Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Babe of Bethlehem and the Babes of the Bakoum: Jesus Became a Man to Sanctify Man

As we meditate on the incarnation of Jesus Christ this Christmas, it is good to remember all that he came to accomplish in his life, death, resurrection, and ascension 2,000 years ago. For many, remembering Jesus' humble birth in a barn is an awkward thing to do because they haven't done so since last Christmas. For others, it's a joyful time of refreshing reflection as we remember that the immortal God put on mortal flesh so that by his death he could save all who would believe in him from the penalty and power of sin. And that's a glorious, worship-inspiring, God-glorifying thing to do.

More Than Just Justified
But how often do we stop to remember that Jesus came to the earth not only to secure our justification, but also our santification? Do we remember that the effects of the incarnation had a worldwide (not to mention cosmological) scope? Sure, you may know that the gospel will reach every tribe and tongue. But have you ever considered the glorious truth that the babe born in Bethlehem came to make mature the spiritual babes among the nations that he bought by his blood? 

He Comes to Make His Blessings Flow Far as the Curse is Found
Jesus Christ came so that Americans, Africans, and Asians could be empowered by his Spirit to strive after the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. He has already purchased the sanctification of the Bakoum church, which is currently full of false doctrine, alcoholism, and syncretism, with the price of his precious blood. As you think on the glories of the coming of Christ this Christmas, remember that he came to make his name great and purify his church over all the earth. And then purpose in your heart to not let the Bakoum church remain full of spiritual babes. Purpose to pray and to give sacrificially in partnership with me, so that I can stand in the gap between you and them, and teach them the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, that the earth may be filled with this knowledge as the waters cover the sea (Hab 2:14). The babe of Bethlehem grew into a man, shed his blood, and rose again in order to sanctify you, me, and the Bakoum people. It will be done, and the only question is what part you will play. What can you do, what can you give to be a part of their sanctification? 

This Christmas, don't stop at just remembering that Jesus was born in a manger in order to save you; remember the fullness of the work of the God-Man. Remember that he saves and sanctifies people from every tribe and tongue. And remember that he calls us all orient our lives around his promise to complete what was begun the night Mary gave birth in a feeding trough.

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