Worst news ever ...
I was reading my advent devotional this morning by Paul David Tripp, "Come, Let Us Adore Him". It started with the line...
"The baby in the manger came to tell us the worst news ever..."
You can imagine my surprise. I swallowed hard and wondered if I needed to throw this book out and stop recommending it. I held my breath and read the rest of the line...
"The baby in the manger came to tell us the worst news ever, because until we accept the worst news ever, we’ll never want the best news ever."
Now it makes sense.
The very fact that Jesus had to come reminds us of the bad news. The bad news that we are so stuck in our sin that we need a Savior. The great news, of course, is that He did come!
But can't we just talk about the fact that He came and focus on all the happy things surrounding this season? Is it ok to just talk about the positive things and not address our depravity? Can't we just pretend that we are all inherently born 'good'?
I can think of two devastating implications if we deceive ourselves into thinking we are good on our own:
1) If we are good by ourselves, we don't need a Savior. If we are born good, why do we need to be saved? Sure, others might, but us? Not if we are good. Christmas and the cross become pointless and the God-man Jesus Christ died for nothing, if we are good by ourselves. We don't need to live our lives in light of His grace if we don't think we need it.
2) If we are good by ourselves, we make ourselves God. Why would we need Truth from God? Why would we need Him as a source of right and wrong? If we are good and know right from wrong ourselves, we can just rely on ourselves and have no need for His Word.
Our culture has bought the lie that we are basically good people hook, line, and sinker. Have you noticed how we can publicly and conveniently avoid talking about our need for a Savior and declare ourselves (or common consensus) the sole source of right and wrong?
Paul David Tripp reminds us that we need a Savior: "Sure, you can run from a bad relationship, you can quit a bad job, you can move from a dangerous neighborhood, and you can leave a dysfunctional church, but you have no ability whatsoever to escape yourself. You and I simply have no ability to rescue ourselves from the greatest danger in our lives. This means that without the birth of Jesus, we are doomed to be destroyed by the danger that lurks inside us from the moment of our first breath."
This Christmas, let us bend the knee to the baby boy who came to save us from the worst news ever.
Thank God for our Savior.
We need One.
See you Sunday!
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