Christmas and the Christian

Text: Luke 2:9-11

What is Christmas?

  • Celebration / commemoration of the birth of Jesus (also called the nativity)
  • Origins (brief history) — all dates you will find are after the first century (this is significant)
  • Earliest evidence of a celebration for Jesus’ birth on December 25th is in the middle of the 4th century
  • Current practice — for some it is one of the rare times they visit any sort of religious service; for many it is a time to focus on shopping & gift-giving

Religious Observance of Christmas

  • Bible teaching on Christ’s birth — foretold in prophecy (Isaiah 7:14; Micah 5:2), recorded in gospels (Matthew 1:20-23; 2:1-6; Luke 2:8-14), necessary component in the scheme of redemption (Hebrews 2:14-15; 10:5,10)
  • No teaching/authority for celebrating Christ’s birth — no command telling us to celebrate His birth, no statement discussing the practice, no example of the disciples engaging in such a practice, no implication suggesting this was to be done
  • Does the lack of authority matter? … Absolutely! (Colossians 3:17; John 4:24)
  • To observe certain days as a religious exercise, when they have not been included in the gospel, is dangerous (Galatians 4:9-11)
  • Only one NT memorial — the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)

Non-Religious Observance of Christmas

  • Liberty to observe days (Romans 14:5) — To what extent?
  • Parallel: eating of meats (Romans 14:2) — no connection made to a religious observance/ritual (1 Corinthians 8:4,7)
  • Observing days (Romans 14:5) — no connection is made in one’s mind to a religious observance/ritual; this would be unauthorized [see previous point — Religious Observance of Christmas]
  • Not to offend a brother — this means to cause him to sin/stumble (Romans 14:21; 1 Corinthians 8:13); it does not mean we did something he just didn’t like (1 Corinthians 8:7-12 — leads them to sin, conscience being defiled, a stumbling block, ruined)

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