Monday, December 24, 2012

A Blessed Christmas!

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 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 2:1-7)
Who is this Child that was born in a manger? For whom there was no room in the Inn?
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over hte house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." And Mary said to the angel, "How will this be, since I am a virgin?" And the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy--the Son of God." (Luke 1:26-35)
The Son of God? The Son of the Most High? Holy? Who is Holy but God of whom it is said, "holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.'?
And, why should the Son of God--God Himself, the Creator of all things, humble Himself and be born of a woman? Why should He humble Himself and become a man?
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:16-18)
Eternal life? Condemnation? What are these? Well, eternal life is pretty self-explanatory--a life in eternity with Christ, in heaven. Condemnation is eternal punishment in the flames of hell where those who continue in rebellion to God will face the punishment we all deserve.
So, Christ came into this world, died on the cross and rose again so that those who believe in Him shall have eternal life instead of the punishment we all deserve!
But is there no other way of salvation? No other way to escape eternal punishment?
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)
So, no, there is only one way of Salvation--one way to eternal life and that is through Christ.
How do we go through Christ? How can we get this Salvation?
But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. ... ...For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romand 10:8-9, 13)

Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself." (Acts 2:37-39)

Repent of your sins and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ! This is the way to Salvation! You do not have to be a 'good' person--none of us are. We are all sinners. And, Christ died for us 'while we were yet sinners.' The 'healthy do not need a doctor but the sick.'
What a blessed gift that God has given--His only begotten Son, to die for us so that we may live!

'Glory to God in the Highest!'

Have a blessed Christmas as you remember what a precious gift Christ's birth is to mankind!

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