Christ Alone – Advent Reading Plan

As a child growing up in the church, I’m not sure I ever really grasped what the Advent season stood for, except to introduce the Christmas season and keep Jesus at the forefront.

The word ‘advent’ means (according to ‘a coming into place, view, or being’. We often think of Advent as the opening day of the Christmas season but that definition misses the mark. Here’s why: 

Why Is Advent A Special Season?

There are many ways to approach Advent, and I love participating in a daily Advent reading plan each year to celebrate the approaching Christmas season.

Advent wreath - Christ Alone Advent Reading Plan

The Bible records the whole story, the past, present, and future, of God saving the world from eternal death by sending His Son Jesus Christ to die for the sins of all people. This is the Gospel that we Christians get so excited about. 

Jesus was always the Son of God, and He always already existed with God. The part of His story that we celebrate at Christmastime is the story of His arrival, or advent, as a human baby. The entire Old Testament is devoted to giving us the background for the arrival of Jesus in the flesh when He left paradise to come to a ravaged world to save the souls of those who believe in Him, trust in Him, and obey Him.  

The season of Advent is generally known for thoughtfully studying the true meaning of Christmas, which is so much more than the birth story of Jesus, or the baby in the manger. It takes place just before Christmas, so is often referred to as a time of expectation as the weary world awaits the birth of Christ. 

Celebrating Advent helps us to get excited about the fact that God sent Jesus to earth just for us! Not only is the first coming of Jesus, as a baby in the manger, celebrated, but His second coming, which is yet to happen, is also honored during Advent. 

The date that Advent starts changes every year, but usually begins on a Sunday and goes through four weeks, ending the Saturday after Christmas Day.

During those four weeks, Advent is celebrated in many traditional ways, with Advent calendars of many varieties, lighting candles in an Advent wreath, special readings, Bible studies, and sermons, and reflection on the true meaning of the season. 

The Advent Bible Reading Plan

The verses I’ve chosen for this Daily Advent reading plan relate to the Biblical teaching that there is only one way to gain eternal salvation, and that is through Jesus Christ. He is the only way for us to be saved and to live forever with Him in heaven. 

The Bible is very specific about this, and I wanted to bring it out by featuring Scriptures that reinforce this truth. Many people mistakenly believe that there are multiple ways to get to heaven, that all gods are the same, or that salvation is either more or less than what the Scriptures teach us. 

These daily Scripture readings can be used as part of family Christmas traditions, for personal devotional readings, or as part of a Bible study group.

You can plan your Advent study to fit your schedule. With 28 days of readings, you can read and meditate on one of the readings each day. If time is short during the week, read all seven passages for the week each Sunday during Advent.

When I’m doing a Bible reading plan it helps me to write out the verses. Writing Scripture allows me to concentrate on the meaning of each word rather than a quick read-through and done.

Writing out the Scriptures allows me to take them with me throughout the day and to look back on the progression of the lessons learned as I go through the daily readings later. 

Here’s How to get the most out of the advent reading plan:

Set a quiet time to pray and study the verses for each day. 

Pray for clarity, understanding, and wisdom to see what each is telling you.

Look up the verses in the Bible and read the surrounding passage for greater understanding. 

if you have the time, looking up cross-references for each verse will be of great benefit. Just googling “cross reference for___” will pull up multiple sites to choose from for this. 

Try to keep your mind on the subject as you explore. (However, I am the queen of rabbit trails, so I’ve learned that it’s a good idea to write down other passages you’d like to spend time on later)

To avoid reading or interpreting Scripture out of context, always read all around the verse in the plan, both before and after. This will tell you more about what’s happening, helping you to interpret the Bible in its proper context.

Week One: Prophecies Of God’s Plan

Many prophets throughout hundreds of years, told of the One that God would send to offer salvation to the whole world.

Each of the verses this week refers to the prophesied birth and work of Jesus. He was sent by God to offer forgiveness of sin and eternal salvation for all who believe, and God had it all planned out thousands of years before sending Jesus as a babe in the manger.  

These prophecies were not just some good guesses or predictions. They were God-inspired prior knowledge of the details of the birth of the Christ child given to faithful men to whom God had given the gift of prophecy. Because most of Biblical prophecy has already happened in history, we can have hope that the fulfillment of all the rest will come, too.

Romans 1:2-5

“God promised this Good News long ago through his prophets in the holy Scriptures. The Good News is about his Son. In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line, and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord. Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority as apostles to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name.” (NLT)

Jeremiah 31:34

“No longer will one teach his neighbor or his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord.’ For they will all know Me, from the least to the greatest of them”, — this is the Lord’s declaration. “For I will forgive their wrongdoing, and never again remember their sin.” (HCSB)

Luke 1:69-70

He has sent us a mighty Savior from the royal line of his servant David, just as he promised through his holy prophets long ago. (NLT)

Acts 10:43

He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes In him will have their sins forgiven through his name. (NLT)

Zechariah 13:1

On that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the residents of Jerusalem, to wash away sin and impurity.  (HCSB)

Micah 7:18-20

Who is a God like you, removing iniquity and passing over rebellion for the remnant of His inheritance? He does not hold on to His anger forever, because he delights in faithful love. He will again have compassion on us; He will vanquish our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. You will show loyalty to Jacob and faithful love to Abraham, as You swore to our fathers from days long ago. (HCSB)

Daniel 9:24

Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city — to bring the rebellion to an end, to put a stop to sin, to wipe away iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy place.” (HCSB)

Week Two: Jesus’ Birth

This week’s Bible verses are what we are all accustomed to reading during this season. Reading them with thoughtfulness will bring the real meaning of Christmas to life during this busy holiday season. 

As you do the reading for each day, please keep in mind that this was a real experience, involving flesh and blood people. Each of them had the awesome privilege of seeing God move miraculously as He perfectly arranged all of the circumstances and events that brought the Savior of the world to us as a newborn baby. 

Luke 1:30-33

Then the angel told her: “Do not be afraid Mary, for you have found favor with God. Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” (HCSB)

Matthew 1:22-23

Now all this took, place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “See, the Virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name Him Immanuel, which is translated ‘God is with us.'” (HCSB)

Luke 2:1-5

At that time the Roman Emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria). All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child. (NLT)

Micah 5:2

Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are small among the clans of Judah; One will come from you to be ruler over Israel for Me. His origin is from antiquity, from eternity. (HCSB)

Luke 2:6-7

While they were there, the time came for Her to give birth. Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough — because there was no room for them at the lodging place. (HCSB)

John 1:14

So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. (NLT)

Luke 2:25-35

At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. That day the Spirit led him to the temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people, Israel!” Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.” (NLT)

Week Three: Christ Alone And Nothing More

We often have a tendency to think we need to do something to earn the reward of salvation God has promised to us.

But there is nothing we can do other than simply believe, put our trust entirely in Jesus, confess our sins, and ask for forgiveness. When we do this, we have not only forgiveness but eternal life with God in heaven – forever.

His death and resurrection to life is all that is ever needed to guarantee our salvation.

When we find ourselves becoming legalistic, we need to remember that Christ plus anything is of no benefit to us whatsoever. It is Christ alone that we need to trust in and depend on to save our souls.

We often seem to think this is either too easy or too hard, falling short of giving Him our total trust or becoming rigid and legalistic as we try too hard to do something to save ourselves.

For some, the hardest part is letting go of control and allowing Christ to save us without putting our hope in ourselves, or in any other person or thing.

1 Timothy 2:5-6

For, there is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave Himself — a ransom for all, a testimony at the proper time. (HCSB)

Isaiah 44:6

This is what the Lord, the King of Israel, and its Redeemer, the Lord of Armies, says: I am the first and the last. There is no God but me. (NLT)

John 10:27-30

“My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish –ever! No one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” (HCSB)

John 3:36

The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who refuses to believe in the Son will not see life; instead, the wrath of God remains on him. (HCSB)

John 10:9

I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture. (HCSB)

Acts 4:12

There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people, by which we must be saved. (NLT)

John 14:6

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (HCSB)

Week Four: God’s Promises Of Salvation For Both Now And The Future

Not only do we look forward to the birth of Jesus (the Advent of the Christ-child born as an infant), but we also look forward to His second coming (His Advent as our ultimate Savior) when Christ will return to claim those who are His and establish His kingdom on earth, a great day for righteous believers and a terrifying day for the wicked. 

Matthew 1:21

She will give birth to a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save his people from their sins. (HCSB)

John 3:16-18

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. here is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.” (NLT)

Romans 5:1-2

“Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” (HCSB)

Hebrews 9:27-28

“And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.” (NLT)

John 14:3

“If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to myself, so that where I am you may be also.” (HCSB)

FREE The Path To Peace Bible Reading Plan

Isaiah 25:9

On that day it will be said, “Look, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he has saved us! This is the Lord; we have waited for Him. Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” (HCSB))

Revelation 1:7

“Look! He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, including those who pierced Him. And all the families of the earth will mourn over Him. This is certain. Amen.” (HCSB)

Advent Reading Plan Free Digital Download

You can download a free printable pdf of the Daily Advent Reading Plan. I would love for you to take advantage of this free offer, no strings attached Just click the photo and you will have it – it’s just that simple!

free Advent Bible Reading Plan

I hope you enjoy this Advent Bible Reading Plan. It is so much more than a Christmas story, and studying these verses is a great way to move into a deeper study of God’s Word. The month of December will be so much richer as you connect with the real meaning of Christmas, tucked into a format that’s totally manageable in spite of the busyness of the season. 

One important concept that I always love being reminded of is that none of us need anything more than Christ to reeive the promise of eternal life in heaven.

Before Christ came to earth as the final sacrifice for all mankind, the Old Testament sacrificial system symbolized His sacrifice ahead of time in preparation for the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus would make thousands of years later.

Even at that time, the Israelites needed to know (and so do we today) how impossible it is for humans to save themselves, no matter how good any of us are, no matter how many rules we keep, no matter how hard we try. 

You can learn more about how God taught His people about Jesus far before he actually appeared in the flesh in Finding The Gospel Of Jesus In The Old Testament

Always remember, when you have Jesus, you have everything you need, both now and forever. 

Access Other Articles With Free Bible Reading Plans:

You can easily find more of my reading/journaling plans in Daily Inspiration: My Scripture Journaling Method and Bible Reading Plans

Christ Alone - Advent Reading Plan

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