"It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost sinner, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen."  1 Timothy 1:15-17

CHRISTMAS FROM ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE – PART 1

Normally, when we speak of Christmas in Biblical terms, we’re taking our information from the New Testament books of Matthew, Luke and John.  Today, we’re going to start looking at it from Paul’s perspective.  He wasn’t around when Jesus was born, nor was he involved in the earthly ministry of Jesus, and most certainly, he didn’t see Jesus on the cross or the empty tomb.  So, his perspective is a little different from the gospels.

Think about the person that is the worst sinner you can think of.  It may be a family member, a neighbor, maybe a co-worker, a classmate, or maybe an acquaintance, maybe it’s somebody that is famous—you don’t know them personally you just know about them.

Now as you give that some thought, if that person is anyone other than yourself, your heart is probably not quite in tune with God.  Because you see, the further a person is from God, the more we tend to feel pretty good about ourselves, the more we tend to feel pretty self-righteous in comparing our life to the lives of others.  Yet, the closer a person is to Christ, the more we’re aware of our sinfulness, because in comparing our life to Christ, we know that we can never measure up.  So, again, if you thought of anyone other than yourself, then perhaps you need a time of heart examination.

Why is that important to know? When Paul said, “It is a trustworthy statement,” we want to take note.  He is about to tell us a very important doctrinal statement. He then writes this phrase, ‘deserving full acceptance.’ That means it is doubly important for us to pay attention.  Paul wants us to realize that the reason Jesus was born in Bethlehem was to save us from our sins.  Now, we can all think of a multitude of things Jesus’ coming reveals to us.  Jesus’ coming revealed to us the character and the personality of God.  His coming revealed how God wants us to live a Godly life; He shows us God’s compassion and mercy for the poor. He demonstrated God’s love for the sick, for the hurting, for those in need of ministry.  Yet, the reason He was born was to save you and me from our sins. He was born to die – to die for our sins.

So, as we begin to study the birth of Jesus from Paul’s point of view, what is the first thing to remember?  It is that Jesus was born in Bethlehem to be our Savior.  If you think someone else’s sins are worse than yours, think again.  Each of us is the worst sinner we’ve ever known.  In spite of it all, God loves us so much that He sent us His Son to save us from ourselves. That, my friends, is Good News!

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