The Mystery of Christmas

At Christmastime we traditionally turn to the Gospels of
Matthew and Luke to read of the first advent of Christ, as well we
should. Even in the Christmas special, A Charlie Brown Christmas,
Charles Schultz reminded his viewers of the true meaning of Christmas
by having Linus quote Luke 2 straight out of the Bible. Yet we also
would benefit by looking at the wider context of Jesus’ birth—a context
that begins in heaven.

who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God
something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very
nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in
appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to
death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest
place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name
of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the
earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory
of God the Father (Phil. 2:5–11).

The One
who was perfect in deity was also perfect in His humanity—truly God and
truly man. While we cannot achieve perfection in this lifetime, the
very context of the passage above exhorts us to imitate the model of
Jesus’ humility in all our relationships.
In this issue of Kindred Spirit
we’ll look at the mystery of Jesus’ deity and His humanity. The subject
could not be more appropriate, as we live in a time when best-selling
books and seminars challenge both.

Together we’ll consider the
Lord’s incarnation from the perspective of angels and ponder with them
how the King of heaven would leave His throne to make Himself lower
than one of them. We’ll also consider five women of Christmas who were
recorded in Jesus’ genealogy. They form a most unlikely group, just
like the rest of us to whom God has reached out in His mercy to save.

in this issue readers will find a profile of Dallas Seminary professor,
Dr. Oscar López. The Lord has enabled Oscar and his wife, Peggy, to
forgive men who kidnapped them at the Guatemalan border and held them
captive for several days. The Lópezes remind us of the enormous
transformation the perfect God-Man came to make in our lives.

we’re caught up in the rush of Christmas parties, fruitcake exchanges,
choir rehearsals, and concerts, let’s be sure we pause to be mindful of
the mystery of the season: God became God-with-us through a human womb.
The eternal context of Christ makes the story of His birth all the more
breathtaking: “Before Abraham was, I AM!” Linus was right: Jesus is
“what Christmas is all about.”

—Mark L. Bailey

About the Contributors

Mark L. Bailey

Dr. Bailey assumed the role of DTS Chancellor after serving for 19 years as the Seminary’s fifth President, and continues his role as Sr. Professor in the Bible Exposition department. In addition to his years at Dallas Theological Seminary, he has pastored various churches in Arizona and Texas. He was a seminar instructor for Walk Thru the Bible Ministries for twenty years and is in demand for Bible conferences and other preaching engagements all over the country and world. His overseas ministries have included Venezuela, Argentina, Hungary, and China. He is also a regular tour leader in Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, and Rome. His board service includes Bible Study Fellowship, Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, and Word of Life.