Christians celebrate Christmas because the birth of Jesus Christ is “good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” (Lk 2: 10). This good news is to be celebrated and declared all around the world. Christ is described as the Saviour who “shall save his people from their sins” (Matt 1: 21). He is God incarnate, who took on human flesh and walked among men (Matt 1: 23). He also performed many miracles so that many might believe that He is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing, they might have eternal life through His name (Jn 20: 31).
Hence, celebrating Christmas is meaningless unless one is a Christian. Strictly speaking, a Christian is someone who confesses Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Saviour. He believes with all his heart that salvation can only come “by grace … through faith” in Christ alone (Eph 2: 8-9). To be a Christian also means that one is born again and has become a spiritual man (I Cor 2: 14-15). He is transformed in his mind: “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (II Cor 5: 17).
However, what differs from Christian to Christian is their faith. “But without faith it is impossible to please him” (Heb 11: 6). If a Christian exercises faith while observing a certain day, he will benefit spiritually more than one who merely goes through the motions. This is the same concept regarding the Jewish sacrifices and feast days. What is faith then? “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11: 1). Faith is taking God at His Word. So, when a Christian celebrates Christmas, he sincerely believes in the virgin birth and incarnation of the Son of God, the Saviour of mankind and the Lamb of God “which taketh away the sin of the world” (Jn 1: 29).
Many celebrate Christmas without acknowledging that Jesus Christ is “God incarnate”. They may sing the carols with great passion without affirming the truth of the contents. But for every true believer, the celebration of Christmas offers great opportunities to share the true significance behind the holiday. Instead of joining the worldly festivities, we as Christians have been commissioned by the Lord Jesus to spread the Good News of the Gospel (Matt 28: 18-20).
In this Christmas season, we should not remain silent but be vigilant. Christ is coming again soon to judge the world. Until then, we must do what it takes to make His first coming known.
Let us not forget to go forth to preach the Gospel entrusted to us by our Saviour. Celebrate a meaningful Christmas with the message of grace and salvation. May we be found faithful and true to our calling. Have a joyful and blessed Christmas! Amen.
– Bro Kelvin Li