Proclamation! | Winter | 2017 | Ask the Pastor
By Dale Ratzlaff
Why do Christians make so much of Christmas?
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6).
Although this ancient verse was penned some 2,700 years ago, it still speaks a timeless message of good news to us today.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given”.
This Child is for us! He is heaven’s gift to us! The incarnate Christ is a gift from the Father to us. He is our Child, our Son. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. He did not loan Him to us; He gave Him. He belongs to us, and we belong to Him. There is a new restored relationship when we receive this Gift. As a member of the heavenly Trinity, this gift unites us to the infinite God.
That they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me (Jn. 17:21).
Like any gift, this Child, this Son, must be received.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name (Jn. 1:12).
Packaged with the Gift of this Son are the other “good gifts” of grace: The Holy Spirit (Lk. 11:13), rest (Mt. 11:28), eternal life (Jn. 10:28; 17:2), the Father’s name (Jn. 17:6), glory (Jn. 17:22), the words of the Father (Jn. 17:8, 14), authority (Lk. 10:19), the kingdom (Lk. 12:32), and all the promises of God’s Word (1 Cor. 1:20).
How wonderful it is to have a Counselor who guides us into all truth and prepares our way before us.
In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will (Eph. 1:10, 11).
When following His counsel we are safe. He knows the end from the beginning. Unlike even the best of human counselors, in Him “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
The mighty God, The everlasting Father
When we realize that this Son born as a babe is also the “mighty God, the everlasting Father”, then like Paul, our eyes glaze over at the exceeding brightness of the revelation. We do not know nor can we understand this reality; we cry out like the ancient prophet:
Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts (Isa. 6:5).
Nevertheless, the revelation that this Son given to us is indeed named the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father who could say, “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn. 14:9) is a necessary confession of the Christian faith.
I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins (Jn. 8:23, 24).
Here our Lord states that unless we believe in who He says He is, we will die in our sins. Couple this fact with John 8:58 where Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” The Jews knew exactly what Jesus was saying and picked up stones to kill Him. He was saying that He was the “I AM”, the self-existent God who met Moses at the burning bush.
And what was the main reason He is given to us?
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many (Mk. 10:45).
Have you accepted this Greatest of all Gifts? You can do it right now!
Dale Ratzlaff is the founder of Life Assurance
Ministries and Proclamation! magazine.