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Evangelist, Baptist, Husband, Father, Mid-30's.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Fast Facts about Christmas

The etymology of Christmas derives from the Greek, “Christos” which means anointed, and the Olde-English, “mass” (massae), which means festival. Christmas is the festival celebrating the birth of the Lord's anointed, Jesus Christ.

Other names which Christmas has been celebrated under are the Feast of the Nativity (birth), Noel (birthday), and Advent (coming).

Early church history places the date of Christ’s birth at 6 January (Clement of Rome) or 25 December (Augustine of Hippo) 5 BC. Calendar errors in the seventh century account for the 5 year discrepancy.

Bethlehem, the city of David, is small among the clans of Judah, but out of here the King was promised.

The Old Testament contains over 300 direct prophecies for Jesus Christ, naming the place, method, and reason for his birth.

“Behold a virgin will be with child” was written more than 700 years before Mary was born. She is called blessed among women, and her song of praise is one of the most beautiful ever written, beginning with, “My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.”

Because Christ was born of Mary and of God, He is 100% God, and 100% man; the prophet Daniel (~600 BC) called Him both the Son of man, and the Son of God.

Jesus Christ has many names; Jesus derives from Jehovah-Yasha, which means, God Saves. Isaiah called Him Emmanuel, which means “God with us.” John of Patmos said His name is, “Righteous and True.” His is the name above every other name, the only name blessed forever.

Isaiah may have said it best with, For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The Father of Eternity, The Prince of Peace.

The Bible says Jesus did not come to condemn the world, but through Him the world might be saved. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already.

The 10 Commandments are a textual representation of Jesus Christ, he cannot lie(9), steal(8), covet(10), murder (or hate without cause)(6), commit adultery(or lust)(7); submission to parents is paramount(5), and especially that His primary concern(2) is His righteousness(1) and name(3), and in Him the Christian finds rest(4).

The 10 Commandments are also the standard of judgment for the human race. Have you ever told a lie? Stolen anything? Coveted something that didn’t belong to you? Called someone an idiot? Lusted after someone that wasn’t your spouse? Always obeyed your parents? Kept God first in your heart? Used the name of God only with respect? Given God one day out of your week?

Hark the Herald Angels Sing was written by Charles Wesley, it captures the reason for the season in, “Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled." Our transgression had not only separated us from God, but made us an enemy of God, and nothing we could do would redeem us.

Christmas is only celebrated because of what happened on Easter. On Easter, Jesus was sentenced to death for claiming to be God, a very serious offense. In this charge, He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities.

Proof of Christ's divinity exists in His miraculous resurrection from the dead; this event is one of the best testified to and recorded events in antiquity.

Jesus Christ never committed a single sin, but He became sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Jesus was born of the Spirit, while we are born of the flesh. He was adamant that lest you be born of the Spirit, you cannot enter the kingdom of God. This is also known as being born-again, or being baptized in the Holy Spirit; this is separate from being baptized in water and can only be accomplished by a supernatural work of God.

The first words Jesus proclaimed to the world were, “Repent and believe the Gospel.” This means to turn from sin, turn towards God, ask for forgiveness, and believe (trust) that Jesus Christ is who He says He is, and that His payment on the cross for your sins is sufficient.

Jesus' last command to the world was, "Be zealous therefore and repent!"

When Christ was born, the herald angel said, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” This was important because heretofore God had a very bad will towards people, which will come to fruition in the unrepentant who step out of this world without receiving the Heaven-born Prince of Peace.

In the words of Go Fish, the beginning and the middle are both wonderful and great, but it’s the ending that can save you, and that’s why we celebrate.

Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

Kat said...