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+TIPS::: Christmas Reflections

Happy holidays, people. Here's a post to remind us of the reason for the season's celebration.
We all know the first people God created on earth were Adam and Eve. When God created them He gave them dominion, or rule, over planet earth. We read in the book of Genesis, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth” (Gen. 1:26). They had a divine mandate and legal right to rule over the earth for the glory of God. But this right to rule was effective only as long as they lived in obedience and fellowship with GOD. But, as the Genesis account records in Genesis 3, satan tempted Adam and Eve to disobey God. And when Adam and Eve yielded to the temptation, they lost their position of rule and authority. The effect of this is that Adam transferred the legal right to satan and thus he himself came under the dominion of Satan. This is true as the Bible records in 2 Corinthians 4:4 where Apostle Paul referred to Satan as “the god of this world.” John also wrote that “the whole world is in the power of the evil one.” (1 JOHN 5:19).

What does it mean to be under satan’s dominion? Basically it means that we are his slaves and are to do whatever He tells us to do. It does not sound good, right? The Bible tells us that the work of satan is sin. satan wants us to sin. He wants us to disobey God. And since we are under his authority, this is exactly what we do. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 and 6:23 that we have all sinned and the penalty for our sin is death. All of Adam’s descendants (that includes you and I) inherited his slavery to satan and his tendency toward sin.  “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered this world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans. 5:12) Now of course satan does not tell us we are his slaves and in our pride, we like to think we are our own person doing our own thing. But the Bible says nobody does their own thing. We’re either doing God’s thing our satan’s thing. Even though we don’t like to hear it, and most won’t acknowledge it, we are all born into this world as slaves to satan and slaves to sin. This is why we can’t keep our New Year Resolutions. This is why we can’t break the hold of self-destructive habits. This is why we are all afraid to die.

We all need to be set free from this bondage and this freedom must come in such a way that God’s justice will not be violated. God must abide by His laws of justice. Dominion of the earth was given to man, and it was lost by man. Therefore it can only be legally recovered by man. But as we have just learned, all Adam’s descendants are slaves and none can take the case for us. Yet, somehow, a human must be found on whom satan has no claim, someone not in bondage to him, someone who can dismiss satan’s legal claim on us. And this is just what God promised He would provide for us. He gave this promise immediately after Adam and Eve sinned in Genesis 3:15. He says, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel”(RSV).

God says this seed of woman is a he. Now the curious part about this whole statement from God is His referral to the “seed of woman.” Whoever heard of a woman having her own seed? That’s not the way life is reproduced. The seed comes from man. But in this case, God says the One who will deliver the fatal blow to satan will come from the seed of a woman. The prophet Isaiah also spoke of this seed of woman. He said, “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). The word Immanuel means “God with us.”  Isaiah explained that the seed of woman refers to a virgin birth. He said that it would be God Himself coming to planet Earth as a baby boy, born of a virgin. The virgin would not be the mother of God, but would be the mother of the man God became. This son, born of a virgin, would be the One who would take dominion from satan and restore it to us.

Now in the New Testament, we learn the identity of this seed of woman. We read the following in Matthew 1:18-25: “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make a public example, was minded to put away secretly. But while he thought about those things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.’ So all was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: ‘Behold the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’ Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.”(NKJV)

These verses, along with many others, tell us that Jesus Christ is the Creator-God, Who came to the earth as a man, born of a virgin, in order to destroy the power of satan and restore dominion over planet earth to man. Jesus had to be born perfect without sin as Adam was created perfected without sin. This is why He could not be born of the seed of man. If He had been born of the seed of man, He would have inherited Adam’s sin nature passed down through his blood line. This would mean that Jesus would be satan’s slave just like the rest of us. Yet legally, according to God’s justice, He had to be a real human to take our place. So quite logically, at least in God’s mind, He was born of a virgin. So Jesus was born perfect, without sin, as Adam was created perfect and without sin. He would restore dominion over planet Earth to all who would come to Him.

This is the reason for celebrating Christmas. Jesus is the reason for the season.  He came to set us free from the bondage of satan. We celebrate His birth in this yuletide season by sharing His love with family, friends and loved one.

Isaiah 9:6-7 says, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”

The “Wonderful” refers to His ability as a leader and political guide. He is the living Word, the infallible source of guidance, the inexhaustible Wisdom, the Truth, and the Way. On Him would rest the government or the authority to rule. “Mighty God” indicates that Jesus would be the omnipotent One, and the word translated “Mighty” also means “hero.” The Lord is the Infinite Hero of His people-the Divine Warrior who has triumphed over sin and death. “Everlasting Father” expresses Christ’s fatherly care and also states the deity of Christ, and “Prince of Peace” means that His rule would  be characterized by shalom, that is, by peace and health, well-being, prosperity, happiness, and the ending of satan’s rule. He wants to be all of this in your life everyday!


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