Christmas in its Christian Context

Title: Christmas in its Christian Context

Bible Book: Isaiah 7 : 14

Author: Donnie L. Martin

Subject: Christmas



We Christians often complain that Christmas has become so commercialized that its real meaning has become all but totally obscured. That complaint is certainly warranted, for in the secular world, Christmas seems to be far more about sales than about the Savior. Today's society as a whole tends to ignore the fact that the object of Christmas is Christ. We give to one another at this time of year to honor the reality of God's great gift to a lost world-His Son.

Sometimes however, even we Christians fail to consider the whole picture, when it comes to Christmas. We must be careful not to limit our concept of Christmas to merely a baby in a manger. Perhaps my meaning can be illustrated with this story:

A girl of ten years went with a group of family and friends to see the Christmas light displays at various locations throughout the city. At one church, they stopped and got out to look more closely at a beautifully done nativity scene.

"Isn't that beautiful?" said the little girl's grandmother. "Look at all the animals, Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus."

"Yes, Grandma," replied the granddaughter, "it is really nice. But there is only one thing that bothers me. Isn't baby Jesus ever going to grow up; he's the same size he was last year." From

The birth of Christ was only the beginning of God's great plan. God had a goal in mind, and that goal extended infinitely farther than a babe in a manger and the creation of an annual holiday.

Today, I want us to look at the whole picture. I want us to lay out all the components involved in Christmas, and look at them a little more clearly. Perhaps our appreciation for this celebration of Christ's birth will be enhanced.


A. Christ Understands Our Humanity.

Galatians 4:4, "But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,"

John 1:14a, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us..."

John 2:24-25, "But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man."

Dear friend, whatever is going on in your life today, Christ is all you need, for He understands you completely. This poem says it well:

Christ for sickness, Christ for health,

Christ for poverty, Christ for wealth,

Christ for joy, Christ for sorrow,

Christ today and Christ tomorrow;

Christ my Life, and Christ my Light,

Christ for morning, noon and night,

Christ when all around gives way,

Christ my everlasting Stay;

Christ my Rest, and Christ my Food,

Christ above my highest good,

Christ my Well-beloved Friend,

Christ my Pleasure without end;

Christ my Savior, Christ my Lord,

Christ my Portion, Christ my God,

Christ my Shepherd, I His sheep,

Christ Himself my soul to keep;

Christ my Leader, Christ my Peace,

Christ hath wrought my soul's release,

Christ my Righteousness divine,

Christ for me, for He is mine;

Christ my Wisdom, Christ my Meat,

Christ restores my wandering feet,

Christ my Advocate and Priest,

Christ who ne'er forgets the least;

Christ my Teacher, Christ my Guide,

Christ my Rock, in Christ I hide,

Christ the Ever-living Bread,

Christ His precious Blood hath shed;

Christ hath brought me nigh to God,

Christ the everlasting Word;

Christ my Master, Christ my Head,

Christ who for my sins hath bled;

Christ my Glory, Christ my Crown,

Christ the Plant of great renown;

Christ my Comforter on high,

Christ my Hope, draws ever nigh.

Source Unknown.

B. Christ Understands Our Hardships.

Hebrews 4:15a, "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities..."

1. Jesus experienced personal hunger.

Luke 4:1-2, "And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered."

2. Jesus experienced physical weariness.

John 4:6, "Now Jacob's well was there (Sychar, Samaria). Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour."

3. Jesus experienced poverty of possessions.

Matthew 8:20, "And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head."

4. Jesus even experienced pressure from temptation.

Hebrews 2:18, "For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted."

The cradle of Christ speaks of His willingness to condescend to our level-become one of us, that He might not only relate to us, but to redeem us with His own blood. My, how precious Jesus should be to us as we celebrate His birth this Christmas!

John Newton was a rough, dirty sailor with a foul mouth and an appetite for rotten living. He hated life and life hated him. He was captain of a slave ship. Then someone placed in his hands a copy of Thomas a Kempis' The Imitation of Christ. He also had the gift of a good mother who told him about the Savior when he was young. And then he was saved. He went all over England sharing his faith.

Well past his "retirement" age, he had to have an assistant stand in the pulpit with him on Sundays. He was nearly blind and spoke in whispers, but nothing could keep him from preaching while he still had breath.

One Sunday, while delivering his message he repeated the sentence: "Jesus Christ is precious." His helper whispered to him: "But you have already said that twice." Newton turned to his helper and said loudly, "Yes, I've said it twice, and I'm going to say it again." The stones in the ancient sanctuary fairly shook as the grand old preacher said again: "Jesus Christ is precious!" Source Unknown.


A. Mankind Was Under The Death Sentence Of Sin.

Romans 5:12, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:"

James 1:15b, "...sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."

B. Man Was Unable To Deliver Himself From Sin's Slavery.

Romans 5:6, "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."

Romans 8:3, "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh."

Man, in his natural state, is in much the same condition as the following story describes.

A Prisoner of His Own Appetite

Thomas Costain's history, The Three Edwards, described the life of Raynald III, a fourteenth-century duke in what is now Belgium. Grossly overweight, Raynald was commonly called by his Latin nickname, Crassus, which means, "fat."

After a violent quarrel, Raynald's younger brother Edward led a successful revolt against him. Edward captured Raynald but did not kill him. Instead, he built a room around Raynald in the Nieuwerk castle and promised him he could regain his title and property as soon as he was able to leave the room. This would not have been difficult for most people since the room had several windows and a door of near-normal size, and none was locked or barred. The problem was Raynald's size. To regain his freedom, he needed to lose weight. But Edward knew his older brother, and each day he sent a variety of delicious foods. Instead of dieting his way out of prison, Raynald grew fatter. When Duke Edward was accused of cruelty, he had a ready answer: "My brother is not a prisoner. He may leave when he so wills."

Raynald stayed in that room for ten years and wasn't released until after Edward died in battle. By then his health was so ruined he died within a year, a prisoner of his own appetite. Dave Wilkenson, quoted in Not Even a Hint, by Josh Harris.

C. Man Was Unshackled Through Christ's Suffering.

Isaiah 53:4-6 "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."

We read in 1 Corinthians 15:3b, "...Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;"

Rom 8:2, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."

Folks, we must never forget that this baby in the manger of Bethlehem was born to die. As we imagine the coos of baby Jesus coming from that stable so long ago, we mustn't forget that He was "God with us" (Matt.1: 23). As He lay there with only a feeding trough for His crib, He was still the "Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1: 29), for He was to be "the propitiation for our sins" (I John 2: 2; I John 4: 10).

The goal of Christ's incarnation was not simply to remain a sweet little baby in a cradle, but to die as our Savior on the Cross. The child of Bethlehem's cradle can't save you; only the Christ of the cross can do that.

It was D.M. Stearns who was preaching in Philadelphia. At the close of the service a stranger came up to him and said, "I don't like the way you spoke about the cross. I think that instead of emphasizing the death of Christ, it would be far better to preach Jesus, the teacher and example."

Stearns replied, "If I presented Christ in that way, would you be willing to follow Him?"

"I certainly would," said the stranger without hesitation.

"All right then," said the preacher, "let's take the first step. He did no sin. Can you claim that for yourself?"

The man looked confused and somewhat surprised. "Why, no," he said. "I acknowledge that I do sin."

Stearns replied, "Then your greatest need is to have a Savior, not an example!" Source Unknown.


A. Christ's Reign In The Christian's Life Gives It Meaning.

Colossians 1:18, "And he (Christ) is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence."

Romans 8:37b,"...we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."

We note in 1 Corinthians 5:57, "But thanks be unto God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

Folks, Jesus didn't come to this earth to remain in a cradle or on a cross, for He is King of kings and Lord of lords. He wears the crown of all creation, and is sovereign over all. He desires to establish His sovereignty in the life and heart of every child of God. He must be more than just your Savior. He must also be your Lord.

It was St. Augustine who once said something that we need to take very seriously today: "Jesus Christ is not valued at all until He is valued above all."

We read that A.W. Tozer shared three traits of those who are crucified with Christ. These relate very well to the lordship of Christ in one's life. 1. they are facing only one direction. 2. They can never turn back. 3. They no longer have plans of their own. Tim Hansel, Holy Sweat, 1987, Word Books Publisher, p. 187.

B. Christ's Reign Will One Day Extend Over All Men.

Philippians 2:9-11, "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Read 1 Corinthians 15:27a, "For he hath put all things under his feet..."

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