Monday, December 15, 2014

The Person of Christmas – God

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

The candle we lit last Sunday on the Advent wreath represented love.  Yesterday we lit the candle for joy.  This week we are going to be looking at love and joy at Christmas. 

In this simple salvation passage is the Christmas story. John 3:16 gives the total picture of the meaning and purpose of Christmas.  In this passage we discover the motive, action and purpose of the beautiful gift of Christ.  Christmas and Easter are one act of God - It is called REDEMPTION.

While the focus of Christmas is the manger that contains the Christ child, the person behind the manger is God.  John 1:1 describes Christmas from the vantage point of eternity and identifies the child as God incarnate: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

It is God who presides over and orchestrates the event that we call Christmas and takes it all the way to Easter. Herein for every simple heart is the very essence of the gospel. This text tells us certain very great things:

·      It tells us that the origin and initiative in all salvation lies with God.
·      God’s creation of man was for fellowship.  Man sinned and separated himself from God for God is Holy.  God takes the initiative to restore access for fellowship and power.

·      Sometimes Christianity is presented in such a way that it sounds as if God had to be persuaded to forgive. Some draw a picture of a stern, angry, unforgiving, legal God, and a gentle, loving, forgiving Jesus. Sometimes men present the Christian message in such a way that it sounds as if Jesus did something that changed the attitude of God to men from condemnation to forgiveness.
But this text tells us that it all started with God. It was God who sent His Son, and He sent His Son because He loved men. Behind everything there is God.

The Spirit of Christmas - so loved
What would cause an all-powerful God to act as He did? The answer is LOVE.  The spirit of Christmas is Love.  John said it well in I John 4:16 & 19 - And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in Him....We love Him, because He first loved US.

Christmas is the display of the heart of God as well as the purpose of God and person of God. How does God prove this love of his? Not by a weak indulgence that passes over what should not be as if it were not there, or which pretends it does not gravely matter even if it is. That was not love at all. But by doing all that even God can do, and giving all that even God can give to help us; stretching even divine self-sacrifice to the uttermost, and holding back nothing all because of LOVE.

The Recipients of Christmas the world   John 3:17-21
It was His creation, the world, that God so loved. It was not a nation: it was not the good people; it was not only the people who loved Him; it was the world. The whole world is blessed because God chose to love it.  The unlovable and the unlovely, the lonely who have no one else to love them, the man who loves God and the man who never thinks of God, the man who rests in the love of God and the man who spurns the love of God -- all are included in this vast inclusive love of God.
God loves the world; his foolish, blundering, wayward, sin-sick world; and cannot bear to leave it in the troubles and disasters in which it has involved itself; but has thrown in His all, God's all, to right things for it, if it will.

Scripture to Claim:
For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.  John 3:17

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