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Basic Bible: The Light of Christmas

John 1:1-5; Ephesians 5:1-2, 6-14

Thumbing through the scriptures, one will not find the words: “Jesus is the reason for the season.” What one will find is the real meaning of Christmas.

Where is this found in the scriptures? It found in the Books of Moses, in the word of the prophets, and throughout the New Testament.

The gospel of John opens with the declaration: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The Word is capitalized because it signifies the divine expression of God the Father which is made known to all through Christ Jesus, God the Son. The Word existed before the beginning. The reason for men to celebrate Christmas existed before the Word became flesh and dwelt among men. The Word created all things (v. 3) and in Him was life and He was the light of men (v. 4).

Christmas is cause of celebration because it marks the anniversary of the coming of the pre-existent Son, the coming of the light to men. The birth, by itself, that took place in a stable in the village of Bethlehem more than two thousand years ago is not what Christians celebrate. The cause which believers celebrate is the life and light which the Son has bestowed upon us. Believers celebrate Christmas because we are no longer in darkness (v. 5). Believers delight in the physical birth of the Son because it marks the beginning of the fulfillment of God’s promise to send His righteous servant who would justify many (Isa. 53:11). It marks the birth of the seed of woman which would bruise the serpent’s head (Gen. 3:15).

Not Moses, the prophets, the apostles, nor any of the human authors of the New Testament, none of them celebrated a holiday or festival that marked the physical coming of God’s only begotten. The human authors of the scriptures proclaimed the light that was made known to them by the Holy Spirit. Believers celebrate because we have received the promised light.

When the Word dwelt among men, He kept every festival put forth in the law. He partook of the festival that foreshadowed His perfect sacrifice (the passover requires the sacrifice of a lamb without blemish). While He walked among men He proclaimed that He must work while it is day: “the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4). He delivered His light to men.

While believers have cause to celebrate, we are commanded to let His light shine before men. In the text before us, we are instructed upon the way that we are make His light known to all men. We are to live in His light by putting off the old and putting on the new (Eph. 4:22-24). The Apostle Paul directs believers to live in His light (Eph. 5:2). The Apostle states that we are to “… walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor.” Simply put, we are to walk in love as Jesus walked. We are to be an expression of God’s love. We are called to reveal Him who is in us.

And by what manner are Christians to live? In verse 6, Paul implores us not to be deceived by vain words. What are vain words? Vain words are empty words. They are unproductive words — words which can cause believers to walk in ways contrary to God’s word. They are like the words the serpent spoke to Eve in the Garden of Eden. Believers are not to partner nor party with the ungodly at any time.

In verse 8, Paul states that we are children of light and are to walk as children of light. As the adopted sons of God, we are to be the producers of goodness, righteousness and truth. We are to be standard-bearers of that which is acceptable to God (v. 10). It should not be necessary to remind Christians to act like Christians, but this is exactly what Paul does. Not only are we not to indulge in sin (works of darkness), we are to reprove (speak out against) darkness. We are not called to make sinners feel good about sin; we are called to bring the light that we have received to sinners.

In verse 14, the Apostle instructs us to reach out to sinners with the same invitation that the prophet Isaiah issued to Israel (see Isa. 60:1). The promised light has come. The true light of Christmas gives life to all who shall hear His call and awake.

Let us celebrate Christmas each and every day letting the light that we have received brightly shine.

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