Wednesday, December 24, 2008

CHRISTMAS

"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:5-11 NKJV).

I have been thinking lately about the birth of Jesus as it is recorded in the Gospels. Luke records in his gospel the words of Elizabeth the soon to be mother of John the Baptist v. 43-44 chapter 1. "And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy" (ESV).

Here are the familiar words of the “Christmas story.” "And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn" (Luke 2:7). In verse 8 there were shepherds watching their flocks, an angel came to them telling them news that would bring great joy to all people. Verse 11 says "for unto you is born this day in the city of David a savior who is Christ the Lord." Verse 13 "And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts praising God and saying. 'GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST AND ON EARTH PEACE AMONG THOSE WITH WHOM HE IS PLEASED.'” (ESV)

Christmas: “X-Mas”, (do you remember the ranting over the term X-Mas in years past?) Trees, gifts, food, plays, manger scenes, candle lightings in churches and the plays using the scriptures above, Luke chapter 2. We never learned much about He who was born. He was the son of Mary, the carpenters son, the baby in the manger, this is as good as it gets. In days gone by there was outrage about the use of “X-Mas” in place of Christmas, no outrage for the lack of telling who this baby was however.

Elizabeth knew who this baby was, she called him “my Lord”, John the Baptist in the womb knew who this baby was “he leaped for joy” in the womb of Elizabeth.

Isaiah, had he lived at the time of Christ would have know who He was.

"And one cried to another and said: 'Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!' And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. So I said: 'Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts.' Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: 'Behold, this has touched your lips; Your iniquity is taken away,
And your sin purged.'" ( Isa. 6:4-7 NJKV)

Isaiah knew Him who purged his sins.

Remember God is, God, the Son, the Holy Spirit, they are one, when we mention Jesus we are talking about God, Old Testament references to God include Jesus and Holy Spirit.

As stated in the Athanasian Creed Lines 13-16:

“And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God; And yet they are not three Gods, but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord;”

In Matthew 2:16, Herod kills all the male children in Bethlehem two years old and younger attempting to kill the baby Jesus who has fled to Egypt, his parents being warned in a dream to flee. These little babies knew who this baby was; one commentator remarked “they gave their life so He may give them eternal life.” This was (hopefully this isn’t a stretch) their worship. These babies I believe knew who He was.

Here is the baby Jesus,

"[God Himself] who made Himself no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men, and being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. He is exalted, and given a name above every name. Every knee shall bow to Jesus, in the heavens, on the earth and under the earth. Everyone would confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:6-11).

Here is Jesus He is the Lord of hosts, the Lord God Almighty: "And one cried to another and said: 'Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!'" (Isa. 6:3 NKJV)

"The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: 'Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!'" (Rev. 4:8 NKJV)

Christmas isn’t about X-Mas, food, trees, lights, candles etc. Christmas is the time to worship the King of Kings who became man; He came to be wounded, bruised and stricken for us: "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed" (Isa. 53:5 NKJV).

My friend if you can live without a sense of the Lord’s presence and are satisfied with mere outward Christianity, you are lost in your sins. Don’t be deceived. Jesus must be more than a baby in a manger. He must be your Lord and Savior, the Lord of hosts He Is.

"For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him" (Heb. 2:2, 3 NKJV)

Ken Clouse

3 comments:

jwjw376 said...

Ken,

One should not get upset about Xmas as a substitute for Christmas because the X is shorthand for Christ. The first letter of Christ in Greek is Xhi which looks like our X. Xmas is not getting rid of Christ. It is just quicker to write.

Jeremy

Adam Pastor said...

Greetings Ken Clouse

You state:
Remember God is, God, the Son, the Holy Spirit, they are one, when we mention Jesus we are talking about God, Old Testament references to God include Jesus and Holy Spirit.

On this subject,
I recommend this video:
The Human Jesus

Take a couple of hours to watch it; and prayerfully it will aid you in your quest for truth.

Yours In Messiah
Adam Pastor

The North Eastern Michigan Reformation Society said...

Adam,

We appreciate that you visited our blog and hope you will continue to visit in the future.

However, we reject your views concerning Christ as unbiblical and heretical. This rejection is not a result of watching the previously linked video (I did not watch the video because I do not have the time), but I did read some of your blog postings.

The North Eastern Michigan Reformation Society affirms the full deity and humanity of Christ as expressed in the Scriptures and the ecumenical creeds of the Church.

We urge you to search the Scriptures, the creeds, and expositions of both. Further, we plead with you to repent of these heretical views and embrace the Christ of the Scriptures who is fully God and man.