There was a night nearly 2,000 years ago in which a little city south of Jerusalem became the scene of the greatest miracle in the history of the universe. Whatever unusual things have ever transpired, none of them can compare to the intersection of humanity and divinity which took place in that little town. What was that miracle? The answer is found in the statement of Matthew,
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” (Matt. 1:23)
The virgin birth of Christ was, of course, truly a miracle. The virgin birth, however, had hidden within it the true, even more amazing miracle, implicit in the word Immanuel. So important did God consider the meaning of the word Immanuel that He Himself described it in Scripture. Immanuel means God with us.
Yes, in the birth of Christ, there happened that great intersection between deity and humanity—as a consequence of which the world could never be the same again. God with us means that the Lord of heaven has conjoined Himself with humanity and has condescended to be a part of our low estate.
Never again, therefore, can any human being, whatever might be his condition, ever claim that God does not understand. Nor can he claim with the deists that God is a distant being who never touches man, works no miracles and sends no Savior. God in Christ joined the human race so that no man can ever again claim that God is the unknown and the unknowable.
For how long did God become man? Was the life of Jesus Christ simply a temporary sojourn into humanity? Following His earthly ministry, did Christ then disengage Himself and revert to a preincarnate condition? No, a thousand times no! Christ became man and is a man forever. He is even today the man in the glory. The everlasting commitment of Christ to humanity is one of the most moving facts of eternity.
There is a second and even more intimate relationship between God and man which grows out of His incarnation and then His death on the cross. In His incarnation, Christ is joined with humanity. However, in His death and resurrection, Christ offers to individual men the most astonishing gift imaginable, His very life within them. Of this the Apostle Paul speaks, calling it:
The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Col. 1:26-27)
Christ in you, the hope of glory! Who can conceive of such a thing? Here, the promise is that the eternal God comes actually and really to live within you, me and all of those who receive Christ as personal Savior. The personal presence of the indwelling Christ—what an amazing, wonderful relationship with God the Christian has.
Every day that we live we should remember this. This remembrance will keep us from sin (a needed admonition in these days) and will fill our lives with a sense of His glory. As the hymn writer said,
Oh! what a salvation this,
That Christ liveth in me.
In these days, we must also remind ourselves as Christians that God is not only with us, in us, but in addition, He is for us. Paul expresses his own astonishment at these things by saying,
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (Rom. 8:31-32)
Clearly then, the Christian has an incalculable advantage in this world in that he has God Himself on his side. Everything, therefore, that the Christian does is weighted in favor of victory, accomplishment and spiritual success! This because he has God working on his behalf. Many times the world may seem so strong, so inevitable, that we despair of seeing success in our feeble little efforts. It is a great mistake to think this way. Rather, because “God is for us,” we are the people whose plans are inevitable. One faithful Christian, with God on his side, is clearly in the majority.
In declaring that “God is for us,” the Bible then gives us the promise that contains all others. Because God “did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all,” it is now as nothing for God to “freely give us all things.” Yes, the riches from the treasure house of heaven are and will be ours. They constitute “an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away” (1 Pet. 1:4).
Yes, Christ is with us, in us, for us—which truth is a wonderful part of our present experience. Let us then remember also that Christ awaits us. Our present experience with Christ is “a foretaste of glory divine.” At the portals of heaven, He looks for our arrival. As we are faithful, He will administer an abundant “entrance . . . into (His) everlasting kingdom” (2 Pet. 1:11). Our translation from Earth to glory will bring to our astonished ears His wonderful, “Welcome home!”
We must not miss a final reminder. The Lord Jesus, who came the first time to save us from sin, will return to take us home to be with Himself. He promised His disciples and all of us who have subsequently believed,
I go to prepare a place for you. . . . I will come again and receive you to Myself. (John 14:2-3).
In this Christmas season, we thank God again because we have received the greatest of all gifts, the gift of Jesus Christ Himself. “I am His, and He is mine” is not tinsel, it is fact. The message that came from heaven that first Christmas morning is for us who know Christ—the gift that will last for all of eternity.
(Read Part 2)
Dr. Dave Breese (1926-2002) was an internationally known speaker, teacher and author. He founded the ministry of Christian Destiny in 1963, and through it proclaimed the gospel on weekly radio and television programs and in numerous books and booklets. In 1987, he also became the president and Bible teacher on The King Is Coming telecast, a role that he filled until his death in 2002. Other organizations that Dr. Breese served during his distinguished ministry career included Youth For Christ, Awana, Back to the Bible, National Religious Broadcasters and National Association of Evangelicals. A frequent conference speaker and a master at explaining the relevance of Bible prophecy, he was also known for his wisdom and wit. It is a great honor to include him as part of the inaugural class of Revived Classics authors for Dispensational Publishing House.
This article originally appeared in the December 2000 issue of Destiny Bulletin.
Copyright © 2000 Christian Destiny, Inc. All rights reserved.
The article is reprinted here by permission of Christian Destiny.
For more information regarding Christian Destiny, go to www.ChristianDestiny.org.
Other material copyright © 2016 Dispensational Publishing House, Inc.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
This article was first featured on December 12, 2016.
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