The word of God is alive and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit, and of the joints and the marrow, and is a critic of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

 

All scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

 

so that the man {or woman} of God  may become mature, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

 

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

 

SUN title --  Christmas Special.

The Other Side Of Christmas.

Our Lord Was Born In The Ghetto

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last time we began to look at the ugliness or the evil found in the first Christmas.

 

Think of it with me for the moment.

 

In JOH 1:9   There was the true light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.

 

JOH 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.

 

JOH 1:11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.

 

Now, I suppose that most people, when they think of this time of year, think only of the beauty of it.

 

And we’re surrounded by that beauty, lovely trees with bright lights and decorations, colorful ornaments, beautiful candles, wreaths, snow scenes, warm fireplaces in the hearth in a family home, beautifully wrapped presents.

Everything is bright and light and cheery and happy.

 

And I guess that all of that symbolism is conveyed to us most significantly in the Christmas cards that we receive, which present to us almost a world of fantasy, beauty, wonder, loveliness, and that is one side of Christmas, without question.

 

But there’s also another side.

 

And that is what seems to be overlooked there’s a very ugly side of Christmas.

 

In fact, even in the word Christmas it is made up of two words "Christ and mass = Christmas.

 

And there are a lot of ways we could approach that.

 

We could talk about a dark, cold night in a small village in Palestine, where a woman who was blessed among women gave birth to a baby in the most unsanitary, wretched conditions imaginable, standing in the filth and manure of a stable.

 

Totally surrounded as a baby born even in worse conditions than a ghetto.

 

As we read again in LUK 2:6 And it came about that while they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.

 

 

LUK 2:7 And she gave birth to her first‑born son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

 

We could also talk also about the ugliness of a man named Herod who, because he feared the loss of his control and power, massacred all the babies in that region.

 

Look what Herod did in MAT 2:7   Then Herod secretly called the magi, and ascertained from them the time the star appeared.

 

 

MAT 2:8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, "Go and make careful search for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, that I too may come and worship Him."

 

MAT 2:9 And having heard the king, they went their way; and lo, the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them, until it came and stood over where the Child was.

 

MAT 2:10 And when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.

 

MAT 2:11 And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him; and opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh.

 

MAT 2:12 And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their own country by another way.

 

The point being that Christmas does have some ugly aspects.

 

For example, we could also talk about an indifferent population in Jerusalem who could less that the King of kings and lord of Lords had been born in their midst, Joh 1:9-11.

 

But there’s something even beyond those things.

 

There is lurking behind every beautiful scene on every Christmas card, every lovely sentiment of Christmas, somewhere behind all of that is something very vile and very ugly.

 

The most wretched, heinous, hideous reality in all of the universe.

 

And I really believe that to have a proper understanding of the beauty of Christmas, you must have a proper understanding of the ugliness of Christmas.

 

The dark and ugly side of Christmas is sin and evil.

 

However, the heart of Christmas is this:  Christ came into the world to save sinners.  Christ was manifest to take away sin.  “You shall call his name Jesus for he shall save his people from their sin.”

 

And it's beautiful, magnificent and glorious what He went through but what it cost is beyond human description, Ugly but Glorious.

 

The real beauty of Christmas is to understand the ugliness that it incurred and the victory attained, Joh 19:30.

 

And that is my concern today, to demonstrate the power of the sin nature, to demonstrate the power of Christ’s living and dying and rising again and to deal with that which robs us all of human life.

 

And you must remember, the0 phenomena that damns every soul to hell = UNBELIEF!

JOH 3:18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

 

In fact, unbelief pervades the entire world.

 

Because of unbelief and sin, there are tears and pain and wars and fighting and anxiety and discord and unrest and fear and worry and sickness and death and famine and earthquakes and pollution.

 

All those things which try and draw us away from God, and make our existence in the old sin nature in control, God dealt with on that first Christmas.

 

Sin and evil disturb and disrupt every human relationship, whether between man and man, man and creation, or man and God.

 

 

And that is why we closed last Sunday with the fact that the problem for many is that we are much more prone to excuse or  sin than they are to examine it.

 

PRO 28:13  He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.

 

And so it’s fitting that at this time of the year when men would cover their sin with all the beauty of Christmas that the covering be torn off, if but for a brief moment, to reveal the ugliness that is behind it all.

 

For example, until this day the ugliness of man's independence from God is manifested by the lack of celebration and the commercialization of the Christmas holiday!

 

Remember that the ugliness of man's independence from God came from Satan, Isa 14:12-14.

 

Isa 14:12-14,  "How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations!

 

ISA 14:13 "But you said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north.

 

ISA 14:14 'I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.'

 

Independence is revealed by the ugliness of the believer who does not live in the victory of the cross.

 

You see, the reason that Christ was born was to be the savior who came to deliver men from sin.

 

If there were no sin, there would need to be no Christmas.

 

That's the paradox or the seeming contradiction of Christmas.

 

This is why the cross is referred to as a tree at times as in Deu 21:23.

 

So we cannot divorce the two and we cannot hide behind the fantasy.

We cannot hide behind the smokescreen of Christmas cards and all the rest of the hypocrisy and phoniness that goes on.

 

The sin nature must come to the forefront. It is that which generates cosmic chaos.

 

It is that from which no one escapes and all who die in childbirth or from heart disease or cancer or war or murder or accidents or old age, or whatever else, all are dying and all are dying because of sin.

 

The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death.”  And every person ever born will die, either once or twice."

 

Born twice, die once.

Born once, die twice.

 

And the greatest gift that God gave all of us is where the Bible says that Jesus Christ came into the world to save us from sin (nature).

 

That’s was the reason for His coming.

 

 

Sin was a part of the ugliness of Christmas.

 

In the first Christmas, sin was dealt with.

In the second Christmas, the Second Coming our Lord God will be glorified.

 

It is the degenerative power within of the OSN which makes man susceptible to disease, disaster, illness, death, and hell.

 

It is the main reason for the first Christmas.

 

And it is the reason for this Christmas.

 

In fact, every broken marriage, every disrupted home, every shattered friendship, every argument, every disagreement, every evil thought, evil word, evil deed, every good deed undone can be attributed to the sin nature.

 

And that is why in Joshua 7:13 sin is called the “accursed thing.” or that which is banned.

 

It is compared in scripture to the venom of snakes and the stench of a grave.

 

And anything that is that sinister and that powerful and that totally debilitating for the whole human race must be dealt with if God, who is infinitely holy, is to bring man to Himself.

 

Thus Christ came into the world to deal with sin.

 

So you cannot look at Christmas without being reminded almost everywhere about its beauty and glory but also now also the cost.

 

That precious day when God turned His back on His uniquely born Son! (Joh 19:30).

 

And so His life was also attacked by the darkness but He did not quit.

 

Why?

 

I believe that there are two reasons why our Lord endured after the first Christmas:

  1. Not My will but Thy will be done.
  2. You and I were the joy that is set before Him. Heb 12:3.

 

Because of the ugliness of sin and evil, once our Lord was born, He continued to receive the ugliness from man from the OSN which He would come and crucify on the cross.

 

Even after the ugliness or the presence of the OSN at the first Christmas, mankind would continue to rebel against our Lord and His desires for their life.

 

Think about it ----- as a child, our Lord had to be protected by the parents (guardians) and then He grew up and learned the principle of PMA.

 

For example, Men said in MAT 9:34 that our Lord was of the devil, "He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons."

 

They said in MAT 11:19 that our Lord was a glutton, a drunk and hung out with prostitutes, "The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax‑gatherers and sinners!'

 

This was a continuation of the evil attacks made upon Him at the first Christmas.

 

In MAT 26:65, they said that He blasphemed, "Then the high priest tore his robes, saying, "He has blasphemed!"

 

They said in MAT 26:66 that He deserved to be dead, "They answered and said," He is deserving of death!"

 

In MAR 3:21, our Lord was accused of being nuts and insane,

"And when His own people heard {of this,} they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, "He has lost His senses."

 

In MAR 3:22, they said He was demon possessed, "And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, "He is possessed by Beelzebul"

 

In MAR 3:30, they said our Lord has an unclean spirit, "He has an unclean spirit."

 

 

In LUK 15:2, He had a reputation for hanging around with sinners,     "This man receives sinners and eats with them."

In LUK 23:2, they accused of being unpatriotic, And they began to     accuse Him, saying, "We found this man misleading our nation and      forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar,"

 

In LUK 23:5, they accused of always stirring up trouble, But they kept on insisting, saying, "He stirs up the people,

 

In LUK 23:14, they said he cause people to rebel, "This man is one who incites the people to rebellion,

 

In JOH 7:12, they said He was a cult leader and He leads multitudes astray, "He leads the multitude astray."

 

In JOH 8:48, The Jews answered and said to Him, "Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?"

 

In JOH 10:20  And many of them were saying, "He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?"

 

I think you get the picture and the point!

Our Lord's entire life Even was attacked by the ugliness of the sin nature.

 

So, Sin is the ugliness of Christmas.

 

But our Lord did something about it, He didn't just die upon that tree 1Pe 2:24, He also left gifts, spiritually speaking, in the form of gifts and promises; Eph 4:7-10.

 

Don't forget Christmas is about giving.......and I want you to just think of some of those gifts underneath the Tree of the Cross.

 

For example, notice how many different types of gifts of the promises of God?

 

In Acts 1:4, the promise of God the Father to the Church-age believer is that God the Holy Spirit would be given to each one of them.

 

In Eph 3:6  The royal family of God is said to be partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus.

Heb 9:15 talking about Christ as our mediator says, and for this reason they which are elected may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

 

There are many valuable and fantastic promises throughout the scripture

 

They are valuable because they come from a God that cannot lie.

They are fantastic because they come from a God who only operates in perfection.

 

Heb. 10:23b He who promised is faithful.

 

 

2Co 1:20  For as many as may be the promises of god, in him they are yes; wherefore also by him is our amen resulting in the glory of God through us.

 

In Rom 4:21, the promises are assured by divine ability.

 

In Rom 4:21 and being fully assured that what He had promised, He was able also to perform.

 

Do you believe that God is able to perform the promises?

 

God's promises are based on God's performance not man's.

 

All the promises of God are said to be grounded "in Christ" -

2Co 1:20.

 

Psa 37:3 - Trust in the Lord, and produce divine good, and you will receive all the supplies needed.

 

Unlimited blessings are promised to those who believe - Mar 9:23.

 

And what does it mean to believe?

 

It means to metabolize doctrine.

Answers to prayer are promised; Mar 11:24  Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted you.

 

Removal of obstacles is promised to those who have faith as a tiny grain of mustard seed - Luk 17:6.

 

LUK 17:5   And the apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!"

 

Luk 17:6 And the Lord said, "If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and be planted in the sea'; and it would obey you.

 

We have the promise of brighter days and joy.

 

Psa. 30:5  Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning

 

 

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