(HOME)--(WHO I AM)--(WHAT I BELIEVE)--(MY COMMISSION)--(CONTACT US)--(MESSAGES)--(LITERATURE)

 

 

THE CHRIST OF CHRISTMAS

 

PLEASE READ IN THE BIBLE (Matthew 1:18-25) (Luke 1:26-38; 2:1-16)

 

The Christmas season is a special time and a favorite time for many people in the world.  You probably have observed however, as I have, the efforts of many in our modern society to do away with the true meaning of Christmas.  Many do not even want to use the word “Christmas” to describe this holiday season.  At the time of this writing there is a dispute among public officials in Boston on whether their large public tree display should be called a ‘Christmas” tree or a “holiday” tree.  In addition, the writer has recently observed a large display of “Christmas cards” in a large department store.  Only a few of the large display of cards contained the word “Christmas”.  Even less had an appropriate Bible scripture verse.  Some, in schools and other places, are afraid to say “Merry Christmas” to others lest they might offend someone.  These things are all part of a larger agenda to do away with “The Christ of Christmas” and the God who created them.  There is an effort underway to do away with the phrase “IN GOD WE TRUST” from our coins and paper currency.  Things have not changed and are probably worse since the time they said of the Lord Jesus Christ, (Luke 19:14) “We will not have this man to reign over us”.  We are witnessing what the Bible calls apostasy, a falling away, an abandonment of Christianity, a rejection of Christ and the Christian faith.  Events are progressing rapidly for the great apostasy out of which will raise the Man of Sin and the Anti-Christ.  These two will have center stage for a short time until the glorious return and reign of the Lord Jesus Christ.  At that time a vast federation of rulers and nations will unite in a passionate determination to prevent Christ from taking the reigns of world government.  Read in the Bible (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; 2: 1-12) (Revelation 19:11-21).  When man takes God out of society what remains is a “Godless society”. 

 

In this message we want to focus on the true meaning of Christmas by considering “The Christ of Christmas”.  The Christmas story is really about His coming into the world, the coming of God’s Savior for mankind.  By way of outline we want to consider;

 

1.       THE PROMISE OF THE SAVIOR’S COMING

2.     THE PURPOSE OF THE SAVIOR’S COMING

3.     THE PASSION AS THE RESULT OF THE SAVIOR’S COMING

4.     THE POWER DEMONSTRATED AT THE SAVIOR’S COMING

5.     THE PREACHING OF THE SAVIOR’S COMING

 

1. THE PROMISE OF THE SAVIOR’S COMING

Back in Genesis, chapter 3, we read about the fall into sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve.  Because they willfully sinned and disobeyed God, He pronounced judgment upon them and they were sent forth from the presence of God.  Their sin brought death and judgment upon them as well as all their posterity.  Because of the sin of Adam we have all been put into the category of sinners.  We are all born into this world possessed with a sinful nature that is at enmity with God.  This soon manifests itself in sinful thoughts, sinful words and sinful practices.  Sin is in the root of our nature and this will soon be seen by the fruit of sins in the life.  We read in, (Romans 5:12) “Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned”.  “Sin” signifies missing the mark, and denotes a failure on the part of man to fulfill the purpose that God had for man in his creation.  Sin is universal because it says in, (Romans 3:23) “ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God”.  Sin is deadly because it says in, (Romans 6:23) “The wages of sin is death”.  William McDonald said, “The mortuary, the hearse, the graveyard mock our complacent attitude of permanent residence here.  Not a day passes without its reminder that “the crib and the coffin are carved from the self-same tree”.  It says in, (Hebrews 9:27) “It is appointed unto men once to die, but AFTER THIS the judgment”.  Each day 150,000 people pass into eternity – 55 million per year.  Many hope that death is the end.  But, God says in His Word, THERE IS AN AFTER LIFE AND THEN JUDGMENT.  Dear reader, are your sins forgiven?  Have You ever confessed that you are a sinner in need of God’s salvation?  Have you repented of your sins, which means to change your mind and to take sides with God against yourself?  It is a wise person indeed who has faced the question of his personal guilt before God and cried out to God like the publican in, (Luke 18:13)”God be merciful to me a sinner”.  God, in knowing the devastating affects of sin, promised a Savior.  From the very beginning, when our first parents fell into sin, God gave to mankind; THE PROMISE OF THE SAVIOR’S COMING.  We read that God said in, (Genesis 3:15) “I will put enmity between thee (Satan) and the woman, and between thy seed and HER SEED; it shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise his heel”.  The first prophecy of scripture had to do with a battle, a birth and a bruising.  The seed of the woman would be God’s remedy for man’s ruin.  The “seed of the woman” is the Messiah, the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.  As the “seed of the women” the Savior would come into the human race.  We read in, (Galatians 4:4) “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, MADE OF A WOMAN”.  When God sent His Son into the world He proved and demonstrated His love for a world of sinners lost.  We know this is true because it says in, (John 3:16) “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”.  But, why would He come?  What is THE PURPOSE OF THE SAVIOR’S COMING?

 

2. THE PURPOSE OF THE SAVIOR’S COMING

When the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world the angel announced, (Luke 2:10) “I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a SAVIOR, which is Christ the Lord”.  In Matthew’s gospel the angel said to Joseph, concerning Mary’s first born son, (Matthew 1:21) “Thou shalt call his name Jesus: for He shall SAVE His people from their sins”.  The name “Jesus” means “SAVIOR”.  The apostle Paul tells us very directly of “THE PURPOSE OF THE SAVIOR’S COMING”. He said in, (1 Timothy 1:15) “Christ Jesus came into the world to SAVE sinner’s”.  Dear reader, are YOU saved?  Is Jesus Christ YOUR Lord and Savior?  Was there ever a time in your life’s experience when YOU put your faith and trust in Him and received Him as YOUR lord and Savior?  The Lord Jesus said in, (John 6:38) “I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me”.  (John 6:40) “THIS IS THE WILL OF HIM THAT SENT ME, that every one which seeth (by faith) the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day”.  From these verses we learn that the Savior came to do the Father’s will.  Every word that the Savior spoke, every miracle He performed was according to the Father’s will.  God had declared in His Word, (Hebrews 9:22) “Without shedding of blood is no remission” (no forgiveness of sins).  The Savior said, in effect, “here am I, send me”.  The Savior, who previously came down from the “upper heavens” later came down from the upper room and went into the Garden of Gethsemane.  We read that He agonized in prayer.  He prayed, (Matthew 26:39) “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup (suffering and death on the cross) pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as you will”.  The Savior’s will was always to do that which was well pleasing to His Father.  We read in, (Philippians 2:8) The Savior “became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”.  This brings us to the next point we want to consider, THE PASSION AS THE RESULT OF THE SAVIOR’S COMING.

 

3. THE PASSION AS THE RESULT OF THE SAVIOR COMING

We read concerning the Lord Jesus Christ in, (Acts 1:3) “He showed himself alive after his PASSION by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days’.  The word “passion” is taken from the Greek word “pascho” which means “to suffer”.  It refers to the suffering and death of Christ at Calvary.  The Savior’s death on the cross was a voluntary death.  He said in, (John 10:17, 18) “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.  I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.  This commandment have I received of my Father”.  The Savior’s death on the cross was a vicarious death because, (1 Corinthians 15:3) ‘Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures”.  He suffered at the hands of sinful man.  It says in, (Isaiah 53:3) “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief”.  In that garden of Gethsemane the Savior was betrayed by Judas and abandoned by all His disciples.  The Savior was then taken by wicked and sinful men.  In His religious trial, before the Jewish leaders, He was accused of blasphemy and condemned to be guilty of death.  He was then blindfolded, buffeted and beaten.  They spit in His face.  The next morning they led Him to Pilate for His civil trial.  Though Pilate repeatedly stated of the Lord Jesus, “I find no fault in Him”, he finally consented to the voices of them who cried out, “away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him”.  We read in, (John 19:1-3; 16) “Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged (whipped) Him.  And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe.  And said, Hail, King of the Jews, and they smote Him with their hands.  Then delivered he Him therefore unto them to be crucified.  And they took Jesus and led Him away”.   The Savior was crucified.  Nails pierced His hands and feet.  He hung upon the cross for three hours while He was mocked and ridiculed.  Then, He suffered at the hands of a holy God.  We read in, (Matthew 27:45) “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour”.  When mid day was turned to midnight the wrath and judgment of a holy God was poured out upon the Savior.  He was bearing our sins in His own body on the tree.  He was (Isaiah 53:4) “Stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted”.  It was a holy and righteous God that did, (Isaiah 53:10) “Make His soul an offering for sin”.  On the cross the Savior died for YOUR SINS and mine.  He finished the work of redemption when He cried out “It is finished”.  Dear reader, have YOU ever realized that when Jesus Christ died on the cross, He died for YOUR sins personally?  Many people know the story of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ but very few understand the significance of His death for them personally.  (Hebrews 2:9) “Jesus was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor, that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man”. We read in, (2 Corinthians 13:4) “For though He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God”.  The Savior exhibited weakness when He was “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”.  He exhibited power and strength when He took His life back again. 

 

4. THE POWER DEMONSTRATED AT THE SAVIOR’S COMING

Death had no claim upon the savior for He is the holy, spotless, sinless Son of God.  The testimony of the apostles was. “He knew no sin”, “He did no sin”, “In Him is no sin”.  Because He is the Son of God “He could not sin”.  He was the “lamb of God”, without blemish and without spot”.  (1 Peter 1:19).  “THE POWER DEMONSTRATED AT THE SAVIOR’S COMING” is evident by His resurrection out from among the dead and His ascension into Heaven.  (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, He was buried, He rose again the third day according to the scriptures”. We read in, (Acts 1:9-11) “While they beheld, He (Jesus) was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight”.  “They looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up”.  “This same Jesus, who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven”.  The Savior is not on the cross.  He is not in the tomb.  He is now seated at the right hand of God.  He said in, (Revelation 1:18) “I am He that liveth, and was dead: and, behold, I am alive for evermore”.  Dear reader, do you believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ?  You can not be saved unless you believe.  It says in, (Romans 10:9, 10) “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus (Jesus as Lord) and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved”.  “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”.  Have YOU openly confessed that Jesus Christ is YOUR Lord and Savior?  The resurrection of Christ from among the dead and His ascension into heaven, signify God’s acceptance of His work on the cross.

 

5. THE PREACHING OF THE SAVIOR’S COMING

It was an angelic visitor that preached the first gospel message when he said in, (Luke 2:10, 11) “Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord”.  A heavenly messenger spoke a heavenly message.  The message was good news that would bring great joy.  It was the announcement of the greatest event ever recorded in the history of mankind.  THERE IS BORN A SAVIOR.  The Son of God entered the stream of human history.  (1 Timothy 3:16) “Great is the mystery of godliness:  God was manifest in the flesh”.  Before the Savior went back to heaven He commissioned His followers of every age to, (Mark 16:15) “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”.  We are told in, (Romans 1:16) “The gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth”.  Dear reader, do YOU believe the gospel message?  It says in, (1 Corinthians 1:18) ‘For the preaching (the Word) of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God”.  Notice, there are only two classes of people, “those who are perishing” and “those who are being saved”.  WHICH CLASS ARE YOU IN?  There are only two reactions to the message.  To one class the message is foolish, silly, stupid and absurd.  To the other class, the message is the power of God to save them.  WHICH CLASS DESCRIBES YOU?  

 

As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ we have been commissioned to go and preach the Gospel to every person.  We have been given a ministry and a responsibility which is explained in, (2 Corinthians 5:19, 20) “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God”.  Have YOU been reconciled to God?  The estrangement is on your part.  It says in, (Isaiah 59:20 “Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear”. God has done everything required for your salvation when, “He spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all”.  (Romans 8:32).  This Christmas season, which is a time of giving and receiving, would be a good time for you to receive God’s gift to YOU.  (Romans 6:23) “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”.  You must come to Him in faith and receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.  It says in, (John 3:36) “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him”.   Are YOU a believer or a non-believer in “THE CHRIST OF CHRISTMAS”?  You are traveling the “HIGHWAY OF LIFE”, passing through time into eternity.  Now that you have read this message, you have come to “THE CROSSROADS”.  Which way will you go?  Please give this matter your most serious attention.  YOUR ETERNAL DESTINY DEPENDS ON YOUR DECISION.  Remember that “no decision” IS a decision.

 

 

Christian Messenger