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THERE IS CHRISTMAS IN THE CROSS https://4cminews.com/?p=48370 **Christmas is not found in a forlorn stable outside of Bethlehem but on a hill outside of Jerusalem. This is where the Son of God, who came to the earth to die for our sins, sacrificed His life for all of mankind.** pic.twitter.com/t70DDoeKiI
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By Rev. Gary Green 4cminews.com 24 Dec 2018
Well What is CHRISTMAS
Secular sources offers this Definition
1. the annual Christian festival celebrating Christ’s birth, held on 25 December in the Western Church.
synonyms: Xmas, Noel; Burra Din; informal: Chrimbo, Chrissie; archaic: Yule, Yuletide
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed most commonly on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.
What did the Apostles of the new testament Say about “This Jesus & His Birth”
Firstly we can look to the Apostle Johns letters in particular 1 John Chapter 3 the things we know about this letter is that we are certain about the intended readers based on the content of the letter itself is that (i) they were Christians, (ii) they appear to have been well-known to the author (and he to them), and (ii) they were facing a threat from false teaching, a threat which was both serious and which appears to have arisen from within their Christian community.1) 1 John 2:18-19 ie. The first epistle indicates that the readers were confronted with the error of Gnosticism2)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosticism . And the locale in which Johns letters were written leads scholars to conclude that the best and earliest evidence points to Ephesus. The Book of 1 John was likely written between A.D. 85-95.
The Apostle John leads in with this Statement found in 1 John 1 vs.1 – vs.4 which is a core foundation he builds upon
1 John 1 (ESV)
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
In the epistle 1 John chapter 3 we find the Apostle John states a foundational doctrinal truth which is core to Christianity and directly clarifies why the Birth of Jesus on Earth.
1 John 3 (ESV)
1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
The Apostle John is writing from Ephesus to the believers and states clearly the purpose for the Birth Life and Death of Jesus the Christ Gods only Son.
This was no ordinary event; this was no random event of chance! No it had specific purpose and intent formed in the heart of God the Creator of Heaven and Earth which could only be achieved by His only Son Jesus the Christ.
In today’s vernacular; the most Historic Earth Changer, Heavens Shattering, SIN Destroying Event which not even Lucifer himself understood, was all formed in the heart of God with the Son before the foundations of this world had became a reality.
This intervention this visitation by God and His Son was aimed at one thing and one thing only and the Apostles and Prophets declared it!
“To Destroy the Power, The Dominion and Control of Mans State of SIN; that came through the fall of Adam.
From that day Adam fell all flesh was born in SIN; Born under Domination, Born with a SIN Debt he could never pay; Born with a SIN Nature he in himself could never Dominate but rather would be dominated by.
What could be describe as “Mans Dilemma” which could only be resolved by God. A SOLUTION that ONLY GOD could provide which was through his Only Son Jesus who by the way of the Cross obtained and offer to men.
Is about SIN and God’s answer to the “Dilemma” Mankind could never resolve
Gnosticism states Matter ie (Flesh) is Evil and Spirit is Good therefore God did not come as a man in flesh and die a physical death. Thereby voiding the shedding of blood for forgiveness of sins which is the payment God made for Mans redemption of his SIN Debt to God. The Apostle John refutes this and say’s “Jesus was Born physically as a child in Flesh and was Gods Son”. We could say… Gods reasons for coming to earth in human fleshly form of man wasn’t because of a whim or fancy to mingle with men, no it was motivated by a love for mankind and compassion and kindness not found in the hearts of men naturally.
The writer of Hebrews in chapter 9 vs 28 say’s “Christ died only once”. So why did He die? and whats that got to do with Christmas?
What was the prime purpose of Jesus being born in the Flesh (100% man), 1 Jn 3:5 ESV. say’s He came “To Take Away our Sins” and in Hebrews chapter 9 vs 28 is say’s “so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many,… ” But it did not stop there! vs.28 continues to say “so Christ,… “will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him”.
Hebrews chapter 9 says Jesus is coming a second time and it has nothing to do with Sins!
One needs to ask Why?
I believe Jesus himself explained it clearly with his last words spoken on the cross! and has been recorded in the gospels for all mankind to know. “IT IS FINISHED”
What is finished?
The Sin Problem!
The Sin Problem was and is No Longer a problem as far as God is Concerned.
Gods Solution had now been fully completed and was now established forever for mankind,
Remember… “he appeared in order to take away sins…
Remember…”… The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
And this time He comes to Earth for an entirely different purpose!
“To Save Those Who Are Eagerly Waiting for Him’ (Hebrews 9 vs.28)
The question needs to be asked! “Now that sins have been dealt with! What is God through His son going to Save His People From?”
The books of Matthew3)Matthew 24:3-31 , Thessalonians4)1 Thessalonians chapters 4-5 and 2 Thessalonians chapters 2-3 and Revelations speaks about this time coming it is refereed to by many as the 70th Week of Daniel’s Prophecy.5)DANIEL 9:27
And according to the writer of the books Jesus is Coming to a time like nothing Mankind has ever seen before, a time where the Demonic world makes an open play for Domination and Satan attempts to once again declare himself as God and in Pride places himself on a throne in the 3rd Temple in Jerusalem declaring himself as God, demanding all to bow down and worship him and will require all to take a mark that signifies their submission and homage of him as God, this single act by mankind will immediately determine their eternal doom and Just condemnation by God.
This 70th week (a 7 year period) is marked with great tribulations to those who are God’s people, Jews and Christians alike come under intense persecution from Man on Man, Daniel says this period will last 3.5 years, which brings mankind to a tipping point where the Antichrist plays his hand for Domination and control, fooling even the elite with his guile.
What follows is something no one should ever want to see or endure in their right mind, it is the Wrath of God Poured Out on Mankind on Earth, Judgments so terrifying it should cause all who hear of its coming want to do whatever God says must be done to escape this.
This is what Jesus is coming back for! Its been called the “Rapture”, the “Departure”, the “Resurrection” of the Dead in Christ and the Living. The writer of the book of Hebrews clearly states Jesus second coming was and will be to “SAVE” His people waiting for Him.
The Power of SIN and the SIN Nature that has Dominated Mankind Since Adams Fall being Dealt with by God once and for all, it is also about a time yet to come where God Saves people from a time like no other where the full cup of God’s Wrath and Judgments a meted out on a defiant mankind.
Johns Gospel says it well. John Chapter 1 vs 29
“Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the Sins of the World” we should bare in mind that Jesus had not died on the cross at this point and the John the Baptist sees Jesus and makes this proclamation.
The Angels declared the purpose of the Birth of Jesus before He was even born. Apostle Matthew writes in chapter 1 vs 21 ” the Angel said to Joseph, son of David fear not take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit, She will bare a son and you shall call his name Jesus for he will save his people from their Sins”
Apostle Luke’s account of the shepherds in the field is illuminating vs.10 chapter 2. “The Angel said fear not behold I bring you Good News of great Joy that will be for all people, vs. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a saviour who is Christ “the anointed one” the Lord “God”
The Angels Declared the purpose of His Birth it was: “SALVATION FROM SIN AND JUDGMENTS”
Isaiah chapter 7 vs 14 says ” He shall be called Immanuel “God is with Us” we must remember this was recorded from Oral History in the book of Isaiah around 701-681 BC with that in mind We now read Isaiah chapter 9 vs 6 which says
to us a son is given
and the government shall be upon his shoulder
and his name shall be called
wonderful counsellor, Mighty God
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah proclaims yet another time to come which can be biblically tied to the 1000 years of peace what is called The Millennium, spoken of in the New Testament, We have a prophet during a period before 701-681 BC declaring events to a child yet to be born “Jesus” concerning a world changing event to happen. we are now in 2018 means approx. 3000 yrs have past and this event is yet to happen. I can confidently say it will happen, why because this child was born, that is what Christmas is about!
The Nativity Story is far more then a stable, a baby and animals we celebrate an event which altered the destiny on mankind and saved them from doom and eternal damnation. Most today do not understand this or consider it part of what is Called Christmas in the Secular sense, for a vast majority its a public holiday time for presents and endulgements of excess.
Christmas is not a Jewish holiday.6)http://www.jewfaq.org/xmas.htm Yet according to the prophet Zachariah in chapter 12 vs 10 there is coming a day when they will finally recognise Gods Only Son this child Born of a Virgin, Named Jesus who came to take away their SIN. “Take away the Sins of many people”
Yes a time is coming when the Nation of Israel will understand and acknowledge Jesus Born of Mary Gods Only Son the Child who came in humility and suffered the cross for their SIN to save them from Sin and Death (Eternal Separation From God), this event for Israel will not come without a price; as at this time spoken of in Zachariah 2 thirds of Israel will have been killed and in desperation those who are left cry out to God and God sends His Son a third time to save them from total destruction, Salvation is always on Gods Mind.
We today have an incredible opportunity before us as we enter the 2018 Christmas festive period. We have the freedom and opportunity to embrace God and His Son and What He came for and did for us some (approx.) 2000 years ago.
Will we openly acknowledge without reservation God sent His Son Born of a Virgin and His name was called Jesus and He came for a specific purpose “to save us from the Power of SIN and the Domination of the SIN Nature that holds every-man not born of God Captive.
Whatever has happened during 2018 in our live is behind us what matters is what are we going to do with the truth about Jesus the Son of God.
He came born as a child He lived as a man and His name was called Jesus 100% Man yet 100% “God is With Us!” non can deny the facts historical evidence demands that acknowledgement, what God seeks is the Heart of a Man or Women Boy or Girl who will embrace for themselves the very purpose His Son Jesus came for, that He came to save them from their SIN and to destroy the power of SIN over them. And we who are alive may see Him come again to save us from a time that’s yet to come.
In conclusion I would ask you to once and for all will you Surrender your Life to God and Let Him Save you from the power of, and domination of and control of “SIN”, which only produces “Death”, ie. separation from God now and for Eternity
The Bible says only a fool says in their heart “there is No God” Psalm 14 vs.1, I would say only a fool would say they have No Sin or a Sin Debt to God and the Apostle John says that person is deceived 1 John 1 vs.8-vs.10
The Birth of Jesus was the prime act of Gods Plan to Redeem (pay out) our Sin Debt to God on our behalf because we could never by our own efforts pay that Debt!
Yes we actually have something to Celebrate at Christmas and its not Santa and Present or Holidays!
Replay the Christmas Story God’s Way: His Son came to dwell amongst man to Save men from “SIN” and then I invite you to embrace in its absolute fullness the One Purpose He came for.
Below is a prayer Ive written I would encourage you to find a quiet place and pray this prayer with utter sincerity and resolve to let it be the reality and truth of your life today.
GOD WILL NOT LET YOU DOWN
Father in Heaven, I come to you in Jesus name.
I believe Jesus Christ is your son and that Jesus came and lived as man, and he was crucified on the cross for my sins.
I believe Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day and is seated at the right hand of God in Heaven, as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Today I ask that Jesus, your son, would come and dwell in my heart by the Holy Spirit, and I surrender my whole life, my will and desires to Jesus Christ and make him my Lord and King.
Today I choose to give you, almighty God, complete control of my life.
Fill me with your Holy Spirit, forgive me for my sins, and give me your power and ability now to live a life that honors you and brings others to know you. I thank you for this new life I now Have.
I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.
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The goal of this posting is to thoroughly cover the reason that the eternal God had a birth date into our world.
An eternal plan
Why did God come through the channel of a virgin’s womb?
Why was it necessary for God, in spirit form, to take upon himself a body?
The phrase, He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross is the focal point of this discussion. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit held a meeting in eternity past and planned the entire program of redemption. All three were, at that time, in spirit form. God the Father was and still is a spirit (see John 4:24). The Holy Spirit was and still is a spirit (see John 16:13). Christ was a spirit because He was (past tense) in the form of God, which we have already proven to be a spirit form (see Philippians 2:6).
However, at this meeting of the Trinity in ages past, it was agreed that one of the three would eventually become a human with a covering of flesh, and Christ was the elected member to fulfill salvation’s plan.
Messiah means “sent one.”
If He is the sent One, He did not originate at Bethlehem’s manger.
Does this simplistic doctrinal truth penetrate your reasoning processes? Hear it again. God sent forth his Son, made of a woman. There it is-Christ’s deity and humanity. His eternity and birth. God sent the Son who was in His presence, meaning that Christ existed as God before coming to earth. However, He was made of a woman when He was sent. This is, of course, the virgin birth which took place in the manger centuries ago when God became man.
When the Trinity outlined the plan, all the events of future history were foreknown. Remember, God knows everything. The plan progressed according to the omniscience of the Godhead. Since God knows everything about everything and all things about all things, the following points were known thousands, yes, millions of years before they occurred:
1. Man’s disobedience and fall.
God placed man in the garden of Eden with certain restrictions.
Instead of listening to Jehovah God, Adam and Eve listened to the devil. Say, all of us are so much like them. We certainly are chips off the old block.
Not only did God foreknow the fall of man, but:
2. The Trinity foreordained the temporary sacrifice.
I imagine the conversation in the heavenlies went as follows: “Because man will yield to temptation and fall, there will need to be a sacrifice offered.
Since sinful flesh is responsible and since the life of the flesh is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11), the decree is established in the counsels of eternity that the shedding of blood, which typifies DEATH to the flesh, will be the eternal sacrifice offered. It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul (Leviticus 17:11). Animal blood will be temporarily offered until one of us goes to present the permanent sacrifice.“
Let’s investigate the facts and see if God’s program was instituted. After Adam and Eve sinned they knew that they were naked (see Genesis 3:7).
The pangs of a guilt-ridden conscience over sin were being experienced. They wanted to cover their bodies and did so by making fig leaf aprons. However, fig leaves that would shrivel up and die in a few days could not satisfactorily handle the situation. Also, dry fig leaves were bloodless and could not make an atonement for the soul.
So God, in the cool of the day, visited this couple and covered them adequately-physically and spiritually. Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them (Genesis 3:21). The skins of animals adequately covered them physically and spiritually. Why? In providing the skins, the blood of the animals was shed.
We see the same story unfolded in Genesis 4 concerning Cain and Abel. Their parents, Adam and Eve, had taught them this soul-saving story about the animal skins. Now when the boys were of age and wanted to bring a sacrifice to God, Cain presented an offering of fruit and Abel, of animals.
If you should think that I am stretching the point by stating dogmatically that Cain’s offering was rejected because it was devoid of blood, I invite you to confirm this truth in your heart by studying Hebrews 11:4 which emphatically presents the teaching just considered. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent [more acceptable] sacrifice than Cain.
Notice they brought their offerings as a sacrifice.
God had decreed that blood alone could make an atonement for the soul. Abel, by faith, brought an animal. Notice why he did it. It was by faith. Romans 10:17 says, So then faith cometh by hearing. If he brought it by faith and faith comes by hearing, it is only a logical conclusion to say that he heard the story from the lips of his parents, accepted it, and practiced the shedding of blood because he believed God.
Cain, the first liberal or modernist, said, “It’s all bunk. I will offer my fruit which contains no blood, and God will have to be satisfied.“
But God said, “Cain, I reject your bloodless sacrifice.“
Many have rejected the only method of salvation God has given the world-the shedding or sacrifice of blood for the remission of sins. Self-righteous efforts, good works, prayers, creeds, and religious observances are but offerings of fruit.
The Sermon on the Mount, the Golden Rule, and the observance of the Ten Commandments are but the waving of fig leaves in the face of Almighty God. Many of these things are good to practice because one is a Christian, but any method of trying to enter into eternal life that avoids or bypasses the blood will only result in eternal separation from the God who made the decree.
Now, let’s go one step farther.
3. The Trinity foreordained the permanent eternal sacrifice.
Again we hear the three members of the Godhead speaking in eternity past: “Animal blood will be only a temporary solution because it cannot take away sin, only cover it.
Man’s blood is tainted through Adam’s sin. Therefore only one option or course of action is possible. One of the three of us will have to go to earth and take flesh as a covering. This will be necessary because flesh contains the blood of the body. The One who is chosen to go will have to shed that blood to take away the sins of the human race which animal blood only covered.
“The One who goes and takes upon himself that body must have a special birth, because all humans born through natural generation or through the regular channels of birth inherit the old wicked sinful nature of Adam. Therefore, the One chosen will have to have a special birth in the womb of a virgin. The very body will be created and placed in that womb. By this special act of creation-detouring the normal means of reproduction through intercourse-the Saviour will be born into the world. When His blood, holy and pure, is shed, it will take away sin.“
The eternal truth
Does this conversation of the Trinity in ages past seem farfetched to you? Are you wondering if this entire plan presented is really in the Bible?
That’s right, even before Adam and Eve were created. Christ’s shedding of His blood did not take Him by surprise nearly 2,000 years ago. Rather, it was part of the plan He had helped initiate before the world was formed.
That’s why Acts 2:23 states, Him [Christ] being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain. In other words, the wicked only did to Christ what the foreknowledge of God had planned.
Did it happen?
Yes. God came into the world in human flesh to take a body that contained blood. It was special blood that did not have the taint of Adam’s sin integrated into it by Christ’s having a human father. Instead, the Father and the Holy Spirit placed this created miracle into the womb of the virgin without an act of intercourse or human insemination so that pure blood might course through the Redeemer’s veins. Then He shed that blood at Calvary to take away sin that had only been covered by animal sacrifices.
The proof of these truths is in the following scripture.
The Old Testament word atonement means “to cover“-only “to cover.” The priest offering the animal blood would say, “I know that this blood only covers the sinner’s sin until your sacrificial Lamb comes, dear God.“
Who was God’s Lamb?
That body was prepared in the womb by God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.
When John the Baptist saw Christ upon the earth, he said in John 1:29, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
Praise God, this was the Lamb sent from heaven who could take away that which was only temporarily covered through the blood of animals.
On the cross, Christ cried out, “It is finished.” He was not speaking about His life, but about the plan that had been foreordained before the foundation of the world.
Am I certain of this? Yes.
Imagine, this precious blood shed for your sins was planned for you before the world was formed.
Seven hundred times the blood is mentioned as the only-THE ONLY-way of salvation.
Believe it and receive the Christ who shed that pure blood for your transgressions.
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE
first published by 4cminew 2013/12/23 | updated December 28, 2015
The Queen delivers her annual Christmas message from Buckingham Palace.
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A few days ago, a Hillsongs rendition of Silent Night appeared on my News Feed.
However, it was not Silent Night as your grannie knew it.
It was sung to 1920s Jazz music and accompanied by Flapper Girls. It was from their Hillsongs 2014 carol service which was hosted at Wembley. (Hillsongs have since shut down the official version, but it can still be accessed here). Opps Hillsong Censored under copyright clause!
The Hillsongs’ version of Silent night is just wrong in so many ways. One of the subjects I teach is media studies, this means I teach students to analyse media. When studying a medium, it’s important to ask questions like:
» What are the connotations?
» Does the music compliment the lyrical content?
» Is the on screen activity suitable for the genre?
» What tone is being conveyed?
Let’s just think about the connotations in this video for a moment. What are the connotations of Flapper Girls? According to Wikipedia:
Flappers were a “new breed” of young Western women in the 1920s who wore short skirts, bobbed their hair, listened to jazz, and flaunted their disdain for what was then considered acceptable behavior. Flappers were seen as brash for wearing excessive makeup, drinking, treating sex in a casual manner, smoking, driving automobiles, and otherwise flouting social and sexual norms.”
Says it all doesn’t it? And you didn’t need the explanation to see that is the image that the video was conveying. Let’s look to the scriptures to see how far this vision of worship and womanhood falls from the biblical pattern:
“Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness…” (1 Tim 2:9-10)
It’s clear isn’t it?
Ironically, Hillsongs is associated with the classical Pentecostal denomination, the Assemblies of God, yet I’m sure if the early AoG pioneers could see this production they would weep, wail and call for repentance.
ARE THERE NO PROPHETS LEFT IN THE PENTECOSTAL MOVEMENT?
• Where are the men of God?
• Where is the Holiness?
• Where is the fear of God?
• Where is the Christ-exalting reverence which marked the early Pentecostals?
I think it is high time that the Assemblies of God got their house in order and rediscovered church discipline.
• Where are the AoG leaders who care about the honour of Christ?
Hillsong Church 2014: A quick Google search of Hillsong Christmas songs leads you to all sorts of Laodicean goodies like nearly naked “drummer boys”, and lots of songs about Santa Claus and Rudolf. Hillsong is one of the largest churches in the world for the same reason why all your kid’s friends would want to eat breakfast at your house if all you ever served was donuts and coca-cola.
Roaring 20’s Flappers In Nightclub Setting
Over at Now the End Begins, blogger Geoffrey Grider fills us in on Hillsong Church’s Christmas extravaganza that includes nearly naked “drummer boys” and songs about Santa Claus and Rudolf.
Hillsong Church 2014: Grider lamented: “It’s just not a proper celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ without roaring 20’s flappers, rock bands, hoochie coochie dancers, laser light shows and lots and lots of leg in a nightclub setting. Happy Birthday, Jesus, hope you like it.”
The question is: Does Hillsong Church’s production in any way honor God? Um, no.
More from The End Begins:
We have reported on the Laodicean activities of Hillsong Church for quite some time here. We have shown you how Hillsong is steeped in Illuminati and New Age symbolism, their promotion of Chrislam, and how they had for many years an openly gay “couple” leading the choir at Hillsong NYC. But when someone sent us this video today, it shows that Hillsong has reached a new low in their adoration of emulating a lost and dying world.
posted by Marsha West on December 18, 2015
“Should we give gifts at Christmas?”
Many people take the idea of gift giving at Christmas back to the scripture in Matthew 2:10-11 which talks about the Magi (wise men) giving gifts to Jesus at his home: “When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.”
The Bible gives a wonderful story about the gift God gave us—Jesus Christ—and we can use it as an opportunity to present the gospel and to show love. Giving and receiving gifts can be part of fulfilling what Paul says about giving in 2 Corinthians 8:7-8, “But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.”
Paul was talking to the churches who were giving him gifts (financial) so that he could keep on in the ministry. We can apply this same lesson to our own lives by giving to others, not just at Christmas, but year round!
So, can gift giving become the focus of Christmas instead of thanking the Lord for the gift of His Son (John 3:16)?
Does giving gifts have to take away from the true meaning of Christmas?
No, it does not.
If we focus on the wonderful gift of salvation the Lord has given us (Isaiah 9:6), giving to others is a natural expression of that gratitude. The key is our focus. Is your focus on the gift, or on the ultimate gift-giver, our gracious Heavenly Father?
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights…” (James 1:17).
What is the true meaning of Christmas
The true meaning of Christmas is love. John 3:16-17 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
Is the story of God’s becoming a human being in the Person of Jesus Christ.
Why did God do such a thing?
Because He loves us!
Why was Christmas necessary?
Because we needed a Savior!
Why does God love us so much?
Because He is love itself (1 John 4:8).
Why do we celebrate Christmas each year?
Out of gratitude for what God did for us, we remember His birth by giving each other gifts, worshiping Him, and being especially conscious of the poor and less fortunate.
God loved His own and provided a way—the only Way—for us to spend eternity with Him.
He gave His only Son to take our punishment for our sins.
He paid the price in full, and we are free from condemnation when we accept that free gift of love.
“What year was Jesus Christ born? When was Jesus born?”
The Bible does not provide the exact day or even the exact year in which Jesus was born in Bethlehem. But a close examination of the chronological details of history narrows the possibilities to a reasonable window of time.
The biblical details of Jesus’ birth are found in the Gospels. Matthew 2:1 states that Jesus was born during the days of Herod the king. Since Herod died in 4 B.C., we have a parameter to work with. Further, after Joseph and Mary fled Bethlehem with Jesus, Herod ordered all the boys 2 years old and younger in that vicinity killed. This indicates that Jesus could have been as old as 2 before Herod’s death. This places the date of His birth between 6 and 4 B.C.
Luke 2:1-2 notes several other facts to ponder: “In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria.” We know that Caesar Augustus reigned from 27 B.C. to A.D. 14.
Quirinius governed Syria during this same time period, with records of a census that included Judea in approximately 6 B.C. Some scholars debate whether this is the census mentioned by Luke, but it does appear to be the same event. Based on these historical details, the most likely time of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem is 6-5 B.C.
Luke mentions another detail concerning our timeline: “Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age” (Luke 3:23). Jesus began His ministry during the time John the Baptist ministered in the wilderness, and John’s ministry started “in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas” (Luke 3:1-2).
The only time period that fits all of these facts is A.D. 27-29. If Jesus was “about thirty years of age” by A.D. 27, a birth sometime between 6 and 4 B.C. would fit the chronology. More specifically, Jesus would have been approximately 32 years old at the time He began His ministry (still “about thirty years of age”).
What about the day of Christ’s birth?
The tradition of December 25 was developed long after the New Testament period. It’s the day Christians have agreed to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but the exact day of His birth is unknown.