I am not a big fan of Christmas and all of its trappings. It is not Jesus’ birthday, but it is a time that we can turn our focus to the fact that God became a man. I love to celebrate the incarnation of the Christ, to sing the great hymns and to preach on the plan of God to redeem the fallen human race. This is not a “once a year” kind of truth! It is the foundation of the Christian Faith!
The Necessity of the God / Man – AUDIO
The point of this celebration is to recognize what God did to save sinners. He did not just manifest Himself in a human form, He BECAME a man. He was born like every other man. He lived in poverty in a hick-town in Palestine. He was not wealthy or privileged in any way. His parents were real people who struggled with the issues of life, like Mary becoming pregnant before the wedding day, like the government forcing them to relocate in order to register for their taxes, and like having to flee the threat of death from their local, Roman-appointed king. The struggles of life were as real to Him as they are to any of us. Yet He was God, the Creator of all! He did this because the Sacrifice that was required for sin needed to be one of us. We have seen from our Advent Study in Hebrews that the animal sacrifices of Old Testament times were not able to take away sin. They merely pointed to the One who could. The Man Jesus, a real Sacrifice, The God Christ, wholly God.
Hebrews 4:14-16 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
He is a High Priest with the Power of God and the Empathy of His own real, human experience. The writer to the Hebrews goes on to say;
Hebrews 5:8-9 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,
He was a Son, eternally, to God. But He learned obedience, that is, He experienced what it is like to have to obey God in the fallen world of men. It is not easy! Having lived perfectly as a man, He became the Sacrifice that was truly able to deal with our problem of sin. How important is it to understand the Jesus is fully God and fully man?
John 8:24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.” (English Majority Text Literal Translation)
Colossians 2:8-10 Beware lest anyone captures you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are completed in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.
This truth has been under attack since the beginning of the Church. The Apostle John wrote against the false teachers who tried to misrepresent Christ as he penned his letters in the New Testament.
1 John 4:1-3 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this the Spirit of God is known: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit which does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard that it is coming, and now is already in the world.
If you are unsure as to Christ’s place in the Godhead and in the Plan of Redemption, I strongly encourage you to follow up on this study. Check out some other teachings I have done on this subject:
- Heroes and Heretics, Developing Doctrine by Refuting Heresies; (Listen particularly to the studies on Tertullian and Athanasius)
- Christology; a detailed study on the person of Christ and His relation to the Godhead.
In the meantime, enjoy your gifts and Christmas cookies, but remember that a pivotal event in human history, one that was foretold and foreshadowed by God through ancient Israel is what it is supposed to be about. Meditate on the humanness of that Baby in the manger and then try to imagine that the Omnipotent God who created all things, subjected Himself to that level of vulnerability in order to redeem a race of rebels and traitors. Love has no more beautiful or profound face than the face of Jesus Christ!
2 Corinthians 4:6 Because it is God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
The Necessity of the God / Man – AUDIO