Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Glory of Christmas

Temple Baptist Church - 12-9-2012
Luke 2:1-20
A. It is hard for us to imagine what it must have been like on that wonderful night when the Son of God who became the Son of man made his first appearance in human flesh in a manger in Bethlehem. For Israel, instead of the wonder of their Saviour’s birth,
1. Dark was the night
a) 400 Years of Silence with no prophetic voice – From Malachi to Matthew, the only revelation Israel had was the written Word of God.
b) Spiritual disappointment and darkness - Isaiah 9:2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
c) It should have been a time of expectancy and excitement! Our Lord rebuked Israel for not knowing “the time” of their visitation as He looked out over Jerusalem. As the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, they became weary and slept!
d) So is the state of the church today as they no longer look to the heavens for the coming of the Lord but have settled on the lees and live in the discouragement of the times.
e) Israel had looked for the promised Messiah for thousands of years and was now resigned to their fate of bondage and servitude at the hands of the Roman Empire.
2. Desperate was the need
a. Israel was in a sad spiritual state.
b. The blight of sin filled the land,
c. Pagan kings ruled
d. Immorality flourished.
e. Religion was dead, formalistic, and powerless to meet the deep need of man’s heart.
3. But, thanks be unto God, Divine was the remedy
a. God’s Remedy For Israel’s Plight Was Born – The King of Israel!
b. God’s Remedy For Man’s Sin Was Born – The Saviour of the world!
1) He was absolutely God - 2 Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
a) He was God before Bethlehem - Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
b) He was God before Time - John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
2) He was absolutely Man - John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
a) He had Human flesh - Hebrews 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
b) He had God’s blood - Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
3) He was absolutely Sinless - 2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
B. In Luke 2:11, we see the three-fold identity of the Christ child born that night.
1. Saviour – The Title Of Acceptance
a. This child’s mission wasn’t to save the wealthy, or the righteous. He came to make the sinner free.
Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
b. He came for those that no one else wanted.
Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
1) He loves the Disobedient – I am glad that He came for me when I was walking in disobedient to His commands. Most churches cater to the “righteous crowd” and the lawless are not wanted.
2) He loves the Destitute – I am glad He came for the poor who has nothing to give. Most churches cater to the “rich crowd” and the poor are not wanted.
3) He loves the Depraved – I am glad He came for the sinful. He is certainly a Friend of sinners and sinners are welcome at Temple Baptist Church!
c. As Savior, Jesus provided 3 essential services to the sinner:
1) We are Accepted by Him
2) We are Delivered by Him
3) We are Preserved by Him
d. Thank God, He came not as Judge, but as Saviour – John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
2. Christ – The Title Of Access
a. This child came to do more than provide simple salvation. He came to allow us access into the very presence of Almighty God.
b. Through Jesus, we can:
1. Approach the Father through prayer – Jesus is the only means of access.
2. Appeal to the Father through prayer – He answers when we pray.
c. The Name "Christ" refers to Jesus as the "Anointed High Priest."
1. He petitions the Father on our behalf. He prays for us.
2. He pleads the Father on our behalf – He is our Advocate: (Advocate - one who pleads the cause of another in a court of civil law.)
3. LORD – The Title Of Authority
a. Lord - He was referring to One who was to be in absolute control.
b. This title of our Lord is a reminder to every Christian that Jesus Christ is to be the absolute authority in our lives.
1. As Saviour - He Is Worthy Of Our Worship
2. As Christ - He Is Worthy Of Our Dependence
3. As Lord - He Is Worthy Of Our Obedience

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