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Jesus is more than about Christmas

Sum of all things: Jesus  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Celebrate Jesus Birth, death, resurrection daily not annually

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Good News!

Luke 2:8–9 NASB95
8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.
LK2:8
Luke 2:10–11 NASB95
10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Lk2:
(Insert slide of nativity scene)
We have read the scripture, we have heard what is known as the Christmas Story probably more times than we can count but did you know that most churches did not begin celebrating Christmas until the 19th Century?
As millions gather today, tomorrow to commemorate the birth of Jesus with many who only come to gather on this day, Easter and Mother’s Day, that is not the way the N.T. Christians did it.
While many N.T. Churches have returned to no special attention given to Christmas, is it wrong to acknowledge our Lord’s birth?
There are some questions that may come to mind or that we should consider.
How did this “Christmas” Holiday get started?
Should we or should we not involve ourselves in such a day?
How about personally observing it?
So we are a “word” church and we believe in the Word of God and try to follow it. So lets go through this this morning and see what the scripture has to say, suggest.
Acts 2:42 NASB95
42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
So we are a “word” church and we believe in the Word of God and try to follow it. So lets go through this this morning and see what the scripture has to say, suggest.
So if we want to focus on Christmas as related to the birth of Christ, let’s start with.

I. Birth of Christ

I already ready read the birth announcement of Jesus.
(Insert slide of Baby Jesus)
According to Encyclopedia Britannica - there is no mention as to date of Jesus birth.
The N.T. only says this.
Luke 2:1–2 NASB95
1 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.
Most scholars agree that the birth was between 4-6BC, because of the reign of Caesar Augustus, and the rule of Herod which ended in 1AD.
So having said that, since we do not know the exact year, let alone the exact day of His birth.
OK, so how did this Christmas thing get started?
In a reference book by Sextus Julias Africanus written in 221AD he popularized the idea of Jesus birth being on December 25th Here is how he based this idea.
Based on assumption Christ Died, March 25th
Based on Jewish belief that a person died on date of conception
Based on that Jesus was conceived on March 25th, add 9 months and bingo you have December 25th
Now there are many orthodox churches that vary the dates to January 6th or 7th. In reality we hold the scripture in our hand and it does not tell us an exact date of His birth. There are lots of other dates that are specified but not this date.
So the Bible does not show a celebration of his birth but does a celebration of His death
1 Corinthians 11:23–24 NASB95
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
Acts 20:7 NASB95
7 On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight.
1 Corinthians 11:25–26 NASB95
25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
1Cor11:
Paul expressed concerns that observing days, months, years is not unifying, or implies such.
Galatians 4:9–10 NASB95
9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years.
He goes more into this in Rom15, but that is another day, another sermon.
So scripture does not support celebration of birth of Christ.
HISTORY
Origen an early patriarch and writer denounced the celebration of Jesus birth (AD 245)
Tertullian early historian, writer does not mention it with the other feast days (AD240)
Christmas did not show up on a calendar until 354 AD
It was shortly after that, that areas of the church started to recognize something that was not in the scipture
Constantinople (379)
Antioch (380) and Alexandria (430) AD
It was banned in 1647 by Puritans, and was outlawed until 1681
Early Americans did not recognize it for they believed it was an English custom; it was in 1870 that Christmas was declared a US Federal holiday.
So, to sum up thus far, we don’t know the exact year, exact date of Jesus birth, we have no biblical instructions, reference to it being an annual celebration either in O.T., N.T. or early writings of the church. It was adopted by man, after great controversy between the Catholic and Protestant churches.
But what about now, 2000 years later?

III. Should the church have a work in Christmas?

Paul gave warnings
Galatians 4:8–9 NASB95
8 However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods. 9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?
Galatians 4:10–11 NASB95
10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain.
He did not say it was wrong, but that he was concerned. As should we be concerned about be enslaved to the commercialism of Christmas, of weak and worthless things. To bring in traditions of man, not God we need to be careful.
Now contextually this passage in Galatians is about why were they incorporating things regarding salvation that are in vain and not in accordance to God’s will. For justification is by faith not by law, religious days, feasts, so be careful.
Galatians 5:4 NASB95
4 You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
Paul did not only warn the Galatians he warned the Colossians
Colossians 2:16–17 NASB95
16 Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— 17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.
So on a personal level you judge, you celebrate, you don’t celebrate, we cannot/should not bind things that are not in the scripture on anyone. Our salvation is in Christ not in his birth. It is because of his death and resurrection that salvation is available to us.
Paul was not averse to keeping Jewish customs when fit the purpose
1 Corinthians 9:19–20 NASB95
19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law;
He wanted to sin people to Christ. He had Timothy circumcised (Act16:1-3) because he the people he was trying to reach at the time.
Paul did make it clear regarding individual preferences
Romans 14:5–6 NASB95
5 One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God.
Acts 18:19–21 NASB95
19 They came to Ephesus, and he left them there. Now he himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to stay for a longer time, he did not consent, 21 but taking leave of them and saying, “I will return to you again if God wills,” he set sail from Ephesus.
Acts 18:18 NASB95
18 Paul, having remained many days longer, took leave of the brethren and put out to sea for Syria, and with him were Priscilla and Aquila. In Cenchrea he had his hair cut, for he was keeping a vow.
It should not be bound on others
Galatians 2:3–5 NASB95
3 But not even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. 4 But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage. 5 But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.
Gal2:3-5
And we need to remember Christmas, no Christmas is not a salvation issue, has nothing to do with justification by faith
Galatians 5:4–5 NASB95
4 You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness.
Galatians 5:6 NASB95
6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.
We cannot make something that is not in the bible to be doctrine and should not compel people to celebrate nor not celebrate on a personal level.
Jesus warned about dangers of human traditions:
The traditions of Pharisees and scribes (Mk7:1-13)
Traditions of men are wrong when they become matters of doctrine or required practice/adherence to.
By doing such we are laying aside the commands of God
Mark 7:8–9 NASB95
8 “Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” 9 He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.
Don’t let things become a stumbling block to others.
How about some application regarding Christmas?
(Below not on a slide; just briefly discuss)
Scripture is silent regarding observing so observance is man’s traditions not God’s Word.
Don’t make a man made tradition a church doctrine and bind on others
Though unwise to as a church commemorate this, it does not make it wrong
On personal level
(Below is on slide)
It is between you and the Lord (Rom14:5-6)
Don’t condemn others who do/do not observe (Rom14:4, also 10-12)
Be sensitive to others personal convictions (Rom14:13-19)
Drawing a conclusion
Let us hold fast to the confession of our faith, not our man made traditions
Let us be steadfast in following the Apostles doctrine (Act2:42)
May we be people who consider the scripture and what the scripture says about Jesus birth
Isaiah 9:6–7 NIV
6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
Let us remember daily what He was born to do. To live, to die, to be resurrected so that we can be born again in Him!
Lead to invitation (insert invitation slide) Birth, death and resurrection
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