Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bible Ballistics: Vol. 12 No.16 Christmas Is What???

 

I love the glitter, and sparkle of the Christmas lights as much as any little tyke, and the joy and excitement in the eyes of the children (and adults!), as well as the goodies, the smiles and the opportunities to share the gospel that we have during this time of year, seemingly more than any other. Yet, we must be aware that in our world, the majority of people who celebrate the “season” know nothing of the “reason for the season”! Jesus has been relegated to some peripheral part of the ‘holiday’ without any significant importance to the “season”! We have come so far that I read some time ago of a person who was walking through a mall that had allowed a Christian nativity display to be put up and those who sponsored it were singing Christmas Carols, a couple was overheard walking by the display saying, “Would you look at that, those ‘Christians’ are even horning in on ‘Christmas’ now!” Sad but that is where our culture is!

So I’d like to spend a bit of time today rehearsing the truth of the reason that we ought to celebrate—and while the gifts, the lights, the parties, the Christmas programs and musicals, are most enjoyable, they are not the focus of what genuine believers in Jesus celebrate. We have the greatest gift that was ever given to mankind to celebrate!

And she shall bring forth a son,

and thou shalt call his name JESUS:

for he shall save his people

from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

Joseph was given the significant purpose of the Messiah who Mary was carrying—she would bring forth the God-Man-Savior, who would save the world through His sacrifice on the cross of Calvary! All because God loved us then—and He loves us now–providing the One Way for us to be reconciled and redeemed to Himself (bought back from the curse of sin—which Adam chose for us all, see Genesis 3) to receive the intimate relationship, fellowship, and oneness with God Almighty that only Jesus can give to those who come to Him in repentance and faith in HIS saving, substitutionary, atoning sacrifice for sin—mine and yours! How? By the blood of Jesus, that’s how!

Be it known unto you all,

and to all the people of Israel,

that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,

whom ye crucified,

whom God raised from the dead,

even by him

doth this man stand here before you

whole.

11 This is the stone which was set at nought

of you builders,

which is become the head

of the corner.

12 Neither is there salvation in any other:

for there is none other name

under heaven

given among men,

whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:10-12

It’s HIS name, the God-Man-Savior, Jesus that we celebrate—HIS coming that we might have real “life, and that they might have it more abundantly”! And that, my friends, is what we celebrate—His arrival on planet earth to “save his people from their sins, and while sin is the issue; Jesus is the solution/cure for sin.

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith,

Behold the Lamb of God,

which taketh away

the sin of the world.” John 1:29

John goes on in the the account of Nicodemus’ visit to Jesus in chapter 3, to give us Jesus’ own testimony!

3 Jesus answered and said unto him,

Verily, verily, I say unto thee,

Except a man be born again,

he cannot see the kingdom of God……..

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent

in the wilderness,

even so must the Son of man

be lifted up:

15 That whosoever believeth in him

should not perish,

but have eternal life.

16 For God so loved the world,

that he gave

his only begotten Son,

that whosoever believeth in him

should not perish,

but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world

to condemn the world;

but that the world

through him

might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him

is not condemned:

but he that believeth not

is condemned already,

because he hath not believed

in the name

of the only begotten

Son of God.

19 And this is the condemnation,

that light is come into the world,

and men loved darkness

rather than light,

because their deeds were evil.

20 For every one that doeth evil

hateth the light,

neither cometh to the light,

lest his deeds should be reproved.

21 But he that doeth truth

cometh to the light,

that his deeds may be made manifest,

that they are wrought in God.”   John 3:3 & 14-2

When we belong to Jesus by faith, we do His works!

For by grace are ye saved

through faith;

and that not of yourselves:

it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works,

lest any man should boast.

10 For we are his workmanship,

created in Christ Jesus

unto good works,

which God hath

before ordained

that we should walk

in them.”   Ephesians 2:8-10

This is why Jesus came—for you and me—to save us from our sins, and equip us for HIS good works, that others might come to HIM!

For I delivered unto you first of all

that which I also received,

how that Christ died

for our sins

according to the scriptures;

4 And that he was buried,

and that he rose again

the third day

according to the scriptures:

5 And that he was seen of Cephas,

then of the twelve:” 1 Corinthians 15:3-5

Jesus came as a precious human baby—born a King—yet not born in a palace, but in a stable, and placed in a manger, a feeding trough in a barn/stable that sheltered Mary as she delivered the Messiah, The Savior of the world! The gift that Jesus told Nicodemus of “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son”, was this tiny baby whom we celebrate at Christmas time! But don’t leave the Savior in the manger—He grew into a man who willingly laid down His life that we might be saved by His sacrifice.

Ye men of Israel, hear these words;

Jesus of Nazareth,

a man approved of God

among you by miracles

and wonders

and signs,

which God did by him

in the midst of you,

as ye yourselves also know:

23 Him, being delivered

by the determinate counsel

and foreknowledge of God,

ye have taken,

and by wicked hands

have crucified

and slain:

24 Whom God hath raised up,

having loosed the pains of death:

because it was not possible

that he should be holden of it.”  Acts 2:22-24

God sent “His only begotten Son” not to stay a ‘babe in the manger’ but to be the Savior of the world—to all who will believe in Him! Jesus came because men have a sin problem and only His perfect sacrifice would provide the means for us to be redeemed to God—redeemed from the death and darkness of sin and brought into God’s kingdom by HIS blood—the blood that HE was born to shed for your sin and mine.

For all have sinned,

and come short

of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23

For the wages of sin is death;

    but the gift of God is eternal life

 through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

While Christmas is about the babe in the manger, HE didn’t stay in the manger, He grew into the perfect, sinless sacrifice that was the only solution for man’s lostness—for man’s salvation. He came to deliver us from darkness into the “kingdom of His dear son”!

Giving thanks unto the Father,

    which hath made us meet

       to be partakers

              of the inheritance

                      of the saints in light:

           13 Who hath delivered us

                      from the power of darkness,

           and hath translated us

              into the kingdom

                      of his dear Son:

                             14 In whom we have redemption

                                    through his blood,

                      even the forgiveness of sins:”    Colossians 1:12-14

We who were lost are now “born…of God” (See John 1:12-14), forgiven, and “translated….into the kingdom” of Jesus! Praise God for that “tiny little baby” who came to die for you and me!

And you hath he quickened,

who were dead in trespasses

and sins;

2 Wherein in time past ye walked

according to the course

of this world,

according to the prince

of the power of the air,

the spirit that now worketh

in the children

of disobedience:

3 Among whom also

we all had our conversation

in times past

in the lusts of our flesh,

fulfilling the desires

of the flesh

and of the mind;

and were by nature

the children of wrath,

even as others.

4 But God,

who is rich in mercy,

for his great love

wherewith he loved us,

5 Even when we were dead

in sins,

hath quickened us together

with Christ,

(by grace ye are saved;)

6 And hath raised us up together,

and made us sit together

in heavenly places

in Christ Jesus:

7 That in the ages to come

he might shew the exceeding riches

of his grace

in his kindness toward us

through Christ Jesus.”     Ephesians 2:1-7

And that my friends IS Christmas—quickened (made alive) in Jesus, the soon-coming King of all, He who took on flesh and blood to be God’s sacrifice for my salvation and yours. What will you do with the babe? Will you trust to His saving sacrifice for you, or leave Him in a manger and miss His Gift to you? He left heaven so you could live with Him there—don’t miss the salvation and power for living that He gives to those who will come to Him! He has never failed me in all the years that I have walked with Him—and you too will find Him a faithful Redeemer!

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers

of flesh and blood,

he also himself likewise

took part of the same;

that through death

he might destroy him that had the power

of death,

that is, the devil;

15 And deliver them who through

fear of death

were all their lifetime

subject to bondage.

16 For verily he took not on him

the nature of angels;

but he took on him

the seed of Abraham.

17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him

to be made like unto his brethren,

that he might be a merciful

and faithful high priest

in things pertaining to God,

to make reconciliation

for the sins of the people.

18 For in that he himself

hath suffered being tempted,

he is able to succour

them that are tempted.” Hebrews 2:14-18

The important question of Christmas and every season is, “Do YOU know Jesus?” If you do know Him, then praise Him, and keep Him on the throne of your life every day of the year. If you don’t know Him, you can, by simply recognizing your own sin—that you have a problem you can’t fix, yet Jesus died to fix it and give you life—and then give HIM your life in repentance from your sin, and faith in His sacrifice for you.

Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,

30 And brought them out, and said,

Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

31 And they said,

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,

and thou shalt be saved,

and thy house.

32 And they spake unto him

the word of the Lord,

and to all that were in his house.”   Acts 16:29-32

May you truly know the “Christ” of Christmas and celebrate HIS wonderful gift to us—JESUS, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS”!

Amen and Amen!