I encourage you to enjoy Christmas faith that knows who it believes in
Christmas comes with its obvious celebrations, busyness, family get-togethers, and possibly pains and doubts. Regardless of your spiritual convictions, Christmas is one of those occasions that draws spiritual beliefs to the forefront. Therefore faith should produce unashamed and surrendered living for the baby Jesus who came specifically to “save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
The apostle John was possibly the most outspoken regarding the identity of Jesus. He boldly explains that Jesus is “The Word” and that “the Word was God” (John 1:1). “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Even in His humanity, Jesus still had everything under His authority – nothing was exempt. Nature obeyed Him in the miracles He performed. Demons obeyed Him with first time obedience when being cast out of people. Satan obeyed Him, even death obeyed Him when He commanded Lazarus to come back to life.
Here’s the thing about baby Jesus; “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). There is no other pure, divine child of God who shares the divine nature with God the Father! There is no other way to access God’s divine nature than through faith in Jesus Christ alone. John’s point is this: if you don’t like Jesus, there’s no point looking anywhere else to find God, because Jesus is the only one God has ever given to humanity to provide direct access to Himself (1Ti 2:5; Heb 1:2).
That’s precisely why John wrote his gospel; “so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). For Christians, celebrating Christmas is a declaration of faith. Why? Because, “though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory” (1 Peter 1:8). Faith transitions spiritual truth into personal reality. Belief acknowledges Jesus Christ is God and Lord of your life while trusting Him as Saviour of your soul; this is the source of your greatest and lasting joy.
Christmas is simply the time we focus our celebrations with thanksgiving upon the breath-taking incarnation of God’s Son, Jesus. Matthew 1:23 explains; “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). When you believe God’s testimony of who Jesus is, your whole perspective of baby Jesus changes. Years later Martha was confronted by this same gob-smacking truth, when adult Jesus opened her eyes to His true identity. Jesus explained; “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26).
Today, I invite you to believe as Martha was called to believe. Believe with genuine dependence that Jesus is God with us. Believe in the child who is God in human flesh, who came for the express purpose of going 33 years later to the cross of Calvary, taking sin’s judgment upon Himself. This Christmas, I encourage you to exercise faith, belief that knows who you believe in.
Together for Christ: Lincoln Forlong www.bbf.net.nz