When people think of Christmas, they do not often think of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Sadly, the most prolific figure they think of is Santa Claus! Because Justin Peters wrote an excellent book on Santa called Santa Pause., we will not be rehashing what is in the book. Make sure you get it from the link below!
What is important to know about Santa Claus is many people associate him with Saint Nicholas or Nicholas the Bishop of Myra. He was a 4th Century Bishop who was presumably at the counsel of Nicaea. There are plenty of traditions that surround this man, including: paying for women’s dowries, proclaiming the in spite of persecution, and being thrown in prison for Christ. The important part of our discussion his presence in the counsel of Nicaea.
The Smack Heard Around the World
This counsel was set to find out from the Scriptures if Jesus was God, like God, or some highly created spiritual being. It is said when Arius spouted his heresy that Jesus was a supremely created being, Nicholas quoted John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (ESV). After he quoted John, he said Christ is the same nature as God in the Second person of the Trinity, and smacked Arius in the face. This shows that the man whom everyone associates with Christmas heavily believed in the importance of the doctrines of the incarnation, the Trinity, and the hypostatic union. Make sure to read that to your kids at bedtime instead of The Night Before Christmas! Just make sure you warn them if you were to smack a heretic like Joel Osteen in the face, it is assault.
Incarnation and the Hypostatic Union
When discussing the incarnation, it is important to understand the doctrine of the hypostatic union. This doctrine teaches, “The doctrine is an attempt to describe the miraculous bringing together of humanity and divinity in the same person, Jesus Christ, such that he is both fully divine and fully human.”
Specifically it teaches,
In the incarnation of the Son of God, a human nature was inseparably united forever with the divine nature in the one person of Jesus Christ, yet with the two natures remaining distinct, whole, and unchanged, without mixture or confusion, so that the one person, Jesus Christ, is truly God and truly man.
In other words, Jesus is completely human in every sense of the word, but without sin. And Jesus also remains wholly divine as the Second Person of the Trinity. This teaching can be seen all over Scripture (Romans 1:1-5, John 1:1-14, 2 Corinthians 5:21).
As with the last discussion, this shows the glory, or majesty, of God in human flesh. It means we have a real representative with God. We have someone who not only knows our hurt, but has experienced it as well without sin (Hebrews 4:15).
Are you afraid God will not forgive you from your sin because of how horrible it is? Jesus was tempted to do the very sin you have committed, yet stood strong. He was able to stand strong in your place so he could be punished for your sin on your behalf. As a completely sinless human, He paid the human punishment to God by shedding His perfect human blood. As infinite God, he is able to forgive your infinite sin and the sin of all who repent and trust in Him. There is nothing lost in Christ in his humanity or his divinity. He is truly magnificent and glorious!
The incarnation is important because it means God, the second person of the Trinity, became a man on behalf of all men with whom God is pleased to save (Luke 2:14). If you repent and trust in Jesus, you will be saved. This is because Jesus is all of God in his nature as the second person of the Trinity and all of man in the person of Jesus, the descendent of David (Romans 1:1-4). We should celebrate the incarnation because of Jesus.
Here are some great gift ideas for your loved ones- the gift of biblical resources! If you want more biblical resources on studying the Scriptures, check out the store at strivingforeternity.org/store. There are also a lot of other articles on the website to encourage you to dive deeper into God’s Word. Please also check out Apologetics Live at ApologeticsLive.com, where Andrew Rappaport, Dr. Anthony Silvestro, and Justin Pierce answer your questions and teach you how to defend the faith. It is on Thursday nights from 8pm – 10pm EST. Also, do not forget to check out the Rapp Report, where you can hear the teaching of Andrew Rappaport. Lord bless you.
 Available at https://justinpeters.org/product/santa-pause/
 “St. Nicholas and Arius at the Counsel of Nicaea,” Charlotte Riggle, November 18, 2018, Accessed, December 23, 2022. https://charlotteriggle.com/st-nicholas-and-arius-at-the-council-of-nicea/.
 Stanley Grenz, David Guretzki, and Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), 62.
 Walter A. Elwell, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology: Second Edition (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001), 583.