Guest column: God’s gift is eternal life
Wonderful? Marvelous? Glorious? What words could adequately describe the experience of yet another Christmas? Yes, Christmas; the celebration at his birth. Whose birth? God’s birth! God incarnate; the God-man! Yes, the God of the Bible, the one and only God who created all that exists, including creating and breathing life into man. Yes, the only and very God who walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden! The scriptures speak of him as the one “whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.”
But why? His own great love and nature compelled him to do so, for mankind had fallen into sin and was lost and separated from him. The result was that death came upon all men; not only physically but spiritually as well. For scripture says man became a living soul, and the soul that sins will die. Further, I says “there is non that sinneth not, no, not one.”
Thus, being/having a soul, we are all lost and without hope of living and escaping death. Perishing is where we find ourselves. Our situation: We cannot remove the stain of sin and thus perfect ourselves before God and his law. We cannot find him. He has to find us. Further, being temporal, physical beings we are unable to approach him, and, however earnest and pure in thought, plead our case to him. We do not have such standing before his holy, righteous and majestic throne. Simply put, we cannot go to him. Simply put again, he had to come to us! And that is what Christmas is all about.
He saw that mankind needed deliverance; hence, a savior, a redeemer. God delivered! And because of the babe in the manger, I and all others who accept him, can shout with the hymnal writer, who, in speaking to our physical deaths, says; “this robe of flesh I’ll drop and rise to seize the everlasting prize!”
God’s gift is eternal life; never to die. Death has been swallowed up on victory! Run to Jesus and live.
The Rev. Jess Shifflett, of Front Royal, is an ordained Southern Baptist minister and member of the Rileyville Baptist Church in Page County.