By Ron Halbrook
For the truth’s sake, we should honor Jesus Christ as God’s Son. “God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow . . . and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil, 2:9-11). Many people are wondering: How can we honor Christ at special times of the year? The answer is simple: The same way we honor him at any time of the year! How is that?
(1) We honor Christ when we study Gods- Word and pray to Him in Christs name. Those who “searchted) the scriptures daily” are “noble” in God’s sight. Jesus said, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” Not only must we listen to God’s voice in His Word, but we must also draw close to the Father through His Son as we “pray without ceasing” (Acts 17:11; Jn. 6:63; 1 Thess. 5:17). (2) We honor Christ when we obey the Gospel, and tell others that their sins can be forgiven too. When Jesus sent his Apostles “into all the world” to preach “repentance and remission of sins in his name,” he gave the conditions of salvation. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Those who are converted should go “every where preaching the word” (Mk. 16:16; Lk. 24:47; Acts 8:4). (3) We honor Christ when we worship God every Sunday and live as He directs throughout the week. After obeying the Gospel, we must “continue(d) steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine.” Under the guidance of inspired Apostles, “upon the first day of the week . . . the disciples came. together to break bread.” That is, they partook of unleavened bread and juice of the grapevine to remember Christ’s death. Consistent with such profession of faith, they “put off . . . the old man” and “put on the new man . . . in righteousness and true holiness” each day of the week (Acts 2:42; 20:7; Eph. 4:21-32).
“But, what about the tradition of religious holy days, like Christmas and Easter?” someone asks. The Father said nothing about such. The Son said nothing. The Spirit said nothing. God did warn against “commandments and doctrines Of HIM” He said of those who “pervert the gospel of Christ,” “Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.” When Christ said human doctrines make worship his disciples feared some “were offended.” “But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” (Matt. 15:8-14; Col. 2:22; Gal. 1:7; 4:10-11). Much done at special times of the year to honor Christ, is no honor in God’s sight!
(1) Christ is not honored by beer, wine, and liquor parties. “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” It is a shameful disgrace at any time of the year to engage in “drunkenness, carousals, drinking parties” Prov. 20:1; 1 Pet. 4:3 NASV). (2) Christ is not honored by making debts we cannot pay. We may give gifts to anyone in December or any other time. But, it is always wrong to make promises we know we must break. “Providing for honest things” does not mean “buying” (?) gifts we can never pay for (2 Cor. 9:21). (3) Christ is not honored by special” religious services unauthorized by Christ. Masses and other religious services unauthorized in the doctrine of Christ are sinful. “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God” (2 Jn. 9).
Truth Magazine XX: 43, p. 674
October 28, 1976