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This Child: Savior

This Child  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  22:38
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This Child: Savior Matthew 1:18-21, Genesis 3:15, Luke 2:8-12 Have you ever realized just how much searching goes on during the Christmas season? In all honesty we spend almost the entire Christmas Holiday searching for something. We are searching for that perfect gift, for additional time, for what we want to ask for, we say we are searching for peace and hope and love and joy and we sing songs that fill our hearts with Christmas times from years past. WE seek to spend time with family and friends, a special loved one, or just ourselves. Regardless of who you are or where you are from most of us spend this holiday season searching for something. This season is also a time of memories. We remember those who are dear to us by showing our love through a gift, we recall those who we have lost through stories both funny and heartwarming, some of us remember our childhood and for just a moment, all the seriousness that comes with being an adult passes and there is a light-heartedness about us before we shut it out and resume our dour and sour attitudes. Some also remember the reason we celebrate Christmas, the birth of Jesus, whom we call the messiah, and honor as Lord and Savior. Last week we focused on the fact that the baby lying in the manger in Bethlehem was not just any baby, but was in fact the legal heir to the throne of David. Regardless of the humble circumstances in which he entered the world, when he did coursing through his veins was the royal blood line of David. An heir to the throne by blood through Mary and legally through the legal fatherhood of Joseph, this baby just wasn’t any ordinary baby, this baby was a king, and not just any king, but He was the king of Israel, the king of the Jews, the king of our Hearts, the king of the universe, this child, was the King of Kings. This morning we are going to turn our attention to another aspect of this child, the fact that this child was not just another birth, this night not just another baby was born, this night, as Luke 2 recounts A SAVIOR was born. Traditionally, if you ask someone to show you the Christmas story in scripture they will point you to Luke 2 and our standard portrayal of that night over 2000 years ago when Mary had to give birth to Jesus in a manger in the City of David. We like Luke’s version because it sums it up for us neatly, paints for us a beautiful picture an honestly is the simplest version to tell. Ask someone to share the Christmas story by mouth with no Bible and the version you will get is Luke. As much as Luke’s gospel is a wonderful recanting of us the events of that night, the story is woeful incomplete, just as Matthew’s version and even John’s version are woefully incomplete. Understand me when I say this, all three stories are perfectly told, inspired by God, and completely inerrant. When I say that they are woefully incomplete it is not to say that Matthew, Luke or John failed in their task, it is to say that we as Christians are failing in our task. You see the Christmas story is not limited to a few verses from three Gospels with a sprinkling of prophecy in the old testament, I would submit to you that the entirety of Scripture is the Christmas Story, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 the whole reason that we have the scripture is to tell us of the coming of the one who will save us from our sins. With that in mind, let us turn our attention to our text and Our Savior the pure, public and perfect Lamb of God. Matthew 1:18-21 The best place to start any story is the beginning and the beginning of the story of our pure redeemer goes back to the Garden of Eden. Back to a time when we enjoyed paradise on earth. We were given dominion over all the earth, we lived without fear or worry or need. All we had to do was live in communion with God and care for the perfect world in which he placed us, yet, at the end of the day it simply wasn’t enough, you see, the reason the serpent was successful was because, with all that God had provided, when we were presented with the one thing we couldn’t have, what did we do, we wanted it. By the way, the reason that I say we is that, it wouldn’t have mattered if it was Adam and Eve, or Brad and Lisa, or Brett and Tracy or any of us sitting here today, we would have done the same…we have a tendency to think that given a set of circumstances we will always do the right thing, however, history reminds us that this isn’t the case. Our action fractured creation, not our desire, desire without action is temptation, just because you are tempted to do something doesn’t make it a sin, however, when action enters so does sin. When Eve and then Adam then chose their desires over the desires of God, that’s what caused the fall. In Genesis 3:15 we find the first mention of our Savior. God tells the serpent that he will put enmity between the woman and the serpent, and that her son will strike the head of the serpent and in the culmination of the story we see that to be the case as the war is won and the enemy is banished forever, however, God didn’t just want the enemy banished, he wanted to be reconciled with us and in order to be reconciled to us there had to be a cleansing that would occur. When you clean your clothes, do you use dirty water? Of course not, if we want to clean clothes we need to start with clean water. If we are going to be cleansed from our sins, God had to use something pure with which to cleanse us. In the days of the Levitical priesthood this was accomplished by selecting the most perfect of the animals and then shedding their blood, but this was not a solution to the problem, it was merely a band aid until the problem was solved. In order for the problem to be solved God had to begin with a pure specimen. You see it wasn’t just enough that Jesus live a perfect life, His blood had to be pure from the taint of Adam. The reason that we are unable to save ourselves is that we are born sinners. Psalm 51:5 “Indeed, I was guilty when I was born; I was sinful when my mother conceived me.” That guilt, that taint, comes through the seed of Adam, the seed of the father. This is what makes the virgin birth such a necessary and important part of the birth of Christ. Mary, who had never known a man, conceived a child, through the actions of the spirit. Now, I want to make something very clear, the Virgin birth has been under attack for 2000 plus years. There have been all kinds of theories as to how this event occurred. However little we understand of what happened here, I would think that any believer, who understands one iota of scripture could defend the virgin birth of Christ. The first non-conceived man was Adam who was formed by the very dust of the earth and filled with life through the breath of the Spirit of the Living God. The second non-conceived man was Jesus Christ, I am just going to lay this out there for you, if the God of the universe could create all that you see and take some dirt and mud and shape it and breathe life into it and create the human race I am pretty sure he is capable of touching the womb of a woman and creating life…and because the life he created was separate from the blood of Adam, then the taint that we spoke of from Psalms 51 didn’t exist from conception and the pure sacrifice that would be needed was born in a manger in Bethlehem. And that pure sacrifice was the Savior of the world. Not only is He a pure savior and truly paid the price once for all, but he was also a public savior One of the most things that we focus on is the humble nature of the birth fo Christ and rightly so because it makes some very important statements about his message and the people for which he came. It shows us that regardless of the station in life, this King is a King for all. He experienced everything that any of us could experience, from the poorest of poor up and with his testimony he can and does reach people from every socio-economic group available. However, just because the birth was humble doesn’t mean that it was private. In fact, based on scripture I would say that there are a few things about the birth of our Lord and Savior that directly contradict the thought that this was to be a private, concealed, secret birth. Lets look a couple of the more well known first. For example, according to scripture there were a group of men (maybe some ladies too) that followed a celestial body to the place where Jesus was. A celestial body (otherwise known as a star) that had been foretold for thousands of years. If you ask me, a star that is not normally in the sky, is bright enough to be set apart enough to make it stand out, and was there long enough to lead the wisemen on their journey from the east, well that is a pretty public display of the announcement of a birth…If that isn’t enough proof for you to realize that this birth was a public event let’s talk about the whole heavenly host thing. So the shepherds are minding their business, tending the shepp when wham, an angel appears, announces the birth and then a heavenly host appears and begins to sing. I wasn’t there, I have never been fortunate enough to see the highlight reel, but I feel confident enough to say that if you were out in a field watching sheep and the sky lit up with angelic beings that doesn’t really qualify as a private announcement. Jesus birth was a public event but ministry was for the public. From the very conception of this child controversy entered. Joseph had a choice to make, he could have mary stoned or put away quietly, much simpler and no shame on anyone but her, or he could stand by her side, adopt the child as his own, acknowledge that he wasn’t the father, defend mary from malicious attacks with the knowledge that this child was special, that this child according to the angel was going to save His people. From the time he was old enough, he was about his fathers work. He was teaching in the temple, all through his adult ministry it was clear that he came for all. He healed all, he counseled all, he gave his all for all. His ministry was public then and it is public now. He is a pure savior, He is a public savior and He is also a perfect savior. In the announcement to Joseph the angel Gabriel was very clear as to the role of Christ on the earth. This vision was not fully of symbols that needed interpreting, the angel had a direct conversation with Joseph and made it clear that the reason for the birth of Jesus was that he would save his people from their sins. He didn’t come so that 2000 years later we could race down the stairs or down the hall to see what santa brought, he didn’t come so that major retailers could make massive amounts of money pandering to the desires of their customers, he didn’t come so that that hallmark could sell another card or make another movie, he came for one purpose and one purpose alone, to save his people from their sins. In order to be a savior there had to be something that we needed salvation from, and in order for that thing that we need salvation from as the angel informed joseph to be our sins must mean that we are sinners. One on our greatest gifts in scripture is the law. The law is not a burden, the law is not just a set of rules that we are to live by, the law serves a purpose. The law is what helps us to understand that we are in need of a savior to save us from our sins. When creation was fractured and gulf opened up between us and the God who created us to be in communion with him. We were made to worship him, to commune with him and to be in fellowship with him and when the gulf opened and we lost that priviledge we became less than we should be, we constantly seek to fill the hole, it is why we get so passionate about things, we are seeking to fill the void left because of the chasm between us and God. Through the law, God showed us a way to live so that we could once again be in communion with him, the problem is that because of the sinful nature we are not capable of completely keeping the law of God. In fact scripture is clear on this point in several places, “for all have sinned and fall short” “ if we keep the whole law, but offend one part, then we are guilty of the all” and others. Jesus in the sermon on the mount helps us to understand that a simple literal look at the commandments is not what God sees, he is looking just as much at the physical action as he is what is in your heart. Maybe you have never physical killed anyone, but maybe you have with your words or other actions. Sometime we accomplish that without even realizing it because we cant get out of our own way long enough to see and recognize the hurt and destruction we place in the paths of others. The reality is this, we have ALL sinned and fall short and as sinners falling short of the Glory of God we are desperately in need of a savior. Without a savior the hope we so desperately need doesn’t exist. Without Jesus, we face eternal damnation, judgement by a righteous judge who doesn’t cant just look at our good actions and reward us, but also has to look at our bad actions and judge us based on those actions. The good news, the gospel of Christ, the Christmas Story are here to show us that there is something for us today. That we can go out to the people in the cities and towns and across the world and we too can proclaim the message of the angel so long ago, “behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, a savior has been born to you” but the most awesome part of the whole story is that we don’t just have to stop at his birth. We can tell the whole story, that this baby that was born, this savior, didn’t just come as a baby in a manager, that this baby grew to be a man and that this man walked this earth perfectly, that this man bore the price for your sin on the cross at calvary, that this man died your death for you, that this man descended into the very depths of hell, that this man defeated death and rose from the grave, that this man ascended to heaven where to this day he lives and reigns at the right hand of God the Father and that this man, that is not just man, but is our King, our Savior and our God, that this man is still in the salvation business and that he is calling you today, the question is how will you answer, will you go to him, will you believe in him, will you acknowledge him as lord and savior of your life? Come to Jesus…
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