Message of Christmas Joy
This is an article written by Brian Smith and posted on Verse by Verse Ministry International’s website December 25, 2013.
For many people, Christmas is a time to spend with family and friends, to exchange gifts, and to give something of yourself. It’s a time of warm memories, Santa Claus, and helping others. Indeed, this is the message in practically every Christmas movie. It all sounds so…even wonderful! While all those things tug at our heartstrings and tend to make us feel good, is that what the Bible teaches us about this special season of celebration?
Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with these things. But, let’s face it, the world wants us to feel good about ourselves, so we should not be surprised that this is the world’s “Holiday” message. Christmas, however, is about NONE of those things. The Biblical message of the season is…much, much better.
Because God became a man in Jesus, the Bible tells believers to rejoice; and not just rejoice, but rejoice always! As we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, it’s worth examining why we should rejoice.
Ephesians 2:1-3 (NKJV)
By Grace Through Faith
2 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
We don’t like to think of ourselves as being spiritually dead, doing the bidding of the devil, and being labeled as a child of wrath. That just does not inflate one’s self esteem! But Scripture doesn’t hold back when God’s word describes our true nature. So why rejoice? Ephesians 2 continues:
Ephesians 2:4-10 (NKJV)
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
It’s been said that the word “but” is the best word in the Bible, and that may be true. Despite our sin and being deserving of punishment, because of God’s great mercy and love He saved us. He showed us this kindness in His Son, Jesus. That’s a great reason to rejoice always!
Romans 5:12 &19 (NKJV)
Death in Adam, Life in Christ
12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—
19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
Romans 5:8-10 (NKJV)
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NKJV)
9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
Were you ever guilty of one of these sins? Are you unrighteous? What’s to rejoice about? Read on in 1 Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 6:11 (NKJV)
11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
Romans 8:10-18 (NKJV)
10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Sonship Through the Spirit
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
From Suffering to Glory
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Pretty all-encompassing, no? What’s to rejoice?
Romans 8:1-4 (NKJV)
Free from Indwelling Sin
8 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,[a] who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
So, while we are all deserving of death because of our great sin against God, because God became a man in Christ Jesus, we have been saved from the wrath of God. This is truly good news, and it is the real message of Christmas: redemption in the God of the universe, Jesus Christ. Therefore,
Philippians 4:4 (NKJV)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Indeed, this is God’s will for us:
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV)
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
May we rejoice in Christ at Christmas – and always. For it is He who said,
Luke 10:20 (NKJV)
20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
“©2016 – Verse By Verse Ministry International (http://www.versebyverseministry.org). May be copied and distributed in its original, unedited form, including this copyright statement, and no fee is collected for its distribution.”
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