Christmas is about celebrating the birth of a very real Jesus Christ, not a totally make-believe Santa Claus. It doesn’t matter if Jesus wasn’t born on December 25, what matters is that He is celebrated, that everyone understands that Jesus is THE reason for the season.
Question is, at Christmas time, are you someone who celebrates the Saviour of the world OR chase after the Santa manufactured in this world?
If you belong to the latter camp, if you are a person who comes from a different faith background (Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Atheism etc), I invite you to read on with a humble heart and an open mind. Please understand that I am not sharing my opinion here, I will be continually referring to the Bible, God’s Word, to tell you the truth. My prayer is that you will learn why Jesus is the most significant Person in the history of the world and why YOU, every individual on earth, needs to make a personal decision about who Jesus is.
If you want to really know the truth, ask the LORD God and He will reveal it to you. If you believe that you are intelligent enough or educated enough or experienced enough to understand the Bible and figure everything out for yourself, I am sorry to say that you will not get anywhere. Humility is key.
Jesus is God
Is Jesus, THE God Almighty? Yes, He is.
You wouldn’t/couldn’t believe it unless God the Father through God the Holy Spirit revealed this truth to you. Jesus said so Himself:
No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
I am going to show you from the Scriptures (the Bible) why Jesus is God.
Jesus is at the beginning of creation! This is evident when you look at Genesis 1:1 (Old Testament) and John 1:1-3 (New Testament) together.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
It is very clear that not only is Jesus present before the creation of the world, He is actively involved in the creation of the world, which proves that He is God.
If this is not enough, on more than one occasion, Jesus equates Himself to God!
Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
I and My Father are one.
Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?”
The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”
The Jews were ready to stone Jesus because to them, Jesus was committing blasphemy by calling Himself God.
God alone is worthy of worship so when Thomas worships Jesus, Jesus neither rebukes nor corrects Thomas!
And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
I could keep pointing to verses from the Bible that cements the fact that Jesus is God but ultimately, as I have already mentioned, you will not understand, accept or believe this truth unless the Spirit of God reveals it to you personally.
Some of you might take offence and ask: Are you saying all other religions are wrong?
Jesus has the answer to your question. He said:
I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Jesus made it abundantly clear that He is the ONLY way to God, not one of many ways. Therefore, what Jesus is saying that whether you are a Hindu or Muslim or Buddhist or a follower of any other faith, Jesus is the the ONLY way to heaven. Just because all religions share some teachings that can be found in the Bible, it does not mean that they are all teaching about the One true God, the God of the Bible.
ALL have sinned
To understand the gravity of sin and the significance of Jesus, one must first know what sin is.
God created man (male and female) in His image (Genesis 1:27), which means that they (Adam and Eve) were without sin in the beginning (because God is sinless). The LORD also gave them freewill when He told them that they could eat from any of the tree in the garden of Eden, except for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17). Satan deceived Eve (who in turn influenced Adam) into eating the fruit they shouldn’t have eaten by causing Eve to doubt God (Genesis 3:1-7) and enticing her by saying she could be like God. Choosing to disbelieve God and wanting to be like Him, is the original sin. This sin nature is alive and well in all of us today, something we are all born with.
When we break God’s laws or commandments, we have sinned. Here are a few examples:
- If you help yourself to office supplies, you have sinned (not steal – Exodus 20:15).
- If you lie to someone, you have sinned (not bear false witness – Exodus 20:16).
You’d be forgiven but wrong to think sinning only applies to the breaking of the Ten Commandments. When Jesus is asked about divorce, He makes it clear that those who divorce their spouses for any other reason other than sexual immorality (read cheating) and marries someone else, have committed adultery (Matthew 19:9).
I don’t know who you are, but I am certain that at some point in your life, you have lied to another person. If God were to examine each one of us, I am certain He could come up with a much more detailed and embarrassing (not to mention shocking) list of sins. It is no wonder then that God has this to say about our sinful nature in the Bible:
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
There is only One exception to this fact and that’s Jesus:
“Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”;
1 Peter 2:22
Some of you might be thinking these thoughts about yourself. I am a good person. I don’t steal or murder like many criminals do. I am a leader in the community. I help people. I am kind. Surely God doesn’t think I am a sinner?
What does Jesus think when you call yourself a good person?
When a young man approached Jesus and addressed Him as “Good Teacher”, Jesus said:
Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.
Jesus was reinforcing the fact that He is God and that God alone is good. Therefore, in Jesus eyes, nobody’s good, including you. No matter how highly you think about yourself (or how highly others think about you), it does not change the fact that in God’s eyes, you are a sinner.
So, what if I am a sinner/have sinned? Live and let live, right? Wrong.
Wages of Sin and Gift of God
The God of the Bible, the One true God, is holy (Psalm 99:9). What does “holy” mean though? The Hebrew word for holy is “qodesh” or “apartness, holiness, sacredness, separateness”. God is far above and beyond all He has created and cannot be compared to His creation (a common mistake that many make). In a simple sense, anything that is against the very character and nature of God, anything that contradicts any of His attributes, anything that opposes His law, can be considered unholy.
Heaven is where God is and that’s where He wants us to be when we die because God loves us and wants us to be in His presence for all eternity. However, being that we are sinners, how can we who are unholy, stand in the presence of a holy God? Therefore, in order for us to spend eternity in the presence of a holy God, each one of us must be cleansed in a manner that is acceptable to God, so that we who are unholy will become holy.
One might ask: What if I am OK with remaining unholy and dying a sinner?
In the Bible, God says:
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The LORD God doesn’t beat around the bush and makes it abundantly clear that the price you pay for sin is death and I’m not talking about physical death here, but eternal separation from a holy God. If heaven is where God is, then hell is the absence of God. So, if you choose to remain a sinner and die as an unholy person, you are choosing to go to hell. Yes, I am saying that hell is a choice that people make for themselves when they reject God’s free entry into heaven!
So, are you OK with spending eternity without God (hell), in the absence of His perfect, incomprehensible and incomparable love?
God did not abandon us to rot in our sin and then face a physical death and worse, a spiritual death that separates us from Him/His love for all eternity. God’s love for us is far greater than what anyone can imagine or comprehend. Not only is God loving, He is also very patient with all of us because He doesn’t take any pleasure in us perishing in our sin.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9
Being good isn’t good enough. Good deeds don’t erase bad deeds. If you believe that following a list of rules or laws (even religious ones) is enough, you are mistaken.
Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
The laws God has given only tell us what is right and wrong, what sin is. The truth is that there is no other way to pay for our sins other than the only Way God has provided – Jesus Christ.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
2 Corinthians 5:21
Where we are powerless to do anything about our sins, Jesus who is God and who Himself is without sin, out of His great love for us, paid the price for us by dying on the cross for our sins so that we who place our trust and faith in Jesus, would have met God’s condition of payment for sins and become righteous before God, according to His standards, not ours!
If you are thinking that the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus is a bit too simple or even silly, God has this to say to you:
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:18
Are you willing and ready to receive Jesus Christ, the free gift from God OR would you rather remain a sinner and pay the ultimate price – eternal separation from God and His love?
Child of God OR Enemy of God
God tells us in the Bible that those who come to faith in Christ are His children.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Now, just because you believe in Jesus and come into God’s family, does not mean that the rest of your life will be a walk in the park OR that you can get away with whatever you want because you are now a Christian. Because God loves His children and because He is a good Father, He will correct us, like a good father should!
For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.
Do you want to reconcile with God YOUR Father and restore your status as His child? If so, there is no other way to do so other than through Jesus. This is not a natural process any of us can do on our own, but a supernatural one, a miraculous one, undertaken and achieved by God the Holy Spirit.
Jesus made it very clear that only those who place their trust and faith in Him alone can have everlasting life, that all who reject Jesus remains condemned as enemies of God.
He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Yes, the LORD is loving, merciful and kind BUT He will not turn a blind eye to your sin and ignore His own holiness. You will answer to God for your sins (unless you repent and believe in Jesus). There are those who accuse God of being cruel and unloving because He is not what they want Him to be, He doesn’t do what they want Him to do and His laws are either inconvenient to them or in opposition to their lifestyle/choices. Can you imagine clay arguing with a potter? God did when He spoke through the prophet Isaiah:
Woe to him who strives with his Maker!
Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth!
Shall the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’
Or shall your handiwork say, ‘He has no hands’?
Unless you come to the LORD on His terms – by accepting Jesus Christ as your Saviour and LORD, you will remain God’s enemy in this world and you will die as one too, eternally separated from His love.
God’s child or God’s enemy? Your choice.
Good Tree or Bad Tree
If God the Holy Spirit (Spirit of God) has convicted you of your sin(s), revealed to you who Jesus is, helped you understand why you need Him and enables you to confess Christ as Lord, then you are saved. I once again stress the fact that a person cannot save themselves by solely relying on their intellect, education or experience – salvation is a gift from God and God alone can help you recognise Jesus and prepare your heart to receive Him.
if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
If you have decided to follow Jesus, that is wonderful news! I am excited for you and what the LORD has planned for you. This is only the beginning, however. You still have a life to live here on earth. As much as I would love to tell you that everything is going to be great here on out and that you will be a model Christian, the reality is that many who profess Christ and claim to be Christian, don’t necessarily live their life in a manner that reflects Jesus.
Jesus teaches us how a genuine Christian can be identified.
You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
If you are truly a follower of Jesus (good tree), then your life (the fruit) will reflect this reality. When a person allows the Spirit of God to work in them, they bear good fruit, that is, in their words, thoughts, actions and attitude – they reflect the very nature of Christ, the person He was and the example He set!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
A true Christian isn’t a perfect Christian or a carbon copy of Jesus, however, they will reflect many of the fruits of the Spirit borne as a result of the work of God the Holy Spirit. It is very clear from the Bible that true Christians will still fall short and that those Christians who claim to be perfect, are liars.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
1 John 1:8-10
It is also important to point out that a true Christian is someone who reflects Jesus and what God teaches in the Bible (Old Testament and New Testament), not what counterfeit/false Christians claim Jesus/Christianity is OR what society says a “good Christian” should be.
If a true Christian is one who has the Holy Spirit, reflects Jesus in everyday life and honours what God teaches in the Bible, then a false/counterfeit Christian is someone who appears to be genuine but a closer examination reveals that they are simply a very good imitation without substance.
A false Christian (bad tree) barely reflects Jesus in their character, does not listen to the Holy Spirit, does not bear the fruits of the Spirit, does not spend time studying the Bible and rejects or ignores what God teaches in the Bible. In fact, it is not uncommon to see these charlatans spread heresy (teachings that contradict what the Bible says) because they are either purposely opposing God or are horribly misguided by their own understanding.
False Christians reflect the world more than Jesus and God’s Word. True Christians are meant to stand apart from the world, not be like it.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
1 John 2:15-17
Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
God is not telling true Christians to hate other people, rather, to separate ourselves from the world system that rejects Christ and denies God. Christians are constantly accused of being bigots (because we oppose what the world approves and celebrates) but nothing could be farther from the truth. Listen to what Jesus teaches.
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Society and its champions of tolerance accuse Christians of bigotry and lacking in love because we don’t bend over backwards and accept every unholy thing it approves and celebrates. True Christians will not compromise on our faith/Biblical teachings but nor does Jesus teach us to hate those who oppose us (see above). All the hate and bigotry come from those who oppose Jesus and true Christians. Jesus is the name that a majority of people take in vain, is it not? Somehow that is not offensive for the billions who call Christ Lord, yet we are the hateful bigots.
When we examine the Bible and reflect on Christ’s teachings and the way He lived His life, it is very clear to see how Jesus wants us to live our lives without compromising His teachings or God’s Word. In the following Scriptures, Jesus clearly summarises how true Christians (branches connected to Him) and false Christians (branches disconnected from Him) differ.
I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
What kind of a Christian are you or will you be?
Who do YOU say Jesus is?
In this article, I have briefly covered about the divinity of Jesus, the reality and consequence of sin, how Christ is the only payment for sin acceptable to God, how one can become a child of God when they accept Jesus and what it means to be a true Christian. I have relied on the LORD to write these words and to reference the appropriate Scriptures so that everything makes sense.
Ultimately though, I don’t have the wisdom or power to convince or convict you because that is both ungodly and wrong. God the Holy Spirit alone can open YOUR heart and mind to the truth about Jesus. This passage from the Scriptures makes it very clear that every person must make a personal decision about who Jesus is.
When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”
So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
Here’s the most important question you’ll ever be asked: Who do YOU say Jesus is?
Your answer to this question will not only determine the remainder of your life on earth, but where you will spend eternity and with Who. Throughout it all, my intention, my prayer has been that God would use these words to speak to YOU and help YOU understand who Jesus is and why YOU need Him.This Christmas, I pray the LORD will reveal Jesus to you and help you place your trust and faith in Him and be saved.
If you have any questions or if you would like to learn more about Jesus/God/the Bible or anything I have shared in this article, please feel free to ask me.
Merry Christmas and God bless you.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New King James Version (NKJV).
John 6:44, Genesis 1:1, John 1:1-3, John 8:58-60, John 10:30-33, John 20:28, John 14:6, Exodus 20:15, Exodus 20:16, Matthew 19:9, Romans 3:23, 1 Peter 2:22, Mark 10:18, Psalm 99:9, Romans 6:23, John 3:16, 2 Peter 3:9, Romans 3:20, 2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Corinthians 1:18, John 1:12, Hebrews 12:6, John 3:36, Hebrews 10:31, Isaiah 45:9, Romans 10:9, Ephesians 2:8-9, Matthew 7:16-18, Galatians 5:22-23, 1 John 1:8-10, 1 John 2:15-17, James 4:4, Matthew 5:43-45, John 15:1-8, Matthew 16:13-17