Almighty God has given us His inerrant and precious word, the “sword of the Spirit”. Believers are commanded to take it, and use it, to combat the lies and deceit of the devil. How? Christians can wield God’s trustworthy word against temptation, against unbelief, and against the false doctrine which has gone unchecked in the church.
2 Corinthians 8:9
In the midst of a practical section, concerning financial giving, is nestled what has rightly been called a ‘Christological Gem’ — “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Cor 8:9).
Christ became poor in His incarnation, a glorious and profound act of grace which should cause Christians to worship, and motivate them show grace to others.
If the title of this sermon shocks you, it should. In preparation for Christmas we consider the ‘theology of Christmas’ — elsewhere in God’s Word we are told the historical facts of the first ever Christmas, and the purpose of Christ’s first coming. In this beautiful passage we the attitude Christ displayed in His coming.
This glorious passage was not written to fill books with theology about the nature of Christ. It was written so that we might worship Christ vigorously and wholeheartedly, and specifically so that you and I might have the same selfless and humble attitude as Jesus.
The Christian life is a violent war – as believers we are assaulted by the devil and his spiritual forces. The devil is against you and will do all that he can to stop you living God’s way. It was well said by the English pastor, Charles Simeon, “A man armed with a helmet, feels himself ready for battle: he fears not to meet his adversary, because he has defense which, he trusts, will prove sufficient for his preservation. Thus a man with a hope of salvation enters into the combat with holy confidence. He is not intimidated by the frowns of an ungodly world because he knows in whom ‘he has believed, and that God is able to keep that which is committed to Him.’”
Simeon said that such a hope of salvation prepares a saint for the fight, sustains him when the battle is fierce, and brings him victorious through his conflicts.
1 Peter 1:1-5