" For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. " Song of Solomon

December 21, 2006

Christmas in a Nutshell

John 3:16 says "For God, so loved the world (you and me) that He gave His only begotten son..." Why? "...that whosoever believeth on Him (Jesus) should not perish, BUT have everlasting life." And in a nutshell that is what Christmas is about...a gift given because of love.

Notice that the verse says believeth on Him, not in Him....believing in Jesus is a head thing...one believes that Jesus "is", that He exists...whereas believing on Him is akin to trusting Him...

For example, I believe the banks in my hometown are trustworthy...I believe in them...I believe they are safe places to put money....however, I place my trust, i.e. believe on, only one bank: the one I put my money in.

God's gift of salvation is free to all who will receive the gift. How does one receive a gift that is not tangible, that can't be seen or felt? He does it by a mental ascent of sorts, a "yes, I believe on Jesus....I will "trust" him"...I "receive" him". Through faith, we are "saved" by grace (the gift of salvation is free). And faith is the substance and evidence of that which we hope for, that which cannot be seen. Faith, which is invisible and intangible, is the manisfestation of our belief on Jesus.

Yes, we are sinners, in need of a Saviour...and the good news is that there is forgiveness and redemption. And it is available to all....this point was well made in the following excerpt from the blog Lavender Sparkles copied below.

Glad Tidings Not for Good People
Bob Kauflin excerpts from Mark Dever's book Promises Kept: The Message of the New Testament today:
"Christmas isn't about who's been "naughty or nice.""The news we have to declare as Christians is not fundamentally about our law-keeping or our obedience. The glad tidings we bear are not for good people.' It is 'for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly, and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers, and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers' (1 Tim. 1:9b-10a NIV). I doubt you have received many Christmas cards like that. Yet have you realized this is who the Christmas message is for? The Christmas message is not for a bunch of well-dressed, respectable people who attend church to celebrate a cultural holiday. The Christmas message is a message that brings joy to people like father-killers and slave-traders!" (p. 345-346 [of Promises Kept])To truly find joy in Christmas, I have to acknowledge that Jesus didn't become a baby because I'm so good. He came because I'm so evil and needed a Savior. He didn't come to reward us for what we've done, but to save us from what we've done. "

And lest you misunderstand, we are all sinners in that we have all fallen short when it comes to measuring up to God's goodness....there is no way we can ever be as "good" as God; hence our need of the gift of salvation....on our own, by our good works, we could never "earn" it...and until one understands that, one will not believe he needs a Saviour.

And for those who may question all the above, asking "why should I even believe in Jesus, let alone on Jesus"? My answers is simply this: the Bible declares itself to be the revelation of God to man. Either it is, or it is not. If you believe it is revelation of a Creator then you accept its content. And if you do not believe it is what it declares itself to be, I ask you then, what do you believe? Are we here by "accident"? Are we the result of an evolutionary process? To that my answer is this: I do not have the faith to believe in evolution for sure, and I reject the idea we are an "accident' or happenstance. I look around my home and everything I see has been made by "someone" ...it has all been created. And when I look outside and see the trees and sky and earth, I must conclude it too was made by someone....and the Bible declares that someone to be God, the maker, Creator of all.
"....there have been many times when I have shed bitter tears, when if I had understood the situation better, I would have celebrated my good luck instead."


I am not a doctor and all information, suggestions, etc are my personal opinion only.