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A Beautiful Christmas

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A Beautiful Christmas  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  23:34
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Well, so glad to have everyone here this morning and we've been in a sermon series this month where we've donately looked at this verse in Luke kind of the traditional Christmas passage where the angel shows up and announces to the Shepherds the Christmas news and this is that verse but the angel said to them do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a savior has been born to you. He is the Messiah the Lord. I want to add to that very traditional Christmas verse These verses out of First John because I think in many ways this is a Christmas passage because what John is doing in these verses he's explaining the meaning of Christmas what it meant that God came in the infant Christ came in the flesh and so forth. John says, here's what we announce to everyone about the word of life. He was already here from the beginning. We have heard him. We have seen him with our eyes we have looked at him. Our hands have touched him that life has appeared. We have seen him. We give witness about him and we announce to you that same eternal life. He was already with the father. He has appeared to us. We announce to you what we have seen and heard we do it so that you can share a life together with us and we share life with the father and with his son. Jesus Christ now we talked about some of the foundational principles about scripture in the way. You read it and understand it whenever something is shared in Scripture that the authors are sharing it for a couple of reasons one because what they shared really happened and end this is this is academically and in the world of scholarship verifiable, there is just evidence of on evidence that the authors of the New Testament were simply sharing what happened historically, they weren't orchestrating something and putting it together of their own choosing evidence exists outside of the New Testament other authors non Christian authors who record some of the same things internally within scripture evidence that they record stuff that would be embarrassing for themselves that would go against the idea of orchestrating a record to your own Advantage is just throughout scripture until there's all this evidence that the author simply felt obligated to tell the truth to record what happened even Made them look bad, even when it was difficult to believe they simply recorded what happened secondly because they get there was so much more the end of John's gospel says there's so much more that I could write about Christ's but there's not enough books to contain it. They also recorded what they did to reveal something about God they recorded it because it revealed something about God. Those are foundational realities when you look at scripture, it's interesting this passage in 1st John just supports that idea even more the language in these vs. We read is the language used in a squaring of a deposition in ancient Court proceedings. And so John is saying look we're we're testifying to you as if we're in court. We're telling you the truth and all those categories in those verses is what you would go over if you're being interviewed by a judge or you are testifying in court and so he saying now this is true. We saw him with our own eyes. We touched him with our own hands. We we heard him. We know this to be the case what he testifies about in those verses and so here's the fundamental truth that is communicating in those verses which I think stem is right out of the Christmas story that Jesus really came and that he was God in human flesh. That's what they're testifying through. This is the announcement that John makes look Jesus Christ came. On that day years ago, there were Witnesses and those Witnesses not only recorded in the gospels. As soon as they can when they look back later and reflected on it. They said yeah, this is what happened when we touched him. We saw him. We heard him. Jesus came in the flesh. There's no disputing that and even authors outside the New Testament anti-christian authors outside the New Testament don't dispute that. There was this man Jesus who came that he was recorded and reported by many to perform Miracles and teach the things that he did and so what's this historical reality that he came in the flesh and look at these verses here is what we announced to you and here is what we announce to everyone about the word of life. He was already here from the beginning. We have heard him. We have seen him with our eyes we have looked at him our hands have touched him that life has appeared. We have seen him. We give witness about him and went out to you that same eternal life. He was all Be with the father. He has appeared to us. We announce to you what we have seen and heard we do it so that we can share a life together or she's me so that you can share a life together with us and we share life with the father and with his son Jesus Christ. So secondly not only do these scriptures point to the the Christmas truth that Jesus came and that he was God In the Flesh. But let he would they refer to Jesus as the word that was from the beginning that the Jewish readers especially but others from here with the rest of the new test would have understood that as a reference to God this Eternal Word, even scripture in the beginning of Genesis. And also in the Gospel of John from the very beginning there was this word God spoke into nothing us and stuff came into being the Gospel of John begin saying the same thing about the word of God from the beginning in John chapter 1 verses 1 and 2. The author says in the beginning was the word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God and that's referring to Christ and 1st John makes that same reference not only did Jesus Come In the Flesh. He was God himself, in the flesh. That's the Christmas miracle. That's the Christmas truth that not only the gospels but later the New Testament talks about one author says it this way and every other religion the founder points to eternal life, but because Jesus is God come in the flesh. He is eternal life. A fundamental distinction in every man-made religion in every other world religion. It is about pointing the direction a teacher arrives or teachings are unveiled or a path is pointed out. If you will scale this mountain if you will follow this these directions if you will do these things, then you will be granted Eternal watch every other religion points in the direction of here's what you must do. To discover or learn or discern or light in yourself enough or follow the rules or the regulations enough in order to earn eternal life Christianity is fundamentally different than all the others because Jesus doesn't show up and say hey, I'm going to show you the way here's the path. Here's the directions. Here's a rules. Here's the regulations and said Jesus shows up and says, I am the way I am the truth. He is eternal life. So to have Jesus to know Jesus to Walk With Jesus to embrace him to believe him to accept him is to have eternal life. It is not Jesus plus it is not Jesus plus learn your Bibles really well, although that is a fruitful thing that you want to do in response to having relationship with Jesus, but your salvation is not dependent upon it. Jesus is not say me plus do these things attend church. Learn your Bible do good and then you will get to heaven. Jesus says I am the way You believe me. You know me. You have eternal life. That's a fundamental distinction between Christianity and man-made religion man-made religion always says to us. Here's what you must do to be saved. In verse in 1st John 1:3, the restoration of fellowship with God is the third point. The restoration of Fellowship of God is simply announced its another amazing truth In this passage. John says look, we're telling you Jesus came. We saw him. We tested we heard him and not only that he was the word for the beginning. He was God In the Flesh and not only that and there's three. He says we have this Fellowship of God the father and we're telling you this so that you can step into that same Fellowship. It's just kind of announced guess what that broken relationship between humanity and God that started in Genesis 3 that is restored and reconciled in Christ because God has come himself in the Flash and made that restoration that reconciliation possible. When asked to you he says in that verse what we have seen and heard we do it so you can share a life together with us. And what's that life? We share life with the father and with his son Jesus Christ. So here's our point this morning. The Christmas story is an announcement not advise.

I think about the implications of that. The Angels come and make an announcement. Look at it if they had shown up and said, okay. You guys have really screwed up the globe and God the father is really disappointed. And so we're going to go over the rules one more time. Here's the things you've got to get right or you're in big trouble. See that's what the Shepherds were thinking when the Angels appeared to them. We're told him that verse in Luke that they were shaking. I mean just shaking terrified and the original language. There's no doubt about it. They were terrified because they are Unholy people in the presence of The Messengers from the one true. Holy God and they're terrified and the angel say No, no, no. No. No, you don't you don't understand you don't understand stop shaking.

fear not the Angels announcement We bring you good news.

The Angels arrived with good news, that will be great. Joy for all people everyone everyone that took today. a savior

Is Born To You? in the city of David

a savior is born We need saving. We have screwed up the globe. Even our own little small portion of it in our own families and relationships at our own Hearts. We struggle with sin we struggle with not being selfish. We need a savior. And the adversary Whispers in our years, you've got to save yourself. It's all on you. You got to look out for number one going to make your way. You can't get involved with other people to mess. It will drag you down. You just got to carve out your own Niche and save yourself or you're in trouble. and the angels come and say case you haven't thought about it. You really can't save yourself, but I'm here actually to bring good news that today a savior is born to you. God Has Come In the Flesh himself to save us the Christmas story is an announcement not advise advice is direction for self improvement what you can and should do to be saved and the world is full of that and every other religion. The Christianity is an announcement not advise and announcement is a proclamation of what has been done what has been accomplished. It's important to know that distinction and hold it in our heart accurately think of it this way the difference between a military adviser vs. A messenger announcing victory. Look if there's ass if there's a war going on and there's a city under siege and that City feels like any moment. Now the enemy is going to sweep down and we're going to be conquered. There's two ways. There's there's two types of assistance. They can receive they can say, you know what we got military advisors here and those advisors are going to tell us look. Here's what's happening. There is about to have 500,000 coming to conquer this city. And our only hope is if you will dig trenches over here and put the soldiers here and if you'll put some some marks when up here on this Ridge and if you can get a trench over here and there's a advisor here is how you can possibly save yourself. Here's how you can possibly survive. That's what an advisor does for you. But a messenger what happens if a messenger rides into the village what happens if the messenger comes plowing into the City and says guess what the King has already met the enemy and defeated them. I'm here to announce victory. Is that pretty different? Suddenly, you're not saying we got to dig trenches. We got Shore things up. We got to save herself. We're in trouble instead. Suddenly. You're realizing the king. Has already conquered the enemy the sin that bears down on me and bears down on this world. As a form of judgment is a form of defeat has been paid for through this savior. Has been paid for through Christ victory has been given to us. The word for Angel in that passage in Luke is the word for Messenger that comes from a king to announce victory. So for us here at the application stop trying to save yourself the King has saved you. How many people got up this morning and thought it's Christmas Sunday morning. I need to I need to look a little out of a put on time this morning. I don't normally anybody who comes your regular dinos Rob. He's wearing a jacket. Robbie does not normally wear a jacket. It is integrated into our DNA to constantly think in terms of I need to I should I better I ought. And some of us do it with pure and innocent motives and it's no big deal. Nothing wrong with saying I'm going to look a little nicer this morning, but sometimes those things can just be the tip of the iceberg that deep in our heart and soul. We spend a lot of energy and life trying to save ourselves. I hope I'm good enough. I hope I've given enough money this year. I hope I've served enough. You know, I have a good enough Mom. I hope I'm a good enough dad. I hope I'm a brother or sister or employee. We're always kind of trying to save herself and part of what Christmas announces is that we have been provided savior in the birth of Christ. Until the Angels arrive and say no no, no don't fear fear not this is not a time for fear. This is not a time for anxiety. I'm bringing you good news. Great. Joy for all the people today. A savior is born unto you. So stop trying to save yourself. The King has saved you for us the invitation is to worship and celebrate because God has provided for our salvation. But that's the Incarnation. That's what that's the logic and the reason behind Christmas look at it. If man's thinking about God and religion was what won the day. We usually drive off in the one that you or the other. We usually think you know, what God is Holy and so no one is going to get into heaven or in trouble. We got to save ourselves and we think of God is purely holy and nothing else then we think if he was just purely holy know where the character is. He said he would say, you know what you guys need to straighten up and fly away, I'm I'm not I'm not no more patience. You need to fix yourself. You need to save yourself. You need to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and get safe. But that's not what God does. Sometimes we think of him. You'll well, he's just a modern invention is he's just too lovey-dovey. He just says, you know what? It's all good. I just forgive everybody. No big deal. No judgement. No consequences whatsoever. But that's not the biblical message the biblical messages that God is both holy and loving. And so our sins have consequences and we know that's the way the world works. We wouldn't want there to be horrible things that occur and for no one have consequences. No one to fill their heart prick for what they've done. No one to feel a Pang of their conscious to turn in the right direction. We want folks to turn in the right direction direction. We want folks to choose good over evil, which means you have to distinguish between the two.

Until God is Holy. He does not let up on that but he's also loving and he combines those realities the reality of sin and they're being a need for Redemption and the reality of his love and so he comes in the flash himself and says, I'll pay the price. I'll pay the price.

What author said it this way and I'll paraphrase probably not accurately, but he said look if Christianity is just some sort of nice Legend if it's just some sort of hell where we say wasn't Jesus a neat person that inspires me to try to be a better person myself. Is it look if we just think of it in those terms we're done for we're on our own because there are a million awesome stories that can Inspire us to try harder, but we never quite overcome our sin. But because Christianity is historically true. It really did happen Christ did come in the flash. He was God In the Flesh. Because he went to the cross and paid the price then it is true that we can be saved by grace. That our Salvation is real. It's all our response your job. Today is some of your thinking this he can't just let us off the hook Pastor, you know, you got to make us feel bad about something. That's what church is about.

Here's your job worship and celebrate. Amen, this is all you can do in the face of a God who shows up and says, I'll pay the price myself. I love you so much. Price has to be paid. I'll pay it. Tell God the father and God the son got together and worked out this amazing plan. Where the sun came as an infant. New Life on that Christmas morning Born to Die For You and I it wasn't easy. It wasn't simple in the guard to self Jesus his father's or any other way. Because this is real really going to the Cross really going to carry the world sin. The price is really going to have to be paid through me but nonetheless father not my will but yours be done until he goes looks down at those who are crucifying him and says father. forgive them They know not what they're doing. I don't know about you, but I don't know that I have Sims greater than that in my life. It is the avatar ever tricked you into thinking your Sans can't be forgiven. Remember that moment on the cross when Jesus look down at those crucifying him. and said father forgive them forgive them response to that act of love to that act of sacrifice that begin at Christmas living cells of the Jesus gave up everything he can hold onto in heaven in order to strip himself of all those Privileges and he took the form of a human and came in the flesh to redeem you and I and so we respond by worship and celebration. We're going to have a song here in a moment. I'm going to buy the worship team to come forward. If you never made a decision to accept Christ, I'll I'll be available in the back to talk to you to pray with you while other phone up front of the back to pray with you. We don't want to live that moment pass without letting you know. We're available for that conversation. But we've also got the rest of the service ahead of us and it's an opportunity for all of us to worship and celebrate the word in that passage in 1st John 3. When he talks about Fellowship, it's the same word we use for communion. It's only a few moments. We're going to celebrate communion together and it's all about celebrating that Fellowship that God has provided through Jesus Christ as well as we sing the rest of the service sing unto Christ when I favor descriptions of the early church from a second or source that. The Christians are crazy in and this mayor and governor in Rome and they said we'll get together early in the morning. They sing songs to Christ. That's to of God. He meant it as a derogatory description of the early church. And I think it's a beautiful description of the early church because they saw the Beauty and the truth of what Christ did for them and they got together and gathered and sang songs to him. So as we worship as we celebrate communion As we sing that your job if you feel like you need to do something. I was in church, you know, somebody step on my toes I got to do. That's what you need to do. Enjoy the rest of the service worship God and celebrate enjoy this evening with your family. People who sins have been forgiven by Christ celebrate him celebrate his love as you're around the table together eating as your opening gifts and seeing one another enjoy Christmas. Just relax let your shoulders go down and enjoy those moments and celebrate because that's what Christ wants from you he wants you to know that he has provided for your forgiveness and he's done and out of love Hebrew says he's not ashamed to call us brothers and sisters. It's his great joy to have redeemed us and the Sea us celebrate what he has accomplished. Please stand as we say.

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