Sermon Info:

Responsive Reading:  1 John 1:1-10
Key Verse(s): 1 John 1:7
Background Scripture:  John 1:1-5; 8:1-12

Watch Today’s Sermon

Listen To Today’s Sermon


The holy season is upon us.  During this time of happiness and good tidings, some of us love to sing and say that it is the most wonderful time of the year.  At the same time, there are several others who struggle with getting into the spirit of Christmas.  Why is that?  Why do several people struggle with getting into the ol’ Christmas spirit?  How does one go about getting into the spirit of Christmas?

Getting Into the Spirit of Christmas

Preaching about the true meaning of Christmas is very common for me.  Why?  Because I love Christmas.  Secondly, I want everyone to be able to enjoy celebrating the birth of Christ just as much as I do.  So, when we talk about the “Christmas spirit”, I want to put emphasis on the word “spirit”.  In order for one to get into the spirit of Christmas, one must come to understand what that spirit actually is.

The struggle of getting into the spirit

This is a thought that, believe it or not, reminds me of the “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown” TV special; Chuck spins the entirety of the 30 minute special trying to get into the Christmas spirit.

At the start of the special, Chuck speaks with Linus about his feelings on entering into the Christmas season.  Charlie expressed to his friend that something must have been wrong with him because Christmas was coming but he was not happy.  Because he was not happy, Chuck felt like he must not have understood Christmas.

Charlie then expressed to Linus that he did like sending Christmas cards, decorating trees, and getting presents yet, he ultimately felt depressed about Christmastime.  He grew depressed watching Snoopy decorate his doghouse to win money.  He grew more depressed when his sister asked him to write a letter to Santa just for her to want money.  Chuck eventually threw his hands in the air aghast about the commercialization and greed surrounding Christmas.

At the climax of the special, Chuck has an outburst and loudly asks, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”  You see, he wanted to get into the spirit of Christmas but nothing of the world was getting him into the true spirit of the day.  There are many Charlie Browns in the world during this season that are depressed, sad, tired, and bitter when it comes to Christmas; they want to find and try to get into the spirit of Christmas but sadly cannot.

The world’s fix for getting into the spirit

So, I was curious as to what others would say about getting into the Christmas spirit.  I found that there is a lot of advice to get into the spirit of Christmas but most of the advice I found has little to nothing to do with the true spirit of Christmas.

Some of the advice I found said that what could help someone get into the Christmas spirit would be to decorate – put up a Christmas tree and hang Christmas lights.  Listening to Christmas music and watching Christmas movies and specials was also encouraged for helping to get into the spirit.  Something as simple as drinking hot chocolate was something I constantly came across that could help put someone into the Christmas spirit.

Lastly, I read that setting a budget, going shopping, sending Christmas cards, baking and eating seasonal treats is good for getting into the Christmas spirit.  Now, admittedly, I can understand the sentiment behind some of these ideas.  The reason being is that I enjoy the Christmas music, TV specials, and hanging Christmas lights as well.

However, there was a noticeable problem that I found with the advice.  A lot of the advice for getting into the spirit of Christmas had nothing to do with Christ Himself.  The advice I found could make one happy, however, the happiness and joy would be seasonal — temporary.  What happens when the specials, music, and decorations go away?  People would be left with their depression, and I tell you, that is not what the spirit of Christmas is all about.

The True Spirit of Christmas

To truly “get into the spirit of Christmas”, you have to take a look at Christ — the giving of Him and the manner in which Christ lived.  In understanding the giving of Christ and then the manner in which He lived, you can more fully understand the true spirit of Christmas.

Christ given out of love

When Charlie Brown had asked if anybody knew what Christmas was truly about, Linus quieted everyone and began to speak.  Linus quoted what is written in Luke’s gospel when an angel said to the shepherds in the field, “behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:10-11).”

Yes, it is just a cartoon Christmas special but those behind the Christmas special understood very well what the true spirit of Christmas is; the spirit of Christmas begins and ends with God’s giving of His only begotten Son.  The true spirit of Christmas has nothing to do with the tree, lights, baked sweets, music, Kevin McAllister, the Grinch, Ralphie and his Red Ryder BB gun, or gifts.

We must consider the giving of Christ and the reason – the purpose – that He was given.  Jesus was given to the world for the purpose of bringing joy not to some people but to all people.  To Nicodemus, Jesus said that He was given to the world because God loved the world (John 3:16).  So love, as often is the case, is the answer once again; love is the true spirit of Christmas.

This love, I want you to understand, is not our idea of love (worldly love) but, again, is the love of God.  The love of God is not puffed up, does not behave rudely, is not selfish, and thinks no evil (1 Cor. 13:5).  As we know, the love of God is not seasonal — it is everlasting; it will never fail (1 Cor. 13:8).

So, if you truly want to “get into the Christmas spirit”, you must come to know this love.  To know this love, we must come to know it through Christ because He, again, is love (1 John 4:8).  Therefore, we must follow in the manner of Christ so that the spirit of Christ lives within us and then becomes a part of our everyday walk for a lifetime and beyond.

Being in Fellowship With Christ

Now, the best way for us to follow in the manner of Christ is by being in fellowship – in a close relationship – with Him.

Walking in the light

The way that you and I enter into fellowship with the Lord is by loving Him and fully trusting in Him.  As we see John state in my key verse for today’s sermon, we enter into fellowship with Christ when we choose to walk in the light of Christ.  Jesus, we should remember, said that He is the light of the world, and I tell you that there are great benefits to choosing to walk in His light — there are great benefits to being in fellowship with Him.

7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.


The light of Christ is a light that is all revealing; it reveals what is hidden in the dark.  Therefore, the light of Christ is a revealer of the truth.  To the Pharisees, when they were trying to get Jesus to stone a woman, Jesus said to them that those who follow Him shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

The light of Christ is life giving — what this means is that the light of Christ gives hope.  While we are present in this world, Jesus encouraged us that we should walk in the light less darkness overtake us (John 12:35).  You see, when one moves in the dark, they do not know where they are going; they will stumble and they will fall repeatedly.  Therefore, being in the dark, would mean that one does not have any hope.

However, when you choose to be in fellowship with Christ, His light will always be with you.  Again I want to put emphasis on the word “always” which means that this hope is never ending.  In good or bad, the hope of Christ will be with you and that is an incredible benefit to being in a close relationship with Christ.

Overcoming darkness

So, John again tells us that we will have the hope to always overcome darkness.  Darkness, we should understand, is everything that is not of Christ.  Darkness is bitterness, hatred, and corruption; there is nothing good — there is no hope.  In total darkness is where sin rests and sadly there are many people who are going further and further down the well of darkness.

Darkness is what causes mankind to continue to stumble over and over again because there is no sense of direction.  How can we love anybody if there is darkness in our soul?  How can we ever move in the spirit of Christ if darkness is there in our soul?

Darkness – that bitterness, hatred, and corruption – is what caused Cain to hate and then murder his brother (Gen. 4:6-9; 1 John 3:11-12).  This is what darkness has led to:  parents hating their children and children hating their parents; brothers murdering brothers and sisters murdering sisters.

Darkness is why we are unable to love one another, and again, why many people struggle to be able to get into the spirit of Christ, let alone get into the spirit of Christmas.  So, darkness must be pushed out of the heart and soul of man in order for us to be able to love one another!

We push this darkness out through Christ and His light!  John wrote that the message we have heard from the beginning is that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.  Therefore, those that say they are in fellowship with God, and walk in darkness, are liars and do not practice truth (1 John 1:5-6).

Dr. Martin L. King said, “darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”  Dr. King did not come up with this wisdom by himself, but this is a thought that is based on sound doctrine – wisdom from the Lord.

In scripture, we can see the light’s incredible power over darkness.  First in the book of Genesis, when the Lord commanded that there be light, God saw the light and said that it was good (Gen. 1:4).  When John wrote about the true Light in his gospel, John wrote that the light of Christ shines in darkness, and darkness cannot comprehend – overpower or overcome – His light (John 1:5).

Again, if you desire to get into the spirit of Christmas and you are being weighed down by the bitterness and depression of darkness, turn to the light of Christ!  The light of Christ will give you hope and will flood out the darkness in your soul!  When we live with the light of Christ in our soul, we can move in the same manner and spirit of Christ in good and in bad.

The manner and spirit of Christ

As we know very well that the manner of Christ was – and is – love (1 John 4:8); this manner of love is the spirit we ought to move by.

In Matthew 5, Jesus called for us to move with the same manner of love as He did.  Jesus called for those that would choose to follow in His manner of love to love and to bless those that hate and curse them (Matt. 5:44).  Jesus called for His disciples not to fight back against those that desire to harm and to hurt them; He encouraged us to turn the other cheek (Matt. 5:39).  In other words, the manner and the spirit that we are to move with is without bitterness and without vengeance.

So, being in fellowship – in a close relationship with Christ – leads to the benefit of a heart (soul) filled with joy rather than a soul that is filled with hatred, bitterness, and corruption (darkness).  Even more important, this is a heart (soul) that is filled with joy not just for one season of the year but for every other season of the year!

The True Spirit of Christmas

You see, the true spirit of Christmas – the spirit of Christ – is not something that can simply be “turned on” like the lights in a room.  The truth of the matter is that for all of those who live in fellowship with Christ, the spirit of Christmas should always be with us as the spirit of Christmas is the love of God.  God’s love, we know, never goes away.

Now, I am not oblivious to the fact we all go through so much in a year that yes, some of us may struggle with getting into the spirit of Christmas.  Trust me, I certainly understand having gone through hard times, however, I know the power of being in fellowship with Christ and what it can do for you in those days.

It was prophesied that the virgin would conceive a Son and shall call His name Immanuel, which means “God with us” (Is. 7:14; Matt. 1:23).  The Lord is always with us, in good and in bad.  In those days when we are struggling to find anything good – when we are struggling for hope – we must learn to turn to the Lord first and foremost.

Given to us through the Holy Spirit

God is that hope; He is that good.  God is the one that will make us merry in our soul.  In good days and in bad days, we know that the Spirit of God is always with us through our fellowship with the Lord.  Because the Holy Spirit is always with us, we know that the Spirit is always working on our behalf to help us overcome darkness and to take away any bitterness that may be trying to creep within us.

To the Romans, Paul wrote that the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses.  When we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered (Rom. 8:26).  So, I tell you today that if you want to get into the true spirit of Christmas – turn to the Holy Spirit.  When you and I turn to the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit will uplift us in darkness and take away our bitterness so that we can be renewed and filled with God’s joy!

Many of us fail to recognize just how powerful a work the Holy Spirit has done all these years when it comes to Christmas.  You see, it was the work of the Holy Spirit that came upon and overshadowed Mary when she conceived in her womb Christ, our Savior (Luke 1:35).  By the Holy Spirit coming upon us and working within us, we can always walk in the light of Christ and be in fellowship with both the Lord and all of those around us!

Being in fellowship with one another is another great benefit of walking in the light of Christ.  By being in fellowship with one another, we can learn to commit ourselves to one another to the benefit of each other.  Rather than moving out of selfishness, we would learn to move out of humility.  Humility is exactly what we say is the spirit of Christmas, right?

When we move out of humility for each other, then we would freely give of ourselves to each other – this is the action of love.  Giving out of love is exactly what we say is the spirit of Christmas.

John wrote, “Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning.  The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning.  Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you (1 John 2:7-8).”

The spirit of Christmas does not begin after Thanksgiving.  The spirit of Christmas does not end after December 25th.  The spirit of Christmas goes beyond the Christmas tree, the garland, stockings, lights, and gifts.  You and I, in our fellowship with Christ will always have the joy, the love, and the hope of Christmas in our hearts.  We should let the spirit and manner of Christ always lift and carry us.

Again, I tell you today that I do know what Christmas is all about and if you are struggling to get into the spirit, turn to the Son that was given.  Christ entering into your heart will be the best gift you will receive this year and for a lifetime.


Thank You For Visiting New Found Faith

Sign up to our newsletter today so that you can stay up to date with New Found Faith