We have just celebrated Christmas. The lights are still up in our house, and the Christmas carols are still playing. We generally keep our Christmas tree 🌳up for several weeks after Christmas. It’s such a uplifting and cheery sight, so we kind of hate to take it down. It is still Christmas in our home. It will be for some time.
Of course, Santa came to town, but did he come to your house? Well now, that all depended on whether or not you were good little 👦boys and 👧 girls. Right? So be good little doobies! Make sure he doesn’t pass you by! What a sour Christmas that would be!
Santa 🎅 Claus is coming to TOWN! So no pouting, no crying, and he knows whether you’ve been BAD or GOOD, SO BE GOOD FOR 👍 GOODNESS SAKE. Gotta get this Santa thing right for sure once a year. Don’t blow it now!
The point is:
“THE GOOD OLE HO HO HO MAN WILL ONLY BRING 🎁 GIFTS TO YOUR HOUSE IF YOU ARE GOOD FOR GOODNESS SAKE.”
SANTA GOD – A CLOSER LOOK
Innocent yuletide fun? Kids playing on jolly old Saint Nick’s knee. Can’t get any cuter than that? Right! Tell the old guy what you want for Christmas. Hey, what a deal, it is Christ’s birthday 🎂, and we get the gifts! Ya gotta love Saint Santa Claus.
Sorry, but He is much more than a saint! Think again! I am not knocking sainthood. All of God’s children are called saints in the Bible. So old Saint Nick has nothing on us.
But did you know that Santa 🎅 Claus is given DIVINE QUALITIES? I bet you didn’t know that. Yes, real DIVINE ATTRIBUTES! If you will, He is really the world’s god of Christmas. The world’s CHRISTMAS DEITY.
Listen 🎶 to the words of his song – Santa 🎅 Claus Is Coming To Town:
-HE KNOWS WHEN YOU ARE SLEEPING.
-HE KNOWS WHEN YOU ARE AWAKE.
-HE KNOWS IF YOU ARE GOOD OR BAD.
-HE HAS A LIST OF BOTH THE NAUGHTY AND THE NICE.
-HE IS CHECKING THE LIST TWICE JUST TO BE SURE.
In other words:
“SANTA CLAUS IS OMNISCIENT, THAT IS, HE IS ALL KNOWING. HE KNOWS EVERYTHING ABOUT US,
AND WE CAN’T PUT ANYTHING PAST HIM. ”
The Bible tells us that this is a GOD QUALITY. We read in I John 3:20,
“GOD IS GREATER THAN OUR HEARTS, AND HE KNOWS ALL THINGS.”
There you have it! So Santa Claus is much more than an old jolly fat man in a sleigh! Much more than some old pot-bellied gentleman with white hair and a white beard. He is DIVINE!
Now then, and here is the god concept behind this annual SANTA GOD FESTIVAL:
“THIS CHRISTMAS GOD DEALS WITH US ON THE BASIS OF ALL KNOWINGNESS, A QUALITY THAT BELONGS TO GODNESS ALONE.”
“THE CHRISTMAS GOD DEALS WITH US ON THE BASIS OF MERIT AND DEMERIT, WHETHER WE HAVE BEEN GOOD OR BAD.”
That is how the world views their
XMAS GOD. It all comes down to EARNING SANTA’S FAVOR, OR EARNING HIS DISFAVOR BY BEING GOOD OR BAD.
“BE GOOD FOR GOODNESS’ SAKE.”
Now get this:
-SANTA 🎅 is coming to town.
-He has white hair and a white beard.
-He is coming with horns and drums.
-Rooty toot toots and rummy tum tums.
-HE is coming to reward or punish us!
-All based on EARNING GOD’S FAVOR OF DISFAVOR by being good or bad.
“MAN INVENTS GODS, EVEN SANTA GOD, WHO HE CAN OBLIGATE BY MAN’S GOODNESS.
“MAN WILL INVENT HIS GOD TO BE THE DEBTOR, AND MAN HIMSELF THE CREDITOR.”
Now you’re getting it:
“A GOD WHO MUST BE BENEFICIAL TO MAN WHEN MAN IS BENEFICIAL TO GOD.”
Welcome to Santa God’s world, so be good for goodness’ sake!
I’VE TRIED TO LIVE A GOOD LIFE
If I have heard this once, I have heard it a hundred times! Understatement! You can’t miss it, if you listen at all to your fellow man.
The masses of humanity base their ETERNAL WELFARE on their GOOD WORKS and their GOOD LIFE. BE GOOD FOR GOODNESS SAKE.
It may come forth in different words, but it all means the same thing:
-I’ve tried to live a good life!
-I’ve tried to be a good person!
-I know that I am not perfect, but then, who is?
-I think I have done a pretty good job with my life!
-And so on and so on.
Without a doubt, this is the #1 self-imposed barrier to accepting Jesus as the ONLY SAVIOR FROM SIN, and that is MY OWN GOODNESS.
If you will, and hear this:
“MEN REJECT JESUS AS THEIR SAVIOR FROM SIN, BY FALSELY PERSUADING THEMSELVES THAT THEY CAN BE THEIR OWN SAVIOR BY THEIR GOODNESS.”
Now there you have it in a nutshell, and that is why at Christmas SANTA GOD REPLACES JESUS GOD.
Now get this 💪 strong, even at Christmas, man is filled with the intoxicating belief of MAN’S INHERENT GOODNESS.
Of all things, BE GOOD FOR GOODNESS SAKE, when the whole reason for Christmas is:
“JESUS CAME INTO THIS WORLD AS THE ONLY SAVIOR TO SAVE MAN FROM HIS BADNESS (SIN).”
People in the main have less than a faint concept of the words spoken to Joseph in a dream by the angel in Matthew 1 :21,
“YOU SHALL CALL HIS NAME JESUS, FOR HE SHALL SAVE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS!”
Christmas is all about MAN’S BADNESS and GOD’S GOODNESS. It is not about MAN’S imagined meritorious goodness which forces God to show him goodness in return. BE GOOD FOR GOODNESS SAKE!
Jesus did not come to earth to go down our chimney with goodies which we deserved, but He came to earth to go down to our hell which we did deserve!
NONE GOOD BUT GOD
That pretty well narrows the goodness field now doesn’t it?!
Jesus was confronted by a man who has come to be known to us as THE RICH YOUNG RULER. When he approached Jesus, Matthew 19:16 tells us that He addressed Jesus as,
And immediately Jesus corrects him, and says to him in Matthew 19:17,
“WHY DO YOU CALL ME GOOD, THERE IS NONE GOOD BUT ONE, AND THAT IS GOD.”
WHAM! So much for the goodness of man! SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN suddenly drops out of the top ten in the Christmas hit parade.
Wow Jesus, can’t you lighten up on your rhetoric a bit? Here is this young man on his knees before Jesus, and shows Him respect by calling Him GOOD MASTER. Can’t You be a little softer in your response to him?
What Jesus is saying is earth shattering and humanity humbling! Even though Jesus was born without sin, not even His human SINLESS state can be called GOOD COMPARED TO THE GOODNESS OF GOD.
NONE GOOD BUT GOD! GOD ALONE IS GOODNESS. Don’t mess with it and try to avoid the full import of it! So much for BE GOOD FOR GOODNESS SAKE.
Then perhaps we can better understand the words of Paul in Romans 3:12,
“THERE IS NONE THAT DOETH GOOD, NO NOT ONE.”
Not one of us can merit God’s favor by our goodness or good works. All THAT we can and must do is ask Jesus Christ to wash us in His blood, clean us up from our sins so that we can become reflectors of HIS GOODNESS as His light shines upon us.
C. S. Lewis observes that the neighbor’s green house shines 🌞 brightly only because the sun 🌞 shines upon it. The glass roof does not shine bright by itself and thereby attract the sun to shine upon it. All of the brightness coming and going is the sun.
Or again, C. S. Lewis observes the little 👧 girl who goes to her father and asks him for $5 so that she can buy him a present 🎁 for Christmas. So Christmas morning comes, and the little daughter gives her father the $5 present. Of course he hugs her and kisses her for the wonderful gift she gave him. But only a FOOL would say that the father’s condition is enhanced by the $5 gift, when it came from him in the first place.
The point is strongly made, namely, that we merit nothing, when good works come from His goodness to begin with and to end with. It is all FROM HIM, THROUGH HIM, AND UNTO HIM!
YOU WERE DEAD
Hear the rather strange sounding words of Ephesians 2:1,
“YOU HATH HE QUICKENED, YOU WHO WERE DEAD IN YOUR TRESPASSES AND SINS.”
What? I don’t remember dying. I don’t remember seeing my name in the obituary! What do you mean that I WAS DEAD. I’m still here alive and kicking!
Of course! But Paul is not talking about being physically dead. He is telling us that everyone apart from Christ is SPIRITUALLY DEAD. That is what he means when he says:
“YOU WERE DEAD IN YOUR TRESPASSES AND SINS.”
We were dead to God, dead to His voice. We didn’t do what He told us to do. We did what we wanted to do. And in that SPIRITUAL DEATH:
“ALL WE DID WAS PILE UP DEMERITS WITH GOD, NO MERITS WITH GOD.”
Thomas Lynch is an award winning writer, as well as being the undertaker in the city of Milford, Michigan.
Lynch points out that you can’t get the dead to do anything. He ought to know. If you want a dead man to go into the next room, you are going to have to get him there. Also, talking to the dead person is an exercise in futility. More than that, they don ‘t listen worth a toot either. You just can’t get the dead to do anything. That is what we by nature were spiritually, dead as a corpse!
Then when we gave our hearts to Jesus, HE QUICKENED IS – MADE US SPIRITUALLY ALIVE. Now all of the GOOD FROM US comes from CHRIST IN US! We no longer live, but Christ lives in us.
We take no credit, nor do we pile up points with God. If it is based on us, ALL OF CHRISTMAS IS DEFICIT SPENDING, BUT BECAUSE OF CHRIST ALL OF CHRISTMAS IS PROFIT SHARING.
Let’s set the record straight here once and for all. The Lord says to us in Romans 6:23,
“THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH, BUT THE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.”
Understand this, CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT A GIFT, NOT ABOUT A REWARD. GIFTS AND REWARDS ARE TWO TOTALLY DIFFERENT REALITIES.
“YOU RECEIVE GIFTS, YOU EARN REWARDS.”
“JESUS GIVES US ETERNAL LIFE IF WE RECEIVE HIS GIFT. SANTA GIVES US TEMPORAL REWARDS IF WE EARN THEM.”
As sinners, what we do earn is death, even as wages are earned by a workman.
Here it is in plain blunt truth:
“ETERNAL LIFE COMES FROM CHRIST AS A FREE GIFT, WHILE ETERNAL DEATH COMES AS A COSTLY REWARD.”
THE CHOICE IS OUR’S, JESUS GOD OR SANTA gOD! AMEN!!!