The meaning of Christmas is that all peoples have been offered the grace of God in Christ. That grace invites us to humble ourselves before God's self-revelation in Christ and enter into familial fellowship with God.
Scripture: Titus 2:11-14
- Advent reminds us that God’s Providence involves times of waiting.
- We celebrate the incarnation of Christ, the foundation of all explanations of life and reality.
- People today miss Christ because they do not stop to deeply examine ultimate issues.
- The advent is real history, a claim about real persons and real events. The grace of God appeared to all people.
- The Bible is the word of the absolute, all-conditioning God; it speaks infallibly about all subjects it addresses.
- The Christian faith is based on the self-revelation of God, who speaks into history ultimately in His Son, Jesus.
- Christian faith is based on a transcendent God who speaks with authority to mankind; other religions are atheistic, or at most believe in spirits and forces.
- All of history hinges on the advent of Christ: the virgin birth and God’s incarnation with us give meaning to Christmas.
- Outside of the doctrine of God as Trinity, the two most foundational doctrines are creation and predestination.
- The world is either personally governed by God or it is a chance collection of materialistic meaninglessness.
- God governs everything by His inscrutable Providence.
- History manifests both in God’s judgment and mercy.
- God is the creator and governor of all things. Grace, God’s unmerited favour, is an aspect of Providence.
- The meaning of Christmas is that all peoples have been offered the grace of God in Christ.
- Those who seek God with their whole heart will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13; Matt. 13:44).
- Even in His self-revelation, God hides Himself (Isaiah 45:15). God is not a show-off; His work involves drawing humble people unto Himself, not winning popularity.
- Remarkable events are not universally persuasive and they do not compel belief; even the supernatural works of God have been attributed to Satan or to natural events.
- God reveals Himself according to His wisdom, not ours.
- God’s concealing of Himself is a relational matter. We must approach God with willing submission through the Son by the person of the Holy Spirit.
- The Father hides Himself from those wise in their own conceit and reveals Himself to babes (Matt. 11:25-27).
- Unless we love the Truth, we cannot know Him.
- In and of ourselves we are not worthy of being brought into relationship and fellowship with God; but in Christ we are invited to worship the Creator of heaven and earth.
- The insincere seeker has his own moral reasons to hate God. He cannot see that to which he is already blind.
- The grace of God has appeared, and it is given to those who come to God as little children.
- The identity of the Child is known if we are living in humility and in love of God’s truth.
- We need to humble ourselves before Christ and His Word and ask Him to humble us.
- How does the incarnation make Christian faith distinct from all other religions?
- Why is God’s self-revelation to man always an act of grace, and not received by an intellectual exercise?
- What is the usual answer when a seeker finally asks: why do I fail to see and know God in Jesus Christ as I should?
- To what kind of people does God reveal Himself?
- How can we apply this message to our conversations this advent season?