Christmas: How Goodies Lose Their Attraction

Christmas: How Goodies Lose Their Attraction

Pastor John:

At the end of this age when Christ returns, the final act of purification will take place; all impurities in the hearts of God's people will be done away with.

But that promise of purity has begun to be fulfilled in the first coming of Christ. Hebrews 1:3 says, "When [Christ] had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high." And Titus 2:14 says that Christ "gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds." In a word, Christ came to make us clean. Christmas is for purity. . . .

Christmas purity is not essentially the removal of sin, but the restoration of righteousness. Christ never takes away from his people one thing which he does not replace with something better. . . . Every sin you forsake out of love to Christ is replaced with a deeper and purer joy.

The aim of God at Christmas is to make the goodies of the world lose all their attraction in comparison to the surpassing glory of the divine Name. The essence of Christmas purity is not what you stand against, but what you stand in awe of, the glorious name of God.

Excerpted from You Shall Go Forth Leaping Like Calves (1982), paragraphing added.

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Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is a writer and content strategist at Desiring God, and is the lead planter of Cities Church in Minneapolis–Saint Paul, where he lives with his wife, Melissa, and their four children. He is also the co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary.