(December 12, 2016) Dr Jim McClure, esteemed theologian, brings a Christmas reflection …
How often Christians have been mockingly dismissed as ‘people who believe in the invisible man upstairs.’
The implication, obviously, is that because God cannot be seen, He therefore does not exist! Apart from being patently false, the comment reflects not only an arrogance but also an ignorance of considered reflection.
For example, we can’t see radio waves but we still turn on our televisions and expect to watch a programme. We can’t see wireless signals but we nevertheless use them to access information on our computers and to make a call on our mobile phones or send an SMS. We can’t see gravity but we know that if we drop an egg it will splatter on the floor. We can’t see oxygen, but without it we would quickly die.
Just because something can’t be seen or measured or understood, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Yet there are those who still, with a degree of condescension towards those who disagree, declare, ‘I believe that nothing can accepted as true without tangible evidence.’
However that statement is inherently contradictory as it cannot be tangibly proven!
The reality of God’s existence is not dependent on his visibility
Nor does it depend on scientific authentication. Nevertheless, God has chosen to reveal his presence and his character to us.
The evidence of God’s existence is seen in creation – ‘By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse’ (Romans 1:20 Message).
Furthermore, his existence has manifestly been made known in Jesus Christ. In Hebrews 1:3 we read, ‘The Son [Jesus] is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being.’
And Paul wrote in Philippians 2:6-7 JBP, ‘He, who had always been God by nature, did not cling to his prerogatives as God’s equal, but stripped himself of all privilege by consenting to be a slave by nature and being born as mortal man.’
The real message of Christmas!
This is the glorious message of Christmas – the transcendent God became incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ.
Charles Wesley’s wonderful Christmas hymn expresses it like this:
Christ by highest heaven adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold him come
Offspring of a Virgin’s womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
‘Glory to the newborn King!’
Dr Jim McClure, author of several books and Bible study series, welcomes questions from Christians seeking enlightenment on biblical perspectives. Love, Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage will be available in an electronic version in EPUB, Kindle and PDF formats with hyperlinks (as is Dr Jim’s well-researched Grace Revisited) and is offered free.
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