John 7 is a chapter full of assessments as people try to figure out who Jesus is and Jesus continues to make statements of Himself and His divine authority. It occurs in the middle of the week-long festival of booths, just 6 months before He would be tortured and crucified for our sin.
A vast majority of Christmas carols focus on one night: O Holy Night, Silent Night, O Come All Ye Faithful, Away in a Manger. Many of these rich theological hymns are still played at stores and restaurants. It is astounding that we can walk into different businesses and hear What Child is This? Unfortunately, many go about this season busy with parties, decorating, and shopping, yet fail to consider the question, "what Child is this?"
God is light. When Jesus came to earth, He shone as a bright contrast to the dark world of sin and sadness. Divinity had to take on humanity to fulfill God's purposes. Incarnation was appropriate, necessary, and is a non-negotiable doctrine of Christianity.
Christmas is when God became man. This is the meaning of "incarnation." But why did God become man? The whole Bible is the answer; this morning, we look at Hebrews 2 for part of the answer.
Love is talked about often during the Christmas season. The love of God in our hearts produces hope (Romans 5:5). The Holy Spirit instructs us about God's love. The gifts given by the Holy Spirit are to be lived out in love (1 Corinthians 13:1-13 and 1 Peter 4:9-11). It is God Himself who teaches us to love (1 Thessalonians 4:9-10).
The author of Hebrews was waging war against the authorities in his culture. Culture is always a powerful force that shapes people as people shape it. Those on the fringes of popular culture are perhaps the most honest in applying culture to their lives, living in harmony with the ideals they are being taught.
Is there any reason to question culture's place in our life? If so, who can we trust? Hebrews 1:1-3 tells us that Jesus Christ has the authority to speak with pointed help as we evaluate the proper place of culture in our lives.
Children who grow up without a father suffer various negative repercussions. The presence and approval of a father is a natural need. Spiritually, every person has been estranged from the Heavenly Father of our own choice. Through sin, God's children have abandoned Him and His natural affection for them. Various religions and efforts of good works try to devise ways back to God, but there is only one way that relationship can be restored.
The Christmas season brings our attention to when God became man. God was made manifest and shown publicly through the person of Jesus Christ. Romans 3:21-26 is one passage that highlights the importance and reality of the Incarnation.
Life can be difficult even during holidays. How can we handle it when hardship keeps coming? The apostle John knew about enduring affliction. He wrote five New Testament letters to assure hurting people of who Jesus really was.
John 1:14 summarizes who Jesus was and is. When we reflect on the truth of this one verse, we find that we are infinitely spiritually wealthy in Christ. We have been given everything that is needed for life and godliness both here and in eternity (2 Peter 1:3, Ephesians 1:3-14). Because of who Jesus is, the Christian does not have an option to disobey or quit. We have been outfitted to persevere.
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