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Taking the Trinitarian Christ out of Christmas

Who is Jesus? Few questions could be more relevant at Christmas. Yet a new Lifeway Research study shows nearly half of Americans believe a Christological heresy. Only 41 percent of Americans believe the “Son of God existed before Jesus was born in Bethlehem.” That means 59 percent either do not believe or are unsure whether they believe that the Son of God existed prior to the Nativity.

As pastors prepare their Christmas sermons this year, they might want to keep this fact in mind. Many who will walk through their doors on Sunday morning—some Christians, some not—hold to a heretical understanding of the Trinity. They’ll listen to the sermons and sing the songs, but their view of God is not orthodox. To be blunt, their view of God is not Christian.

(So), rather than a narrow focus on what Christ did, expand your vision to who Christ is. John’s Gospel is exemplary: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:1–3).

The Apostle is eager to introduce the saving work of Christ, but before he does so, he lifts us outside the confines of history to contemplate who this Son is from eternity: the Word who was not only with God but also was God.

But unless our Savior this Christmas is the “great God” himself, the One who descends into our darkness out of the glory of his everlasting light, we will never enjoy the blessedness and bliss of that (radiant) vision.

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