Can Santa Claus Be Saved?Wednesday, December 18, 2013
“The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.’”
Believe it or not, even Santa can be saved! Far from being a dangerous fairy tale, “Santa Claus” in reality is an Anglicized form of the Dutch name Sinter Klaas, which in turn is a reference to Saint Nicholas, a Christian bishop from the fourth century. According to tradition, Saint Nick not only lavished gifts on needy children, but also valiantly supported the doctrine of the Trinity at the Council of Nicea in AD 325.4 While the word “Trinity”—like “Incarnation”—is not found in Scripture, it aptly codifies what God has condescended to reveal to us about His nature and being. The Trinitarian platform confirmed at Nicea contains three planks.
The first plank underscores the reality that there is but one God. Christianity is not polytheistic, but fiercely monotheistic. “‘You are my witnesses,’ declares the LORD, ‘and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me’” (Isaiah 43:10, emphasis added).
The second plank emphasizes that in hundreds of Scripture passages the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are declared to be fully and completely God. As a case in point, the apostle Paul says that “there is but one God, the Father” (1 Corinthians 8:6). The Father, speaking of the Son, says, “Your throne, O God, will last forever and forever” (Hebrews 1:8). And when Ananias “lied to the Holy Spirit,” Peter points out that he had “not lied to men but to God” (Acts 5:3–4).
The third plank of the Trinitarian platform asserts that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are eternally distinct. Scripture clearly portrays subject/object relationships between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. For example, the Father and Son love one another, speak to each other (John 17:1–26), and together send the Holy Spirit (John 15:26). Additionally, Jesus proclaims that He and the Father are two distinct witnesses and two distinct judges (John 8:14–18). If Jesus were Himself the Father, His argument would not only have been irrelevant, it would have been fatally flawed; and if such were the case, He could not have been fully God. It is important to note that when Trinitarians speak of one God, they are referring to the nature or essence of God. Moreover, when they speak of persons they are referring to personal self-distinctions within the Godhead. Put another way, we believe in one What and three Whos.
See more about Hank Hanegraaff's 25-day Christmas devotional here: The Heart of Christmas (Thomas Nelson, 2009)