Rags to Riches (3 of 3) by James Merritt

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Rags to Riches (3 of 3)
Series: Christmas Really?
James Merritt
Philippians 2:5-11


1. Christmas really? Do you really believe in Christmas? I realize that is not a question for most people who go to church or for a good number of people who don't. But, increasingly more and more people love to celebrate the season, but they are becoming increasingly indifferent, if not hostile, to the reason for the season. The earliest record we have of any celebration of the birth of Jesus dates to about 300 years after He died, but it was because of His birth.

2. You can certainly say this about Jesus. No other person who has ever lived has been a magnet for everything from attention to devotion, to criticism, to adoration, to opposition like Jesus. He has been a fascination for theologians, philosophers, and historians for over 2000 years.

3. It really is quite amazing. The son of a carpenter, born in a nothing town, in a small country called Israel and yet His birthdate still divides time into B.C. and A.D.

4. He never wrote one word that we have recorded and never spoke to more than few thousand people at one time. For 24 hours a day and in any moment in that 24 hours there will be millions of people studying what He said, reading the words that He spoke and worshipping Him as God.

5. Why believe in Christmas? I think I'll let a man speak who met this Jesus after He had already died and been raised from the dead. He was a Jew, a rabbi, and one time a hater of everything Jesus stood for and yet he became, perhaps, the most famous follower of Jesus who has ever lived. His name was Paul.

6. Unlike the Gospel writers, Paul never alludes to the birth of Jesus at least in any detail, but even though he doesn't really tell us the story of Jesus, he does write about the glory of Christmas. When you read what He wrote we can at least understand why a Jewish rabbi would give all that he was to all that Jesus was and would become a firm believer in ...

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