“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” John 1:12
Most people know that the “true meaning of Christmas” is Jesus’ birth. They know He was born of a virgin named Mary in a stable in Bethlehem. They know that an angel announced His birth to shepherds, and two years later wise men came to worship Him. They also know that, as an adult, He died on the cross to pay for sins, was buried, and rose again the third day.
Knowing about someone, though, isn’t the same as knowing him. You may know a lot about someone, but unless you’ve met him, you don’t know him. Likewise, you may know the facts about Jesus, but if you’ve never “met” Jesus, never came to Him to be forgiven and saved, you really don’t know Him. As our verse says, you can know Him personally as Saviour.
How can you know someone whom you can’t see, hear, or touch? You can know Jesus through faith in His word. In 1 Peter 1:8, Peter calls Jesus the one “Whom having not seen, ye love.” The people to whom he was writing could not see Jesus, but they had received Him as their Saviour and loved Him. Here is how you receive Jesus as Saviour:
Realize what the Bible says about you—that you’re a guilty sinner and are separated from fellowship with God because of your sins: “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God,” Isaiah 59:2. Realize also that the punishment for your sins is death and hell: “For the wages of sin is death,” Romans 6:23. “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire,” Revelation 20:14.
Realize that Jesus died for you personally, was buried, and rose again! “Who his own self bare our sins [including yours] in his own body on the tree,” 1 Peter 2:24. “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen,” Revelation 1:18. Can you imagine having to write down every sin you do? That list would be huge! Well, all of your sins really were laid on Jesus, and He died and was buried, but He rose and is alive!
Repent. That means to change your mind. Don’t think that your sins aren’t that bad, that your religion is good enough, or that you can make up for your own sins. Accept the fact that you need forgiveness, and only Jesus can provide it: “…repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Mark 1:15.
Finally, receive the risen Jesus as your personal Saviour. Ask Him personally to forgive you all your sins and come into your heart, and trust completely in Him to get you to heaven. How do you know that if you’ll receive Jesus in this way, He’ll save you? God promised, and He can’t lie. When Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,” it means just that. Once you receive Jesus, you’ll appreciate the “true meaning of Christmas” like never before. If you want to learn more about receiving Jesus as Saviour, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org, click “Ministries”, “Reach out”, then “How do I go to Heaven?’
Brian Miller 12/23/2014
Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822