As we celebrate the birth of Christ, I want to do a study on why Jesus, the only begotten was/is needed in the world and why Jesus was given to the world by the Father. I have taught and discussed this subject before with quite a few people over the years as it becomes a discussion about the law of God that was given through Moses. Some have frowned at the initial thoughts about Jesus and the law, but in the end, when we learn why Jesus was given, it captivates our hearts. As Jesus said Himself, He was given because God loves the world (John 3:16) which all of us should appreciate.
Now, in this study, I want to dive even deeper than the answer that the Lord loved the world. Though this answer is perfectly sufficient, I want to you to see God’s motivation to give the world His only begotten Son.
The Desire of God
So, what was it that drove God in His love to give the world His only begotten Son?
There are essentially two answers to this question. First: mankind’s nature of sin. Second: God’s desire to dwell with mankind. This desire of the Lord goes back to when He created mankind. In Genesis 1:26, we see where the Lord said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” Then, in Genesis 1:27, we will see where God created man in His own image.
Why did God create mankind in this manner? Because the Lord desired to be with mankind. After creating Adam and Eve, we can see where the Lord would not only watch over them but He would personally visit them as well; we see this after Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree (Gen. 3:8). Eating from the forbidden tree caused the two to sin, and as you know, the Lord does not dwell with sin; this was the worst setback ever for mankind, which mankind has since had to recover from.
Even after mankind’s fall in the garden, God still watched over mankind and called out to people like Noah. God took a special interest in those who would listen to Him, like Abraham. God eventually made a covenant with Abraham which Isaac and Jacob inherited. Let us note that God still watching over and calling out to the world after the fall in the garden is a show of God’s love for mankind.
Now, by way; of Jacob (Israel), his twelve sons and their children, the children of Israel became God’s chosen people. After dwelling in the bondage of Egypt, the Lord brought Israel out of bondage to Mount Sinai where He desired to make a covenant with them. In the covenant at Mount Sinai, the Lord desired to give Israel His law so that Israel would be to Him a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Ex. 19:5-6); this was God desiring to dwell with those who would become holy and righteous.
Though the Lord desired that Israel would become holy and righteous by the giving of His law, a problem rose which we see Paul touch on in his letter to the church in Rome. Let’s take a look at that verse.
Now, was Paul saying that there was something wrong with the law that God gave? At first glance, it may seem that way but that’s not what Paul said. Paul states that the problem isn’t the law but lie with mankind and our nature of sin; because sin resides within us and we repeatedly sin, without thought tat times, we are unable to keep the law.
If we go back to when the Lord gave the law to the children of Israel, they failed the law and broke their covenant with God immediately. Israel did this when they built and made a calf of gold to worship when Moses up Mount Sinai to receive God’s law. The Lord said to Moses after giving him the tablets of stone, “Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them (Ex. 32:7-8).”
God was not pleased with the sin of Israel at Mount Sinai. In fact, we will see that the Lord called Israel a “stiff-necked people”; meaning that they were tough to turn and to guide. When this happened, we can see God’s displeasure about the people’s transgression when He said to Moses to leave Him alone so that His wrath may burn hot against Israel and consume them (Ex. 32:9-10).
God is not pleased by sin and will never dwell with sin. When both Israel and Judah forsook the Lord during the divided kingdom years, He gave them into the hands of the Assyrians and the Babylonians. After going silent for 400 years, the Lord gave His only begotten Son to a world covered in darkness (sin).
Why was Jesus given to the world? Sin. In His own words, Jesus said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance (Mark 2:17).” So, in Jesus’ words, God gave the world His only begotten Son because the world was sick, due to sin, and in need of a physician.
Now, the physician that the world needed back then, the world still needs today; the world is in need of spiritual healing. All people, whether you realize this or not, are sick, in sin, and are in need of the physician that can heal their soul. Why was Jesus given to the world? Because Jesus is the physician that we need in order to be healed in our soul.
Jesus Needed for the Law
Now, this is the part of the study where some of you may frown. In Romans 10:4, Paul wrote, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”
As I said before, the idea that Christ is the end of the law is a point of contention for many people. The reason why there might be contention about this notion is because of the lack of understanding what Paul meant by this statement. Was Paul saying that Jesus ended the law, as in, Jesus destroyed the law? Far from that!
Let us remember that Paul, an apostle, was taught and trained personally by Christ; as Jesus taught the twelve, He taught to Paul. In Matthew 5:17, during His sermon on the mount, Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” As I have taught and explained in the past about Paul’s statement, Jesus became (or is) the end – the conclusion – to God’s law.
An eye-opening law for mankind
Now, for some, the notion that Jesus is the end (or the conclusion) to the law raises a question: Why does the law need a conclusion? Is God’s law not enough by itself?
Anyone who thinks to ask those two questions are actually asking really good questions. Paul truly took a deep dive into those thoughts in the scripture that we are now going to pour over this week in our study. As I have already pointed out to you, Paul’s statement about the law being “weak through the flesh” is not a statement about the law being weak but mankind being weak.
In Romans 7:7, Paul asked the question that many still ask when it comes to the notion of Jesus being the end to the law: “Is the law sin?” Paul’s answer, “Certainly not! On the contrary,” he said, “I would not have known sin except through the law.”
You see, the beauty of God’s law is that God laid out for the children of Israel everything that pleases Him. So, for example, we know that it pleases the Lord for us to not serve other gods. We also know that it pleases the Lord not to take His name in vain. We know that it pleases the Lord for us to honor our father, mother, and also our neighbor.
So, as Paul said in Romans 7:7, “I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” So, when you think about it, if it was not for God giving to Israel those commandments along with the many other statutes, we would have no idea what truly pleases the Lord. However, with that said, our ignorance of what pleases or displeases God is taken away through the law. Even more, for those that may proclaim not to know the law, our ignorance is also taken away through Christ and the ministering of Christ.
Those who may truly live without knowledge of the law and Christ, live in a manner where the saying of “ignore is bliss” rings very true. Paul stated of such living in Romans 7:9, “I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.” Without knowledge of transgressing God, one may be having the time of their lives, however, when that knowledge comes that you are transgressing God, a pit should form in your stomach.
A condemning law
The law of God points out our sins and it condemns us sin after sin after sin. To make matters worse, James pointed out that when one fails in one part of the law, they fail the law in its entirety (Jas. 2:10). In the law, there is no sign of forgiveness as the law simply points to what pleases or does not please God; the sinner would view God’s law as a law of condemnation.
Throughout his letters, Paul speaks to the condemnation of the law repeatedly because he was preaching salvation through Christ. In Acts 13:38-39, Paul stated, “let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man (Christ) is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him (Christ) everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.”
To the church in Rome, Romans 7:13-15, we see that Paul wrote, “But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.”
Paul’s admission here is that you and I are too weak, in the flesh, to be able to fulfill all of the law; our nature is to sin and to give in to the temptation of sin. No matter how much we desire to not sin, temptation inevitably gets the better of us and we fall into error! The law is not at fault for being a law of condemnation, because as Paul made very clear, “the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good (Rom. 7:12).
The law needs fulfilling
So, someone may begin to think to themselves, if the law is so impossible to keep, why did God give Israel His law? Someone may begin to wonder, if the law is so impossible to keep, how could God expect for Israel to become a kingdom of priests? Again, very smart questions to be asked. Again, the Lord sought to set Israel apart from the rest of the world as a holy nation.
As a kingdom of priests, an obedient Israel would have become spiritual servants to the rest of the world. Israel was intended to be spiritual leaders to the rest of the world in order to set the spiritual example that the rest of the world was to follow in order to become holy and righteous in the eyes of God. Ultimately, because Israel was unable to keep the law, we find that the law points out mankind’s weakness and mankind’s need of help in order to fulfill the law.
As Paul said, had it not been for Christ, he would know of his sins and his sins would kill him repeatedly, spiritually, with no way to be set free from death (the second death). However, as we see at the end of Romans 7, Paul had no desire to delight in the condemnation of sin. Paul wrote, “For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man (Rom. 7:22).” Paul recognized that he was a wretched man as he wrote, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death (Rom. 7:24)?”
This is where Christ steps in on the behalf of those that come to realize that they are sinners and feel miserable because of the guilt of their sins. Again, from my key verse, Paul wrote, “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit (Rom. 8:3-4).”
The reason why Jesus was given to the world is, again, on account of sin. If there was no such thing as sin, then Christ would not be needed as we, mankind, would already be holy and righteous. However, as John said in 1 John 5:10, “ He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.”
Why was Jesus given to the world? Sin needed to be condemned and we, mankind, needed to receive mercy and forgiveness so that we can become what God desires for us to be. So, again, as Jesus stated, He did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill the law on our behalf!
Would God lie to us about sin? Absolutely not. God cannot lie because He is holy and righteous. The thought that Christ is a lie or that sin is not real is the machinations of a deceiver that we must be wary of. As John wrote in 1 John 4:2-3, “Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.”
Sanctified and delivered by the blood
As I said moments ago, Israel was to be set apart from the rest of the war by living in obedience and fulfilling the law. In other words, Israel’s fulfillment of the law would have sanctified them for their holy calling. However, because we are unable to be sanctified by the law in that we are weak, God gave His only begotten Son to sanctify us through His shed blood.
Paul states in Romans 8:1, “there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Salvation is not lost to those who abide in fellowship with Chris and strive to live in a spiritual manner.
This is such a significant statement to all of those who like Paul, desire to live for Christ, but inevitable, error because we aren’t perfect creatures. You see, the law would condemn us, but now because Christ fulfilled the law, we live under His law — a law of grace (compassion, mercy, and forgiveness).
Paul states in Romans 8:2, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” The law of the Spirit speaks to the Holy Spirit and with Paul stating “the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” speaks to how the only begotten Son and Holy Spirit are working in unison. The Holy Spirit is our helper and guide through all we go through on this journey and He keeps us on the right track.
By fulfilling the law, Jesus has become our priest – our great High Priest – over the house of God (Heb. 10:21). As our high priest, Jesus serves us today in a manner where we constantly find mercy in the eyes of God (Heb. 4:14-16). Let us remember, without Christ, we would have never received the Holy Spirit. Jesus had to be born, give His life for us, and then return to His eternal dwelling place so that we could also receive the Holy Spirit to help guide us along the way (John 16:7-13).
The desire of the Lord is for us to join Him in heavenly kingdom. Simply put, there is no way that you can reach His heavenly kingdom on your own! If you try to reach heaven without the working of Christ and the Holy Spirit, you will find yourself eternally separated from the Lord. So, I certainly encourage you not to make the work of the Lord vain (meaningless).
I love to share this particular type of study around this time of year because I always want to make it clear the reason and purpose for the season that we celebrate. No, Christ was not born on the day we choose to celebrate His birth, but it is certainly good for us to recognize His birth. The giving of Christ truly is the most wonderful gift that anyone could ever receive, but with that said, we must be willing to receive Him and His wonderful gift.