The Meaning of Christmas – Gospel in Life
Sermon

The Meaning of Christmas

Tim Keller |  December 18, 2011

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Topics:
  • Christmas and Advent
  • Jesus' Birth
Duration:
27:36
Scripture:
1 John 1:1-4
SKU:
RS 334-01

Overview

Christmas shows why Christianity is unique. In all other religions,a prophet arrives and teaches how we can find eternal life. In Christianity,God himself comes to us and gives himself as the way to eternal life. Christmas shows that salvation is by grace,that we can have true intimacy with God,that love really matters,and that there exists an unceasing river of joy beneath all the sorrows of this world.

1 John 1:1–4

Christmas, as described in 1 John, represents four deep truths instead of just telling a story. The birth of Jesus isn’t just a cozy holiday tale, but a message with profound meaning. The Bible speaks of Jesus, God’s Son, becoming human, revealing four key truths.

1. Salvation is by grace

When John calls Jesus “the Word of life”, he’s demonstrating a critical Christian idea: Jesus isn’t just a guide to eternal life, He is eternal life. This highlights the importance of understanding that we can’t earn salvation just by being good. If we try, we often end up feeling afraid, insecure, proud, or self-hating. John’s firsthand accounts of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection confirm the truth of Christmas and the possibility of salvation through grace.

2. You can have fellowship with God

The heart of Christmas, or the idea of God becoming human, is about having a personal relationship with God. It’s more than just believing in or following His rules. Through Jesus, we can approach God’s overwhelming glory, like the brilliance of the sun, and know Him closely. Christmas calls us to not just believe in God but to let Him guide our lives.

3. Love really matters

Some people may say human feelings are just chemical reactions. But Christianity teaches that love isn’t just biological; it’s a divine, eternal power that existed before the world, created it, and continues to restore it. The story of Christmas shows this, revealing how God’s love moved Him to step into human history and connect the divine and human worlds.

4. Joy

Believing in Jesus becoming human can bring deep joy into our lives, even when times are tough. The real message of Christmas is God’s action to close the gap between heaven and earth. This truth isn’t just a fleeting emotion, but a stable anchor that offers lasting joy, fellowship, grace, and love.

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February Book Offer

Put Your Hope Not in Lesser gods, But in the One True God

In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.

February Book Offer

Put Your Hope Not in Lesser gods, But in the One True God

In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.