Reinstating Santa

Recapturing the Heart of the True Saint Nicholas


Every year we see American culture feed the flesh and cling to the world view of celebrating Christmas, which is the surmise of misrepresenting a person’s good name. This is especially true of Saint Nicholas, who is referred to now by the modern-day name, Santa Claus. (St. Nicholas – The Man Behind Santa Claus; Saint Nicholas and the Origins of Santa Claus; December 17, 2018) It must be understood there are articles written about Saint Nicholas which indicate he was a true servant of the Lord. There are also articles which try to discredit the works God did through him.

According to some, Saint Nicholas exercised his Holy Spirit gift of giving to meet the needs of the poor. He exercised his Christ apportioned gift of preaching to boldly stand up against false teachings and to fulfill his part of the Great Commission. Just as Jesus was falsely attacked and hated by the world – Saint Nicholas has been falsely discredited and his name adulterated by a world view. The Bible says those in the world will hate Christians because of Jesus. (Matthew 10:22; 24:9)

This article is meant to reinstate the truths the real Saint Nicholas lived by and encourage you to follow his life as he strived to live for the Lord Jesus Christ. This article is not a complete exposition on the life of Saint Nicholas, nor am I (Bible Teacher, Terry Laughlin) ignoring the fact there are those who believe the information in this study is simply legendary elaborations.

I would propose to you: Let the life applications presented in this article enable you to overcome the world view of feeding the human flesh at Christmas time and become a true blessing by meeting the needs of the poor in a way that prepares you to enjoy eternal blessings from God.

The Points in This Article:

  • The Simple Facts about Saint Nicolas
  • Ordained Servant of the Lord
  • His Exploits
  • He Withstood the Cost
  • Gave Secretly and Generously
  • Miracles God Did Through Saint Nicholas

The Simple Facts

Very little is known about the historical Saint Nicholas and the earliest accounts of his life were written centuries after his death, with many being legendary elaborations. We do not have original writings of Saint Nicholas because he lived during turbulent times of the Roman history, a time when writings were often destroyed as well as written on papyrus and parchments which were not durable. In order for his writings to be kept for us to read, someone would have had to recopied them as time brought deterioration on the writings, of which they could not have been read clearly. This gives us a good explanation why we do not have any original writings of Saint Nicholas. (Wheeler 2010, page VIII)

The earliest mention of Saint Nicholas (Blacker, Burges & Ogden 2013 pp 249-250) tell us by the 6th century, his [life and work had a great influence on many]. Saint Nicholas was also called Nikolaos of Myra a Historic 4th century Christian saint born 270 AD in Patara, Turkey and died 343 AD in Myra, Turkey. (Who Is St. Nicholas St. Nicholas Center; St. Nicholas Orthodox America) According to Wikipedia and other known resources, “Saint Nicholas was an early Christian Bishop of the ancient city of Myra in Asia Minor during the time of the Roman Empire. He provided for the poor and sick of which he was in the habit of giving secretly and whom the modern-day Santa Claus arose to popularity.” (; Wikipedia: Saint Nicholas; Who is St. Nicholas; St Nicholas; Facts About Saint Nicholas:; Church Honors St. Nicholas Day December 06, 2021, Fox 21 Local News, Duluth, MN)

According to an article in The Orthodox Church in America (Founded in 1749 – Granted Autocephaly in 1970): “Saint Nicholas, the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia is famed as a great saint pleasing unto God. He was born (as the fruit of prayer) in the city of Patara in the region of Lycia (on the south coast of the Asia Minor peninsula) and was the only son of [Christian] parents, Theophanes and Nonna, who had vowed to dedicate him to God.” Much like Samuel of the Bible for Hannah said, “I asked for him from the Lord (1 Samuel 1:20).” Hannah dedicated her son Samuel to God’s work (1 Samuel 1:22-28).

Eastern Emperor Theodosis II (ruled 401-450) ordered the building of the Church of Saint Nicholas in Myra, which thereby preserves an early mention of Saint Nicholas. (Wheeler 2010, p. ix) The Byzantine historian Procopius also mentions that Emperor Justinian I (ruled 527-565) renovated churches in Constantinople dedicated to Saint Nicholas. (Blacker, Burges & Ogden 2013 pp 249-250; Wheeler 2010. P. X)

St.  Nicholas’ name occurs as “Nicholas of Myra of Lycia” on the tenth line of the list of attendees at the Council of Nicaea recorded by historian Theodore in the Historiae Ecclesiasticae Tripartitee Epitome, written between 510 and 515. (Wheeler 2010 p. ix; Blacker, Burges & Ogden 2013 pp. 249-250) The biography of Saint Nicholas of Sion mentions Nicholas of Myra. (Seal 2005, pp.14-15) In, The Life of Saint Nicholas of Sion holds information, stating he the author visited the tomb of Saint Nicholas of Myra to pay Saint Nicholas honor. (Seal 2005, pp.14-15; Wheeler 2010. P. X; Blacker, Burges & Ogden 2013 pp. 250)

There seems to be evidence there was a tomb that could be visited and there are highly respected theologians who have shared their research on the accounts and life of Saint Nicholas. Theologian Eustratius of Constantinople, in his treatise, De statu animarum postmortem (written c. 583), gave references dating back to the late fourth and early fifth centuries one of them being the “Life of Saint Nicholas,” all indicating Saint Nicholas was a real person and lived by truths we should be considering.  

The earliest complete account of Nicholas’s life which has survived to the present time is Life of Saint Nicholas, written in the early ninth century by Michael the Archimandrite (814-842) nearly 500 years after Nicholas probable death. (Wheeler 2010, pp. xi) Catholic Historian D.L. Cann and medievalist Charles W. Jones both consider Michael the Archimandrite’s Life of Saint Nicholas as being the only account of Saint Nicholas which is likely to contain any historical truth. Despite its extremely late date, Michael the Archimandrite’s Life of Saint Nicholas is believed to have heavily relied on older written sources and oral tradition. (Introduction to Michael the Archimandrite’s Life of Saint Nicholas; Lendering 2006, p. Nicholas of Myra)

Like everyone who is or has enjoyed a great work with the Lord, their labors have been drawn into question, accusations made and been ridiculed by criticisms of which Saint Nicholas is no different. Everyone’s work will be examined by the Lord and will receive their reward according to their faithfulness. This includes Saint Nicholas, those who have written to enlighten us about him and those who feel they need to discredit his work to protect us from worldly fables.  (1 Corinthians 3:15; 2 Peter 3:10)

Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran and Orthodox believers in God has revered Saint Nicholas as a great saint who walked with the Lord. Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian and Reformed churches have been named in honor of Saint Nicholas. (Patheos, on the Way, Phil Fox Rose, December 06, 2012; Wikipedia, St. Nickolas)

Both the Eastern and Western churches honor him. St. Nicholas is the patron saint of Russia, Greece, Apulia, Sicily, and Lorraine. He is regarded as the special patron of children. His feast is December 6. (St. Nicholas Day Blessing – December 06 – Thomas G. Simmons)

Research has uncovered information which should move us to want to grasp the truths Saint Nicholas lived by, so we can truly honor what he stood for. The Bible tells us to “Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” (Romans 13:7)

Ordained Servant of the Lord

The Orthodox Church in America tells us all through Nicholas’s childhood, he studied the word of God, spending his days in the church and at night he prayed and read books. In doing so he equipped himself to be a vessel of the Holy Spirit. Bishop Nicholas of Patara rejoiced over the spiritual growth and righteous living of his nephew, he ordained him as a reader, then elevated [his nephew] to the priesthood, making him his assistant. Saint Nicholas taught the congregation the truth of God’s Word. In serving the Lord, Saint Nicholas of Myra was able to effectively, gently and accurately teach the truths of God, much like a Biblical Elder of the church of Jesus Christ. Saint Nicholas of Myra was constant at work, unceasing in prayer and walked in step with the Holy Spirit enabling him to be kind-hearted toward the Body of Christ and to people who were afflicted by sin and the devil. (Nicholas Chosen as Archbishop; Linda Funk; St. Nicholas Center)

Listen to these testimonials about Saint Nicholas being a Bishop:
1.) “The truth of things revealed thee to thy flock as a rule of faith, a model of meekness, and a teacher of temperance. Therefore, thou hast won the heights by humility, riches by poverty. Holy Father Nicholas, intercede with Christ our God that our souls may be saved.” (Troparion – Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese)

2.) Thou was a faithful minister of God in Myra, O Saint Nicholas. For having fulfilled the Gospel of Christ, thou didst die for the people and save the innocent. Therefore, thou was sanctified as a great initiator of the grace of God. (Kontakion, Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese)

3.) On December 6, we celebrate St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, the fourth-century archbishop of Myra in Lycia (on the southern coast of modern-day Turkey). None of his writings exist, but his examples of Christian generosity, virtue and love endure to this day. St. Nicholas is the living embodiment of the words “faith without works is dead.” (James 2:20). (Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese) 


One of the accounts of Saint Nicholas exploits is the intervening for three innocent men who were convicted to die. (Wheeler 2010, p. 38) According Michael the Archimandrite, three innocent men were condemned to death by the governor, Eustathius.  As they were about to be executed, Nicholas appeared, pushed the executioner’s sword to the ground, released them from their chains, and angrily chastised a juror who had accepted a bribe. (Michael the Archimandrite, Life of Saint Nicholas Chapter 31) Michael the Archimandrite also tells another story in which the consul Ablabius accepted a bribe to put three famous generals to death, in spite of their actual innocence. Saint Nicholas appeared to Constantine and Ablabius in dreams, informing Constantine of the truth and frightening Ablabius into releasing the generals, for fear of hell. (Michael the Archimandrite, Life of Saint Nicholas Chapter 33)

Withstood the Cost

“When the Roman emperor Diocletian took power, he instigated a horrific persecution of Christians. Nicholas was imprisoned and physically tortured (pinched with hot iron pliers) for refusing to deny Jesus as God. One account mentions the prisons were so full of church leaders there was no room for the actual criminals.

After the reign of persecution ended, Nicholas would still face a fierce testing of his faith—this time within the church. A preacher named Arius began promoting a heresy that Jesus was not God in the flesh. Arius even went so far as to set his false teaching to music by putting words to popular drinking songs. Constantine, the new leader of the Roman Empire, called together church leaders at Nicea to discuss Arius’ teachings and other issues dividing the church. This was called the Council of Nicea. According to legend, as Arius was making his presentation, he began singing one of his blasphemous songs about Jesus. Unwilling to see this man shame Christ, Nicholas stood up and punched Arius in the mouth. Those in attendance were shocked! Although they understood Nicholas’ need to stand up for Christ’s reputation, they did not believe they could allow such behavior since Christ taught us to love our enemies and live a life of peace. Therefore, Nicholas was no longer allowed to serve as bishop. But this action did not stop Nicholas from serving the sick and needy.” (The Voice of the Martyrs; St. Nicholas: The Real Story of the Man Who Became Santa Claus; December 08, 2014) (It’s noted he was later restored to his position.)

Gave Secretly and Generously

The modern-day presentation of Santa is a great contrast of the original life of the true St. Nicholas. The real Saint Nicholas knew the truths of what Jesus taught. “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:1-4)

Saint Nicholas reputation evolved among the faithful early Christians as being a person who did secret giving, (The Patriot Post; William Federer, December 06, 2021; St Nicholas Center / Seal, Jeremy The Epic Journey from Saint to Santa Claus New York: Bloomsbury Publishers 2005 pp. 152, 153; Pathway for Families Ministries) which is in line with how Jesus taught Christians in regard to giving to the needy. He was often seen by others making his way through the night to leave money in shoes which were laid on the porch outside doorways or tossing money bags into open windows of people who were in need.  (Catholic INSIGHT; Saint Nicholas’ Love for the Destitute and Needy Father Mario Attard, OFM, Cap – December 06, 2021)


Miracles God Did Through Saint Nicholas

Historians have written about the amazing miracles that have been enjoyed by many as Saint Nick prayed in faith to God, in Christ name.

Miracle 1.) Tells how during a terrible famine, a malicious butcher lured three little children into his house, where he killed them, placing their remains in a barrel to cure, planning to sell them off as ham. Nicholas, visiting the region to care for the hungry, not only saw through the butcher’s horrific crime but also his prayer to Christ birthed forth the resurrections of the three children from the barrel. (The Many Miracles of St. Nicholas, Colton Kruse, December 19, 2019)

2.) According to another story, during a great famine that Myra experienced in 311–312, a ship was in the port at anchor, loaded with wheat for the Emperor in Constantinople. Nicholas invited the sailors to unload a part of the wheat to help in a time of need. The sailors at first disliked the request, because the wheat had to be weighed accurately and delivered to the Emperor. Only when Nicholas promised them that they would not suffer any loss for their consideration, the sailors agreed. When they arrived later in the capital, they made a surprising find: the weight of the load had not changed, although the wheat removed in Myra was enough for two full years of food and could even be used for sowing. (The Chestertown SPY, December 03, 2020, Beverly Hall Smith; The Story of Saint Nicholas)

3.) Making a pilgrimage to the birthplace of Christianity—the Holy Land. Desiring a serene time of preparation, Nicholas set sail on an Egyptian ship where the other pilgrims did not know who he was. The first night he dreamed a storm would put them all at peril. When he awoke in the morning, he warned the sailors that a severe storm was coming, but they need not fear, for “God will protect us.” Almost immediately the sky darkened, and strong winds roared round the ship. The wind and waves made it impossible to keep the ship under control. Even with lowered sails, the sailors feared for their very lives and begged Nicholas to pray for safety. One sailor climbed the main mast, tightening the ropes so the mast would not crash onto the deck. As he was coming back down, the sailor slipped, fell to the deck, and was killed. While Nicholas prayed, the storm did quiet, relieving the sailors. Their comfort, however, was dampened by grief over their comrade’s death. As Nicholas prayed over the dead sailor, he was revived, “as if he had only been asleep.” The man awakened without pain and the ship finished the journey to the Holy Land. Nicholas then embarked on his pilgrimage to the holy places, walking where Jesus had walked. (Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land)

4.) One night while staying with a family in Jerusalem, he wanted to pray at the only church remaining in Jerusalem at that time. It was the Church of the Room of the Last Supper on Mount Zion. As he approached the heavy locked doors, they swung open of their own accord, allowing him to enter the church. Nicholas fell to the ground in thanksgiving (8SA.NET: Nicholas Miracles and Other Stories)

5.) His most famous exploit: He gave money secretly to a poor family whose three daughters could have ended up being forced into prostitution or at the very least being accused of being prostitutes, making it impossible to find husbands. Saint Nicholas’ generosity kept the three daughters from a life of prostitution. (Claus of the North Pole, Curious and Unusual Tartans)

In Closing: A prayer written by Richard Roman grasp the heart of Saint Nicholas titled, Santa’s Prayer: “Dear Baby Jesus, please fill my bag this year, with all your love tonight. And help me find each tear, to make their burden light.  Too many look to me at this time of the year. I pray that they will see why you came down here.”

Here are some ideas for you as you take time to pray through this Christmas season. 1.) As you pray, acknowledge the reason for the season, thank God for Jesus. 2.) Thank Jesus for leaving heaven and coming down here. 3.) Pray that God’s servants will be obedient to get the word out about the truths of Christmas 4.) Pray that God would send his holy Spirit to draw people to His Son. 5.) Pray that God will enable you to enjoy your family, His precious gift to you. 6.) Pray that God will have His hand, guidance and protection on all your families.

Let the life applications presented in this article move you to give to the poor in a Biblical way, motivate you to live for the Lord Jesus Christ and have expectations of God using you as He chooses. Make time to reinstate the heart of Saint Nicholas!

A great application for us as we desire to bless the people we love with a Christmas gift:

Selecting a Christmas Gift

It is that time of the year when people really start to get serious about selecting Christmas gifts. When purchasing Christmas gifts, one must first remember what is being celebrated.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

The key thrust surrounding the first Christmas was proclamation.  The angels proclaimed, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ, the Lord” (Luke 2:11).  After the shepherds heard the good news, they went into Bethlehem and found Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus.  When they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about the child; all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. (Luke 2: 16-18).

It has been over two thousand years since this historical event and there is just as much need today as there was then to proclaim the birth of Christ.  The Christmas celebration is the perfect time to remind or tell people about God’s plan of redemption.  After all, it is the time of year we have chosen to celebrate the birth of the Savior who came into the world to save people from their sins.

Before you can select the perfect Christmas gift, one that will proclaim the message of the birth of Christ, you must first understand who Jesus is and the purpose of His coming to earth.  Jesus is God’s perfect gift to the world.  He is fully God and fully man.  “In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9).  He is God in the flesh.  The beloved John tells us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning” (John 1: 1,2).  “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.  We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1: 14).   Mark Lowry wrote about the incarnation wonderfully when he wrote these words, “Mary, did you know, that when you kissed your little baby, you kissed the face of God?  Mary, did you know?”

Jesus’ key purpose for coming into this world is for the redemption of fallen man.  The price He paid on the cross meets the need of all mankind, “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3: 23, 24).

The perfect Christmas gift that will proclaim the gospel message meets two qualifications:  1.) It must represent the personality of the giver, and 2.) It meets the need of the recipient.

People in this world know the value of a thoughtful gift. When Pastor John Bisagno was working as chaplain to the Houston Oilers, the players gave him an autographed football which every player had signed inscribed with a Scripture from the Bible.  Whenever he looks at the football, it reminds him of every player to whom he ministered the Word of God as chaplain.

Christians, among the gifts you give this year, give some that reflect the Christ who lives in you and expresses the need of the recipients to receive Christ as Savior and Lord.

Have a Joyous Christmas celebrating the Greatest Gift!

Being A Christmas Star

Perhaps the best known symbol of this season is the star of Bethlehem. It is common for Christmas trees to be crowned with a star on the top, with lights which shine like stars wonderfully scattered all about.  The star is often an important symbol of the Christmas celebration.  The star God used to lead the seekers to the place were Jesus was in Bethlehem was spoken of by the Magi in Matthew. “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him.’” (Matthew 2:1-2)  After giving Herod the exact time the star appeared, Herod sent the Magi onto Bethlehem. While on their way, the star they had been following led them to the place where Jesus was.  The Bible says. “When they had seen the star, they were over-joyed.” (Matthew 2:10)

It is imperative that we understand these men were not kings, but a combination of wise men and priests, very likely from Persia.  These men of prominence filled both roles of political and religious, men who would do the hard work of study. If these men were from Persia, the land that was once called the Babylonian Empire, the place were the Jews were held in captivity for seventy years. It is very likely these educated men would have come across some writings from God fearing Hebrews. There is no such thing as coincidences, only God’s full controlling hand.  It is safe to assume, these men may have came across writings like what is found in the Book of Numbers, Balaam’s prophecy, “A star will come out of Jacob, a scepter will rise out of Israel.” (Numbers 24:17)

It is interesting, the Bible says the star appeared and led them to the house were Mary and Jesus was. It is as simple as this, A super natural star in the atmospheric heaven leads the wise men to Jesus who was born through a super-natural birth.  Herod took the leading of the star seriously, everyone else should to. Herod responded with fear, someone being born who he thought would take his place as king. People who want to be king and lord over their owns lives, respond to Jesus much like Herod did. Kingdom seekers, respond much like the wise-men did, they worship the Lord. The star of Bethlehem pointed people to were Christ was, through the declaration of the wise men, secular kings, Hebrew priest and all of Jerusalem were well informed.

God used physical matter to draw attention to the Christ, He also used Scripture to point to Jesus. Matthew writes, “King Herod… was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priest and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. ‘In Bethlehem in Judah.’ …this is what the prophet wrote, ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler Who will be the shepherd of My people.” (Matthew 2:3-6)         .     .

Scripture declares, …we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:19-21) The Book of Revelation has this Scriptural revelation, “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to give this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” (Revelation 22:16) 

Christians who have a heart desire to be a shining star for the Lord must be able to show seekers how the whole of Scripture points to Jesus being the Messiah, the Christ who is the Savior of the world.  God also uses people to point others to Christ. John 1:6-8 says, “There was a man named John. He came as a witness testifying concerning the light [Jesus], so through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.” (John 1:6-8)   In John chapter three and four we read of the beloved John testifying that Jesus is God’s Son. In the Book of Acts we read of Stephen pointing the Sanhedrin to Christ. (Acts 7:1-60) The Apostle Paul many times over pointed people to Jesus. Both Stephen and Paul used the Holy Scriptures to teach about the Lord and point people to Jesus Christ. At the baptism of Jesus, God Himself spoke from heaven, “This is My Son, Whom I love, with Him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17)

All Christians have at some point of their lives have been told by someone who Jesus is. Christians have in some way told others enough about the Bible’s teaching in regard to the Christ who was born to die for the sins of the world. God, through the Holy Spirit enables us to understand the Scriptures so we may believe and have eternal life.  Let the Holy Spirit awaken you to a Devine truth. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. …. let your light shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14,16) .  We have the Great Commission through Jesus Christ, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father… Son… and the Holy Spirit. And teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)  

God’s Word gives clear direction for us, “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose. Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.” (Philippians 2:12-16)

At that first Christmas, the star was successful in bringing attention to Christ. The Scriptures point to Jesus, God wants us to point others to Jesus Christ! The world view holds many in the dark. The star was not shining in a building or only where people who are like minded could see it. It brought attention to Jesus before the eyes of those who live a far off, His enemies, all of Jerusalem, and especially to those who are wise, Kingdom seekers. During a time were Satan and the world view of Christmas is out shining the Christ of Christmas, we are called to get the Scriptures out through radio, the local paper, the internet, all of our modern day media resources.

The Significance of the Gifts

The Significance of the Gifts /  Ingredients For Christmas Worship 

Matthew 2:8-11 says,  “He sent them to Bethlehem and said, ‘Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find Him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship Him.’ After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with His mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.”

The Old and New Testament Scriptures hold truths about the birth of Jesus Christ. The truths regarding the gifts offered by the Magi are worthy of consideration if we desire to give Christ the honor He deserves. God has often used symbolism to breath truth into the hearts of God fearing people. There are symbolic meanings found in Scripture which should have an influence on how we honor the King of kings.

First, the Bible says “they opened their treasures and presented Him with Gold.” Gold (χρυσός chrusós) is often seen as symbolic for a gift worthy of a king, a precious metal prized for it’s beauty and value, an appropriate gift for royalty. Seneca tells us that in Parthia it was the custom, no one could ever approach the king without a gift. Gold at the time of the birth of Christ was and is now a precious metal, a gift for the King of men. Jesus is the God man Whom can reign and rule over men’s hearts. In the hearts of Christians there is submission to Jesus, the Devine person of Whom the gift of gold can be symbolic of us giving our best to Him.

Second, “They presented Him with the treasure… of incense.” “Frankincense” (λίβανος líbanos) often referred in Scripture as an aroma pleasing to the Lord.  It is a fragrance which is offered in direct adoration to the Lord. This incense reflected His deity and was sprinkled on many of the sacrifices in the Old Testament. (Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.)   Frankincense is a gift for a priest. The Latin word for priest is ponitfex, which means a bridge-builder. It is not out of line to see the gift of Frankincense being offered to the One Whom is our “high priest who is not unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15-16)  The Christ’s born in Bethlehem is the bridge-builder over the gulf of sin that once separated us from God.

Third, “They presented Him with the treasure… [of] myrrh.” Myrrh (σμύρνα smúrna) an expensive spice used for making perfume, incense, medicine, for anointing and embalming the dead. During Biblical times, myrrh was an important trade item. Myrrh is a aromatic fragrant which radiates spontaneously and is highly favored for preserving a corpse.  (ThoughtCo; Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 77). New York: United Bible Societies; Barclay, W. (Ed.). (1976). The Gospel of Matthew (Vol. 1, pp. 32–33). Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster John Knox Press.)  We know that Nicodemus mixed myrrh and aloes together, seventy-five pounds of it. He and Joseph of Arimathea, took the spices put it on Jesus’ body and wrapped it in linen strips, in accordance with Jewish burial customs. (John 19:38-42)  It is interesting to read in Exodus, myrrh is the first mentioned principal ingredient in the holy anointing oil. (Easton, M. G. (1893). In Easton’s Bible dictionary. New York: Harper & Brothers; Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W., Jr. (1996). Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Vol. 2, p. 423). Nashville, TN: T. Nelson.) Oil is frequently mentioned in Scripture as an emblem of sanctification and anointing with it is a means of designating objects as well as persons to the service of God. In Exodus 30:23 we read the oil was prescribed by God’s authority.  (Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 1, p. 68). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) Jesus’ birth was ordained by God. It has been well said, “Christ’s was born to die, to give His life in obedience for the sins of the world.”

Note: The heartbeat of the Magi, the wise men gave a gift to Jesus worthy for the King of kings, a gift for the one Whom is the final High Priest, a gift for the One Who was the only pure sacrifice for the sins of the world. It should also be noted, although the gifts presented truths about who Jesus Christ was for all of mankind, the gifts also provided for the needs of Jesus and His family when they fled for Egypt.  Are you giving Christ your best? Are you allowing Him to be the priest, the bridge-builder over the gulf of sin that can keep you from a relationship with God? Lastly, are you like the Apostle Paul saying,  “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20) Those are the ingredients for Christmas worship which is a pleasing aroma to the Lord.

The Significance of Christ’s Birth

  “While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born… She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in the manger…” (Luke 2:6-7)  The irony of the most important event in history taking place in a stable should not be lost.  There are some significance’s worth noting because it reveals how God resides in the lowliest of hearts.

Just as Christ was born in a stinky stable, the Holy Spirit of Christ is born in the man or woman who, in repentance, turns to Christ for forgiveness.  The heart of man is often chasing after self-will and the things of this world as he amazingly listens to the lies of the devil.  All this is an unpleasing aroma to the Lord.

The love of God is expressed as He sends the Holy Spirit of Christ into the spiritual hearts of Christians. In Romans 8:9 the Holy Spirit is referred to as the Spirit of Christ. The Bible says Christians will know Him and that He lives in them. (John 14:17) God’s amazing love is always demonstrated by action. It is never complacent but continually working in Christians.  The Spirit of Christ dwelling within the spiritual heart of Christians cleans them up and makes new people out of them.  Romans 8:9-11 says, “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the [Holy] Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.  And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ…  And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.”

The true mark of a born-again believer and a genuine Christian is that he has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  The child of God who knows the love of God, sent into their lives by Christ says as the Apostle Paul, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20) If you are not conscious of the presence of the Spirit of God in your life and there is not a heartfelt desire to exercise your Spiritual gifts, talents, and abilities for the glory of God, then grasp Christ this Christmas and receive Him as personal Savior and Lord. Is the Christ of Christmas in You?

Sending of His Love

1 John 4:9-12 says, “This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.” (1 John 4:9-12)

  In Christ there is reconciliation between God and those who truly have Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. This peace comes to us not because we showed love to God, but because God loved us first.  This is a truth that must be grasped this Christmas season if we are going to walk in a joyous Christmas spirit.

1 John 2:2 in the New American Standard Bible tells that Jesus “…is the propitiation of our sins, and not just ours, but also for those of the whole world.”  Propitiation is something God does to make it possible for men to be forgiven.

God’s Word is revelation and His holiness requires Him to uphold that law of God.  He is also love and therefore He forgives sinners.  He sent His Son to make a way for mankind to receive forgiveness of sin.  God did this because He is love. We did not or can not do anything to cause Him to love us.

God did not give us His Son because we were attractive, or because we were good or because we make promises to do things for Him.  He does not give us eternal life because He can gain something from us. Romans 5:8 proclaims a powerful truth, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Anyone who has ever had children knows that sometimes an expression of love is what is needed even when the feeling of love is not present. Children at times make poor decisions when they are engaging in sin that hurts themselves, others and the God who created them. People sin and Christians slip into sin which grieves the heart of the Lord, yet while that act of sin is bringing about its consequences, Jesus paid the way for repentant sinners to be forgiven and enjoy His love as they trust in Christ for forgiveness and direction. Live in Christ and rejoice over His sending!

Relevance of Christ

   Many do not know the “Relevance of Christmas.”  “Relevant,” means having to do with the case at hand.  The Apostle Paul writes about the case at hand, Jesus Christ, “…being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:6-8)

Let the Holy Spirit place this deep within your heart, the Lord of the universe – He who existed in eternity and perfection, in glory and majesty, in dominion and power stepped down and came to walk this guilty sod, which is so full of sin, so He could take on the humiliation of sin.  Christ coming is relevant for at three reasons.

  One, the Lord, whom we are to serve for eternity came to serve us.  As a matter of fact, one of His purposes in coming was to show all what God is like.  He taught that Christians are to become His disciples and He said, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves benefactors.  But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.” (Luke 22:25-27)  We can serve others because Jesus serves us.

Two, the Lord, whom we are to love, came and showed the ultimate love for us.  Jesus said, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:12-13) There is a truth proclaimed often this time of the year, “Christ was born to die” and He commands us to have the same measure of love for our brothers in Christ as He showed for us.

Three, the Lord, whom we are to seek with all our hearts so that He may be found, came to seek that which was lost.  While in the home of the tax collector, Zacchaeus, the Lord said, “Today salvation has come to this house… For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:9-10)   Grasp the relevance of Christ!