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The Birth of Jesus Christ (from the ESV HOLY BIBLE)

Luke 2:1-20

1"In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in  the city of David ca Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 

 14  “Glory to God in the highest, 

and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.


What do you do with Jesus Christ from the Bible?

Christ Said, "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved." (John 3:17)

Isn't that a great promise? It may not make complete sense, however until we know what we need to be saved from. You see, you and I would seem like good people in the human sense, however God has a higher standard: "For who ever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." (James 2:10)

Have you kept God's laws? Have you always put God first? Have you used God's name as a curse word? Have you set one day in seven to rest and honor Him? Have you always honored your parents? Jesus warned, "You have heard...'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that who ever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matthew 5:27-28) Have you ever looked at another person with lust? Have you stolen anything (regardless of the value)? Have you ever lied? Ever hated anybody? The Bible says, "Who ever hates his brother is a murderer." God is a Holy, perfect judge and says, "the souls that sins shall die." Have you ever desired something that didn't belong to you?

The Bible also says that it is appointed once for you to die and then be judged (Hebrews 9:27) and on that day of judgment you will have to give an account of every word you have spoken (Matthew 12:36-37).

Some say, "God will forgive," as if He can just wave a wand and forgive everyone. That doesn't satisfy God's Holiness, Righteousness and Justice. "The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against All ungodliness and unrighteousness of men." (Romans 1:18) Sin had to be condemned, or else God would be a corrupt judge. It would be like a modern day judge letting a murderer off because he finally got caught and he is sorry. God is a just God, and a good God. Judgment comes the moment we die. 

So, if you were to die today, and had to appear before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corn. 5:10)...realizing that everyone is going to die someday (In fact, 150,000 people die in an average day)...would you be innocent or guilty before God? Where would you stand before a Holy, and Just God?  If you search your heart you would realize that you are like the rest of humanity...GUILTY...and headed for eternal punishment in Hell.

However, there is GOOD NEWS! About 2,000 years ago, God sent Jesus to the earth to pay the penalty for sin. Born of a virgin, he lived a sinless life. When Jesus died on the cross, He took the Father's wrath, then defeated the power of sin and death, when He rose from the dead. The Bible says, "God commands all men everywhere to repent (turn from sin, not just confess sin): because he has appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness (sinlessness)." Repent today and place your faith, your trust, in Jesus Christ ALONE for salvation. God will then grant you eternal life. This IS the BEST Christmas present you could ever receive!


So what then is the gospel?

In accordance with the Father’s good pleasure (Gods Glory), the eternal Son, who is equal with the Father and the exact representation of His nature, willingly left the glory of heaven, was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a virgin, and was born the God-man – Jesus of Nazareth. As a man, he walked on this earth in perfect obedience to the Law of God (a sinless man, a perfect sacrifice). In the fullness of time, he was rejected by men and crucified. On the cross, he bore man’s sin (personal sins against God), suffered God’s wrath (punishment we deserved), and died in man’s place. On the third day, he was raised from the dead. This resurrection is the divine declaration that the Father has accepted His Son’s death as a sacrifice for sin, that the penalty for man’s disobedience has been paid, the demands of justice satisfied, and the wrath of God appeased. Forty days after the resurrection, the Son of God ascended into the heavens, sat down at the right hand of the Father and was given Glory, honor and dominion over all. There in the presence of God, He represents His people and makes requests to God on their behalf. All who acknowledge their sinful, helpless, estate, repent, and throw themselves upon Jesus Christ will be fully pardoned, declared righteous, and be reconciled to God.


This is the Gospel (in short) of God and of Jesus Christ His Son!

God’s plan is to save his people from their sins – and to bring His people fully and finally to Himself for His Glory’s sake (Matt. 1:21; 2 Tim. 2:10). Followers of Jesus experience salvation in this life in both a past and present sense, and we anticipate salvation in a future sense. Followers of Jesus have been saved from the penalty of our sins; we are currently being saved from the power of sin; and one day, when God’s plan of salvation is complete and we are with Christ, we shall be like Him, and we shall be saved even from the very presence of sin.

So, if God has done this in Christ, what are we to do to be saved? We must turn to God in Christ, which entails turning back from sin? If we repent (decide to forsake and turn from) our sin (as best we understand it) and trust in (believe) Christ as a living person, we will be saved from God’s righteous wrath against our sins.

Turning to God necessarily implies our turning away from sin. The whole Bible Old Testament & New Testament clearly teaches that to repent is to "acknowledge [God’s] name and turn from [our] sins" (1Kings 8:35; 2 Corn 7:14; Jer 36:3, Ezek 14:6 Acts 3:19, 8:22, 26:18; Rev.2:21-22; 9:20-21; 16:11). We cannot start to pursue God and sin at the same time. Followers in this life still sin, but against our deepest desires and better judgment; our lives are not guided and directed by sin as before. We are no longer enslaved to sin. Though we still struggle with it (Gal 5:17), God has given us the gift..."gift..." repentance (Acts 11:18), and we have been freed from sin’s dominating power.

Our response to the "good news" of the gospel is to believe and trust God’s promise in the Messiah, and to commit ourselves to Jesus, the living Lord, and his disciples (followers). Among Jesus’ first words in Mark’s Gospel are "repent and believe in the gospel (Mark 1:15). The obedience beginning with repentance, is to result from the faith and trust we have in Him and His word (Jos. 22:16, Acts 27:25). Thus, sins are sometimes called breaking faith with God. (Ezra 10:2). Having faith in Jesus, which seals our union with him through the Holy Spirit, is the means by which God accounts Christ’s righteousness our own (Rom. 3:21-26; 5:17-21; Gal. 2:16). Such saving faith is something that we exercise, but even so it is a gift from God (Eph. 2:8-9). God’s gift of salvation has been given to those who follow Jesus, but the evidence of that salvation is lived out in the continual work of God’s Spirit. 

We can deceive ourselves, and so Paul encourages his readers to "Examine yourself, to see whether you are in the faith Test yourselves." (2 Corn.13:5). Peter encourages followers of Jesus to grow in godliness and so become more confident of their election. We don’t create our own salvation by our actions, but we reflect and express it and so grow in our certainty of it. Because we followers are liable to deceive ourselves, we should give ourselves to the study of God’s Word to be instructed and encouraged in our salvation, and to learn what is inconsistent with it. Jesus’ descriptions of his followers (Matt. 5-7), or Paul’s list of the fruit of the Spirit’s work in us (Gal. 5:22-23), act as spiritual maps that help us locate ourselves to see if we are on the path of salvation.


So, what do you do with all of this information?

Realize that God Himself made a way where His justice and His goodness could meet. We broke the Law, but He became the God/Man to pay the fine. Jesus suffered and dies on the cross to satisfy and atone for the Law you and I broke. Then He rose from the dead, defeating death forever. Therefore, God can forgive us and grant us the gift..."gift..." everlasting life! But you may still think that you can keep the Commandments. But isn't it true that the best of us have lied, stolen, lusted, hated, failed to love God above all else, and failed to love our neighbor as ourselves? How can we then live a "good" life if we have already sinned against God? At best we are reformed liars and thieves...but still Lawbreakers. Think of it this way - would you sell one of your eyes for a million dollars? Would you sell both for $100 million? I'm sure you wouldn't. Your eyes are priceless, yet they are merely the window of your soul. What then must your life (soul) be worth? With these thoughts in mind, what would be a fair price to pay for an everlasting life? It is utterly without a price. Yet, if we trust in our own goodness to enter Heaven, we are saying to God, "I should enter Heaven because I have done good -- I have earned my way in."

Imagine if you wanted to give me a brand new (very expensive) car, but I said, "I can't take it! I feel embarrassed receiving such an expensive is 10 cents for it." I am sure you would be very insulted by such a pathetic offer of payment. Besides, if I pay for it, it is no longer a gift, it's a purchase - it's mine by right.

When we talk of entering Heaven by being good, by trying to keep the Law etc., we are tossing God 10 cents of "self-righteousness," which is a terrible insult to Him, considering His sacrifice. The only thing we can do is humble ourselves, repent (turn away from our sin, not just confess it) of our sins, and receive the gift..."gift..." trusting (not just believing) in Jesus Christ alone! Almighty God demonstrated how much He loves you when Jesus suffered for your sins on the cross. If you want to trust in your own goodness, then you are saying His agonizing death on the cross was in vain. The Bible says, "For by grace you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift..."gift..." God." You cannot earn a gift. When Jesus said to "believe" on Him, He was saying we should have faith in Him, in the same way you would trust a parachute to save you when you jump from a plane. You don't merely believe in the parachute - you put it on. 

Any troubles you have at present are dwarfed by the trouble you are in with your Creator. The Bible says, His wrath abides upon you  (John 3:36). God doesn't want you to go to Hell. Neither do you want to go there, so confess your sins (repent of them) to God right now, put your trust in Jesus to save you, and you will pass from death to life. The read the whole Bible (Old and New Testaments) daily and obey what you read. Your obedience to God is the proof of your love. Have faith in God , He will never fail you. 

If you are unsure of what to say to God, how to pray...may we recommend going  to Psalm 51 and make it your personal "Repentant Prayer" to God. 

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