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Summary: What is the meaning of Christmas. We enjoy the festivities, the gift-giving, the pageants and decorations. But they veil the real meaning of Christmas. Join is Sunday as Pastor Sligh preaches on the “The True Meaning of Christmas."

The True Meaning of Christmas

Chuck Sligh

November 27, 2016

TEXT: 1 Timothy 1:15 – “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”

INTRODUCTION

Christmas means different things to different people. To some people, Christmas means gift giving and receiving. Who among us doesn’t delight in receiving a gift, even if we don’t need it? Who doesn’t revel in watching a friend’s or loved one’s expression of glee when they open a gift we’ve given?

To other people, Christmas means children’s plays and pageants. Kids do the funniest things in Christmas plays, don’t they?

Illus. – I remember the story of some children in their early school years who got out of line while putting on a Christmas pageant in church. Thirteen of them were to walk across the stage, each carrying a placard bearing a letter of the alphabet. All together, if they had been in correct order and in line, they would have spelled “B-E-T-H-L-E-H-E-M S-T-A-R.” But the “star” bearers got turned around and went in backwards, so to speak, spelling out: “B-E-T-H-L-E-H-E-M R-A-T-S”!

To some people Christmas means family activities—decorating the Christmas tree together; family get-togethers; wonderful meals with relatives.

Sadly, for many people, Christmas is not all joy and peace on earth!—If you’re a mother with little children, perhaps “A Busy Mother’s Version of the Twelve Days of Christmas” describes your experience at Christmas, which goes like this:

On the twelfth day of Christmas

My littlest love gave to me…

Twelve dogs a-leaping

Eleven cats a-creeping,

Ten fingers gripping,

Nine toes a-tripping,

Eight drinks a-spilling

Seven glasses filling,

Six friends and things,

Five telephone rings,

Four crayoned walls,

Three loud calls,

Two kisses free,

And one mother up a pear tree!

Unfortunately, for too many, Christmas means overindulgence and drunkenness and sin and immorality.

Well, what is the REAL meaning of Christmas? That is to say, what is Christmas all about from the standpoint of the BIBLE? After all, it’s there that the Christmas story is revealed to us.

Really, it can be wrapped up in the Apostle Paul’s statement in our text “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” (1 Timothy 1:15) I’d like you to notice three things in this verse that tells us the true meaning of Christmas:

I. FIRST, THIS VERSE TELLS US THAT CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT A PERSON

Paul said, “Christ Jesus came…” Christmas is not really about Santa Claus, elves or reindeer. It’s about JESUS. That’s why we call it CHRIST-mas.

Who is this person that Christmas is all about? He is undoubtedly the most unique person in history. Everything about Him was unique—what He was, what He taught, what He did. Someone wrote the following about Him:

His birth was contrary to the laws of life. His death was contrary to the laws of death. His resurrection was contrary to the laws of science. He had no cornfields or fisheries but He could spread a table for five thousand and have bread and fish to spare. He walked on no beautiful carpets or velvet rugs, but He walked on the waters of the Sea of Galilee and they supported Him. Three years He preached His Gospel. He wrote no book, built no church house, had no monetary backing. But after nineteen hundred years, He is the one central character of human history, the Pivot around which the events of the ages revolve, and the only Regenerator of the human race. Was it merely the Son of Joseph and Mary, who crossed the world’s horizon nineteen hundred years ago? Was it merely human blood that was spilled at Calvary’s hill for the redemption of sinners? What thinking man can keep from exclaiming: “My Lord and My God!”

II. NOTE SECOND, THAT CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT A PASSAGE.

Paul goes on to say, “Christ Jesus came into the world…” This is one of the most remarkable truths in the Bible. It’s what theologians call the doctrine of the INCARNATION—the truth that God became man—that He became one of us—that He became the “God-man” on earth.

Matthew tells about the virgin birth of Jesus and then says, “Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name EMMANUEL, which being interpreted is, God with us.” (Matthew 1:22-23)

Emmanuel—God WITH us:

• Not only God OVER US as Sovereign Lord, although He is certainly that.…

• Not only God FOR US as Gracious Friend, although He has shown that He is that time and time again.…

• But God “WITH us.”

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