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The Word Needed

The Cost of the Gift  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The World at Christmas

Christmas is a special time of the year.
It seems as if all the world is drawn into Christmas.
Out of all the different nations.
Out of all the different people.
Even out of all the different religions, the world can’t help but celebrate Christmas.
The traditional, American thought of Christmas, is a winter wonderland, a white Christmas.
I’ve never experienced a white Christmas.
I’ve known Southern California Christmases, where it’s a cool 75 degrees.
Christmas is celebrated in the deserts of Africa.
I have a friend who is from New Zealand, and he grew up celebrating warm Christmases, because it’s summer there right now.
For this one holiday, the world bursts out in song together.
At Christmas, in some sense the world comes together and sings the same song.
There is a desire for peace and harmony.
For this one night, people want the world to get along.
The world loves to join in with Linus in a Charlie Brown Christmas and when he quotes , ““Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
Unfortunately, peace between humans misses the point.
But it’s not enough for the world to merely recognize this great day.
That’s not what Christmas is about.
God wants people to know Him.
is written by Paul to his young friend Timothy.
In the first half of , Paul is urging Timothy to pray.
And he urges Timothy to pray for people all over the earth.
He urges Timothy to pray for all people.
All the different types of people.
For kings.
For servants.
For people of different religions.
And the purpose behind this prayer is that they wouldn’t remain in the dark any longer, that they would come to a knowledge of the truth.
says these words, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.”
Even though there are all these different religions in the world, God desires for people to know that there is one God.
He’s not presenting Himself as a higher power, or just any God.
At Christmas, in some sense the world comes together and sings the same song.
There is a desire for peace and harmony.
For this one night, people want the world to get along.
He wants people to know Him personally.
Unfortunately, peace between humans misses the point.
They need to know that there is one God.

It’s not just the world that wants peace, God also wants peace.

That’s because mankind is at war with God.
From the very beginning God has been a kind and providing God.
In the Garden, He gave to Adam everything he could possibly want.
Food
Comfort.
Even a companion, knowing that it isn’t good for man to be alone, he created Eve to be his wife.
And yet, Adam didn’t remain in that location forever.
Shortly, after creation, he disobeyed the one rule he was given.
And every person after Adam, has continued in his great, great grandfather’s tradition.
We all have sinned.
God has said, obey, be perfect.
And every single person after Adam, has disobeyed.
God has been kind, and even given laws to us, so that we wouldn’t have to guess what He wants.
Worship only Him.
Don’t use His name in vain.
Don’t lie.
Don’t steal.
Don’t lust.
Love others.
But like Adam before us, we’ve only continued to sin.
How many times have you lied?
How many times have you failed to love others?
The result is that where there is sin, there is a call for justice.
says that the the soul who sins shall die.
The result of all our sinning is that we are at war with God.
He’s not at war with us.
But we are at war with Him.
We are the ones who are lawless rebels.
says, “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.”
And we go through our vain days, knowing that the day is coming when we will stand before God and receive judgment for our own offenses against Him.

The true peace at Christmas is that God has sent a mediator.

goes on to say that not only is there one God, but there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
The mediator that God sends isn’t trying to make a compromise.
He doesn’t sit there with God at one end and man at the other, trying to find a common ground.
Because remember, God has done nothing wrong.
The only thing that men deserve is judgment.
says, “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,”
This mediator is actually trying to restore us to God, to eliminate our need for His justice.
A mediator is someone who is trusted on both sides.
And the mediator that God sends is none other than Jesus Christ.
It says, “the man Christ Jesus.”
He’s not just any person, but the man Christ Jesus.
Jesus came as a man.
Like us.
He’s a mediator that we can trust, because He’s one of us.
He was born as one of us.
He lived as one of us.
He was tempted like one of us.
H
He suffered like one of us.
He’s fully man.
This mediator would need to do something that has never happened before.
He’s going to pay a ransom to God.
He’s going to pay the price of our sin.
says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Now just think about that.
Because of sin, there is an eternal payment.
Death.
Hell.
How do you pay off Hell?
I think of those Mastercard Commercials.
Maybe it’s a little dark.
Wages of sin: Hell
Hell eternal.
Cost: Priceless.
How do you pay off an eternal Hell?
How do you pay off Hell for just one person?
But they were not complete mediators.
Now how do you pay off Hell for a large group of people?
Normally, it’s impossible.
Job acted as a mediator between God and his own friends, but only after he humbled himself and confessed his own sin before God.
Moses stood between God and Israel, yet, because of his own sin, he never entered into the promised Land.
affirms this, “Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice, that he should live on forever and never see the pit.”
No man can ransom another.
Remember, God’s goal in all of this.
David acted as a mediator between the angel of the Lord and Israel, yet, his sin brought conflict into his sons reign as king.
He, like us, wants there to be peace.
Jesus would come as a mediator unlike any other mediator.
, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
He too wants there to be peace on earth.
He sends a mediator.
The mediator is someone that is trusted on both sides.
Man can trust Jesus because He’s fully man.
God can trust Jesus because He’s fully God.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
He can be trusted to bring peace.
Throughout history there have been different mediators.
Job mediated for his friends.
Moses mediated for Israel.
David mediated for Israel.
Yet, they were incomplete mediators.
Job repented of his sin of pride.
Moses disobeyed God in the Wilderness.
David committed adultery.
Jesus was different.
He never sinned.
Jesus did what said was impossible, He gave God a ransom for the life of another.
Only this time, the payment wasn’t a sheep or a goat.
The payment He made was His own life.

The Ransom

says of Jesus, “who gave himself as a ransom for all ...”
He gave Himself.
He laid down His life.
He voluntarily, and willingly gave His life.
And this time the ransom was accepted.
We know this, because after Jesus died, three days later, He rose from the dead.
If the payment was accepted then that means there is no reason for man to fear judgment.
The war is over.
We have been mediated.
There truly is peace with God.
We have been mediated.

As we prepare for Christmas I have this question for you.

Are you going to acknowledge that there is one God, and that there is one mediator, and that He is the man Christ Jesus?
Or are you going to continue in the rebellious war with God that has waged since Adam fell in the Garden?
If your willing to accept that there is a ransom, then it’s time to put sin away, and be mediated.
Live in peace with God.
Repent.
Not only stop sinning.
But also trust in Him.
Acknowledge His Lordship over your life.
And may this Christmas be a Christmas where we don’t just desire world peace, but may it be one where there is peace with the creator of this World, God Himself.
Pray
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