Grace tidings: It is not about the fat man in a red suit

Doug Mamvura

There have been a lot of pervasion and pagan practices incorporated into the Christmas season. 

This is why some people don’t even celebrate Christmas.

Some people think Christmas is about a fat man in a red suit bringing some presents and yet there is more to it than some of these traditional practices that are not necessarily based on the Word of God.

However, Christmas is a time of wonder for young and old alike.

Despite all the commercialism, the message of God’s love for mankind rings louder at Christmas than any other time of the year.

Suffice to say that there are some profound truths that are associated with the birth of our Lord and Saviour that we ought to fully comprehend and in spite of the pervasion that is at times associated with Christmas celebrations, this is that time of the year where both believers and unbelievers are reminded about the birth of our Saviour.

As I have been growing in my relationship with the Lord, I have come to appreciate the positive side of Christmas much more than before. I have come to realise that it is not just about the fat man in a red suit or buying presents or having a Christmas tree.

Christmas brings some of the greatest truths of the Gospel to light in the public. Our roots as a Christian nation are showcased during Christmas celebrations.

When else can you enter stores and hear some of the greatest Christian songs ever written played such as “Joy to the World” That is awesome! You will see displays of the nativity scene in places that only mention of the Lord at other seasons would be to take His name in vain.

I believe the Christmas celebration is a great and necessary celebration. I take pleasure in seeing the wonderful truths of God’s love for man displayed in public.

It’s a shame that some people only go to church at Christmas, but praise God, at least they go then. That’s an opportunity. And Christmas opens up many opportunities to share our faith.

Some of the greatest lessons in Scripture are hidden in the account of Christ’s birth, and the average person is totally oblivious to them.

Did you realise that the virgin birth of Jesus was totally normal in every respect except one? Mary didn’t become pregnant without contact with a seed. The laws of reproduction that God created weren’t suspended. Everything was exactly like all the millions of other births except that God used the seed of His Word instead of the seed of a man to get Mary pregnant.

That’s why John 1:14 says, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.”

Jesus was literally God’s Word becoming flesh. God used His Word as the sperm that conceived Jesus. This answers a lot of questions. Questions like: Why did the Lord wait four thousand years after the fall of man before He sent Jesus to the earth? Why did God have to become a man? The answers to these questions lie in the way God made creation, the authority He gave man, and the integrity of His Word.

When God created the heavens and the earth, He spoke them into existence. Hebrews 11:3 says, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which are visible”

The heavens and the earth were not created from nothing. They were created from things that we can’t see but do exist.

Likewise, the things we need from God don’t come out of thin air. They already exist. We just need to get them manifest in the physical realm.

So, God created everything by His word. That’s how He creates.

When it came time to create the last Adam (1 Cor. 15:45), God had to speak Him into existence.

However, He had given dominion over the earth to physical human beings. Since God is a Spirit (John 4:24),

He couldn’t just speak Christ into existence independent of man. He had turned the control or dominion of the earth over to man (Gen. 1:26-28).

That’s why God had to become a man. But, how could He work through sinful, corrupt man to create a Redeemer?

He spoke to the hearts of men who would listen to Him, and they, in turn, would use their God-given authority over the earth to speak out the prophecies that God had placed in their hearts.

 The problem was that men had become separated from God through their sin.

No one man was in tune closely enough to God to speak everything that needed to be spoken.

 So, it took about four thousand years to complete the prophecies that had to be spoken to create the body for God to become flesh.

Then when Mary received the message of Gabriel, she humbled herself and said,

“Be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38)

She received God’s Word into her womb, and the conception of the Messiah took place.

Likewise, that’s how 1 Peter 1:23 says we are born again, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.”

God’s Word is a spiritual seed that has to be planted in our hearts to conceive a miracle.

The new birth doesn’t just happen any more than babies just happen.

Children have to be conceived, and so does salvation or any other miracle from God. We have to be born again by the incorruptible seed of God’s Word (1 Pet. 1:23).

Once a seed is planted, there is a nurturing and maturing process. That’s where prayer comes in. Prayer is like water and fertiliser or incubation to a seed.

But if you water or fertilise barren ground, nothing will happen. There has to be the planting of a seed first.

Likewise, we have mistakenly tried to only pray our miracles into existence. Prayer is important, but you can’t conceive through prayer.

The seed of God’s Word has to be sown. As Romans 10:14-17 says, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

We would consider a woman crazy who is trying to have a child without following the natural laws of reproduction.

But in the spiritual realm, Christians try to give birth to miracles all the time without ever planting God’s Word in their hearts. It just doesn’t work that way.

And then there’s the message of the angels that said, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14)

This was not an announcement of an end of hostilities among men.

History has proven that can’t be what the angels were proclaiming.

Instead, this was the proclamation that the war between God and man was over.

That’s not been understood or proclaimed by the church as a whole. Most people still think God is mad at them. That’s not so.

He’s not mad, and He’s not even in a bad mood. Jesus satisfied His wrath completely. He is just, and there will be punishment for those who refuse the sacrifice of His Son for our sins.

But God is not angry because of our sins. That’s been taken care of.

This Gospel of peace is one reason there is such a universal acceptance of the Christmas season, even among those who are not born again.

Christmas is all about God’s love and mercy, not His damnation. It’s spotlighting God’s unconditional love for us the way it should be done all year long.

It’s focusing on the good news of God’s love and not the bad news of our failures.

 That’s the Gospel of peace that the angels were singing about, and that should be our message too.


n Dr Doug Mamvura is a graduate of Charis Bible School. Feedback: [email protected] or Twitter @dougmamvura

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