Christmas series #1: The Gift
I love to look at our manger scene and contemplate it. My focus is continually drawn to it. To think, that God would choose a stable surrounded by sheep and cattle in which to bring His beloved Son into the world! To think, that God would choose Mary, a young virgin, to be the mother of Jesus!
Listen to the words of the angel Gabriel as he explains Mary’s pregnancy and as he comforts Joseph, the man whose heart has been broken because it appears that Mary the young lady he has been looking forward to marrying, has been unfaithful to him. “Fear not to take unto thee Mary, thy wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a Son and thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:18-25
Listen again to the words of Gabriel as he explains the meaning and purpose of Christmas. “Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins.”
Christmas is not about decorations, Christmas carols, Christmas trees, Santa Claus, gifts and feasting. There is nothing wrong in any of these trappings of Christmas. I’m not Scrooge trying to make you feel guilty and miserable about Christmas. I only want to turn your attention to the true meaning of Christmas. What good are the Christmas table decorations without the dinner? What good are the decorations and wrappings without THE GIFT?
Because we are all sinners before our Holy God and because we cannot save ourselves by our works of righteousness or by religious observances; God at the right time and place in human history sent Jesus, His only begotten Son, into the world to go to the cross and die, shedding His blood as the perfect and final sacrifice for our sins.
In Old Testament times God directed the Levitical priesthood to offer animal sacrifices for Israel‘s sins, in anticipation of the Lamb of God whom He would send in the fullness of time. Now that Christ’s blood has been sacrificed, there is no long any need of any sacrifice for sin. Read Hebrews 10 and ask God to help you understand this marvelous truth.
Note that it is ONE sacrifice forever! It is NEVER TO BE REPEATED! To attempt to do so would be blasphemous! We simply trust Christ and rest in His finished work on Calvary‘s cross as the full and final penalty for our sins.. That’s the difference between Christianity and dead, false religion. The true Christian rests and rejoices in Christ’s finished work of salvation and he rejoices in the assurance of his eternal Home in Heaven. False religion, which has its source in Satan himself, keeps worshippers living in fear and bondage all their lives, hoping and praying that all their good works, prayers and religious efforts will merit them eternal life. Hebrews 2:14-15
How about you? Do you have absolute assurance that your sins are totally forgiven and that you have been given the very righteousness of Christ? Have you been given a new heart that loves Jesus and hates sin? Can you boldly testify, “Thank God, I have received Jesus as my Saviour from sin! I am bound for Heaven! I am resting and rejoicing in His blood sacrifice for my sins. I am rejoicing in Jesus’ bodily resurrection from the tomb. Because He lives, I shall live with Him forever. I Corinthians 15
We do not go to Heaven because we are living perfect lives. None of us are, and if we think we are, we are deceiving ourselves. I John 1:5-10 But we whose trust is in Jesus alone are counted as perfect as Jesus Himself through God’s work of justification. Read about it in Romans 3, 4 and 5. and ask God to help you understand it. Read II Corinthians 5:21 and keep reading it until God’s Spirit opens your heart to rejoice in this life-changing truth.
My prayer for you is that if you have never done so, you may right now receive God’s Gift of salvation in His Son and that this may be the most wonderful Christmas of your life! Then find a church where Bible preaching is central and where salvation through trusting in the shed blood of Christ is preached. I encourage you to feed on God’s Word. A good place to start is by reading and studying with your Bible the articles on this web site.
I hate to close this article on a negative note, but I have to be honest with you. There is a good chance that some of you reading this today are choosing to go on in your self-righteousness. You reject your need of a saviour. You turn your back on God’s Gift of Salvation and continue on in your sins. For you the future is very bleak and it is only going to continue to grow darker for you. When life is over for you on this earth, you will be in Hell for eternity. Read your future in Revelation 6:12-17 and 20:10-15 I urge you right now to reject the attraction of sin and Satan and open wide your heart to God and invite Christ to be your Saviour.
How do you get that faith to believe? Romans 10:17 says that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Lay aside everything else and get this matter settled TODAY!
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