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1. "Christmas" (December 25th) is an annual holiday celebrated by
   a. Millions commemorate the birth of Jesus on this day
   b. Many consider it one of "the most holy" of religious holidays

2. Were you aware that...?
   a. Christians in the NT did not celebrate the birth of Jesus as an
      annual observance
   b. Most Protestant churches did not begin celebrating Christmas until
      the 19th century

3. As for the actual day of Jesus' birth...
   a. "The New Testament provides no clues in this regard."
      - Encyclopedia Britannica
   b. The NT simply states that it happened in the days of Caesar
      Augustus and while Quirinius was governing Syria - Lk 2:1-2
   c. Sextus Julius Africanus popularized the idea that Jesus was born
      on December 25 in his Chronographiai, a reference book written in
      221 AD. - Wikipedia, "Christmas"
   d. However, Orthodox churches celebrate the birth of Jesus on January
      6th or 7th

4. Many churches today do not celebrate "Christmas" per se...
   a. They are content to abide in the apostles' doctrine - Ac 2:42
   b. They note Paul's warning regarding religious holidays - cf. Ga
   c. They value Jesus' warning regarding the traditions of men - cf. Mt

5. This does not in any way demean the importance of the birth of
   a. It has great significance to both Christians and non-Christians
   b. It is something we should think about often (certainly more than
      once a year)
   c. It is an appropriate subject even at "Christmas time", just as are
      sermons on...
      1) Thankfulness around Thanksgiving
      2) Mothers on Mother's Day

[Assuming the birth of Jesus is on the minds of many, allow me to use
this opportunity to review the significance of His birth.  We note first
it's significance...]


   A. BY ISAIAH...
      1. His birth and name (Immanuel) signified God would live among
         men - Isa 7:14; cf. Mt 1:23
      2. It would portend the establishment of the kingdom of God - Isa

   B. BY MICAH...
      1. His birth in Bethlehem would give Israel a new Ruler - Mic 5:2
      2. His reign would bless not only Israel, but even the ends of the
         earth - Mic 5:3-5

[The significance of Jesus' birth is that God has dwelt among men, and
subsequently established His kingdom or reign that now reaches to the
ends of the earth!  Next, notice its significance...]


   A. TO JOSEPH...
      1. His birth and name (Jesus) signified salvation from sin - Mt
      2. As John the Baptist would later announce:  "Behold!  The Lamb
         of God who takes away the sin of the world!" - Jn 1:29

   B. TO MARY...
      1. His birth and subsequent reign would fulfill the promise made
         to David - Lk 1:26-35; cf. 2Sa 7:12-13
      2. It would also fulfill the promise found in Daniel - Dan 2:44

[Again, the significance of Jesus' birth is that God was about to
establish His kingdom promised by prophets and angels.  But also, that
He came to save us from sin!  Finally, consider its significance...]


   A. BY ANGELS...
      1. His birth presented to the world a Savior and Lord - Lk 2:8-12
      2. It offered peace and goodwill to men (or, peace to men of
         goodwill) - Lk 2:13-14

   B. BY SIMEON...
      1. His birth would result in giving light to Gentiles and glory to
         Israel - Lk 2:25-32
      2. It would also result in the fall and rising of many in Israel,
         along with revealing of many hearts - Lk 2:33-35

   C. BY ANNA...
      1. She, like many others, were looking for the redemption of
         Jerusalem - Lk 2:36-38
      2. She spoke of how Jesus' birth had great significance for them


1. The significance of the birth of Jesus is that it made possible...
   a. The establishment of the kingdom of God
   b. Redemption and salvation from sin for both Jew and Gentile
   c. Peace and goodwill among men
   d. Revelation and judgment of the hearts of men

2. Of course, such things would not have been possible without the
   a. Suffering and death of Jesus on the cross
   b. Resurrection and ascension of Christ to the right hand of God

3. Which may be why Jesus did not ask His disciples to commemorate His
   a. But His death - 1Co 11:23-26
   b. Which they did weekly, not annually - Ac 20:7

Whenever one reflects on Jesus' birth, they should ask themselves:  "He
came to be my Lord and Savior, to save me from sins and reign as King in
my heart;  have I fulfilled the significance of His birth by responding
to the significance of His death and resurrection ...?" - cf. Ac 2:36-38
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