Celebrating the Birth of Christ 1 Cor. 15:3-4 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Christmas for many of us is a fun time of year – our families get together, we enjoy some good fellowship with our friends and church families, we send cards and presents to our friends and families and so forth – but why do we do this? Are we really celebrating the birth of Christ? I don’t believe we are. Is there a Biblical reason for celebrating the birth of Christ? No. Then what’s really going on?
Would God want an annual birthday celebration for his Son? People were killed on the only two birthdays that were celebrated in the Bible – Gen 40:20-23; Matt 14:6-11 – the whole idea of celebrating birthdays is man’s idea – if you want to know what God thinks about celebrating birthdays, just look what he recorded about them in His Bible – of course, we like to be remembered on our special day – and we keep track of our age by the years that pass – but truly birthday parties are not what God had in mind when it comes to worshipping his Son.
At Christmas, people don’t really celebrate Christ’s birth – the ecclesiastical or theological reason that was given for celebrating the birth of Christ doesn’t really matter to most people – they don’t know or care why we do this – if you tell them that the celebration stems from Baal worship and has its roots in the worship of the sun, they aren’t going to care – that’s because they aren’t celebrating the birth of Christ – most of them are swept up in the festivities of decorating, hosting or attending parties, singing carols, giving gifts to and receiving gifts from family and friends, attending performances of Handel’s Messiah, attending candlelight services, watching Christmas movies and so forth. Generally speaking, at a birthday party you give gifts to the person you are honoring, not to your family and friends.
The gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus – 1 Cor 15:3-4 – If you think about the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ, his whole effort was to save the lost sheep of Israel – as Gentiles, we enjoy studying and reading the gospels, but our greatest benefit from Christ’s ministry is found in the gospel: his death, burial and resurrection – the birth of Christ is important to us in that he is the virgin born Son of God by whom we are saved, since the blood he shed was God’s blood [Acts 20:28] and not man’s – thus we preach his death, burial and resurrection for salvation rather than his birth!
God commands us to commemorate his death rather than his birth – 1 Cor 11:23-26 – there are only two ordinances given to the church, Believers’ Baptism and the Lord’s Supper – there is no ordinance to commemorate his birth anywhere in the Bible – as a matter of fact, the world-wide practice of sending gifts to one another is seen in Rev 11:10 to celebrate the death of the two witnesses in the Tribulation – again, if you look to the Bible for understanding, you will realize that all this attention to Christmas is really not Biblical – it is just a man-made deal.
Conclusion: So, while you enjoy the festivities don’t get side-tracked away from the Lord and the main thing to remember about him – Jesus is God’s gift to the world and that gift was given at Calvary, not at Bethlehem – to be saved you must receive God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Don’t forget that! Most of the presents that you receive are truly not necessary – however, the gift of Jesus Christ is essential to eternal life – without him you will perish – and since you are not in the habit of turning down any present that is given to you, please do not turn down the gift of Jesus – receive him today!!