1Timothy 1:15 “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”
What do you think is the most important theme for our Christmas season? One hundred years ago, if you were asked this question, the answer would be easy since our schools, our media, our entertainment industries, were all teaching the Christmas Story of the birth of Jesus Christ. What about today?
In secularized, post-Christian America, you may be shocked to discover the content of the latest speech from our President, who made no bones about what he and his family view as the essential meaning of Christmas. Here are sections from President Trump’s speech just a week ago from the White House, when he and First Lady Melania Trump spoke to a large crowd during the lighting of the National Christmas Tree.
“In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge lit the first National Christmas tree… Later that night, African-American community centers held an outdoor worship service on these grounds, and during that service, the Washington Monument was illuminated with a beautiful cross, a powerful reminder of the meaning of Christmas.” Our President drew a connection between Christ’s humble birth, which is the traditional way we celebrate Christmas, and His cross. He then went on to explain how the birth of the One who would die on that Cross should inspire all Americans, and all nations, to love one another with open hearts.
“More than 2,000 years ago, a brilliant star shown in the east. Wise men traveled far and came and stood under the star where they found the Holy Family, in Bethlehem. As the Bible tells us, when the wise men had come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshipped Him. Christians give thanks that the Son of God came into the world to save humanity. Jesus Christ inspires us to love one another with hearts full of generosity and grace.” The President’s testimony?
Jesus Christ was born into our world to one day take our punishment for our sins. It was God’s love for us that sent Jesus Christ into our world to save us from ourselves! After introducing leaders from the Salvation Army, where he explained how their annual Angel Tree program provides Christmas presents to more than 600,000 children, he went back to his message of why we must focus on what he called an “eternal truth”.
“At Christmas we remember this eternal truth: Every person is a beloved child of God. As one grateful nation we praise the joy of family, the blessings of freedom, and the miracle of Christmas. On behalf of Melania and our entire family, Merry Christmas, and God bless you all.”
President Trump is continuing the legacy began over 1,960 years ago, in 50AD, by the author of our verse for this week. In his letter to the young pastor Timothy, the apostle Paul writes to him on what is the most faithful, true message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Not only did Jesus Christ come into the world to save sinful mankind, but to save him, who he views as at the front of the line among humanity in his sinfulness.
In other words, the extent of his, or anyone else’s, sin does not matter at all to God. He wants you to know He is willing and completely able to forgive you and remove the penalty of death that you deserve for your sin. And He offers three reasons for how He is qualified to do that. First, He is God, and there is today overwhelming evidence that He exists, whether you consider astrophysics, biochemistry, cosmology, moral laws, the conscience. The God of the Bible is not hiding. He can easily be discovered in our world.
Secondly, He sent His Son Jesus Christ. There is overwhelming evidence for not only the reality that Jesus Christ was a real Person in history but That He was crucified by Pontius Pilate for our sakes and He was resurrected by God the Father to demonstrate He has the power to save us.
And finally, He is a God of justice and righteousness who also loves us so completely that He puts our welfare above His own. This is the love spoken of by President Trump, but it is a love that we do not spend enough time studying to understand it.
Biblical love is the only love you will find that is totally unselfish – it keeps giving based on the needs of the one loved, without expecting anything in return or considering the cost involved. This love doesn’t require a relationship, because it’s a choice of the will, with no dependence on feelings. And this love doesn’t even care if the person to whom the love is given is loveable! It is a supernatural love, unique to God. And President Trump wants all Americans to know God’s love is only found in one place: the Cross.
The Evidence of Faith’s Substance – Article #378