Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Understanding Advent

ADVENT - (literally) = a coming, an arrival, a visitation - usually notable/significant  (Latin word - Adventus)
Someone or something of consequence.

Within Christianity - 1)  the coming of Christ
                               2) to Save (deliver from oppression) - something we desperately need

(formal Advent  = weeks leading to Christmas  (lead up to a big event)

Old Testament Jewish notion -- looked for..
  (1)  an Anointed One (a man/ from  God)
  (2)  to deliver from earthly oppression  (oppressors)
(so ... Luke 2:10-11 - "a Savior who is Christ", ie:  Messiah - one like Moses - come to save)

This = long awaited, highly anticipated - Deut. 18:15 - prophet like me.  (This because of many prophecies.  Have found 127 specific Messianic prophecies in over 3,000 scriptures)

BUT - God's plan = Different!!! - Matt. 1:21 - "save from their sins" - Thus, most of the Jews missed it. 
Our #1 problem is sin!!  He came to save us from it!!

So ..... when He came it was:
1)  An incarnation - Matt. 1:23  John 1:1, 14 - descriptive name - Immanuel, ie:  God with us

2)  A Descent  (contrast Religion generally = reach up to God)
Jesus = Bridge Builder - God came down and built the bridge.  Jesus came down to mankind - Kenosis - Phil. 2:6-8

3)  An eternal deliverance - (soul) - not just physical deliverance
(does not exclude worldly deliverance!!) - He delivers from these things as He chooses!

So .... ADVENT =
1)  Celebration of His Coming - example:  Christmas

2)  Anticipation of His Return - (2nd. coming) - as He came the 1st. time, will come again only in all His glory.  Matt. 24:30-31, 25:31 - will come in His resurrected body, Titus 2:13

Add  2 other comings  - to be noted, celebrated, anticipated...

3)  His Coming into your heart (being born again, saved, etc)  - contrast: "glad you're around" vs "welcome in"

Rev. 3:20 - you know who I am, you know why I'm here.  You must make a decision.
John 3:1-7, 16-19

4)  His (occasional) Visitations
 When He comes to deliver you - from oppression, oppressor - examples:  physical? mental/emotional? spiritual?
unto freedom FROM that oppression/oppressor - examples:  relief, satisfaction, comfort, joy, confidence, etc.    He is the deliverer!!

NOTE:  the gap - from the promises to the Coming - (1500 years +)
Compare:  the gap - from the promises to the 2nd. coming!!   2 Pet. 3:3-4, 8-1

So, you're response to 1) 1st. coming? 2), 2nd. coming?
3) His invitation to come to you!!  Personally?
4)  His willingness to visitation?  - Don't wait

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