For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. – John 3:16-18 ESV
I heard a local pastor, Richard Ellis, start a sermon by saying, “Let us open our Bible to John 3 and read the Christmas Story, yes it is John 3 and many other places throughout the Bible”. As a student of the Bible, the Story of Christmas: Jesus is Born in a Manger, in Bethlehem is in the New Testament. It appears in Matthew 1-2 and Luke 2. You can also find it in the Old Testament as a prophecy, mainly in the book of Isaiah in the 7th and the 9th Chapters. When Richard said John 3, I know that is about Nicodemus’ interaction with Jesus and one of the most famous verses in the Bible for Believers and skeptics; John 3:16. However, Richard Ellis is right, it is throughout the entire Bible! The encounter between Nicodemus and Jesus shows the power of the Christmas story. Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”“How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time to be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh is born of flesh, but spirit is born of the Spirit.(John 3:4-6) John 3:17 above tells us; For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. God sent His son, Jesus into the world; Here is the Christmas Story!
Leader, Jesus said, “NO ONE can enter the Kingdom of God (heaven) unless they are born of WATER and SPIRIT- NO ONE!” Jesus also told us, “That I am the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE, no one comes to the FATHER except through HIM! Jesus said FOLLOW ME, I AM YOUR EXAMPLE, what I DO- YOU DO! This is the reason that Jesus was BAPTIZED by John the Baptist, against Johns wishes: Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?” But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.” So John agreed to baptize him. (Matthew 3:13-15) Jesus got baptized, to show us the way. Water Baptism is NOT required for salvation- I would suggest that Spiritual Baptism is required- yet we ARE TO get baptized in water to tell the world that we are on GODS TEAM, and because Jesus told us to, AND HE SHOWED US to! Remember, a picture is worth 1000 words, and faith comes by hearing and hearing by the WORD OF GOD! The Gift of Christmas is LOVE and this is supported again, in other areas of the Bible. Romans 5:8; But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. God sent Jesus, CHRISTMAS MORNING, to die for us; He was INCARNATE so HE COULD DIE as propitiation (satisfaction, payment), for our sin! In order for Christ to die for us, He must first LIVE FOR US! Things do not die unless they first LIVE! This goes back to JOHN 3 and the nighttime meeting of Nicodemus and Jesus.
Conduit, the Virgin Birth, the incarnation of Jesus, was like every other man- the WATER BROKE, and the baby Jesus came. God is SPIRIT, and JESUS IS GOD, Jesus always was, He technically was NOT, BORN on “Christmas Day” He was BORN INTO MAN on Christmas DAY. Jesus is PRE-EXISTENT, eternal. See John 1:1-4. Jesus was already, “BORN” of the Spirit, on CHRISTMAS DAY we REMEMBER how he was now BORN OF WATER. Only things that LIVE can DIE. We are required to be born 2 TIMES, but CHRIST came so that we will only DIE, ONE TIME! And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:27-28) The second death is a SPIRITUAL DEATH, to be separated from God for eternity. What decides that is if YOU BELIEVE ON JESUS! The war in America on CHRISTMAS is really a continuation of the WAR IN THE WORLD, against Jesus! Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here. But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception. (1 John 4:1-6) This last election should have confirmed to any true believer- America is NO LONGER a CHRISTIAN NATION- we have become a pagan nation and Christmas has become another pagan holiday. Let us remember this Christmas season; The reason for the SEASON is the gift of JESUS: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Amen!