gift of grace…
The gift of RIGHTEOUSNESS is a gift of life…
The gift of RIGHTEOUSNESS conquers the power of sin…

We are made righteous before a holy God because of the obedience of one man named Jesus Christ!  Will you receive and share this gift of Jesus who keeps on giving this Christmas?

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