Religion - The Christian meaning of Christmas

RELIGION

The Christian meaning of Christmas is......

GOD HIMSELF HAS COME TO US

" 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." Luke 2:10-11

GOD THE SON HAS BECOME MAN

" Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Philipians 2: 5-8

Nearly two thousand years ago in an obscure village, a child was born of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village where He worked as a carpenter until he was thirty. Then for three years He became an itinerant preacher.

This Man never went to college or seminary. He never wrote a book. He never held a public office. He never had a family nor owned a home. He never put His foot inside a big city nor traveled even 200 miles from his birthplace. And though He never did any of the things that usually accompany greatness, throngs of people followed Him. He had no credentials but Himself.*

While he was still young, the tide of public opinion turned against Him. His followers ran away. He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was sentenced to death on a cross between two thieves. While He was dying, His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth - the simple coat He had worn. His body was laid in a borrowed grave provided by a compassionate friend.

But three days later this Man arose from the dead - living proof that He was, as He had claimed, the Savior whom God had sent, the Incarnate Son of God.

Nineteen centuries have come and gone and today the risen Lord Jesus Christ is the central figure of the human race. On our calendars His birth divides history in two eras. One day of every week is set aside in remembrance of Him. And our two most important holidays celebrate His birth and ressurrection. On church steeples around the world His cross has become the symbol of victory over sin and death.

This one Man's life has furnished the theme for more songs, books, poems and paintings than any other person or event in history. Thousands of colleges, hospitals, orphanages and other institutions have been founded in honor of this One who gave His life for us.

All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the governments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned have not changed the course of history as much as this One Solitary Life.

Over the centuries millions have found a new life of forgiveness from sins and peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ

The Best Gift

Once again it is the season for the giving of gifts. In the atmosphere of secrecy, love and thoughtfulness combine to plan surprises of delight. The home is aglow with the fervent expectancy, as something desired - something needed is carefully selected, wrapped and hidden away until the day arrives. In it all, however, there is a fresh reminder of God's eternal plan of love to meet the dire need of man's soul, and provide THE BEST GIFT to completely satisfy and delight his heart. This is the gift of unspeakable worth. This is God's gift of eternal life. Romans 6:23

THE GIFT PROMISED

As soon as our first parents sinned, the Lord God came down to them in the garden of Eden to search them out. After bringing them to confession, He gave the first promise of a coming Deliverer in the Person of the Seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15). As the years passed, the words concerning the coming Saviour became clearer. In type and picture, He was set forth to Israel as a Lamb without blemish - the Sacrifice to cancel guilt and deliver from Satan's power. Through the prophets, God clearly foretold (1) How He was to come: " Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14); (2) Where He was to come: " But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet our of thee shall He come forht unto Me that is to be Ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting" (Micah 5:2).

THE GIFT GIVEN

" In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him " ( I John 4:9 ). Man by his sin brought death upon all. God by His grace brought salvation to all who believe in the Person of His Son. At Calvary, Jesus " gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity" ( Titus 2:14 ). In resurrection, He is now crowned with glory and honor at the Father's right hand. Through the revelation of the Word of God, and by the power of the Spirit of God, He is now offered to all - to YOU - as the best gift . Best, since no other gift is more needed - " Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other Name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" ( Acts 4:12 ). Best, since no gift is more desirable - He is "altogether lovely" (Song of Solomon 5:16). However, that you may have Him for your own need, and possess Him as the joy and delight of your soul, He must be...

THE GIFT ACCEPTED

A gift offered to you does not become yours until you receive it. So it is with salvation. Faith is the empty hand that reaches out to receive God's gift of life. It is the personal appropriation of His offer. It is believing in your heart that Christ's suffering and death were for your sins; that His ressurrection from among the dead was for your justification. It is believing that THE BEST GIFT IS YOURS!

Millions have already received this Gift and been made to be eternally grateful for the blessing it has brought them. Eternal life as a present possession, the forgiveness of sins, peace with God, and much more are all wrapped up in this invaluable gift of God's beloved Son. Will YOU accept HIM NOW? Take Him by faith as your very own Savior, and you will find Him to be the best gift you have ever received.

" For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" Ephesians 2 : 8 - 9

If you have any interest, or have any questions and wish to discuss this subject further please send us your comments.

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