Temple Baptist Church - 12-25-2011
A. Christmas, for the most part, has lost its “innocence” through worldliness and commercialization. If people were actually celebrating the birth of our Lord, the churches would be filled and overflowing this day. Instead, most people are simply celebrating “Christmas” in a worldly manner and many churches will be canceling either one or both services. I am glad that Christmas in on Sunday this year. It certainly bares the hearts of religious people and identifies those who love and put Christ first in their lives. I am not here to preach to them because they are either not here or will not be here later. This may offend some but it is the truth that hurts. I want us to focus in on the incarnation this Christmas Day.
B. As we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, it does us well to reflect upon why He was born. We hear much around this time of the year concerning “the reason for the season” and opinions differ.
1. Some say that Jesus is the reason for the season. I understand that because it is the celebration of His birth.
2. Some say that sinners are the reason for the season. I do not disagree with this either as we are the object of His love. It was love that brought Him and love that bound Him to an old rugged cross.
3. The world says that Santa and tinsel is the reason for the season but this is rejected completely by God’s people.
C. I believe that the reason for the season is found in verse 21 which says, “and he shall save his people from their sins.” I want to look at that phrase for a few minutes today. The purpose is clear in the wording when we read from left to right and the progression is clear when we begin our reading from right to left.
1. Sin! Genesis 2:16-17 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: (17) But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (It was just a simple command that the Lord gave to Adam and Eve. They had the “run of the garden” and could eat whatever and whenever they desired. Adam and Eve listened to the Serpent, discounted the command of God, ate of the forbidden fruit and plunged the whole world into sin. What does God think of sin? Read Genesis 5! Satan said, “Thou shalt not surely die” and God punctuated “Thou shalt surely die” 8 times with “he died!” God hates sin, not sinners! It was sin that brought the Saviour to earth and the price of sin is death!)
2. Their! Romans 5:11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. (When the Bible uses the word “their” in this verse, it does not mean everyone except us but identifies humanity corporately. It was Adam that caused sin to become inherent and the curse to come but it is each individual that chooses to sin and personal responsibility damns the sinner. Poor old Adam ate a piece of fruit (I do not diminish its sinfulness) and he gets the blame for all that we do?)
3. From! Jeremiah 7:10-11 And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? (11) Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD. (We are saved “from our sin,” not “in our sin” or “to sin!” Too many professing believers’ lives never change as they continue to walk in the way of the world. 2 Corinthian 5:17 is a reality to those who have truly been born again. Their lives are forever changed through Calvary.)
4. His people! Galatians 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 1 John 2:1-2 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (2) And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (Though Christ died for all, not all will become His children by faith. God, in His sovereignty, gave every man a free will to be exercised and saves only those who come to Him by faith.)
5. Save! Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (Salvation is not probation! When the Lord saves, He saves completely and eternally. I have often said, “If you do not have eternal life you have no life at all. Eternal life is the only kind that God gives.)
6. Shall! Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (When a sinner comes to Christ by faith, he or she is never turned away! Salvation is “shall,” not “may!”)
7. He! Isaiah 43:11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. (Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners because there was no other way! He is still the Way!)