CHRISTMAS—An Insight Into The Characteristics Of God!

Christmas is a reminder of the birth and life of Jesus Christ.  But it is more than that.  Through Christ we become more knowledgeable of Who God really is.  It appeared to many that we have two Gods; one we learn about in the Old Testament and another God in the New Testament.  However, He has always been the same God. We just received a better picture and a clearer understanding through the life of Christ to the characteristics of God.

Many people fear God but Christ told us to revere or regard Him with reverence and not fear.  We then may ask why did God require the Israelites to wander forty years in the desert until those older than 20 could die before entering the promise land.  Why did God allow the Holocaust and six million Jews to die?  Why did God allow the hurricanes, the typhoons, the devastating earthquakes, the tornadoes, wars, starvation, etc.?  Why did God allow His Son to be rejected, denied, tortured and crucified?  Why did the Apostle Paul who wrote much of the New Testament become ship wrecked, stoned and beaten, driven out of cities, continually rejected and imprisoned?  Why do Christians have devastating health problems?  Could it be that a God who loves everyone yet, wants to make it very clear, when He says those who reject and deny Him and live in sin will be cast into the Lake of Fire on the Day of Judgment? He is very serious and does not want anyone to disregard or discredit His sternness.

Proverbs 8:17 – “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.”  Continually, throughout the Bible, God talks about His love for His people.  Throughout the Old Testament through the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah God shared His love.  But there was always the people’s fear factor.  The only way we could truly know God was for His Son to live among us.  Christ’s birth and life answers many of our question about God.

Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary, was given teenage parents who had little wealth.  God chose Jesus’ birth to be in the small town of Bethlehem.  He was born and placed in a manger in a stable.  God chose shepherds, they ranked very low in that society, that were tending flocks in nearby fields to be His witness and share the news.  God wanted us to see the importance of humility.

John 1:18 – “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.”

Prior to Christ no one had seen or had truly known God.  Now that we have seen Jesus He has revealed God to us.  Exodus 33:20 – “’But,’ he said, ‘you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.’” Greeks and Jews did not believe it was possible to see God and live.  The Apostle John reveals what God is like.  He tells us: if you want to know what God is like look at Jesus.  To this day, many cannot accept the fact that God could come in the form of man.  Therefore, most want to deny the deity of Christ.  By denying that Jesus is God, they can make the excuse that they are not sure what God requires to obtain eternal salvation.  They believe there are many paths to heaven and if you are zealous enough and moral enough God must accept you.

We know that God is omnipresent (everywhere), omniscient (knows everything), and omnipotent (all powerful) and Jesus, as a human, did not have these powers.  Yet, He was God in the sense that He had the mind and character of God and He is one with God.  Jesus was divine and to see Him you are able to see what God is. John, the writer, intends to demonstrate that Jesus is the Mind, the Reason and the Word of God Who came into this world in the form of a human person.  Without the life of Christ we could still see God as revengeful, angry, causing devastation and jealous as described in the Old Testament.  Had Christ not come as divine in human form, it is possible that the world would have become as corrupt as it was prior to Noah and the flood.  However, we read in Ezekiel 36:26 – “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

Additionally, we read in Isaiah 65:17 – 19 – “See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more.”  Without Christ there would be no Christmas and we would not know the true God.

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