The Eighth Wonder of the World
Christmas is also a message about Jesus Christ. Keep in mind that God is not only a God of absolute holiness, but also a God of perfect justice. Consequently, all sin has to be judged, the just sentence of which is spiritual and eternal death, which is not the cessation of one's existence but eternal separation from a holy God3—the creator and author of all love and life—in the place the Bible calls hell.
Because Jesus was without sin, He was the only one qualified to pay the penalty for our sins. Had there been any other way to save mankind, Jesus would not have had to die for us.
Furthermore, Christmas is a summons to faith and repentance. The profound news of Christmas is that God's gift of forgiveness and eternal life is available to all who will accept it. Here's how you can do this:
First, we need to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that he died in our place to pay the penalty for all our sins. "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved"4 states the Word of God.
Second, we need to confess our sins to God and ask for his forgiveness. God's Word also says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."5
It isn’t enough just to believe in our
head that Jesus is the Son of God and that
he died on the cross for our sins.
Third, we need to repent. That is, we need to turn from sinful and selfish ways to follow God and his ways. Jesus said, "The Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news."6 That is, we need to turn from sinful and selfish ways and make a commitment of our will, with God's help, to follow God and his ways.
Fourth, we need to receive Jesus as our Savior. God's Word says, "To all who received him [Christ], to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God."7 God's Word also says, "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."8
Admitting and confessing our sins, believing that Jesus died to pay the just penalty for all our sins, inviting him into our lives as Lord and Savior, accepting God's forgiveness and turning from our sinful ways to live God's way is what makes us a real Christian. This is what Christmas is all about!
Jesus said, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door [of his/her heart and life], I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."9
If you have never invited Jesus into your heart and life, asked for God's forgiveness, and made a commitment of your life to him, I would like to give you this opportunity today. The following prayer will help you to do this:
"Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner and am sorry for all the wrongs that I have done. I believe that your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins. Please forgive me for all my sins. I invite you, Jesus, to come into my heart and life as Lord and Savior. I commit and trust my life and will to you. Please give me the desire to be what you want me to be and to do what you want me to do. Thank you for dying for my sins, for your free pardon, for your gift of eternal life, and for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus name, Amen."
If you prayed this prayer and truly meant it, please let us know by filling in the form and posting it to the address below, and we will send you, without charge, a copy of the leaflet, How to Grow, to help you in your Christian life.
1. Author Unknown. 2. Romans 3:23. 3. Romans 6:23. 4. Acts 16:31 (NIV). 5. 1 John 1:9 (NIV). 6. Mark 1:15 (NIV). 7. John 1:12 (NIV). 8. Romans 10:9-10 (NIV). 9. Revelation 3:20 (NIV).
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