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The Beauty of Christmas

Christmas  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  37:07
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I asked my wife what she wanted for Christmas. She told me "Nothing would make her happier than a diamond necklace" So I bought her nothing.
There's nothing like the joy on a kid's face when he first sees the PlayStation box containing the socks I got him for Christmas.
Welcome (Merry Christmas)
Does anyone still have any last minute shopping to do?
Well....we’re talking about it, so apparently it’s UPON US AGAIN....
Christmas - and everything that comes with it...
From...
Ugly sweater parties
to - Bumper to Bumper traffic - every minute of every day
from - real Christmas trees / to - fake Christmas trees
from - Non-Stop Christmas music on the radio
to - Never-ending requests of “When’s it my turn to play with his toy”
From - Crazy uncle Larry telling all the classic family stories again...
to - Crazy Mariah Carey lip syncing to some jingle bell version of “All I Want for Xmas...” before deciding she’s too exhausted to even TRY to fake it...
And we CAN’T GET enough of it!
We SOAK it up…we take 10 billion pictures, record 10 billion videos...
And when it’s OVER, we CAN’T wait till next year...
WHY? Because for ALL the CRAZINESS....there’s MUCH beauty!
PICTURE SLIDES:
If there was ever a time of year where families push aside their differences....
..their divisions, to come together....and BE together...
It’s Christmas… and that’s a beautiful thing
And so we all KNOW and have EXPERIENCED the - Beauty of Christmas...
But what I’d like to do today is - GET DEEPER
Get a NEW perspective on this thing CALLED Christmas...
If ALL we’ve ever seen is the flashing lights....
If ALL we’ve ever felt is the FAMILY love...
THEN - my hope for you today is that you’ll see that there’s - MUCH more BEAUTY to BEHOLD…! - When it comes to Christmas.
And so let’s get started…and what I’d first like us to gaze at today is...
The Beauty of Christmas
Now you might be thinking - Thanks MIKE - Yeah, uhh, I know Christmas is about the Birth of Jesus...
Right - of course we all know that Christmas is about the Birth of Jesus...
1000 Nativity scenes we’ve no doubt - seen...
AND SO we get it right…we know this - is about - that...
BUT…have we really, truly considered WHY Jesus was born in the first place?
Well let’s look at why.
To find out, we’ll go to the Bible and see what Jesus says...
Luke 19:10 ESV
10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
So Jesus here - fills us in on some things that we need to know.
FIRST thing - there is a GROUP of people that Jesus came to RESCUE...
and this group is referred to by Jesus as - the Lost
Ok, so let’s figure out who those people are...
Let’s go to the First Book of the Bible...
In the very beginning, we see God create...
In chapter 1 of Genesis we see God create the heavens and the earth...
In chapter 2 He creates man and woman...
And then this happened:
Genesis 2:16–17 ESV
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
So God lays out before them a proposition…You can eat of any of the trees…except for one...
What do they do?
Genesis 3:6 ESV
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
Adam and Eve sinned.
What was their sin?
Their sin was that they DESIRED something more than God.
The RESULT of that sin - was that they ate of the tree.
Now, you might be thinking - Ok, well how does this story in Genesis relate to the LOST people that Jesus CAME TO SAVE (Rescue)?
Let’s dig deeper...
Romans 5:12 ESV
12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—
Ok, so here we begin to see how the SIN of Adam affects the world!
SIN - came into the world through 1 man - Adam
And DEATH came with that sin...
It says DEATH spread to all men because ALL sinned!
SEE - before sin ENTERED the world - The relationship between God and man was one of PURE LOVE..
There was UNHINDERED Worship!
...it was all about WORSHIPPING God!
There was NOTHING between God and man EXCEPT for - 'LOVE for God'!
BUT THEN...SIN happened...
Sin entered the world through one man - ADAM...and the consequence of that SIN reached through time and KILLS all of us... Why? Because we ALL sin...
What did SIN do?
it shattered creation (what was good) ...
Shattered the unhindered worship of God...
AND NOW, man was separated from God.
Physical death and Spiritual death now came into the world... LISTEN - FOR ALL MANKIND.
And we REALLY DO know this! We know that we’re sinners don’t we?
For those of you who have kids...
QUESTION:
Do your kids COVET?
(Covet: to desire things that aren’t yours)
Now - do your kids COVET?
Of course they do! - Did you TEACH them to covet?
How about this one:
DO your kids LIE?
Did you teach them to LIE?
These are all SYMPTOMS of the SIN problem that we have!
ALL of us!
And it IS a problem for ALL of us...
Romans 3:23 ESV
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Ok, so we’re ALL sinners. BUT does that make us LOST?
Remember? If Jesus came to save the LOST...
How does BEING a Sinner relate to being LOST?
Isaiah 59:2 ESV
2 but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.
So that’s what SIN does - it separates us FROM God...
NOW - MOST people think that the REMEDY to this separation - is to just STRIVE, and DO YOUR BEST to be a good person - SO THAT GOD THEN WILL ACCEPT you...
Ok, but think thru that - IF being good enough was the way to get to God - then why did Jesus come?
Why did God send His only Son - the Son of God into the world?
If it was just about us DOING our best, so that God would OWE us heaven...
then Jesus came IN VAIN...
But what does the Bible say about the LAW - Does it say that we should try to obey the LAW so that God will let us into heaven?
Galatians 3:10 ESV
10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”
If anyone tries to get to God by WORKING for God - Doing Good things…to try and EARN heaven..
The Bible says - you are under a curse
Galatians 3:11 ESV
11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”
Galatians 3:13 ESV
13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—
So the Beauty of Christmas in the Birth of the Son - POINTS to Jesus being the REMEDY to our eternal problem...
We CELEBRATE the birth of Jesus - but the whole reason He came is because we’re ALL in trouble...
We’re all LOST apart from Christ...
Apart from FAITH in Him!
And so He comes to RESCUE us!
See, the requirement to get to HEAVEN is - PERFECTION...
Is there anyone in here who knows, or HAS KNOWN a perfect person…? Family member, spouse?
Of course not ...
DO you see where this is going?
Jesus said this in John 14
John 14:6 ESV
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
He says - He is the ONLY way to get to the Father (heaven)
Why would He say that? Why is this true?
Matthew 5:17 ESV
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
Jesus came to SAVE the LOST...
He does so by LIVING the PERFECT life....WHY?
Because perfection is the requirement.
And He says here - He came to FULFILL the Law…perfectly....
When God says He’s going to do something....does He do it?
Romans 10:3–4 ESV
3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
Christ is the END of the law FOR righteousness.
Anyone looking to ATTAIN righteousness (perfection) MUST look to Jesus...
He lived the life YOU couldn’t....the perfect life....WITHOUT sin!
So Yes - Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ....but now we see WHY He came in the first place.
to LIVE the perfect life
to accomplish the RIGHTEOUS requirement of the law!
And there’s BEAUTY in that....
But that’s not all...
I’d also like to look at...

The Beauty of Christmas

See, not only did Christ come to fulfill the RIGHTEOUS requirement of the law IN HIS LIVING…but He also came to PURCHASE justification for those who believe in Him - IN HIS DYING
MEANING this...
WHEN SIN entered the world thru ADAM....it had to be DEALT with!
God is a HOLY God…He’s perfect - IN ALL HIS ATTRIBUTES!
His love = perfect
His grace = perfect
His purity = perfect
His righteousness = perfect
His justice = perfect
His mercy = perfect
His wrath = perfect
And so the CROSS of Christ is how serious God takes sin.
See we think of sin as - Actions that we shouldn’t do.
Well that’s INSUFFICIENT for an answer - BECAUSE - if that’s as deep as our answer goes..
THEN we won’t ever THINK we NEED Jesus...
We’ll just try to FIX those bad behaviors…on our own.
BUT SIN - is this - the ABSENCE of the WORSHIP of Jesus Christ
• Where Worship of Christ doesn't exist...sin does.
• Where sin exists...Worship of Christ doesn't.
See - sin is a WORSHIP problem.
And we were all MADE to Worship! - and we all KNOW this to be true!
For some of us...it's SPORTS.
• For others it's MATERIAL things...
• or Prestige
• For others it's watching a great Artist recreate life on a canvas
• or a Musician doing something that blows our minds
• It's watching a Surgeon insert a stent into a man's artery, without which he would have died.
• it's watching a film about how the human body operates, at the cell level.
• It's walking up to the edge of the Grand Canyon.
• No matter who I've ever spoken to...
• ...of all the people that I've talked to who have walked up to the edge of the Grand Canyon...
• ...they've all said the exact same thing - "You can't describe it".
• Whether you're an atheist, a mormon, a jehovah's witness, or a muslim...regardless, EVERYONE feels it.
• WHY?
• We were created for Worship.
• We are hard-wired for Worship.
CHRISTMAS is here! How many of you bought gifts for your kids...
THAT YOU KNOW they will not be playing with 2 months from now!!
Why does that happen?
It’s because those toys can’t HOLD their worship for very long!
Right when they get those toys - No Doubt! They’ll worship those toys every day....
BUT THEN…slow fade.
To the point where they say - “You never buy me anything fun!”
Listen - the same thing happens to us adults!
**Trip to Arizona (vacation) - Sedona (we loved it - locals weren’t impressed anymore)
We WERE MADE to WORSHIP...
AND SIN- is when we exchange the ONLY thing in the universe that can HOLD our WORSHIP for all eternity…JESUS CHRIST, and we exchange Him for His creation...
We pursue what He’s created over HIM…and that’s SIN>>>
Romans 1:21–25 ESV
21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
We ALL have chosen to WORSHIP that which cannot satisfy us forever...
BUT EVEN SO - Jesus came and took upon HIMSELF - the punishment that we deserved…and He did that FOR YOU…only if you believe IN HIM!
How did He do it?
2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Jesus knew NO sin…He was sinless.
YET - He became sin on our behalf...
and God the Father poured out His wrath on Jesus…
SIN had to be dealt with…and so GOD’s WRATH was then satisfied!
And IF we believe in Christ for what He did…for us - then and only then will we stand justified before God...
A Beautiful Gift - no?
So yes - Christmas is a beautiful time of year… (lights and family…and gifts…)
But oh how much deeper that beauty goes...
when we consider the:
Beauty of Christmas in the Birth of the Son....and
Beauty of Christmas in the Death of the Son
But we’re not done...
We’ve looked at Christmas today - and in doing so, we stepped back…to get a wide angle view of it
And what I’d like to do now, is to take a FINAL step back…to get an even WIDER view...
There’s MORE beauty to be seen...

The Beauty of Christmas

What we need to know - about ALL that we’ve discussed so far today - is that NONE of IT…was part of a PLAN B.
Jesus being born into the world...
Jesus living the perfect, sinless life...
Jesus going to the cross, to die for sins....
Jesus RISING from the dead....
NONE of it - done on a whim…as an afterthought...
Acts 4:24–28 ESV
24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, “ ‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? 26 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’— 27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.
The birth of Christ...
The death of Christ…at the hands of mankind...
All of it - predestined by God to take place...
God’s plan - from the beginning - to RECONCILE mankind to Himself...
HOW - THROUGH faith in JESUS CHRIST! and all that HE accomplished!
DO you see now WHY we celebrate?
THIS is the Beauty of Christmas - that God made a way for Mankind to come back to God...
and it’s ONLY through Jesus Christ and faith in HIM!
Which means this -
Without faith in Jesus Christ, celebrating Christmas is actually the celebration of the separation between God and man.
See, if I don’t have faith in Jesus, then that means that I’m still separated from God.
And if faith in Jesus is the only way to get back to God,
then if I celebrate Christmas without faith in Jesus, then I’m actually celebrating the separation between God and myself.
And so the question becomes - Do you have FAITH in Jesus? for what He did for you?
GOSPEL!
Summary:
Let’s pray
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