Advent Reading – December 5

Why Christmas Happened

You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. . . . The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

1 JOHN 3:5, 8

Two times in 1 John 3:1–10 we are told why Christmas hap- pened—that is, why the eternal, divine Son of God came into the world as human.

In verse 5, John says, “You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.” So the sinlessness of Christ is affirmed—“In him there is no sin.” And the reason for his coming is affirmed—“He appeared in order to take away sins.”

Then in the second part of verse 8, John says, “The rea- son the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” And the specific focus John has in mind when he says “works of the devil” is the sin that the Devil promotes. We see that in the first part of verse 8: “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning.” So the works of the Devil that Jesus came to destroy are the works of sin.

So two times John tells us that Christmas happened—the Son of God became human—to take away sin, or to destroy the works of the Devil, namely, sin. Jesus was born of a virgin by the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:18–20) and “increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52) and was perfectly obedient and sinless in all his life and ministry, all the way to the point of death, even death on a cross (Phil. 2:5–8; Heb. 4:15)—in order to destroy the works of the Devil—to take away sin.

Our sin. Make this personal and love him for it. Take the very personal words of the apostle Paul and make them your own. “The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). This is how he destroyed the works of the Devil and rescued us from our sin. Don’t leave Christmas in the abstract. Your sin. Your conflict with the Devil. Your victory. He came for this.

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This advent reading is from The Dawning of Indestructible Joy – Daily Readings for Advent by John Piper. You can download the entire book as a free PDF or purchase the Kindle or hard copy versions here: The Dawning of Indestructible Joy – Daily Readings for Advent

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Advent Reading – December 4

What Advent Is All About

Even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. – MARK 10:45

Christmas is about the coming of Christ into the world. It’s about the Son of God, who existed eternally with the Father as “the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature,” taking on human nature and becoming man (Heb. 1:3).

It’s about the virgin birth of a child conceived miraculously by the Holy Spirit so that he is the Son of God, not the way you and I are sons of God, but in an utterly unique way (Luke 1:35).

It’s about the coming of a man named Jesus in whom “the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Col. 2:9).

It’s about the coming of the “fullness of time” that had been prophesied by the prophets of old that a ruler would be born in Bethlehem (Mic. 5:2); and a child would be born called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6); and a Messiah, an anointed one, a shoot from the stem of Jesse, a Son of David, a King, would come (Isa. 11:1–4; Zech. 9:9).

And, according to Mark 10:45, Christmas is about the coming of the Son of Man who “came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” These words in Mark 10:45, as a brief expression of Christmas, are what I hope God will fix in your mind and heart this Advent.

Open your heart to receive the best present imaginable:

Jesus giving himself to die for you and to serve you all the rest of eternity. Receive this. Turn away from self-help and sin. Become like little children. Trust him. Trust him. Trust him with your life.

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This advent reading is from The Dawning of Indestructible Joy – Daily Readings for Advent by John Piper. You can download the entire book as a free PDF or purchase the Kindle or hard copy versions here: The Dawning of Indestructible Joy – Daily Readings for Advent