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Welcome to the Pastor's Desk of
Senior Pastor Frank Douglas


God’s Expression of Grace at Christmas

(Matthew 1:1 - 2:23)

In the Christmas narrative, we find the demonstration of God’s grace expressed to a varying group of undeserving people.  From genealogy, Matthew deliberately highlights how God’s expression of grace weaves a web throughout the lives of humanity over the course of human history.  Let us observe these Biblical truths from the passage. 

1.       God’s Expression of Grace to the Marginalized (Matt. 1:2-6)

The mention of women of dubious reputation in Jesus’ genealogy, embraces the entire history of humanity.  Matthew focuses on God’s grace. In the Christmas narrative, the Gospel writers collectively accentuate the Biblical truth; God’s grace is expressed to the marginalized.  God chooses to include the marginalized such as women; the poor peasants; a pregnant teenage girl; untrustworthy shepherds and a helpless infant child to demonstrate His grace extends to all, regardless of their social status.  God’s expression of grace to the marginalized shows us that He elects to save people without regard for gender or reputation.  The Gospel is for sinners.  God’s grace frees people from the bondage of sin.

2.       God’s Expression of Grace to Humanity (Matt. 1:22-23)

God’s expression of grace to humanity is the overarching theme of the Bible.  In verse 23, “Immanuel” is only found here and is the transliteration of the Hebrew word meaning God with us.  “Immanuel” expresses the embodiment of God in Jesus Christ.  Jesus as God incarnate comes where we are, regardless of our sinful state.  The Gospel gives us the enduring promise that Jesus will be with His people to the end of the age (Matt. 28:20).  God is indeed with us.  The Bible deliberately emphasizes the theology of the virgin birth of Jesus.  Regardless of the sensitivity of the predicament Mary, the pregnant teenage girl is in, the Bible stresses the theology of the virgin birth.  Why? The essential nature of the virgin birth is of great significance to Christian Believers and their faith.  The veracity of the virgin birth supersedes the prejudicial perceptions a person may utter against this seminal truth of the Christian faith.  The simple truth is that Jesus came by virgin birth.  The corruption of sin through human seed did not stain His divinity.  Jesus did not have a sin nature.  Therefore, He could not sin.  Hence, Jesus was the epitome of God’s expression of grace to humanity.

Having briefly explored these two Biblical truths let me ask the question:  What should the Christmas narrative mean to me?  I strongly recommend we take away the following lesson from the passage:  God’s expression of grace in the Christmas narrative is indicative of the cogent truth that He extends grace to all peoples, through Jesus Christ, His Son. 

Grace is not only God’s unmerited favour.  Grace is God’s continued endowment to empower us to live in a viable relationship with Him, through His Son Jesus Christ.  So, we do not worry about losing our salvation because God’s expression of grace sustains us.  The Bible is clear that salvation comes in no other name but that of Jesus.  During the celebration of Christmas, we have tremendous opportunities to express God’s love to all peoples.  The message of Christmas is a simple one.  God’s grace abounds more significantly than human sins.  For those who have accepted God’s grace through faith, we know that God’s expression of grace has been extended to all humanity.  We have a responsibility to share our faith.

If you have never accepted God’s grace through faith in salvation, the Bible tells us that we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8).  Salvation is mutually inclusive of repentance.  The Bible asserts:  "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Act 2:38, NKJV). 

As we are in the season of Advent I pray that you and your family are reflecting on the grace, peace, joy and hope which Jesus offers.  Let me remind us that, God’s expression of grace in the Christmas narrative is indicative of the cogent truth that He extends grace to all peoples, through Jesus Christ, His Son.  Will share this good news – the Gospel to all peoples                                                                                           


Frank Douglas
Lead Pastor
North Park Worship Centre

 



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