the real reason


Holy Child who chose the hearts of men
To be His favoured home
Leaving heaven’s gates for Bethlehem
God came to call His own
Now to us the highest King is born
Behold the Royal Son
Glory kneels to mend all that is torn
The promised Child has come

Joy and pain as man He knew on earth
No place to lay His head
As a servant He embraced this world
And on a cross He bled
Having borne the deepest grief of man
He rose to heaven’s throne
Now I’m sheltered in the Father’s hand
I stand by grace alone

May the gift of God amaze us still
The triumph of all time
As His child I kneel to Heaven’s will
To make His purpose mine
Though this road be scarred with trial and pain
It’s paved with lavish grace
Knowing Him will be my greatest gain
My hope the Saviour’s face

Keith & Kristyn Getty
Copyright © Thankyou Music 2004

I’m immensely encouraged by this doctrine-packed hymn for the Christmas season. It is truly a celebration of the incarnation. Not merely focusing on the physical birth of Christ, the hymn writers point to the real reason for the incarnation – Why did Christ come to earth? To die. To sacrifice His life. He took my place.

I hope you are encouraged by this Christmas hymn as I was. The following are just a few notes on observations I made from the lyrics to this Christ-honoring hymn:

The first verse makes a great emphasis on the sovereignty of God and on His faithfulness in keeping His word. The Old Testament is full of prophecies of the coming Messiah. Christ fulfilled every single one!

The second verse shows Christ’s manhood and servant heart. The sacrifice He paid on my behalf is immeasurable. He “bore the wrath reserved for me. Now all I now is grace.” (All I Have is Christ, by Sovereign Grace) The lyrics also point to assurance and security. Nothing can take me from the Father’s hand. I am forever His child. His great love will never go away. (Romans 8) Grace alone – Sola Gratia! (Incidentally, this is the topic for the next Sola Conference at my home church. Follow the link to see a preview of coming attractions: 2010 Sola Conference. Go to the media section to view a short film portraying the doctrine of grace alone.)

The third verse points to how believers should live in light of Christ’s birth and death.

I am no longer mine. I am here to do the will of God.

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

And he said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’ Luke 9:23

As hard as life may seem, I will never suffer as much as Christ did. He grants me the grace each day to live for Him. Life is short; so make the most of every moment of time, to the glory of God. (Ephesians 5:15-16)

Every moment of my life needs to be focused on Christ. (Hebrews 12:1-3) I want my strongest desire to be Christ – to know Him more, to walk as He walked (1 John 2:5-6), to rest in His promises.

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:7-11

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:3-9

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Philippians 3:20-21

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18

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