The Light of Christmas
It was the night of the birth of Jesus Christ—a man whose impact on the world was such that his birthday has been celebrated every year for the last two thousand years.
Jesus himself said, "I am the light of the world. So if you follow me, you won't be stumbling through the darkness, for living light will flood your path."2
In the Bible, darkness is symbolic of evil, confusion and spiritual lostness while light is symbolic of goodness, truth, freedom, and the way to spiritual life and eternal salvation. And while Jesus is the light of the world, Satan, the father of lies and deceit, is symbolized by darkness.
When Jesus called and commissioned the Apostle Paul, he said to him, "I am going to send you to the Gentiles [that is, the non Jewish world] to open their eyes to their true condition so that they may repent and live in the light of God instead of in Satan's darkness, so that they may receive forgiveness for their sins and God's inheritance along with all people everywhere whose sins are cleansed away, who are set apart by faith in me."3
One of Jesus’ closest disciples, John, wrote, "This is the message we have heard from him [Jesus] and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin."4
The more I have come to understand the nature of sin the more I can appreciate why God hates it so much. He hates it because it is so totally destructive of human personality. It destroys that which he loves—us! It is behind all the evil, violence, hatred, abuse, addictive and destructive behaviors, sickness, suffering, sorrow, broken homes, political despotism and wars in the entire world.
Sin is self-destructive and its end result is death which means eternal separation from God the author of all love and life. And we are all sinners. As the Bible says, "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."5
The beautiful thing about Christmas is that it is a wonderful reminder of the fact that God loved us so much that he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to come to earth to be the light of the world to show us the way out of evil's darkness to God. He made that way possible by becoming a man so he could pay the penalty of mankind's sin—death on the cross—and thereby grant mankind the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life. Such is the power of Christmas and the good news of God's salvation for a lost world.
You can receive God's gift of forgiveness and eternal life by admitting that you are a sinner, by confessing your sins to God, by thanking Jesus Christ for dying in your place, and by inviting him to come into your heart and life as personal Lord and Savior. Jesus Christ is God's Christmas love gift to you and me. Have you received his gift? If you would like help to do this, click on the God's Invitation button link below.
1. Chuck Colson, Jubilee, December 1992. © 1992 by Prison Fellowship. Used by permission.
2. John 8:12 (NLT)
3. Acts 26:18 (NLT);
4. 1 John 1:5-7 (NIV). 5. 1 John 1:8-9 (NIV).
5. All articles on the ACTS International website are by Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise noted.
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