What The Bible Says
“What The Bible Says - Vol. 4 / No. 15”
What The Bible Says
Vol. IV - No. 15 / December 19, 2021
FACT AND FICTION ABOUT THE BIRTH OF CHRIST
At this time of year we hear a lot talk about the religious significance of Christmas. We thought it might be useful to separate the facts from all the fiction that has been generated about the birth of Christ.
Facts About The Birth Of Jesus:
There was a baby boy named Jesus born in Bethlehem more than 1900 years ago. He grew up to be one of the most influential men in history. Secular writers of history confirm that there was such a man (Josephus, Tactitus, Suetonius, Pliny).
The circumstances of his birth have been confirmed by archaeological discoveries. There was an imperial census, Cyrenius was governor (Luke 2:2), and each Jew was required to go to his ancestral home.
Angels announced His birth to shepherds (Luke 2:8-14), and wise men from the east came to worship Him (Matt. 2).
He was born of a virgin, and this was attested to by his mother, Joseph, Elisabeth, John the Baptist, and the inspired writers.
He came on a mission of salvation (Luke 2:29-32).
Fiction About The Birth Of Jesus:
It is not a known fact that there were three wise men. The three gifts could have been brought by a smaller or larger group.
The wise men did not visit the stable, as the so-called “nativity” scenes often depict. Matthew 2:11 says they visited Jesus later, when He was in a house.
There is no evidence that Jesus was born on December 25th. In fact, there is a strong indication that it was during a warmer time of year. (The shepherds were still in the fields with their sheep at night - Luke 2:8.)
We have no instruction in the Bible to observe a special day in honor of the birth of Jesus. This is not to say that we are not grateful for His birth. Obviously, we are. But the only special observance taught in the New Testament is the Lord’s Supper which commemorates His death - and that is to be done each first day of the week (Acts 20:7).
It is also fiction to imagine that anyone could please Him by thinking of Him and worshiping Him one day per year. We must serve Him faithfully every day! —Greg Gwin
"I WANT TO BE RICH"
There was a song popular in the late 80’s called “I Want To Be Rich”. Some of the lyrics are “I want money, lots and lots of money…” and “I wanna be rich for a little love, peace and happiness.“ Sometimes we are led to believe all our problems can be solved with money. Countless millions are spent each year on various ways to strike it rich. But if we had millions, would we really be satisfied? Eccl. 5:10 says, “He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance with increase.” But there are some things in which we should desire to be rich – and it is not money or things. In James 2 we are warned of showing partiality to the wealthy. He says in verse 5, “Has not God chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom…” In many cases it was the poor who were willing to listen to Christ and His apostles. And I think to a large extent that is still true today. Those we would consider wealthy have very little time for God or obedience to His will. These James talks about had little materially but were rich in faith. Faith is the foundation of our Christian life. We should all desire to be rich in faith. In I Timothy 6 Paul gives instructions to the rich saying in verse 18 “Let them do good, that they be rich in good works.” These people may have had a lot but there were more important things for them to do. No matter our station in life, wealthy or poor, we can be rich in good works. In the latter part of verse 18 Paul continues by saying that they be ready to give, willing to share. We should always be ready and willing to help. We may not have much to share but the attitude and intention behind our helping is a large part of it. Jesus gave the parable of the rich fool in Luke 12. This man had a lot materially and there was nothing wrong in him having many goods. Or even in his tearing down his barns to build bigger ones. He failed in his attitude. He trusted in his wealth and didn’t give the glory to God. In verse 21 Jesus speaks of those not rich toward God. To think about what is required in being rich toward God might seem a little daunting. However, we can begin by having a strong faith. Stephen in Acts 6:5 was described as a man full of faith. Wouldn’t it be nice to have that said of us? By doing good works. In Acts 9:36 Tabitha is said to be a woman full of good works and charitable deeds. I would love to be known by the good things I have done! By seeking first His Kingdom and laying up for ourselves treasures in heaven. That is the type of wealth we should want to accumulate. —Lee Pack
EXPECT A MIRACLE
There is much ado about miracles. Turn on your television and you don’t have to listen very long to the religious networks to realize all the talk that is being made about miracles.
Since miracles are a Bible subject, everything we need to know about them can be found in the Scriptures. One thing that would make for a good study is to examine what the Bible says about the PURPOSE of miracles.
First, Christ preformed miracles to prove Himself to be the Son of God and that purpose has been served. Nicodemus, in John 3:3, was able to know that Jesus was from God “…for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.” When Peter preached to those in Jerusalem he said, “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:” (Acts 2:22). Thus Jesus was confirmed and proven to be the Son of God by the miracles He performed.
Second, God gave miracles for the purpose of confirming the WORD that was preached because the New Testament had not been written for mankind to follow. In Mark 16:19-20 we read: “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them (the eleven according to verse 14), he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they (the eleven) went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” Another passage in Hebrews 2:3-4 reads: “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?” Again, the purpose of New Testament miracles was to prove Christ to be the Son of God and to confirm the Word of God that had not yet been written.
Today we hear so much about miracles when in fact no miracle has occurred. Today there are only “so called” miracles. There are so many that are making puppets of people with these “professed” miracles, Some of the TV evangelists attempt to establish a belief in themselves. Others strive for financial gain and material prosperity and some offer miracles for the personal benefit of the person being healed. After going through a series of testimonials, you are encouraged to not only ask but EXPECT A MIRACLE! During all this, there is usually an 800 telephone number of a website given for you to call and make a financial pledge to the evangelist or make a “donation” and receive some book or printed material.
It shouldn’t take much to see the one who is truly benefiting is the TV evangelist! Can we read anywhere in the Scriptures of Jesus or even one of His apostles begging money after a miracle was performed? Can you even imagine Jesus or one of His apostles begging money in this way?
The purpose of miracles was to reveal and confirm the Word of God and not for someone’s personal benefit. —E.R. Hall, Jr.
"What The Bible Says” is e-mailed twice a month. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in the next mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and you will be removed promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page for further instructions as to how you may contact us.
--- E.R. Hall, Jr.
SCHEDULE OF SERVICES
For The East Albertville Church Of Christ
4777 U.S. Highway 431
Albertville, AL 35950
Bible Classes …………..….…………… 9:30 AM
Morning Worship ……..…….….……… 10:30 AM
Evening Worship …………………........ 5:00 PM
Bible Classes …………..………........... 7:00 PM
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM ………………………….. 8:30 AM
Monday - Saturday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM ………………………….. 11:15 AM
Website: www. EastAlbertville.org