The Anchor of Hope: December 2013

Isa 54:17b  This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

The latter part of verse 17 (seen above) comes at the end of a lengthy assurance of God’s
protection over His people. Thus, in this context “the heritage” of God’s servants is the promise of His protection. According to the Webster’s Dictionary, “heritage” is “a right, privilege, or possession to which one is entitled by birth.”

But we are sinners by birth. Alienated from God. Our only right or possession by birth is God’s wrath. Notice, however, the second clause in the quotation above. “Their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.” Our righteousness is from God. Any blessing that God’s people receive, they receive because of His righteousness being accounted to them. Thus we ask the question, if heritage comes as a right, privilege, or possession from birth; and if this heritage is due to God’s righteousness and not our own, then whose birth might we credit for our own heritage?

Jesus was born just over 2000 years ago. He came with a purpose – to live the righteous life we could not live and then to sacrifice Himself in our stead that we would not die eternally. By His sinless birth, He inherited His Father’s righteousness. By His sacrificial death, He was given a people as His inheritance. Through faith in Christ, we are born again (this time spiritually) and the righteousness of God through Christ is credited to our account. Our heritage becomes the promises of God to His people.

What does Christmas mean to you? Is it a time of giving and receiving gifts? A time for
gathering of family and friends? Enjoying the lights and decorations? Stuffing yourself with wonderful food? We experience all of those “traditions” at Christmas. But too many times we allow those things to distract from its real meaning. First and foremost, Christmas commemorates Christ’s birth.

His birth ultimately meant His people’s rebirth. Through Christ’s righteousness, we are entitled to the divine heritage of God’s good promises made to those of Christ’s spiritual lineage. Because of that Baby in the manger, you have been given life. Because of that Baby, you have the assurance of God’s protection and victory over sin, death, and all the forces of darkness. Celebrate His birth.

Merry Christmas everyone.

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