Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Purpose of Christmas

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)

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. Yesterday we started examining this verse and what it has to say about God’s true love for us and the very first and most special gift of all. 

The Person of Christmas – God

The Spirit of Christmas - so loved

The Recipients of Christmas the world

The Act of Christmas - that He gave
Love must act if it is to be experienced. God had to act because He loved. Unexpressed love is unfulfilled love. You cannot hide love from expression. The greater the love, the more expensive the gift. When the Bible tells us that God "gave" His Son, it means that God gave sacrificially. Gave - rather than “sent” emphasizing sacrifice.

By this the love of God was manifested in us that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:9-10)  We do well to keep Christmas a time of giving for it expresses the fact of love better than any other action. 

Our love for God is well determined by our giving. Do our professed love and demonstrated love balance?  Sacrificial love will create sacrificial giving.  Our Love for God will cause us to love what He loves and become a part of His heart. - Missions Giving

The Gift of Christmas - his only begotten son
God met our greatest need with the only possible provision for that need. The fact that we need to realize is that we can never out-love nor out-give God. God desired to show His love to us in a way that was unquestionable.  A great love demanded a great gift...a priceless gift...and that was Jesus.
Love is not seen in that God sent His Son to live among us - but to die for us.

Paul captured Christmas this way, "But God demonstrates His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8  God's whole purpose in sending His Son was to give Him up to suffer and die. God's whole purpose in giving His Son was for the Son to suffer the punishment for sin.

The Purpose of Christmas – that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Christmas is not just beautiful and sweet...It is POWERFUL!  The angels who sang were not just beautiful, they were instruments of grace. The star that shone was not just interesting; it was heralding the King of Kings.  Out of the manger comes the cross as God acts for mankind.
If, when a man is confronted with Jesus, his soul goes out in a thrill to that wonder and beauty, that man is on the way to salvation. But if, when he is confronted with Jesus, a man sees nothing lovely then he stands condemned.  His reaction has condemned him. God sent Jesus in love. He sent Him for that man's salvation.  But that which was sent in love has become a condemnation.  But it is not God who has condemned the man; God only loved him; the man has condemned himself.

Belief is not just intellectual assent to a truth.  It is the basis for our thoughts and motives.  It is the wellspring of all behaviors.  It is what you trust for peace, happiness and security.  It is your hope and your life.

It is time to believe in the true meaning of Christmas.  Not Santa Clause and his elves, or Jack Frost, Frosty, and Rudolph, but in Jesus and what He did for us that very first Christmas. To receive Christ is to know the true meaning of Christmas and nothing less.

Scripture to Claim:
The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.  He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.  He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.  Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. John 1:9-13 

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