CHRISTMAS GRACE: THE INCARNATION AND THE GOSPEL.
How did Christmas save you? I thought it was the cross!?
Yes, of course what happened at the cross was vitally important, but if Jesus was simply going there separate from us, it would have resulted in religion.
Oh wait!! That is exactly what many people think. They weren't told that as a result of the incarnation, what Jesus did, he was doing for us us! Not in a separate sort of way, but as the Son of Man he represented all mankind. So whatever happened to him was happening for the whole of humanity!
So how do you know HOW you were saved by grace?
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. Eph. 2:4-7
The Greek for "made us alive with" is a single word, suzóopoieó and means "From sun and zoopoieo; to reanimate conjointly with (figuratively) -- quicken together with."
Then "raised us up with" is also a single Greek word, sunegeiró, meaning, "From sun and egeiro; to rouse (from death) in company with, i.e. (figuratively) to revivify (spirtually) in resemblance to -- raise up together, rise with."
And "seated us with him", is again one compound word, sugkathizó, "From sun and kathizo; to give (or take) a seat in company with -- (make) sit (down) together." This word is used in Luke 22:55, "And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them." They didn't sit together hundreds of years later. It happened at that moment. In the same way, using the same word, you sat down with Christ at the moment that HE DID! Not when you believed. Notice Peter afterward sat down with them and that is a different word altogether.
Each phrase in Greek denotes that the action happened at the exact same moment in conjunction with what happened with Christ. You died with him, you were buried with him, you were raised and seated with him. As the Son of Man he represented you in his INCARNATION.
Paul calls that HOW YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED BY GRACE!
Your role is simply to repent of dead works (trying to reach God by any human effort) and believe what he already finished. And according to Paul, even faith is a gift.
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