A Week of Anticipation, Conclusion

Today I’m going to take you through the final sermon that was part of our Advent series at Cross Community Church: “The WHY of Advent,” which is rooted in John 3:16.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Genesis 3:6

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

At first glance, the WHY of Advent might seem to suggest that it was the sin of our first parents, who were living in paradise yet chose to rebel against the Word of God, that necessitated the coming of Christ.  Not so fast!  Sin had already entered the world prior to Adam and Eve’s act of cosmic treachery.

Isaiah 14:12-14

How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”

Luke 10:17-18

The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” [Jesus] replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”

Sin had reared its ugly head long before Adam and Eve were in existence.  Adam and Eve were the first human sinners, but not the first sinners.  There was a sinful creature waiting for them in the Garden of Eden . . . one who had descended into a wicked, depraved, and fallen condition before God placed the first two humans there.

Adam and Eve followed the voice of the Serpent (fallen angel) and responded to God in the very same way the fallen angel did.  They centered their entire existence on the same “I” that the fallen angel did.  Notice that the same “I” is lodged directly in the middle of both SIN and PRIDE!  The angel was filled with sinful pride . . . and so were Adam and Eve after listening to him in the Garden.

Take a look at the five “I WILLS” of the fallen angel, as recorded by the prophet Isaiah:

  • I WILL ascend to the heavens
  • I WILL raise my throne above the stars of God
  • I WILL sit enthroned on the mount of assembly
  • I WILL ascend above the tops of the clouds
  • I WILL make myself like the Most High

For Lucifer, it was not enough to be in the presence of God.  He wanted more than anything else to be in the position of God.  For Adam and Eve, it was not enough to be made in the image of God; they wanted to assume the position of God!  And all mankind has been vainly pursuing the same position ever since.

So if sin was already in this world, and God did not go after the first sinner—the fallen angel—there had to be something behind Adam’s sin that caused God to pursue the sinner.  And that, dear reader, was the special love God had for humanity.

God could have pursued the fallen angels . . . but He did not.  He chose instead to pursue fallen humanity.  God sent His precious Son because of His special love for those who were His special image-bearers.  This is the WHY of Advent, and this Gospel truth in all its glory makes it crystal clear that God’s love for us is unparalleled!

“I have loved you with an everlasting love,” the Lord says to His people; “I have drawn you with loving-kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3).

The love of God for you, expressed through Jesus Christ, is as measureless as it is fathomless.  It cannot be explained.  Paul declares that it “surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:19).  The best we can do is simply receive God’s love by faith and respond with a heart of adoring gratitude to the One who showers it upon us—not only daily, but moment by moment.

This is the Gospel.  This is grace for your race.  NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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