Summary: The Promise of Advent. We have established that there is a need for Advent & now flowing out of that need let’s reflect on the promise that God made of the advent of Christ in order to meet that need.
Today is the 2nd Sunday of Advent. Advent, as I mentioned last week, means the coming or the arrival. Historically, Advent has been a time for Christians to reflect on the meaning of the coming of Christ. And that is what I am trying to help us do over these 4 Sundays of Advent.
Last week, we considered whether there was a genuine need for Advent. Sometimes people will come up with great plans or ideas to do something, to sponsor something, but the question is - Is there a need? Because many times they are great ideas, but there’s just not a need for their idea to be put into action. Well, was there a need for the advent of Christ? As we considered Scripture’s testimony in Romans 3 we came to the conclusive decision that there was a great need, a desperate need for Advent because we are sinners by nature & thus sin has corrupted our character, has defiled our conversation & has perverted our conduct.
Knowing then that there is this great need, which began back in Genesis 3 when man & woman sinned in the Garden, God while at the same time dealing with His sinful creation & pronouncing a series of curses on this world & its inhabitants also made a promise. He made a promise that 1 day, one would come that would make right what had been made wrong by Adam & Eve. One would come that would deal with sin that had now become part of man’s nature & would make it possible for mankind to once again walk with & have a relationship with a holy, righteous & perfect God. And so the subject we want to consider on this 2nd Sunday of Advent is - The Promise of Advent. We have established that there is a need for Advent & now flowing out of that need let’s reflect on the promise that God made of the advent of Christ in order to meet that need.
Now in thinking about the promise of Advent, that God was going to send Christ, where would you go to begin studying this topic? Genesis 3:15 right? That is the 1st mention in the Bible of the advent or coming of Christ even though he is not specifically named as Christ at that point. It just says that the woman’s seed will bruise the serpent’s head - but that is where you should begin, right? Wrong! The place you want to start in thinking about the promise of Advent is in a verse in the NT.
-Ephesians 1:3-4 - This verse predates Genesis 3:15, not in terms of when it was written but in terms of when it is talking about. It predates Genesis 3:15 for it is speaking about before man, the earth, & the universe were created & therefore before Adam & Eve sinned.
I want you to think about what the implications of this verse means - that God chose you knowing that you would be a sinner & therefore in need of Him paying for your sins. The implication then is that the original promise of Advent was made before anything that we know of today was created and since no being had been created yet, God made that promise of Advent to Himself.
Sometimes you make decisions not really knowing what you are getting yourself into - right? "Oh brother, are you right? Let me tell you how right you are." And we’ve all had those experiences & could share some horror stories this morning. Projects you thought might take a couple of hours ended up taking all day or more. But this was not true of God. He knew exactly what He was getting Himself into, what He was committing Himself to.
I’m sure you have also experienced this: sometimes we consider doing a project or maybe we have something that is broken & in need of repair. And when we are challenged to do the project or think about repairing the broken item, as we evaluate the project our response can be, "No, it’s not worth the effort & the time. It’s just not worth the effort." And so you don’t do it or you throw the broken item away & buy a new one. It is amazing to me, in light of human history & its rejection & rebellion against God that God didn’t say, back then before the foundations of the world that, "it’s just not worth the effort." It is amazing & humbling to me in light of my history, my failure, my stubbornness, my selfishness - it is amazing to me in light of my history that God did not say, "he’s not worth the effort." Could the same thing be said of you?