Holiness in Christmastime

by Diane Ury
National Ambassador for Holiness

At Christmastime we can consider the relationship between holiness and God becoming human. We often think Jesus lived a holy life among us merely so that we can observe His teaching and lifestyle and try to imitate Him. In truth Jesus came to join God with human nature so that His holiness may become who we are.

We are aware that because of Adam’s sin—the rebellious turning away from the face of God, the tearing apart of human personhood from our source of life—all human beings are cursed with the sinfulness of being self-centered, turned in on ourselves. Our minds are darkened; our lives are chaos.

Jesus is our Rescuer. He sees our plight. He hears our cries. He knows we are helpless to set ourselves free from the prison of sin and death. One of my favorite Christmas passages is, “He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of His dear Son…For God in all His fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to Himself.” (Col. 1:19-20, NLT)

Jesus is our Recreator. God the Son is the Word which spoke everything that exists into being. (Col. 1:15-17, John 1:1-5, Heb. 1:1-2) Our Creator became human so He could redeem our predicament. The incarnation did not begin in Bethlehem; it began in a womb. Because we are helplessly sinful from the moment we are conceived, from the moment Jesus was conceived the Holy One was united to human nature, forever. There, He began to recreate humanity. As the Second Adam every moment of His life Jesus was reliving human existence as He intended it when He created us. (1 Cor. 15:21-22, 45-49)

This is why Jesus came: to make us holy. (Luke 1:74-75) At Christmastime we worship Emmanuel, who became our nature so that He could put His nature within us. (2 Cor. 5:21) He came to restore His holy image in anyone who will receive Him. Charles Wesley wrote in one of his Christmas hymns:

Did You not in Your Person join
The natures human and divine,
That God and man might be
Henceforth inseparably One?
Haste then, and make Your nature known
Incarnated in me.

We’re invited to belong to God’s family; the “whosoever” may have His family resemblance. Remember, at Christmastime Jesus came as the tender mercy of God to bring us into His heart, our true home. As the popular Christmas carol by Isaac Watts proclaims, “He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found!” As Salvationists, this Good News is the foundation of all we do.

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