Christmas 2012 — Understand the True Meaning

Shepherds in the field

God’s message to the lowly Shepherds in the fields outside of Bethlehem – we take an unusual look at these precious, classic Bible verses which announced the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ.

Luke 2:9-11
And, lo, the angel [messenger] of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be  to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

As we examine this classic verse – the emboldened words take on great new meaning.

(1) Good Tidings. Good News. The Greek word for this phrase is the exact same root word as the Gospel in Romans 1:16, It is the Power of God!!
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

(2) To All People: Greek: Pas; all, any, every, the whole. Imagine that!!  The Good News of Salvation is for ALL people. God’s offer is not just to a specific chosen or select group but ALL people. When The Lord says, “All” He means ALL people!!

(3) Born: To literally be born, brought forth, be delivered, be in travail — as of a virgin, Mary, the mother of Jesus. Jesus Christ did not just appear on earth but He was physically born as God’s “only begotten Son.” John 3:16

(4) A Savior, One Who Saves Jesus is not offering nor is He the Author of a bi-lateral contract to individuals, in which we offer Him something in exchange for salvation. No!! He is the Savior. He has done it all, He paid the price — it was finished on the Cross of Calvary.

(5) Christ: Gr. Christos; The Anointed One, The promised Messiah, the Holy appointed One.

(6) The Lord – Gr. Kurios; supreme in authority, God, Lord, master. Jesus Christ, thereby God in the Flesh!!

Therefore we see The Lord, the Christ, the Savior was born to benefit ALL people — and my dear friends, that IS the Good News, the Good Tidings, the Gospel of our salvation.

In all the glory of His birth some two thousand years ago, He came to die on the Cross in order to eternally redeem anyone from the sin-debt death penalty upon all. Anyone who makes the decision to place their trust/faith in Jesus Christ alone for their eternal salvation has that eternal salvation immediately.

Jesus Christ Himself speaking:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” John 6:47

Further Biblical Proof: << Click

37 responses to “Christmas 2012 — Understand the True Meaning

  1. Hobbs, yes, we are ready for heaven the moment we are regenerated, which happens immediately upon belief.

    Guaranteed progressive clean up is an LS concept.

    Guaranteed glorification is biblical.

  2. I was wondering recently about ‘Away in a manger’ specifically the line: ‘Bless all the dear children in thy tender care, and fit us for heaven to live with thee there.’

    Not sure how it was meant, but ‘fit us for heaven’ could be seen as ‘sanctify us so that we’re ready for heaven (by the time we die!)’

    Don’t know where I got it from, but for years I had the idea that believers were gradually being sanctified so that by their dotage they are somehow all ready and cleaned up enough for heaven. Not sure which branch of false doctrine teaches that. Presumbly anything LS.

    But then I wondered, what happens when a believer dies early. Does God put them through some kind of ‘fast-track sanctification process’, to clean them up pronto!?

    The mind boggles.

  3. Jason, Ron Shea uses “Hark The Herald Angels Sing” as an example of a doctrinally accurate song.

  4. I have noticed that there are some hymns that get the meaning of the day wrong. Some of the worst offenders:

    There is Room in My Heart for Thee
    “O come to my heart Lord Jesus
    There is room in my heart for Thee”

    Joy to the World
    “Let every heart prepare Him room”

    These songs draw on the Biblical fact that there was no place in the guestroom (Luke 2:7) and make the wrong application that we should make room for him in our hearts in order to receive him. This is reinforcing the silly gospel substitute known as asking him in.

    Scholarship now seems to be moving away from the translation of “katalyma” as “inn”, making the back story itself seem questionable, that Mary and Joseph were seeking public lodging.

    Hark the Herald Angels Sing gets it right: he was born to give us second birth.

  5. Jarrod, Pearl, Bruce, Jon, Trust4Himonly, Kenneth – miss you all. Especially continuing in prayer for you Kenneth. May you all have a blessed time of celebration this year for His first coming and His blessed coming which we look forward to any day.

    God bless you all. Sure miss Jack, looking forward to the day we reunite.

  6. This would have been a nice one to recycle, glad to read it again.

  7. Kenneth Groenewald

    Thanks for those encouraging words Pearl.

  8. We mustn’t forget the touchy-feely, ever inclusive Emergents, who direct folks either way. I guess they’d represent the rim of the coin.

  9. That is truly wonderful to hear, Kenneth.

    Since most in your fellowship are babes in Christ, it is so vitally important that they understand from the very beginning the subtle dangers of the predominant religious fronts which so many converts seem to gravitate toward as they “mature”, and which I have previously likened to a coin: one side is Calvinism, the other Arminianism and the entire thing is Catholicism! And there are plenty of intellectual preachers on either side to attract those who are looking to feast on the “meat” of the Word.

    I remember Jack posting a couple years ago a quote from another website which stressed that most who call themselves Calvinists didn’t get there when they first believed, but learned it from others. That claim was pretty much confirmed in my mind as I read a flawed testimony by a woman in a certain ministry (which claims to be wise to the lie of Lordship Salvation). While this woman “escaped” Calvinisim, she is still entrenched in the behavioral modification requirements to obtain salvation through her lack of understanding the word “repentance”. She merely leapt to the other side of the religious coin.

    Just a thought. I pray God protects and guides your fellowship, and that you each grow in His wisdom, grace and truth. I wish I had had someone like you and Jack in my life when I first believed.

    Bless you, Kenneth!

  10. Jack said: “A Saviour In other words, Jesus, the One who SAVES completely — He needs no help from us to save us or keep us saved, just putting our simple faith in Him alone.” Excellent Jack! I wish all the Mennonites in this area could see and believe those words. Merry Christmas everyone.

  11. Kenneth Groenewald

    Thanks John. Will look into that. Most in our fellowship are young converts and they are like a sponge when I share on the simplicity of the gospel and assurance of salvation. They just soak it all up. I can see such growth in all of them.

  12. Faith,

    Thanks for the note — I certainly should have included “FEAR NOT” into the mix.

    For those Calvinists and Lordship “Salvationists” — who try but never know for sure if their good works are sufficient to save them or keep them saved, we can tell them, FEAR NOT! Jesus Christ has finished all we will ever need for our salvation. Those who fear need only decide to place their faith/trust in Jesus alone.. and then there is no need to ever fear again.

    Faith, thank your for that!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  13. Kenneth, welcome! In addition to the information Jack has provided, I would also suggest “The Gospel” booklet by Ron Shea. Page 20 deals with assurance.

  14. Kenneth,

    We welcome you. Good to hear from another believer from Down Under.

    I have a good suggestion for your Home church — regarding assurance of salvation and especially how to lead others to Christ. It is The Handbook of Personal Evangelism, written by the man who led me (an atheist) to Christ. He also used it as a text in our Personal Evangelism class at Florida Bible College. It is now a free downloadable PDF file.

    Praying for you, your family and the 8 souls in your home church — plus many more to be added to your fellowship of believers.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  15. To each of our Beloved Brothers, Sisters, Readers and Commenters,

    I am constantly amazed by the world wide outreach the Lord has provided here at ExP for His Gospel of Salvation by Grace through Faith in Jesus alone.

    Thanking each of you individually and personally would be my personal pleasure but a monumental task for my aging brain so instead I say,

    “My humble thanks to the Lord for each of you and your families for your special help and wisdom in literally reaching the World with the simplicity of God’s Grace that is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Corinthians 11:3

    And I pray each of you and your families will have a blessed Christmas season, remembering and sharing Jesus our Savior all year long.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  16. Jack, I can’t tell you how many times I heard the Christmas story without knowing what it was really about. How beautiful it is to know the true story of God’s gracious intent toward us through Christ Jesus!

    Merry Christmas everyone.

  17. Kenneth Groenewald

    So good to be amongst true saints of God who believe in the simplicity of the gospel. Have only joined this group a couple of days ago but my spirit bears witness with all your spirits that post here. I run a home Church where we have about 8 souls.
    At the moment I am focusing on the assurance of salvation and how to lead someone to Christ. I have used tremendous articles from the discussions over here. Thanks everyone and have a blessed Christmas.
    Blessings from down under.

  18. The Christmas story is especially sweet with the true and simple gospel kept in view. Merry Christmas all!

  19. Thanks Jack and everyone else. A merry Christmas to you all. In Jesus Christ, Bill downunder

  20. Thank you, Bruce. I hope you and yours have a merry (and restful) Christmas too!

    Of course, same goes to Jack and Shirley and to all who comment & read here!

  21. Well said Pearl!

    Have a wonderful Christmas dear sister in the Lord.

  22. I don’t see that you have anything to apologize for, Jarrod. And no need whatsoever to conceal your joy for finding a like-minded fellowship; ours is a very rare bunch! Besides, your enthusiasm is a breath of fresh air.

    As for veering off topic, it has happened many times before and Jack or Bruce usually bring us back to center, especially if it gets heated. But sometimes, things do need to be discussed for the purpose of clarification. The tricky part is not alienating the people with whom we are discussing potentially sensitive issues.

    Like any other, we are a family where pobody’s nerfect. 🙂

  23. Hi pearl,

    I did read that post. thank you. Its good stuff!

    And i can see how a person could end up fretting over whether we are doing things from the spirit or our flesh.

    If we are doing things in compliance with the Word we are doing things in the Spirit. It helped me tremendously personally because before I always wondered why I did certian things and if they were “right”. I had a tendency to believe that I would have a “feeling”. that there would be something mystical about it!

    The doctrine of evil was a side teaching in our class of living a spiritual life and was based on a lot of Lewis Sperry Chafer’s living the spiritual life.

    Heb 5:14 Always stuck with me also I always thought that evil was miles away from good, but I was wrong.

    I do apologize, I did not intend to go the direction of the other post that you mentioned.

    To All,
    I am probably over excited to find a place with like minded Christians, and run my keyboard too much! I will sit back and read, figure out the rules of engagement better! I dont want to mess up your plan and cause so many rabbit trails.

    God Bless and thank you for this site!

  24. Luke 2:9-11
    And, lo, the angel [messenger] of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

    In this verse what wonderful words, some you have already focused on Jack. Here are a few more- FEAR NOT. The legalist mindset would have us fear when we have nothing to fear except to understand that we have accepted (just like the shepherds did) the GOOD TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY which shall be to ALL PEOPLE who accept His gift. Fear, doubt and worry is what is the tool to propagandize those into accepting Calvinism and whatever doctrine that is based on work. Gods gift is simple: accept His gift of Jesus Christ. Believe in Him with all your heart.

    Merry Christmas and love to all.
    Thank you Jack for your gift to us.

  25. I know that angle of teaching very well, Jarrod. One teacher in particular, whose ministry mostly formed my Christian development, preached/wrote extensively on that very point, and I have to say on the surface, I wholly agree.

    On the other hand, for me, it got to where it produced a sort a paralysis within my own mind, as I fretted over whether the promptings, ideas, best intentions, etc were of the Holy Spirit, my flesh, or Satan.

    I don’t want to alter the flow of this post by delving into this discussion being that many of us have our understanding of how best to live the Spirit-filled life, but I will say that we all discussed this in depth last February. Not so sure I want to “go there” again,, but you might find the questions/concerns submitted by other commenters to be helpful. It’s important that you read it all, from beginning to end.

    As for the teacher in question at the following thread, I have yet to reach a final conclusion. His affiliates, however, give me great reason for pause.and I have basically just walked away from the entire lot and haven’t looked back.

  26. Hi Pearl,

    I could not agree more on the idea of undoing tangled teachings and (my own presuppositions) and replacing it with the pure simplicity of the Gospel.

    We are doing a study on the doctrine of evil, and how a lot of times evil can look good and how close good and evil can be together.

    All sin is evil but not all evil is necessarily sin.

    I use calvinism for that example, on the surface and at a quick glance it all sounds and looks pretty good to the majority, but at its core to a discerning believer it is evil and sin. And for the most part we will be persecuted for calling it evil because a whole lot of believers call it good!

    And sin is quick and easy to recover from 1John 1:9. But evil takes a long time to recover from(false teachings, presuppositions,carnal ways and beliefs, human good)

    I believe that what we are up against in LS is this in a nutshell: all human good is evil in the sight of God, but to man it looks good. But to do divine good we need the spirit working through us, and these LS teachers are teaching their congregations that they can use their human good to stay saved and get saved and God looks at it as evil!

    I could go and give 5000 dollars to a poor person and be the man of the month at church and have a plaque made in my name and get praise from everyone at church! But to God what I did is evil in His eyes because my motive was approbation from man. And there is not a man on earth that would know I did it from the wrong motivation(without Christ).

    I personally am on the road of recovery from evil and LOVE it,God has pointed out so many things to me that were taught to me and my own false ideas. I have things that I dont even recognize yet, but thats His Grace,if he revealed them all to me at one moment He knows that i would fall over and go to heaven.

  27. “Over the years I have noticed that you have always kept your presentations of the gospel straightforward, clear and easy for all to understand.

    Yes, it’s true. I have often made that mental note myself. It may seem a no-brainer, but I sometimes worry that I make it more complicated than it need be (mostly for fear that I’ll make the mistake of leaving out an important detail). I also think it’s a matter of undoing tangled teachings and replacing it with the purity of simplicity, one day at a time.

  28. How wonder-full is the Gift! Simple, amazing, and free to all who will simply believe! Thank you, Jack. Your ministry has changed my life this year. God bless you!

  29. Thanks, Jack, for presenting the simple clear truth of the gospel through the narration of the birth of Christ. I agree with Pearl that it was, “so wonderfully simple.”

    Over the years I have noticed that you have always kept your presentations of the gospel straightforward, clear and easy for all to understand. That’s the way the gospel is always presented in Scripture (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 4:5; Acts 16:30-31; John 3:16-18; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8). So many pastors, teachers, writers and preachers try to muddy up the waters by adding qualifications (ifs, ands, and buts) to the gospel that are man-made and are not in the Bible. This action only confuses people and makes it much more difficult and complicated to trust in Christ by grace alone through faith alone for salvation. Thanks, Jack, for always declaring the gospel strongly and clearly!

    Merry Christmas friend!

  30. When I read this, I don’t know if what you said here was your intent, but I certainly thought along the same lines as you when I read your post Jack.

    “These verses in Luke destroy the myth of Calvinism, Lordship “salvation” and any idea of meriting God’s salvation by good “works.”

    All people eliminates the Calvinist stronghold teaching about only the “chosen or elect” can be saved. A Saviour, in other words, Jesus, the One who SAVES completely — He needs no help from us to save us or keep us saved, just putting our simple faith in Him alone.”

    Exactly! Thank you again!

  31. Excellent post, Jack! I had the very same reaction as I read it: those theological contortionists have to reeeeeeeally make some obscene stretches to get where they are.

    It’s so wonderfully simple. I was totally blessed. Thank you.

  32. Kenneth,

    We welcome you to

    You have found many like minded friends here.. and it is exciting to see another Australian who understands the reality of God’s free grace salvation.

    We pray you will come back and subscribe to our future posts as well as the comments on this article.

    By God’s Word, we try to convince the nay-saying “wet blanket” crowd that God’s Grace salvation is indeed free for the taking — without complication or strings attached.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  33. Kenneth Groenewald

    Thanks for that most encouraging word from the Holy Scriptures. When I read or hear the gospel from these Lordship Salvationists, it’s like a wet blanket.

  34. Just thinking —

    These verses in Luke destroy the myth of Calvinism, Lordship “salvation” and any idea of meriting God’s salvation by good “works.”

    All people eliminates the Calvinist stronghold teaching about only the “chosen or elect” can be saved.

    A Saviour In other words, Jesus, the One who SAVES completely — He needs no help from us to save us or keep us saved, just putting our simple faith in Him alone.

    Scripture certainly does not support the LS version which says Jesus “can” save you — but for salvation to occur or remain valid, you must believe the lie they perpetrate which is “turn from your sin, keep turning and if you don’t show (by their definition) some evidence or bear fruit — then you may well be lost.”

    Thank the Lord for His Gospel of Grace!!!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  35. Thanks Jarrod,

    You are right — retired from pastoring a church — but not retired from the ministry.

    Thanks for your kind remarks — we have a lot of faithful Brothers and Sisters who do most of the work here (commenting) so the credit goes to the Lord and those who wish to see His free Grace spread.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  36. Thanks Jack! Truly the best news ever.

  37. Thank you so much Jack for your faithfulness to His word!
    You’re not very “retired” are you!
    John 7:38 WHOEVER believes in me,as the Scripture has said,’Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ You said exactly as scripture has said it.
    Rev 22:17 The spirit and the Bride(church) say,”come.” And the one who hears say,”come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life WITHOUT price.

    John 4:14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will NEVER thirst again.

    Jack thank you for being not so “retired” The truth that you present here is precious to the lost who need to hear GRACE and KNOWLEDGE for us that have tasted that grace.

    Merry Christmas to all.