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Is Celebrating Christmas Christian?

Approximate Reading Time, 8 minutes.

Isaiah 25:1-9

Isaiah 25
1  O LORD, You are my God;
 I will exalt You; I will praise Your name,
 for You have done wonderful things,
 plans formed of old, faithful and sure.

2  For You have made the city a heap,
 the fortified city a ruin;
 the foreigners’ palace is a city no more;
 it will never be rebuilt.

3  Therefore strong peoples will glorify You;
 cities of ruthless nations will fear You.

4  For You have been a stronghold to the poor,
 a stronghold to the needy in his distress,
 a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat;
 for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall,

5  like heat in a dry place.
 You subdue the noise of the foreigners;
 as heat by the shade of a cloud,
 so the song of the ruthless is put down.

6  On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples
 a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
 of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.

7  And He will swallow up on this mountain
 the covering that is cast over all peoples,
 the veil that is spread over all nations.

8  He will swallow up death forever;
 and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces,
 and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
 for the LORD has spoken.

9  It will be said on that day,

“Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, that He might save us.

This is the LORD; we have waited for Him;

let us be glad and rejoice in His salvation.”

Partying like the Puritans

Christmas was worrisome for the Puritans. They objected to the holiday for several reasons.

Christmas

1. It has no biblical mandate. Firmly adhering to Scripture in regarding worship, the Puritans thought this celebration was not ordained by Christ and therefore believed it should not be part of our Christian worship.

2. Christmas contradicts the historical record as Christ wasn’t born on December 25th.

3. The holiday has pagan roots. The church in Rome began celebrating Christmas in the 4th century during the reign of Constantine, the first Christian emperor, most likely to weaken pagan traditions.

4. It reminded them of the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church, which they were trying to escape. 

5. The holiday celebration usually included drinking, excessive feasting, and playing games – all things which the Puritans understood as being opposites to true worship. “Wassailing”, a custom where people of a lower economic class visiting wealthier community members and begged, or demanded, food and drink in return for toasts to their hosts’ health. If a host refused, things would occasionally turn violent and even if it didn’t, the custom would most certainly end in drunkenness.

To celebrate Christmas like Puritans we should prepare for it in the same way, yet with a slightly different outlook. Remembering our Puritan fathers, we must hate sin. But sin is not in celebration, sin is in the human heart. Sin is in the hearts of gluttons, drunkards, those that have no real love for Christ.


Looking at Isaiah 25:1-9

Isaiah 25:1-9

The passage shows death will finally be swallowed up (Isaiah 25:7–8). It will be done for “all peoples.” Not the Jews alone, but individuals from every tribe and tongue. The Lord will wipe the tears from every eye of His elect (v. 8).

Today, Christians know that the defeat of death has been accomplished, even though we await the last day, when death will be fully and finally swallowed. Hundreds of years after Isaiah, our Savior dealt the fatal blow to death itself as He passed from life to death on a cross and then from death to life in His resurrection (Romans 6:9). Death could not swallow up the Christ. He defeated it, bringing the hope of life back to the world. This, of course, could not be accomplished without the birth of Jesus the Christ.

The LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast” (v 6). A feast is an outflowing of joy in the Christian life. The Lord wants His people to be joyful! Scripture shows that He gave them feasts to help them be joyful. We have great reason to be joyful, even in this dark sin-sick world of death. What God has done for His children is so beautiful and glorious, no wonder there should be feasts remembering it. Christians should rejoice in the Lord everyday, no question. I see no sin in enjoying some days even more than others.

A feast at Christmas bears witness to the world of the history of God’s salvation. Christianity is not simply another religious idea. No, we believe things that happened in this world on days such as Christmas. Our faith is in a real Person, His supernatural birth, His sinless life, His death, and His resurrection from the dead. It is vital that this truth, this historical reality, and this foundation never be lost.


The Reason to Feast

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Solus Christus

What we celebrate at Christmas is that we have the incarnation of God Himself. We see the Trinity; God the Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit, to the glory of God the Father. “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient even to the point of death,” the horrific death of the cross.

We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; on the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there He will come to judge the living and the dead.

Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. 1 Corinthians 15:1–4

Let us Feast

Feast - because we are in need of a way out of the desperate state of our sinful human condition and it's result; eternal death. We only find it in the One born lying in a manger, who was and is Jesus the Christ, our long-promised Messiah, Redeemer, and King.

Feast - because He doesn't just come as a man, He comes as a servant. He comes with no exaltation and no dignity. He humbled Himself and became obedient even to the point of death, taking upon Himself the debt that we owe.

Feast - because Jesus is the Son of God incarnate. He is Immanuel, which translated means “God with us.” This infant, who is our King, brings peace on earth, ultimate and permanent peace.

Dear Christian brothers and sisters, feast this Christmas but sin not.

Feast – because we are in need of a way out of the desperate state of our sinful human condition and it’s result; eternal death. We only find the way in the One born lying in a manger, who was and is Jesus the Christ, our long-promised Messiah, Redeemer, and King.

Feast – because He came as a servant. He came with no exaltation and no dignity. God the Son humbled Himself and became obedient even to the point of death, taking upon Himself the debt that we owe.

Feast – because Jesus is the Son of God incarnate. He is Immanuel, which translated means “God with us.” This infant, who is our King, brings peace on earth; ultimate and permanent peace.

Dear Christian brothers and sisters, feast this Christmas but sin not.

“Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, that He might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for Him; let us be glad and rejoice in His salvation.”



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  • Scott Richey

    Owner/Editor of BibleBulldog.com, purveyor of antiquarian Bibles & theology books and other Bible related items. Host of the BIBLES * Bulldogs * & Beards podcast. My main objective is to share the Word of God, pointing people to the Lord Jesus Christ.

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