Max McLean is a wonderful narrator of Scripture. I have been following his ministry for the last 3 years and have purchased most of his major performances. His best, according to me, is the narration of the entire Bible in the KJV version. You may listen to a sample here. NIV and ESV versions are also available. There is huge discount on all his product during this advent season. Even though the price may be a little on the higher side when converted to Rupees, it still worth the investment. For those of you who have never heard Max Mclean, there is no better time to get acquainted with his ministry than now. His Christmas Story, one of his Christmas theme narrative (comprised solely of scripture narration) is available free for download. Just register and download. You will be taken through the usual check out routine but you will not be asked to pay anything. Check it out here
A Proper understanding of Christmas requires an understanding on our part of who God is and who we are. Only then we can grasp the weight of the significance of Christmas, which as we all know, is the birth of Jesus Christ. The picture the world presents, my friends, is very different from what is mentioned in the Bible. The warm, cozy and festive atmosphere that is usually associated with Christmas actually blurs the clear message of Christmas. Therefore, I would like to present the story of Christmas in a little different way so that each of us can fully understand what the real significance of Christmas is.
God is Holy
The Bible says that there is only one God (Deu 6:4). And that He is Holy( Lev 11:44 Lev 11:45 ). Holiness means to be set apart, totally different from what is usual, or in other words and in another sense, what is sacred. God is holy because God is so unlike us. God’s holiness can be understood in terms of his moral character.
The Bible says that God is perfect, his ways are perfect (2Sa 22:31). That means he has never made any mistake and neither will he ever. He is free of error.
The Bible also says that He is righteous (Dan 9:14). The Bible also mentions that some men have led righteous lives, but there it means the general trend of their life has been one of righteousness; it does not mean that they never sinned or committed any mistake. But with God, he is perfectly righteous, that means he has never ever committed any sin – not even once. God never lies (Num 23:19). God shows no partiality (Rom 2:11) . God is never unfaithful (1Co 1:9) , he keeps his promises. God is never unjust, and always delivers justice (Job 8:3; Heb 6:10).
There are 2 Bible verses that completely capture the essence of what I am saying
(Deu 32:4) “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.
(1Jn 1:5) This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
As we can see, God is totally different from all of us. None of us can compare to him. He is Holy.
Man is a Sinner
The Bible also makes it plain that man is a sinner. (Rom 3:23). Romans 3:23 says – “For all have sinned and have fallen short of the Glory of God”. And again it says
(Psa 14:1-3) The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.
We inherited this sinfulness because the first man created by God sinned. He sinned and hence all of us are sinners. That’s why we all die because that’s a punishment for sin; at least a temporary one. This is what the Bible says:
(Rom 5:12) sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned
We also cannot please God with our own righteousness because they are all discounted before him because of our sin nature. No matter how many righteous deeds we may do, God is never going to pleased with us since we are sinners and we have sinned. This is what the Bible says he thinks of our righteousness
(Isaiah 64:6) For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
Man needs a Mediator and a Saviour
We have established two things a) God is Holy and b) Man is a sinner.
Therefore according to God’s justice all of us don’t deserve to be with him. We deserve not only temporary death, but eternal death – which the bible calls as hell. This applies to all of us.
Therefore someone needs to bridge the gap between God and man. Some one needs to be a mediator between God and man. This mediator needs to be a man to represent us. But he also needs to be God because he is mediating with God. No created being can mediate on our behalf with God. This mediator, the Bible reveals is Jesus Christ. (1Ti 2:5). (For example, the US is mediating with India and Pak after the latest terror attack. It is a democracy like India and powerful like India, and it also has relations with Pak)
Jesus Christ is also given the title of a Saviour because he saves his people from their sins. The name Jesus means The Lord saves. His name is so because he saves his people from his sins (Mat 1:21). How did he do it? He died on the Cross on behalf of his people and took the punishment of their sin. When he died on the Cross, it was not just a physical death, but God the Father forsook him and poured out his wrath on him. Jesus Christ satisfied God’s justice (Rom 3:23-25). In this way God imputed our sinfulness to him and punished him, and he imputed Jesus’ righteousness (he led a sinless life) to us and saved us. Therefore my friends, as the Bible says
(John 3:16) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
If we believe, we will be saved. We only need to believe this from our heart that Jesus died for our sins and he rose again on the third day for our justification.
This my friends was why Jesus came to earth. And this is why we celebrate his birth. His birth can never be separated from his life and his death and his resurrection. We cannot celebrate his birth without knowing who he is and why he came. God himself came down from earth to be with us and save us from our sin.
God bless all of us.
[This was a message I gave during Christmas]