Receive, Reject, or Redeem
•We celebrate Christmas every December 25th seemingly after the pagan holidays of Saturnalia and the holiday of the Unconquered Sun, both celebrated in honor of pagan demonic false gods. As a general rule, we have 3 ways we as Christians can respond to things that originate in paganism.
•Receive – On some issues, Christians can simply receive something that came from non- Christians. Examples: Advances in science and medicine, which help improve human life.
•Reject – On some issues, Christians must refuse to participate because the act is, in and of itself, evil. Examples: Native American dances inviting demonic spirits up from the underworld, participating in witchcraft, hallucinogenic drugs to connect with the unseen realm. (Regarding Christmas, some Christians have chosen to reject it. For example, the Puritans worked on Dec. 25 in protest of the celebration of Christmas).
•Redeem – On some issues, Christians can redeem something that was pagan. This is what most Christians have done with Christmas. Examples: Greenery, candles, and trees were part of Saturnalia; Druids in British Isles included mistletoe in their pagan rituals; Saxons used holly and ivy in pagan worship; Germans included the tree, perhaps starting with Martin Luther who used Isaiah 60:13 as his Scripture defending the act; Santa Claus is an ode to Saint Nicholas, a 4th Century Christian bishop who voted for the Trinity at the Council of Nicea and was known for being generous by giving gifts to poor children; It’s believed, the first Christmas card was sent by a British army officer in 1844 and became widely popular afterwards, many times with Scripture verses; Singing Christmas songs echoed the examples of Mary, Zechariah, and the angels who all sang over Jesus’ birth; Giving presents follows the example of the wise men who brought three gifts to Jesus as a young child
What does Genesis prophesy about the virgin birth of Jesus?
•Genesis 3:15 – And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.
•Galatians 4:4 – But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman.
What does Isaiah prophesy about the virgin birth of Jesus?
•Isaiah 7:14 – Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin [almah] will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
•Genesis 24:16 – The girl [Rebekah] was very beautiful, a virgin [betulah]; no man had ever lain with her.
•Genesis 24:43 – Rebekah was a “maiden” [almah]
•Isaiah 9:6-7 – For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on
his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
What does Matthew say about Jesus’ birth?
•Matthew 1:18-24 – Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly…an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us) [Isa. 7:14]… Joseph…did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
What does Luke say about Jesus’ birth?
•Luke 1:26-38 – The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And
the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled…the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God…you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God…. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
What 8 things do the Scriptures not teach about Jesus’ birth?
1. Scripture does not teach that Mary did not have a normal birth.
2. Scripture does not teach that Mary remained a virgin for the remainder of her life.
3. Scripture does not teach that Jesus’ virgin birth was a myth taken from other religions.
4. Scripture does not teach that belief in the virgin birth proves the deity of Jesus.
5. Scripture does not teach that Jesus’ virgin birth was needed to keep Him from having a sin nature and therefore being sinless.
6. Scripture does not teach that Mary had sexual relations with God the Father.
7. Scripture does not teach that Jesus’ virgin birth is unimportant.
8. Scripture does not teach that Mary should be venerated or ignored.