A Savior, Who is Christ The Lord
A Savior Who Is Christ The Lord Let’s turn to Luke 2:1-20. These verses are some of the best known in the Bible. They have been the basis of Christmas hymns for hundreds of years, and cards for well over a century. They even formed the capstone of A Charlie Brown Christmas, where Linus read them to remind Charlie Brown of the true meaning of Christmas. What an irony it is that these well-known words are so scarcely believed, even among many who claim to be Christians. There is much here that could occupy our attention, but this morning I want to look at a single verse in the middle of the passage, Luke 2:11: For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11) If you truly believe all that these words mean, then I want to encourage you in your faith in Jesus Christ. If you don’t believe these words, then I hope that you will see your need for the Savior and trust Him today. The Son of God took on human flesh at a specific moment in history and was from that moment the Savior, the One Anointed by God, the Lord Himself in human flesh, and is able to save sinners to the uttermost. This is good news, the angel says in Luke 2:10; this is the Gospel. Let’s talk about what that means. Unto YOU Is Born The first words of Luke 2:11 are For unto you is born. Every Christian knows that Jesus Christ came to save sinners, and knows that HE or SHE is the worst of all sinners. Human religion encourages us to compare ourselves to others, others who are worse than we are, and to see that at least we aren’t as bad as THEY are. But Jesus says that it is not the healthy, but the sick, who need a doctor; that’s why He came to call sinners to repentance, not those who think they need no repentance. (Luke 5:31-32). The Lord Jesus says that unless sinners repent, they will perish (Luke 13:3). But when sinners do repent and believe in the Lord Jesus, heaven explodes in celebration (Luke 15:7). These shepherds knew their sin; we know that because of their joyful response to the good news that they heard and then saw. And so the angel says to them, Unto you is born a Savior. If you know that you are a sinner, perhaps only because your conscience tells you, or because you have violated the Law of God, then there is good news! Unto you was born a Savior. Since you know that you are a sinner in need of a Savior, just as sick people know they need a doctor, then you can know for sure and certain that unto you was born a Savior. Cast yourself upon Him to save you! Don’t wait until the end of the sermon; if you believe now, and never have before, then bow your heart and trust in Jesus Christ! This Day The angel emphasized the immediacy of this truth: Unto you is born this day. Jesus was Savior, Christ, and Lord from the day of His birth. The language is very specific. Jesus would not one day become Savior, Christ, and Lord; He was already all that He would be the day of His birth. To you and I, that day was more than 2,000 years ago, a moment in human history. But for the shepherds that day was that day, that very day. You see, the faith that reconciles sinners to God has never, every changed. Today has always been the day of salvation for sinners. Not tomorrow. Not next month. Not five years from now. Today. It was Today for Abraham, and Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. It was Today for Moses. It was Today for Joshua. It was Today for Deborah. It was Today for Joshua. It was Today for Ruth. It was Today for David. Today has always been the day of salvation. A Savior The angel told the shepherds the good news – the Gospel – Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior. Their Savior that day was the newborn child. If they believed that truth, they would be saved from their sin. They wanted salvation, as we saw a few moments ago. Now, it’s true that everyone feels the reality of their sin; the human conscience is merciless; it destroys us over the smallest things. But it is also true that many do not want to be saved from their sin. Mankind has a real Stockholm Syndrome relationship with sin; it destroys and devastates us, and yet we will defend it to our dying breath. We don’t mind being delivered from the eternal judgment of sin, or the immediate unpleasantness of a guilty conscience, but many would rather that Jesus leave their actual sin as it is. But Jesus came to save us from our sin and to deliver us from its power. That's what the angel told Joseph in Matthew 1:21, “She will give birth to a son, and you shall name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” The Bible says that Jesus appeared in order to take away sins. No one who is truly in Christ keeps on sinning as a sinner; in fact, no one who keeps on sinning like nothing has changed in their life knows Jesus (First John 2:5-9). Since eternal life means knowing God the Father and God the Son (John 17:3), not knowing Jesus means eternal judgment. But when we believe in Him, and He enters into our life, He sanctifies us, and takes away sin’s power over us. He grants us His own righteousness, because He is truly a wonderful, merciful Savior. Christ There were many during Jesus’ lifetime who wanted to be delivered. Most Jews wanted to be delivered from Roman occupation. Others wanted deliverance from poverty and sickness. Others wanted social justice, fair treatment by the courts, safety, prosperity. They wanted to feel like they were important. They wanted someone who would fulfill their dreams. They didn’t want Jesus. They didn’t want someone who would remind them of their sin and rebellion, even if He was willing to take their wickedness away. So they rejected Him. The Gospel of John says that Jesus was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and yet the world of Gentiles did not recognize Him. Jesus came to His own people, the Jews, and they rejected Him. (John 1:10-11). But the Father didn’t reject Him. Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, words that mean Anointed One, Chosen One. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and anointed by the Holy Spirit at His baptism. Jesus was not only not rejected by the Father, He revealed the glory of the Father perfectly. And because Jesus was anointed by the Father, He was able to perfectly achieve the Father’s will. He did only what He saw the Father do (John 5:19). He spoke only the Father’s words (John 14:24). As a result, He lived in perfect obedience and righteousness. He was the perfect sacrifice for sin. Since Jesus is the Anointed One of God, the Christ, then I urge you to take Him very, very seriously. He is God’s only Anointed Savior for sinners. He may not be the Savior you want, but He is the Savior you need. The Lord For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Jesus Christ is Lord. Jesus is called Lord more than 400 times in the New Testament. He is called Savior fewer than 20 times. He is, of course, unquestionably Savior. But He is also unquestionably Lord. He doesn’t just deserve our respect, but our surrender, our submission, our obedience, our loyalty, our worship, our very lives. Some think that they can be a Christian by trusting in Jesus as Savior without bowing their lives to Him as Lord; that’s not possible. Some think that we start out trusting in Jesus as Savior, and then at some later point surrender to Him as Lord; that’s not possible, either. It’s not possible to separate Jesus’ redeeming work as Savior from His ruling work as Lord. That’s why the great promise of salvation is what we read in Acts 16:31: Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved. And Romans 10 says If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). It is by His Lordship that Jesus dominates sin in our lives, cleanses us of our rebellion and wickedness, defeats Satan on our behalf, builds His church, frustrates the plans of the wicked, and will return for His Bride and to Judge the wicked. Jesus IS Lord; let’s commit ourselves to living under His authority. Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. What a marvelous statement that is! Bringing It Home For those shepherds that night, today was the day of salvation. The same is still true. For you and I at this very moment, today is the day of salvation. Do you want to honor the Lord Jesus Christ? Then trust Him as Savior. Leave all of your sins in His hands. Give Him everything. Tell Him everything. Tell Him every wrong, every sin, every wicked thought, every evil deed, every weakness, every struggle. Confess it all. Don’t believe me, believe the promise of God: where sin is abundant, God’s grace in Jesus Christ is far more abundant. (Romans 5:20-21). And receive Him as Christ, God’s Anointed One. He is the One sent by God the Father for your justification, salvation, sanctification, and glorification. God planned, God promised, and God fulfilled all in Jesus Christ. If Jesus does it, then you need it. If Jesus doesn’t offer it, then you don’t need it. And bow your heart and life to Him as Lord. Obey Him. Come to His Word not because it is interesting, or because it is full of promises, or because you like it, but because it is HIS Word, and you ought to come to it. Jesus commands all to take His yoke upon them and learn of Him (Matthew 11:29). Unto you was born in the city of David the Savior, who is Christ the Lord. If you have trusted Him as Savior, received Him as the Father’s anointed, and bowed your knee to Him as Lord, then praise God! Give Him the glory for His goodness and grace! If you haven’t trusted in Jesus to save you, or fully embraced Him as the Father’s Anointed One, or bowed your knee to Him as Lord, then let me remind you that a day of judgment is coming. The words of the angel – on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased – refer to Isaiah 9, which appears in a lengthy passage of Scripture where God promises to bring judgment upon the Jews because they had not obeyed or believed Him. You can’t obey Him enough to please Him; no one can. But if you know that your sins condemn you, then you can also trust Him as your Savior. The good news – the Gospel – is that Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Today is the day of salvation. I pray that each and every one of us can rejoice in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior!