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Summary: Significance of Christmas to those who have never tasted the Savior's love...

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Cool Christmas “shopping”

Once when a Sunday schooler was asked what she would give to her parents lovingly during Christmas, she is said to have replied with a disarming smile “A list of everything I want!” Cannot blame the kid really, considering the fact that Christmas time becomes synonymous with shopping time, especially in the western world. While some shop to give gifts to their loved ones’, some shop just to flaunt their wealth. Talk of conspicuous consumption. As someone said “Christmas is in my heart twelve months a year and thanks to credit cards, it's on my Visa card statement twelve months a year also.” While some fault really lies with the consumers for excessive shopping, the sellers also do their bit in enticing the customers to stretch their purses. With beaming Santa on the background, discount proffers’ proliferating are a common sight. As though this is not enough, lo and behold, there come the EXCHANGE OFFERS. Bring the old and take the new is the order of the Christmas season. Hey wait a minute, The Bible too with the Christmas season in the perspective speaks about BRINGING THE OLD AND TAKING THE NEW! Consider this verse… “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” –Ezekiel 36:25/Heb 8:10. An irresistible Christmas “exchange offer”, eh!

More a person looks inward honestly; more a yet another Biblical verse rings true “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure…” (Jer 17:9) Look at what the Savior has to say on this subject “But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean.' "- Matt 15:18-20 so much so, one can safely conclude without any fear of being accused of exaggeration that at the heart of all problems is the sinfulness of the human heart. So how did this heart, which was originally created pure, become so defiled? Was it not when our original parents willfully sank their teeth into the forbidden (Gen 3:6-7)?

So, if the first Adam, was a original sinner, then the final Adam (Jesus) is the Savior. There is a distinct similarity between Adam and Christ, in that both were NOT BORN because of human plan or passion but by an act of God. If through the first Adam (did not experience childhood) came sin, then through the final Adam (did not experience old age) comes salvation (Romans 5:12-21). NO WONDER THE BABY BOY BORN ON THE CHRISTMAS DAY IS CALLED JESUS MEANING SAVIOR (Matt 1:21)! If man were not enmeshed in the problem of sin, there would not have been any need for the Savior…or for that matter, for the first Christmas. Jesus came with a power to replace a desperately wicked human heart “with a new one”. Speak of spiritual heart transplant…

While, those experience this spiritual operation, fall deeply in love with Him, what about those who stubbornly resist Savior’s invitation of Grace? Let’s reflect on this verse “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 2:3.” Why is the Salvation announced by Lord Jesus, “GREAT” salvation in the first place? What is “SO GREAT”, about it? FIRSTLY IT IS FREE! It is given NOT BECAUSE of our good works. Yes, good works do figure in God’s scheme of things (Rev 14:13) but they are NOT THE CAUSE OF SALVATION BUT ONLY AN EFFECT OF IT. We are saved FOR good works affirms Eph 2:10 by receiving His grace freely and NOT BY GOOD DEEDS. It is free, because it is universal. If it were not free, then the strong and the rich would outdo the weak and the poor in gaining it. Trying to find ANY OTHER WAY of winning over God’s favor, would be akin to covering oneself with fig leaves (Gen 3:7). HE ALONE CAN CLOTH US PROPERLY WITH A LAMB SLAIN FOR THAT PURPOSE (Gen 3:21)! Amazing isn’t it, the animal slain in the Garden of Eden was pointing to the coming Savior…

Secondly, this great salvation enables to experience Heaven on Earth itself when the good Lord (once we receive Him), places His own spirit inside our hearts (Eph 1:13). Now the Holy Spirit brings along with Him HIS FRUIT in full measure. So in effect when, we experience love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Gal 5:22-23), we get a foretaste of future glory (Romans 8:23). As somebody said “Christianity is not only about taking a person to Heaven, IT IS ALSO ABOUT GETTING HEAVEN INTO A PERSON”! Boy, it is a privilege, which even OT saints barring a select few like David (Psalm 51:11-12), did not enjoy!

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