By LOU TISCIONE
Advent is a season in the church year that was instituted so that Christians would heed the warning of the Prophet Isaiah. “A voice cries: In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” (Isaiah 40:3)
Several hundred years later, John the Baptist came as God’s spokesman to call God’s people to prepare to meet the Messiah by repenting of their sins. He came in the spirit and power of Elijah. (Luke 1:17) We are in this season of preparation. We are preparing to celebrate the historical and miraculous event of the Incarnation. God ordained in eternity that His Son would take upon Himself human nature and give Himself as a ransom for many. Jesus, the Messiah prophesied by Isaiah and others, is the God-man who came in the fullness of time. “He was born under the law to redeem those who were under the law, so that (God’s people) might receive adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:5)
John’s message is still applicable. Repentance is one of the two gifts God gives to His people at their conversion. The other is faith. Those who have received these gifts from God live them throughout their lives. That is, professing Christians are penitent people. We repent of our sins and confess them knowing that God has promised to forgive our sins and cleanse us from unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
Likewise professing Christians live in reliance on the person and work of Jesus Christ. He is the object of our faith. He is the holy one of God before whom we see the truth of our sinfulness and know that He is life.
We are half way through this Advent season. Are you ready to celebrate the incarnation?
Jesus told us how we should prepare in light of John the Baptist’s declaration: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15)