Christmas is good I news—the best of all good news. It tells us what God is like, it tells us what man is like, and it tells us what the Christian life is like. This is all man needs to know to live and die by—but he needs to know all of it.

Most people, including many Christians, are turned off by theology, even a theology of Christmas. While I was teaching a Sunday school class, a young carpenter interrupted me saying politely but firmly, “Theology is just not where I’m at. I work hard all week long and when I come to church on Sunday, I need my heart warmed and not a lecture on some fine points of ancient theology. I need something practical to tell me how to live when I return to my job tomorrow morning.” Although that Sunday school lesson may have been unreasonably dry and remote, the Christmas story as sketched by the Apostle Paul in the second chapter of Philippians could not be more practical. It penetrates right to the essence of the Christian life. It hits man exactly where he is. The apostle affirms that life at its highest and best flows out of a right relationship to God: “For me to live is Christ.” Then in verse five Paul defines this best and noblest of all living in a short but stiff lesson in theology—a theology of Christmas.

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed ...

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