Some Thoughts on Christmas

Text: Colossians 3:17

Many people (Christians and non-Christians) celebrate Christmas as a time of family, food, gifts, rest, etc. For most who identify themselves as Christians, Christmas is more than a holiday – it is a religious holy day. Many are shocked when we tell them that our congregation does not do anything special for Christmas. With the holiday approaching, we’re going to consider some thoughts about Christmas.

The Common Observance of Christmas

  • Origin of Christmas – not in the Bible; the first mention of it is in the 4th century; rooted in paganism and the winter solstice
  • Common religious practices associated with Christmas – Christmas Eve service, plays, Christmas songs, etc.
  • More than just using a holiday as a reminder of some spiritual truth – Thanksgiving (gratitude), 4th of July (freedom/liberty), Memorial Day (remembering)
  • The religious observance of Christmas is a commemoration of the birth of Christ

The Need for Bible Authority

  • When we think about the common observance of Christmas, how do we determine our response? – not to be about what is common, what is traditional, or what we prefer; it must be about what is authorized in the word of God
  • We must have authority for all that we do (Colossians 3:17) – this is more than just claiming to do things in the name of the Lord (Matthew 7:21-23); we must go to His word because it equips us for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17); we must hold fast to the pattern that has been revealed (2 Timothy 1:13)

Why We Cannot Join in the Religious Observance of Christmas

  • No Bible authority for the observance of Christmas – the Bible does not equip us for it (2 Timothy 3:17)
  • How we determine what has been authorized – command (cf. Matthew 28:20), statement (cf. John 8:24), example (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:1; Philippians 3:17), implication (cf. Acts 10:34-35)
  • No command, statement, example, or implication in the NT for the religious observance of Christmas – therefore, since it is not a good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17), it is lawlessness (Matthew 7:21-23)
  • We cannot participate in the practice of sin (Ephesians 5:11)

Why We Cannot Ignore the Birth of Christ

  • There is often a tendency to overreact to error – ex: Reformation; this can also be done regarding the celebrating of Christmas as a religious holy day
  • This overreaction can lead us to de-emphasize the birth of Christ, even if this is unintentional – the birth of Christ is an essential part of the scheme of redemption (Galatians 4:4; Hebrews 2:14; 9:14; 10:5, 10); we must teach the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27); this includes the incarnation (John 1:14)
  • This overreaction can also lead us to avoid all “Christmas” songs – we ought to avoid some because they are not Biblical, but others are; in our singing, we are teaching one another (Colossians 3:16); if we are using a song to teach and not to celebrate “Christmas,” there is nothing wrong with it
  • The birth of Christ is not a topic that should be ignored – but we can remember it and teach about it without celebrating Christmas as a religious holy day

Conclusion

  • When people find out that this congregation or that you as an individual do not celebrate Christmas religiously, they may be surprised – that may be an opportunity to teach them
  • Without the birth of Christ, there would be no death, burial, and resurrection of Christ – but we must do what He has commanded in all things (Matthew 28:18-20)

When you subscribe, you’ll also receive 3 free PDF’s: Plain Bible Teaching on Blessings, the latest issue of Plain Bible Teaching Quarterly Review, and Social Issues.