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Christmas: God Became Man to Save Man From God’s Wrath.


For Christians, Christmas is a time of joy and celebration commemorating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. While the holiday is often associated with festivities and gift-giving, it is essential to remember the true significance of Christmas – the story of God’s redemption through the Incarnation.

In order to understand why God coming in the form of man to rescue humanity from God’s wrath is at the heart of the Christmas story; we must turn to Scripture, the teachings of our Church Fathers, and Protestant Reformers. Let us explore this profound truth and its implications.

The Need for Redemption

Scripture teaches us that all humanity is in need of redemption due to sin. Romans 3:23 states, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Our rebellion against God’s perfect standards separates us from Him and invokes His righteous wrath.

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.  For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:13-14

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. John 3:36

If anyone does not abide in Me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. John 15:6

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. Romans 1:18

John Calvin, a prominent Protestant Reformer, emphasized the seriousness of sin and its consequences. He wrote, “We are but dead men until God quickens us by his grace alone…we never cease fighting against God until he has brought us to his obedience by the Holy Spirit … we see secret compacts, poisonings spittings, malices, treasons, and wicked practices. To be brief, we see some so devilish that they fling themselves altogether headlong, as though they meant to make war willfully against God. This highlights the desperate need for redemption from the wrath of God.

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14

The Incarnation: God’s Divine Plan

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.” Matthew 1:20–21

The Christmas story reveals God’s divine plan to rescue humanity from the bondage of sin and restore the broken relationship between God and man. God the Father sent God the Son who was conceived by God the Holy Spirit. The central event of the Incarnation, where God took on human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, is a glorious expression of God’s grace and mercy.

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

The early church father Irenaeus tells us, “Now this is His Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, who in the last times was made a man among men, that He might join the end to the beginning, that is, man to God.” The Apostle Paul captures the significance of the Incarnation in Philippians 2:7-8, stating, “but (Jesus) emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” This selfless act of God becoming man demonstrates His immense mercy and grace for humanity.

Perspectives on the Incarnation

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, He has made Him known. John 1:17-18

The Protestant Reformers recognized the profound implications of the Incarnation in the context of God’s redemptive plan. Martin Luther, a key figure in the Reformation, wrote, “For this is the reason why Christ is born of a virgin: that, by the same plan, through the same means, by which He became man, He might also become the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”

Athanasius proclaimed, “The Son of God became man so that we might become like God.” Irenaeus stated, “For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.” These statements encapsulate the transformative power of the Incarnation, offering humanity the opportunity to be reconciled with God and partake in His divine nature.

The Atonement: Rescuing Humanity from God’s Wrath

Jesus’ birth was just the beginning of His mission on earth. The ultimate purpose of His coming was to provide atonement for humanity’s sins and rescue us from God’s wrath. The Reformers emphasized the significance of Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross as the means of redemption.

John Calvin stated, “The Son of God, utterly clean of all fault, nevertheless took upon Himself the shame and reproach of our iniquities, and in return clothed us with His purity. …liberation from the death to which we were bound, and mortification of the flesh.” The perfect sacrifice of Jesus on the cross satisfied God’s justice and appeased His righteous wrath, enabling His people to receive forgiveness and reconciliation in Him.

But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) He entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of His own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. Hebrews 9:11-12

knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 1 Peter 1:18-19

Celebrating the Christmas Story

As we celebrate Christmas, let us remember the true essence of the holiday. It is a time to reflect on God’s incredible mercy and grace, manifested through the Incarnation. Through Jesus Christ, God bridges the gap between Himself and mankind, offering salvation and eternal life to all who believe.

May the Christmas story inspire us to embrace God’s redemptive plan, seek reconciliation with Him, and extend His grace and mercy to others. Let us rejoice in the miracle of the Incarnation, for it is a foundation of our faith and the reason we celebrate Christmas.

Remember, the Christmas story is not merely a historical event but a profound demonstration of God’s mercy, love, and grace. As we gather with our loved ones and exchange gifts, let us never forget the ultimate gift – the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord the Son of God.
Have you received God’s gift?

Come to Christ.

This article was inspired by a quote by Pastor William Shifflett, pastor for Reasoning Tree Church.

Birth Chart

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The Great Heinous, Evil, Unholiness of our Sin.

Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You may be justified in Your words and blameless in Your judgment. (Psalm 51:4)

The greatest evil of sin is that it is against God.


Sin is the most significant and terrible issue in the world. It is the root cause of all kinds of heartache and misery. Sin is not merely a violation of a moral code but a direct affront to God. It is an offense against His character and nature.

The great evil of sin lies in the fact that it is against God. David acknowledges this in Psalm 51:4 when he says, “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight.” Sin is rebellion against the sovereign and holy God who created the universe. Sin separates us from God and disrupts the intimate relationship that we were meant to have with Him. Romans 3:23 tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The very essence of sin is falling short of the glory and perfection of God.

Sin is often seen as a mere moral or ethical issue, but in reality, it is a deeply theological problem. The psalmist David recognizes this truth in Psalm 51 as he cries out to God for forgiveness and cleansing after committing adultery with Bathsheba and murdering her husband Uriah. Through David’s confession, we can learn about the great heinous evil of sin and its devastating impact on our relationship with God.

The consequences of sin are severe. Sin separates us from God and brings death and destruction into our lives. As we read in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Sin has a high cost, and we will all pay that price unless we turn from sin and come to Christ.

Never was a sinner pardoned while impenitent.


Another truth we see in Psalm 51 is that never was a sinner pardoned without repentance. David models true repentance as he confesses his sin and pleads for mercy from God. He acknowledges that he has sinned against God and that God is just in his judgment of sin. In verse 17, he says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” It is only when we acknowledge our sinfulness and turn from our sin that we can receive God’s forgiveness, mercy, and grace.

The Bible teaches us that forgiveness of sins is conditional upon repentance. As we read in Acts 3:19, “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out.” This verse reminds us that we must acknowledge our sin and turn away from it if we want to receive forgiveness. If we refuse to repent, we cannot be forgiven.

Never was a sinner truly penitent, while insensible of the great evil of sin.


We cannot truly repent of sin unless we understand it’s great evil. Sin is not a minor offense that we can simply overlook or excuse. It is a serious offense against God that has severe consequences. As we read in Psalm 51:3, “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.” True repentance requires a deep understanding of the gravity of our sin.

Sin is not just a mistake or a slip-up; it is a deeply ingrained issue that affects every aspect of our being. David understands this in Psalm 51:5 when he says, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Sin is not just something we do; it is part of who we are as fallen human beings. Only when we recognize the gravity of sin and its effects on our lives can we truly turn away from it and come to Christ.

Never did a sinner see the great evil of sin until he was first acquainted with the infinitely Great and Glorious God.


Only when we encounter God and His holiness do we see the true nature of sin. As we read in Isaiah 6:5, “And I said: ‘Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!‘” This verse reminds us that when we encounter God, we see ourselves as we truly are, and we realize the great evil of our sin.

Sin is not just a ‘problem’ that we can solve on our own; it requires a divine solution. As we come to know God and understand His character and holiness, we begin to see our sin in a new light. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that we can truly grasp the depth of our sin and our need for Christ.

In conclusion, Psalm 51 teaches us about the great heinous evil of sin and its devastating impact on our relationship with God. Sin is a rebellion against His holiness and righteousness and has severe consequences. We cannot be forgiven unless we repent of our sin and come to Christ. True repentance requires a deep understanding of the gravity of our sin, and we can only see the great evil of sin when we encounter God and His holiness.

A door of mercy has been opened by the blood of the Son of God: Pardon and rest are proclaimed to a rebellious, guilty, dying world. Repent therefore, and be converted; that your Sins may be blotted out.
But if after your Hardness and impenitent Heart, you continue to go on, treasuring up wrath against the Day of Wrath; you will know, to your everlasting grief, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:31)

Come to Christ.


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Teaching that salvation can be lost is dangerous.

a green snake is curled up on a leaf

As Christians, our salvation is at the very core of our faith. The Bible teaches that salvation is a gift from God that cannot be earned, but is freely given to those who believe in Jesus Christ. However, there are some who teach that Christians can lose their salvation. This is contrary to the teachings of Scripture, and it is a dangerous heresy.

This false teaching not only undermines the doctrine of the sovereignty of God, but it also undermines the assurance of salvation that believers are meant to have. It undermines the fact that Christians can rest in the finished work of Jesus on the cross for the full accomplishment of our redemption. Worse, it trivializes the work of our Lord.

person holding white paper with it is well text

The teaching that Christians can lose their salvation is contrary to the clear teachings of Scripture. For example, in John 10:27-29, Jesus says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand”.
This passage clearly states that those who belong to Jesus will never perish and cannot be snatched out of His hand or the hand of the Father.

Romans 8:38-39 says, "For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord". 
This passage highlights the fact that nothing can separate believers from the love of God, which includes losing their salvation.

“And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ”.

Philippians 1:6

The teaching that Christians can lose their salvation is inconsistent with the sovereignty of God. God is truly sovereign, and to think that He would allow those whom He has saved to fall away and lose their salvation is nonsense. If a person could lose their salvation, then it would mean that they have the power to undo the work that God has done in their life, which is a direct challenge to His sovereignty.

The sovereignty of God is strongly evident in the teachings of the church fathers and Puritans. Augustine, one of the most influential church fathers, wrote, “The perseverance of the saints is the gift of God, and that He who has begun the good work in them will carry it on to completion” (Augustine, On the Gift of Perseverance, ch. 16). Similarly, the Puritan theologian John Owen wrote, “Those who are truly converted and justified, He [God] will so guide and uphold by his Spirit, as that they shall not totally nor finally fall away from Him” (Owen, The Doctrine of the Saints’ Perseverance, ch. 6).

A commonly cited passage in support of the idea that Christians can lose their salvation is Hebrews 6:4-6, which says, “For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt”. However, this passage is not speaking of believers losing their salvation, but rather of those who have heard the gospel and tasted of its benefits, but have not truly been born again. The warning here is not to fall away from faith, but rather to come to true saving faith.


The idea that Christians can lose their salvation undermines the assurance of salvation that believers are meant to have. If a person believes that they can lose their salvation, then they will always be in a state of uncertainty and fear. However, the Bible teaches that believers can have confidence in their salvation. 1 John 5:13 says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life”. This passage emphasizes that believers can have assurance of their salvation, which is a critical aspect of the Christian faith.

The Perseverance of the Saints

The doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints affirms that salvation is a gift of God’s grace that cannot be earned or lost by human effort. Those who are truly saved are kept by God’s power and are sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14). This assurance of salvation is a source of great comfort and hope for believers, who can rest in the knowledge that their eternal destiny is secure in Christ.

The Perseverance of the Saints is a central doctrine in theology. This is because it is grounded in Scripture and in the sovereignty of God. While the silly debate may continue, Christians can take comfort in the fact that if they have been saved, God will keep them until the end.

In conclusion, teaching that Christians can lose their salvation is a dangerous heresy that undermines the sovereignty of God, the clear teachings of Scripture, and the assurance of salvation that believers are meant to have. While some passages may seem to support this idea, a careful examination of Scripture and the teachings of the church fathers and Puritans reveals that it is not a biblical belief. As believers, we can rest in the assurance that once we have been saved, we will remain saved for all eternity. Let us trust in the Lord and the promise of His Word,


“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:37-39

Come to Christ

Salvation is a gift of God’s grace that cannot be earned or lost by human effort.

Come to Christ and rest in the assurance of His finished work on the cross.
Hebrews 4:10–11


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