The Birth of Christ
Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, the Christ and Saviour of the World, was born of a virgin and became flesh. If you are a true Christian, you have to believe this, or you cannot claim to be a follower. There is absolutely no way to argue around this reality. Let the Bible speak for itself.
Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God; and every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God” (1 John 4:2).
Jesus went through a similar birth process as any regular human being because He “emptied himself” of His divinity to become a human being. Although there are still skeptics who doubt His incarnation, the vast majority of Christendom accepts the birth of our Saviour.
Some believe He was born in a manger, while others theorize it could have been in a cave. There are some who accept the birth date as December 25, yet many have come to realize that there was no way Jesus could have been born on December 25. As you have read in other articles in this issue, December 25 is nothing but the date of an old pagan festival; it has nothing to do with the birth of the Christ.
Nevertheless, Jesus was born Emmanuel (God with us) of the Virgin Mary, to die for the sins of humanity.
We may not agree on the December 25 birthday, but that doesn’t mean we don’t believe He was born. Of course, Jesus had to come as a man to die for your sins and mine. Where the disagreement comes is in the celebration of what is supposed to be His birthday. It seems rather strange, and absurd for that matter, to be celebrating someone’s birthday on a day he wasn’t born. How would you like it if a friend deliberately threw you a huge birthday bash every year on a date far from the one you were born on, or a month or two from the true date? I think we must admit it would seem rather silly and foolish.
We don’t know exactly when Jesus was born, so December 25 was set as an acceptable date, some may argue. Well, let’s stop right there for a moment. If we truly wanted someone to throw a birthday party wouldn’t we give them the right date? My deep conviction about this is that if the Saviour of all humanity wanted the world to observe His birth, He would not have us questioning the date of His birth.
This omission by God tells us that His birth should not be celebrated. The scriptures are clear; whatsoever God wants us to celebrate is outlined in His Word. Any religious celebration that is not stated in the Bible is not sanctified by the Word of God.
How about this? “For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Cor. 11:26). This scripture is in reference to the Lord’s Supper/Passover, which says we should observe His death until He comes. In other words, what we should be putting our efforts towards is recognizing, and celebrating each year the memorial or death of Jesus Christ. It is through His death and ultimately His resurrection that all of us have been given a promise of eternal life. Indeed, in Ecclesiastes 7:1 it says, “A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.”
On the other hand, the birth of Jesus Christ cannot, and should not, be dismissed as an insignificant event. It was through that birth that the world got its Saviour, who would later die for the sins of every human being that was ever born. What is important is to realize that the celebration of His birth neither makes us any more righteous or pleasing in the sight of God. We still remain wretched sinners who have come short of the glory of God. It is only through repentance, acceptance of His supreme sacrifice and His shed blood for our sins, that we are afforded the opportunity of standing justified before Him through faith.
Engaging in this ritual of feasting that inherently has nothing to do with His birth, (but was borrowed from ancient false religions, which God Himself forbids) does not glorify God. In fact, one has to be very mindful of the idolatry in all of this, as nowadays, Santa Claus seems to be the central character in a celebration purporting to be the birthday of Jesus Christ. In the next issue of Prevail Magazine, we will be showing you the importance of observing the death of our Saviour, instead of His birth.