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Echoes in Advent: New Creation

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Echoes in advent recap
When we think about Christmas we often think about
good food
lights
presents
family and friends
traditions
As we have walked through our Echoes in Advent series we see that the people of God were hoping for something far different than we hope for.
They were hoping for redemption from exile
They were in slavery to Rome
They were far from the presence and glory of God
They were waiting to be brought back from exile into the presence of God himself
They were waiting for a king
To be brought out of slavery they were waiting for the great king who was promised
They were waiting for the messiah to come, and rule like David.
They were waiting for a good king, who like David would fight for them and be their champion
They were waiting for the kingdom to be established because the prophecy stated that when the king comes, he would sit upon the eternal throne of David.
They were waiting for blessing that would go to all the nations
When the messiah comes he was going to come and bring all the nations of the world to himself.
Like the three wise men who traveled from the east following the light to find Jesus, so the nations of the world would come to the light of the messiah.
You see the hope and the promise given was not only for
the Jewish people in exile
A kingdom that will be an eternal kingdom
for all the nations of the world to be blessed through God’s people
But the hope of the Messiah is that he would come and bring with him a whole new creation. A whole new world!
And this is what Jesus birth represented, a whole new world.
We could look at the gospel of Mark and see...
How mark begins his gospel in such a way that calls our attention to and the creation week
How Mark presents Jesus as one who has the same creative power as God in
How Mark even structures his whole gospel according the the creation week.
We could look at Matthew and see...
How he book ends his gospel with creation language
How in the great commission Jesus restates the creation mandate (take dominion over all things) for the new creation, go into all the world and make disciples.
We could look at Luke’s gospel and see
How Luke uses his genealogy to intentionally connect Jesus to Adam
We could also look at Romans how Paul tells us that Jesus himself is the second Adam. The new and greater Adam who is the firstborn of the new creation
Who’s excited for tomorrow!?
Who’s excited for tomorrow!?
Kids, what is the main thing you’re excited about?
Popular presents
Wireless head phones
Wireless head phones
Drone with 4k video
Coffee or Chocolate
Essential oil defusers
for kids
Ninjago
Nintendo Switch
Ipad or tablets
The new Xbox 1 X
Dolls and action figures
Board game and video games
New clothes and new jewelry
Gift cards and cash
These are only some of the many different types of presents that will be received tomorrow morning.
Not only do we look forward to Christmas for the presents but also for the good food
Turkey and mashed potatoes with gravy and stuffing
pies and cookies
Eggnog and hot chocolate
Maybe its pizza or take out Chinese
Maybe you have a Christmas tradition with a special breakfast lunch or dinner that you look forward to every year
Presents, food, fun
I remember growing up we spent Christmas morning at our house with my parents and two brothers. and in the afternoon we would go to my grandparents house where we would see my aunts and uncles and my cousins
We would bring our favorite new toys and look forward to seeing my cousins so we could all play together the rest of the day.
As I’ve gotten older I really look forward to the fun of Christmas, being around friends or family and truly just enjoying the day together.
You see, leading up to Christmas all the presents, all the food, and all the fun is something you hope for, something you look forward too!
Its an idea that becomes reality. If the idea just stayed an idea how disappointing would that be.
Example:
I did all my Christmas shopping this year on amazon
I looked at the gifts, I read the descriptions, I compared prices, I looked at the pictures, and read reviews
I bought a friend a pour over coffee brewer
according to the many reviews the best pot of coffee is made with the pour over method.
Its supposed to be smooth and rich
not bitter
the particular brewer I got him was ergonomically friendly
So what if i printed out the picture of the coffee maker
with all the reviews
with all the features
with all the instructions
with the description included
and gave him the picture for Christmas, would that be a good present?
Essentially what i gave him was an idea of a present
he never would be able to feel the pour over brewer in his hands
he never would have enjoyed the aroma of coffee
And most importantly he would not have experienced the flavor of a cup of coffee
The idea of a gift is not a gift at all.
What makes a good gift is when the gift is real, physical, you can taste it, touch it, smell it, enjoy it, play with it, listen to it.
Illustration:
I think one of the most dangerous things that has happened and is happening to Christians today is that we have accepted and are satisfied with the idea of Jesus, the idea of his kingship, the idea of his blessings or even the idea of holy living.
We have accepted a piece of paper with a description of Jesus and have become satisfied enough.
We praise God for the idea of our redemption while never actually living in freedom
We thank God for the idea of forgiveness while we live under a mountain of guilt
We are so thankful for God faithfulness while we live in a constant state of anxiety
We say that Jesus is the king of our hearts, yet he has no powerful over our bank accounts
You see the idea of Jesus of as king over our heart is great. But giving him lordship over my checking account is very real, not just an idea, but something that i can feel
We thank God for the many blessings and gifts he has given us yet
you feel guilty everything you turn on that new 70in tv because its a little much
you feel ashamed for buying Starbucks when you could have brewed coffee at home
you feel bad because you didn’t really need that new tool, that new outfit, that new game
We thank God for his gifts and blessings - yet we feel more comfortable with the idea of his gifts and blessings
James 1:17 ESV
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
1 Timothy 6:17 ESV
17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
Ecclesiastes 8:15 ESV
15 And I commend joy, for man has nothing better under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun.
You see, the only reason there even IS a Christmas to celebrate is because we serve a God who doesn’t just give us the idea of a gift, but has given us the greatest, most weighty, most real gift we could possibly receive.
My hope is that this Christmas season you will realize and enjoy God new creation in the full weight of its glory. not just the idea of his creation, but you will enjoy the substance of his creation for the glory of God.
We have talked about how the advent season is about waiting, hoping, anticipating the coming Messiah.
Israel was in Exile and they were waiting for one to come and free them so they could come back and be in the presence of God.
They were waiting for a new king, one who would rule like David and his throne will be an everlasting throne.
They were waiting for the promises given to Abraham to come to fulfillment. that the people of God would be a light to all the nations
Now, these hopes and dreams, these ideas and desires were not left as hopes and dreams and ideas and desires. They were actually accomplished.
And if you look around the room today we are living proof they were actually accomplished.
Are we a people in far off from the presence of God? No, for God has come to us, and he dwells with us.
As we look around the world what is one thing we can be assure of? That Jesus is sitting on the throne.
And I’m not talking about the throne of your heart, i’m taking about the actual throne at the right hand of the Father.
I’m talking about the throne from which Christ rules the nations
I’m talking about the throne that gave Paul the confidence to say that all things work together for the good for those who love God and are called according to his purposes.
And we look at each other or even look in the mirror we can be confident that Jesus has, and is, fulfilling the abrahamic promise. that all the nations of the world will be blessed by Abraham’s decedent, who is the Christ.
We are living proof of this promise. We are the nations. And he has brought us to himself.
These hopes and dreams, idea and anticipations of Advent were actually fulfilled in time and space.
God did not tell them that he would fulfill these promises in some abstracted or ethereal way. Rather God entered into his physical creation, put on flesh, and in the flesh he accomplished redemption of his creation.
And this redemption, is more tangible than the idea that Jesus came to get us out of hell and into heaven.
OH this redemption is so much more glorious and real than that!
This redemption is glorious in that he came not to get us out of hell and into heaven, nor did he come to get us out of this earth and into heaven. But he came to bring heaven down to earth!
He came to glorify his creation. As he told his Apostle John in the book of Revelation, “Behold, I am making all things new!”
The Final Echo in Advent we want to look at how Jesus’ birth echoes the creation account in Genesis and how Jesus has come in the flesh to bring about a whole new creation.

Echoes in Advent: New Creation

As we look throughout the gospels we see over and over again these signs, these shadows, these hints telling us that what is happening with Jesus’ coming is a new creation, a new world.
We could look at the gospel of Mark and see...
How mark begins his gospel in such a way that calls our attention to and the creation week
How Mark presents Jesus as one who has the same creative power as God in
How Mark even structures his whole gospel according the the creation week.
We could look at Matthew and see...
How he book ends his gospel with creation language
How in the great commission Jesus restates the creation mandate (take dominion over all things) for the new creation, go into all the world and make disciples.
We could look at Luke’s gospel and see
How Luke uses his genealogy to intentionally connect Jesus to Adam
We could also look at Romans how Paul tells us that Jesus himself is the second Adam. The new and greater Adam who is the firstborn of the new creation
We could look at the Christmas story in Luke and see how the spirit of God overshadowed Mary’s empty and void womb and brought about a creation out of nothing. Using the same imagery as in when the spirit of God hovered over the shadows of the deep before creation
But perhaps the greatest account of Jesus bringing about a new creation is found in John Gospel
In chapter one John lays out a creation week with six days of work and then the sabbath rest in chapter 2
throughout John gospel we see Jesus identifying himself with the different elements of the tabernacle, which was a model for creation
We see multiples of seven all throughout John gospel which are used to show us that Jesus is bringing about a new creation.
But we are not going to get into all of that, this morning I want us to see the glory of Jesus’ new creation
Turn with me to
John 1:1–14 ESV
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. 9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
The language calls our attention back to with the creation account telling us that another creation is happening. And this new creation is just as real, just as physical as the original. We see this in verse 14 where the creator, the Word, became flesh and dwelt among us.
This is the picture of the manger scene.
The eternal God, the one who created all things, the one who holds all things together has become flesh, he became human, he entered into his physical creation in order to recreate his physical creation.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us
You know this is so unlike any other religion or philosophy
The physical is grimy and dirty and is something that needs to be escaped, not put on.
platonic thinking is that ultimate truth and reality is in the world of ideas and the flesh is our limitation
so much of our thinking is around the idea of having to escape this world in order to be truly godly.
Yet what Christmas is all about is that God came to us in the flesh so that we might be redeemed in the flesh
There is glory is the physical there is glory in what is real
John 1:14 ESV
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
And we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father
This word glory derives from the Hebrew word kabod which means to weigh heavily upon.
This glory is not just this idea of splendor, it is the realization of splendor.
Its not just the idea of honor, its an honor that you can feel.
We see a good picture of this in

The Glory of Creation

After each day of creation God declared over his creation “it is good”
God made light - it is good
God separated the waters - it is good
God made land with grain for bread and fruit for wine - it is good
The earth itself is sacramental - it was designed to bring us into God’s presence
God made sun, moon, and stars - it is good
God made the birds and the fish - it is good
God man animals and man - it is good
and after the sixth day we see God look back over all he had created in 1:31
Genesis 1:31 ESV
31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
Not only was his creation really good. He also gave good gifts to his creation
He planted a garden for Adam to live in
He told Adam he could eat from all the trees in the garden except one
In fact, the best gift he gave to Adam was eve
and you better believe Eve was real.
God was lavishing gifts upon his creation, real gifts, glorious gifts.
Adam and Eve in the Garden enjoy the creation God had given them.
Enjoying the gifts God had lavished upon them.
This real tangible and weighty glory they had in the garden was experienced
They experienced joy in each other and in creation
They experienced love for one another and for God’s creation
They shared in the shalom peace of God in the garden
They saw each other for who they truly were as image bearers,
And then something happened.
The serpent comes and temps Eve with an abstract and etherial notion
He said to her,
Genesis 3:5 ESV
5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Eve was like God! Both Adam and Eve were made in the image of GOD!
God pronounced his creation VERY GOOD
There was nothing lacking in Adam and Eve
Yet, the serpent tricked Eve. And she ate.
Adam was the coward who let it all happen, and when he saw that Eve didn’t die right away after eating the fruit, he ate too.
As soon as they ate something changed. Something was lost. The glory was gone.
They looked at each other and no longer saw each other as glorious beings, rather they were ashamed. they hid themselves
PICTURE OF EVE AND MARY
God came into their presences and they were afraid. they were afraid because they had lost what God had given them.
God asked Adam what happened, and he blamed eve
God asked eve what happened and she blamed the serpent
God looked at the serpent and cursed him.
He told the serpent that one day the seed of the women will crush your head
And as the bible progresses we see this promise become fuller, thicker, more weighty.
The promise is only in seed form in the garden, but it continues to advance to the point where crushing the serpents head means there is a whole new creation.
So when Jesus comes, the head crusher, in the flesh he comes with
the power of God
he comes with healing in his wings
he comes with blessings for his people
he comes to set the captives free
he comes to sit on the throne of David
He comes to judge the living and the dead
He comes to restore the glory in creation
he has come near, so whether you eat or your drink, do EVERYTHING for the glory of God.
We are to see everything as gifts to be enjoyed fully for his glory
Tomorrow morning my wife and I and the kids will sit in the living room and mandee and I will so enjoy watching our kids open their presents.
If it were the case that I bought Piper, my youngest daughter, 100 gifts
And as Piper opened up each gift she was so thankful, she came over and gave me a hug and told me how much she loved it and appreciated it
present after present the same response
She even told me how she did not deserve such a wonderful gift
and each of those gifts piled up throughout the living room
Then into the dining room and kitchen
She is so thankful but never takes a gift out of its box to play with it
never eats the candy that we gave her in her stocking
never gets the crayons under her fingernails
never rocks the baby dolls to sleep
And I ask her why she’s not enjoying the gifts i’ve given her, and she says. “I’m just happy enough with the idea of the gifts.”
What a travesty.
What a waist of gift.
My friends, let us realize the good gifts God has given us.
Realize that the presents, food and fellowship you enjoy on Christmas are those gifts of God that are given in this new creation.
He is making all things new, and when he says all things, he means all things.
So as you go enjoy your Christ with a heart full of thanksgiving and belly full of joy for the gifts our creator has given us!
Lets pray
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