ADVENT DEVOTIONAL FOR 2017
REIGNING WITH CHRIST
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us. He took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities [of this world], he made a public spectacle of them triumphing over them by the cross. Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival . . . Colossians 2:13-16a NIV
One of the distinctions of kings and their representatives is that they enjoy immunity. Royalty has not typically been bound by the same rules as the rest of us—whatever rules they follow are internal to the royal family. In a way, by marrying her large family into most of the royal families of Europe, Queen Victoria and the Royal Family of England sought to bring peace to Europe by bringing Russia and Germany into the family circle. Family loyalty to Queen Victoria was not enough to bring peace, but if we do indeed reign with Christ, He shall indeed become Prince of Peace if we treasure our relationships in Him beyond language, tribe, party, and all other loyalties.
FJ HUEGEL We have come now to touch a most vital nerve center which will no doubt cause violent reactions. Here many of us will be found kicking against the pricks. It may be stated simply: The Christian is not under a legal system. That is where the Jew stood in the Mosaic order. It was: Thou shalt and Thou shalt not, and the lightning flashed and the thunder rolled to declare the majesty of the divine law.
But the Christian does not stand at Sinai. Calvary for him has superseded Sinai. The handwriting of ordinances which was against him, the Savior blotted out and took out of the way, nailing it to his cross (Colossians 2:14). He is not under law but under grace (Romans 6:14). He is as one who has died to the law by the body of Christ that he might be married to another, even to him who was raised from the dead that he might bring forth fruit unto God (Romans 7:14). He is admonished to stand in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made him free and not become entangled with the yoke of bondage, as says Paul, thus clearly speaking of the Christian’s freedom from the old Mosaic system of law (Galatians5:1). For the law came by Moses but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:17).
PRAYER: Dear God, Jesus came to earth precisely on a mission to increase your family by making adoptions possible. Satan, under whose dominion we were, would allow no one to be adopted who could not clear the adoption requirements under the law of Sinai. But in the death and resurrection of Jesus those requirements were met in such a way that, apart from the requirements, we can become members of your family by grace. What an incredible gift we have been given! Grant that the gift of a family relationship with you would indeed awaken in us a desire for peace and a willingness to be guided into peace by your Spirit. We ask this in Jesus’s name. Amen.