by Ron Graham
“Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.” Hebrews 10:7.
This time of year brings great joy to folks all over the world and from just about every walk of life. Admittedly we’ve entered a very festive season, but few recognize the real reason behind all the festivities. As strange as it may seem many folks have no clue that Christmas is a birthday celebration. Christians especially enjoy this time of the year because we know whose birth we’re celebrating.
2,000 years ago God came. He entered His Creation and became a man, the man Jesus Christ. The Bible declares it; that should be enough evidence for anyone to believe it, and many do. But many disregard what the Bible says about the birth of the Savior of the world. Hey it’s a holiday, that’s good enough.
God went from being spirit to being a flesh and blood man. A perfect God became a perfect man. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14. Jesus is our Messiah, our perfect God, and our Great Savior, and Redeemer. He’s the Creator of the entire universe. He came to set us free.
Most have either heard or read the account of Jesus’ birth. Jesus began His earthly life as an infant. He was born in a manger and His birth was heralded by an angel. “And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, 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 Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:9-11.
Undoubtedly great joy and celebration erupted in Heaven when the little baby Jesus cried His very first cry proclaiming the beginning of His human life. And here on earth that very night a whole host of angels appeared before lowly shepherds “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:13, 14. Peace on earth? It won’t be long now.
God came as a propitiation for our sins. Those sins began four thousand years before Christ’s birth and they have continued for 2,000 years after His death, burial, and resurrection. Even though sin abounds today there is salvation, there is forgiveness, and there is hope for all who have sinned. And all have sinned. I guess that means there’s hope for some us, right? No, it means there’s hope for everyone. The angel that appeared to the shepherds that night told them that there would be great joy for all people, all people. We are all invited to accept the free gift that God gave to the world that night. When baby Jesus grew into manhood He became the sin offering for all of mankind, “for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.” Hebrews 7:27b
Trying to explain to the lost that God came and that He died on a cross for the sins of the entire world can be an arduous task. Why? Because preaching the cross and Christ crucified is foolishness to most people. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18. They either refuse to believe in a God of the universe, or they believe in God but refuse to believe He could die, let alone die for the sins of man. But He did. “And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, for there is no sin in him.” 1 John 3:5.
Even before Jesus became a full grown man He knew He had an eternal plan to accomplish. That plan was conceived between Father and Son before the foundation of the world and accomplished on an old wooden cross. Jesus’ death was not a tragedy, it was an achievement. Although God the Father and God the Son both knew few would enter through the narrow gate, they still went ahead with their plan.
God knew from the beginning that man would fail the test of following His commands to the letter, and was fully aware of what He would need to do to move His children back into a right relationship with Himself. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.
The Pharisees of Jesus’ time believed they could obtain eternal life because of their strict adherence to the scriptures, but Jesus told them “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” John 5:39. Sadly, many today have the same mindset as those Pharisees of old.
Preachers have been pounding the tops of pulpits for years trying to get the Gospel message out to a rebellious people so they might grasp the truth. Many have succeeded in their attempts, but many more have not. Rebellion is a difficult thing to counter. Moms and dads know this all too well. Children begin to rebel almost from birth. “No” becomes their favorite word in many cases. Whether or not you’d like to admit it folks, that’s rebellion. That’s what God sees in His children, but that’s what He overlooks once we’ve heard the Gospel and believed.
Each year the unbelieving world seek to change the name of this particular season to “winter festival” or some other non-biblical name, anything to take the emphases off Christ and His birth. All those who wish to eliminate Christmas from the season and change the name and the meaning of the 25th of December to “happy holidays” will soon get their wish. ‘Here comes Santa Claus’ will be the only reference to this particular day in the not so distant future. After the Rapture of the Church there will be no further resistance to changing the name of the season. But there will be nothing to ho, ho, ho about either.
Call it what you will, God came to replace death with life. “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10. There’s no denying the facts for those of us whose blinders have been removed. Believers could no more deny Christ or the fact that He came than deny the sun shines every day.
But for many lost souls denying Christ is prominent, many times in the forefront of their minds and at this time of year the denial becomes even more extreme. Some of those who deny Christ become abusive and lash out at any reference to God and Jesus during the Christmas season.
But all the denial in the world doesn’t change the facts. God came. The Bible contains many scriptures about the Christ child and His arrival. Go ahead. Deny the Bible, that’s easy, but you must deny truth at the same time. The Bible is true and complete; all of life’s questions can be answered from the Bible. As I’ve stated in previous commentaries the Bible was written as a history lesson in advance. That’s how God authenticates His word.
Reading and studying the Bible brings comfort in the form of truth. The Bible is God speaking to us and His words comfort our soul. This time of year can be especially comforting as we celebrate the birth of our Savior and King, our Messiah, Jesus.
Many people refuse to believe that God came because of what they’ve been taught; a lie that has been handed down from generation to generation is still a lie. People become convinced there is no God and then they choose to remain in their unbelief. Some, when they are presented with the truth, believe, but many more don’t. However, nothing can stop the forward progress of God’s advancing Kingdom. Whether we run into unbelief or rebellion of any kind, God will not be stopped. He’s proved this time and again.
Those who reject the true fact that God came are in for a surprise of enormous proportions. It’s not going to be a pleasant surprise, of course, but most certainly enormous. You see, all those who continue in unbelief continue to belong to Satan and they are condemned. God has made it plain that to reject His truth is to stand against Him. All who reject the truth announced throughout the scriptures of the birth, ministry, death, burial, and resurrection of the Messiah of the world are only following their father the devil.
God came, and Jesus is God. This biblical truth is disparaged by various religions as well as the Christian cults. In their case condemnation reigns supreme. But that condemnation can be avoided. How? “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved …” Acts 16:31a. By believing that Jesus is who He says He is, earth’s populace can avoid condemnation. But many just flat out refuse to believe, thus they remain Satan’s property.
Jesus Christ is the Messiah that came, a descendant from the tribe of Judah , to proclaim salvation to the Jews. The Jews, many still in rebellion to this day, rejected their Messiah. The Gentiles, on the other hand, were excited about their Messiah and embraced Him with open arms and the Church was born. Many Jews heard the Apostles preaching and believed and joined the body of Christ. Many more did not. And to this day have not.
The Church is God’s creation and He had it in His mind to send His Son to begin the Church at a specific time. Yet many still don’t get it, so we pray for them, family members and friends. We pray that the scales that cover their eyes would melt away just as they did from our own, and the truth would become crystal clear.
All those who believe God came, will, one day soon, accompany Him to Heaven. All those who don’t believe will remain behind and life will be very different here for them once the Church is removed. Even though God came and died for all men, He’s willing to allow men their freedom and their choice. He’s willing to refrain from interfering with man’s decision of where to spend eternity. You see, it really isn’t sin that sends people to Hell. No, it’s the refusal of God’s free gift of salvation. Jesus paid the price for the sins of the world. All we must do is believe in the Gospel of Christ.
Rebellion is rebellion. Some get over it but we are all born with it. Some never get past that childish rebellious nature of saying “NO” so they can come to the truth of the Gospel. If you’re reading this commentary and you’re at a point in your life where you are beginning to feel a tugging on your heart that something is amiss in your life, then you might want to heed these words. The Holy Spirit of God is doing the tugging/drawing and, if you’ll let Him, He’ll help you remove those old stubborn scales covering your eyes and toss away that infantile rebellion you’ve been clinging onto for all these years.
Well, that’s it. That’s the whole shebang, the whole enchilada. It’s really that simple. God came, showed up here on earth as a little baby boy, grew to manhood, still fully God and fully man. If you believe that fact, if you believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the Savior of the world, and the propitiation for our sins you will no longer be under condemnation, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1.
Christmas is so much more than ho, ho, ho. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6.
A Gift Idea:
We are given a perfect opportunity to explain the Gospel to folks who at other times of the year may not be in the frame of mind to hear it. Christmas is a time of joy and many feel the need to give and so why not give the gift that keeps on giving. Give them this gift. Give them the message of the Gospel of Christ.
Merry Christmas and God bless you all,