Making Disciples Who Think and Act Like Jesus

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You have reached the online community for Grace Point at Eagle Heights (GPEH) Church, in Orange, TX. It is our goal to be a church where the Word of God is boldly proclaimed without compromise. We are here to make disciples who think and act like Jesus. It is our greatest desire that you know and love Jesus, for He alone is worthy of our wholehearted devotion. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

Six Ways to Miss Christmas

from John MacArthur’s booklet, Six Ways to Miss Christmas.
 

The majority of people in the world will miss the next Christmas. But how can that be? How can anyone miss Christmas, given the amount of advertising, publicity, and promotion the holiday receives each year? Because although many celebrate Christmas every year, most don’t know what it’s about. In spite of all the media promotion of Christmas, the majority of people will miss it because it has become so obscured.

For those of us who know and love the Lord Jesus Christ, Christmas is a time to focus on His birth. But even we can get caught up in the swirl of activity around Christmastime and can miss it in a practical sense. Satan has so cluttered the Christian concept of Christmas with such needless paraphernalia that its true meaning is easily lost.


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Putting the X back in Xmas

 

I’m all for putting Christ back in Christmas. And there is no doubt that our secularized culture is working hard at surreptitiously ushering the Baby out, without losing the murky bathwater of gift-giving and commercial celebration. But I’d like to address the misinformed concern that the use of “Xmas” as a placeholder for “Christmas” is part of the conspiracy to excise Christ from his holiday.

First, Christmas is not a biblical holiday. There are no New Covenant feast days; besides communion, there is no recurring remembrance that is mandated. The Catholics came up with the Christ Mass feast, and global retailers and consumers alike hopped on the bandwagon. So, if Jesus becomes as absent to the secular mindset from Christmastime as he is from Halloween, there is no loss to the New Covenant.

Second, and this is my main point, using “X” to replace “Christ” is not necessarily an indication of anything sinister. I have used Xmas and Christmas interchangeably with a clear conscience ever since learning about the history of its usage.

Some Christians shun the use of “Xmas.”

In an interview Franklin Graham opined on behalf of evangelicalism:

For us as Christians, this is one of the most holy of the holidays, the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. And for people to take Christ out of Christmas. They’re happy to say merry Xmas. Let’s just take Jesus out. And really, I think, a war against the name of Jesus Christ.”

This, I believe, is an understandable but unnecessary overreaction.

The Greek word for Christ or Messiah is Christos. But Greek doesn’t use the “ch” combo as in cha-cha or chisel. It has a single letter that designates that sound, the letter chi (pronounced kai or key—we don’t know which), and is written like a large English X.

 

So Christ was written to look a little like this; Xpistos. X became the symbol for the name Jesus as shorthand to save ink and also as Christianese insiders’ argot.

In English, the habit of writing Christmas as Xmas is well-attested in history, dating well before the culture began to feel squeamish about having Christ in Christmas.

In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a manuscript that dates back to 1100 AD, the festive season was already being called “Xpes mæss.” And Lord Byron was using the abbreviation as it appears today in his writings by 1811; he was not known for being a Scrooge with Messianic titles. The correspondence of Samuel Coleridge and Lewis Carroll in the 19th century was also sporting the vogue of abbreviating English with Greek place-holders when referring to the Yuletide festivities.

All that to say, X is not excluding, extricating, or excusing the name Christ.

Rather than feel we need to forfeit our linguistic heritage, the privilege of employing Christ’s X still belongs to us Xtians.

So Merry Xmas!




Reformers unanimous is a Biblically based, Christ centered addiction recovery program that works. Why? Because it is about the rescue, recovery, and restoration of those in addictive behaviors with the power of the victorious hidden life found ONLY in Jesus Christ. Gal. 2:20, 2 Tim. 2:24-26, Gal. 6:1, 1 Cor. 15:57, 2 Cor. 4:7
 
RU (Reformer’s Unanimous) meets every Friday night at 7:00pm at Grace Point at Eagle Heights Church in Orange, TX. The address is 11815 Interstate 10 East, Orange, TX 77630.
 
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GOOD NEWS:

Jesus has done everything needed to secure our salvation.

Here is what we need to understand about our sinful condition, the salvation provided through Jesus, and our response:
Being a Christian is more than identifying yourself with a religion or affirming a certain value system. Being a Christian means you have embraced what the Bible says about God, mankind, and salvation. Consider the following truths found in Scripture.

WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A CHRISTIAN

 

Being a Christian is more than identifying yourself with a religion or affirming a certain value system. Being a Christian means you have embraced what the Bible says about God, mankind, and salvation. Consider the following truths found in Scripture.

 

God Is Sovereign Creator.
Contemporary thinking says man is the product of evolution. But the Bible says we were created by a personal God to love, serve, and enjoy endless fellowship with Him. The New Testament reveals it was Jesus Himself who created everything (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16). Therefore, He also owns and rules everything (Psalm 103:19). That means He has authority over our lives and we owe Him absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship.

 

God Is Holy.
God is absolutely and perfectly holy (Isaiah 6:3), therefore He cannot commit or approve of evil (James 1:13). God requires holiness of us as well. First Peter 1:16 says, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

 

Mankind Is Sinful.
According to Scripture, everyone is guilty of sin: “There is no man who does not sin” (1 Kings 8:46). That doesn’t mean we’re incapable of performing acts of human kindness. But we’re utterly incapable of understanding, loving, or pleasing God on our own. (Romans 3:10-12).

 

Sin Demands a Penalty.
God’s holiness and justice demand that all sin be punished by death: (Ezekiel 18:4). That’s why simply changing our patterns of behavior can’t solve our sin problem or eliminate its consequences.16

 

Jesus Is Lord and Savior.
The New Testament reveals it was Jesus Himself who created everything (Colossians 1:16). Therefore He owns and rules everything (Psalm 103:19). That means He has authority over our lives and we owe Him absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship. Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” Even though God’s justice demands death for sin, His love has provided a Savior who paid the penalty and died for sinners (1 Peter 3:18). Christ’s death satisfied the demands of God’s justice and Christ’s perfect life satisfied the demands of God’s holiness (2 Corinthians 5:21), thereby enabling Him to forgive and save those who place their faith in Him (Romans 3:26).

 

The Character of Saving Faith.
True faith is always accompanied by repentance from sin. Repentance is agreeing with God that you are sinful, confessing your sins to Him, and making a conscious choice to turn from sin (Luke 13:3,5; 1 Thessalonians 1:9) and pursue Christ (Matthew 11:28-30; John 17:3) and obedience to Him (1 John 2:3). It isn’t enough to believe certain facts about Christ. Even Satan and his demons believe in the true God (James 2:19), but they don’t love and obey Him. True saving faith always responds in obedience (Ephesians 2:10).

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Church Location & Address: 11815 IH 10 Orange, TX. (map)

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Telephone: (409) 745-0050 Email: GPEH@GPEHchurch.com In the case of emergency, please contact one of our elders directly.  

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