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Christmas Message 97

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          Today, being December 21st, which is the last Sunday before Christmas, we’re going to minister on the story of Christmas. Since Christmas comes only comes once a year, it’s good to go back and look at Jesus’ birth and to remember that He set aside all of His deity, and all the splendor all of the Glory of heaven to be born in that manger that was designed to be a feeding place for animals.

I) If you have your bibles with you turn with me to LUKE 2:1-20

A) Here we have what has been traditionally called the story of the birth of Jesus.

1) In today’s message the 1st how to do is to look at some nuggets from the Word of God.

B) 1st all turn with me to Isaiah 7:14

1) This is when the earliest prophecies in the Word of God that reveals to us that the Savior was going to be born from a virgin.

a) The Word “Immanuel” is a prophetic name of theMESSIAH or THE CHRIST

b) The name “Immanuel” literally meansGod With Us.”

C) Most of us remember the story of Mary and Joseph and how the angel Gabriel came to Mary and told her that she was going to conceive a child.

1) She asked how can this be seeing I know not a man. In other words she said how can this happened seeing that I am a virgin?

a) The angel told her that the power of God was going to overshadow thee and that she was going to conceive. The angel went on to tell her that she was going to give birth to the Son of God.

2) When Joseph found out that she was pregnant he was going to put her way, privately.

a) In other words he was going to divorce her.

b) In the Jewish customs at that time, when a man and woman were to marry they would enter into a covenant of marriage. Legally they were married.

(i) But according to the Jewish custom the new wife would live with her parents for one full year without ever having sexual relations with her husband to prove that she was faithful.

3) Joseph was going to put her away privately become she would have been stone for not being faithful.

a) Joseph received a dream, were an angel appeared to him and told him to go ahead and take Mary as his wife. So Joseph obey the angel.

II) In Matthew chapter 1 we have the geology of Jesus.

A) It’s interesting that 4 women other than Mary are mentioned in Jesus’ genealogy.

1) But what’s interesting is that all of his women, plus many of the man, were questionable in some way.

a) 1st we have Tamar in verse 3, and Rahab in verse 5, who were both prostitutes.

b) Ruth also found in verse 5, was a foreigner, a Moabitess.

c) And Bathsheba, mentioned as the wife of Urias, committed adultery with David.

2) Yet all of these women and many of the men with questionable backgrounds are still in Jesus’ genealogy.

a) I think all of us have messed up somewhere in our lives and we’ve done things that were not proud of but God can still use you to bring about a miracle, in your family, in your life, even in your community.

b) Even though you messed up you need to go on with God. God is not going to condemn you; he’ll forgive you if you ask Him to.

c) No matter what you’ve done God can still forgive you and you can still be used mightily of him.

III) Turn with me to Matthew 2:1-2

A) There are some interesting things here about these Wise Men.

1) Scholars cannot agree on the timing when these Wise men came to see Jesus. But apparently it was sometime after Jesus birth.

2) Look at verse 11

a) Even though Mary and Joseph were still in Bethlehem, they had moved from the manger and now they were in a house.

b) Even in that same verse it now calls Jesus a young child not an infant. They are 2 different Greek words.

(i) In English we have something similar, we have the word “INFANT” and we have the word “TODDLER.” You would not call newborn baby a toddler. The same thing is true in the Greek you would not call a newborn baby a young child.

(ii) When these Wise men came to see Jesus all I can tell you is that he was not a newborn but he was under the age of 2. (Matthew 2:16)

B) One other very interesting point about these Wise men is that they followed a star.

1) I don’t know that much about astrology but what I read about this star is that it acted very unusual.

a) They followed the star from the North to the South but the astrologers said that stars naturally travel from the East to the West.

(i) Plus this star stayed there for at least 2 years.

b) Also have you ever tried to follow a star to lead you to a house? Wherever you walk it will appear that the same star is over every house you come to.

(i) There had to be something very special about the star. Maybe for a lack of a better term these Wise men just called it a star.

(ii) Maybe they were following the Shekinah Glory of God, just as the children of Israel did in the wilderness.

(a) I don’t know but it’s just something to think about.

IV) But what was the reason for Jesus coming into this earth and being born as a baby?

A) Without the birth of Jesus, there would be no salvation for us. We would be lost without hope, and doomed to destruction, and spending eternity separated from God, and experiencing torture and torment without end.

1) Jesus had to come into this world, born of a virgin, so that he would be the lamb without blemish to pay the price for our sins.

a) In the Old Testament, God told the children of Israel that a lamb without blemish was the only thing that could atone for their sins.

b) Jesus was that lamb without blemish or without sin that in cleanses us from our sins.

2) That’s why he had to be born as the baby in the manger, so that He can live His life without sin, without blemish, to pay the price for our sins.

a) The courts of heaven had to be satisfied someone had to pay the price for sin.

3) If you have your bibles there turn with me quickly over to Romans 3:23

a) In the state of sin which mankind was in, there was no hope for salvation.

B) Look at Romans 5:12

1) Here we see that it was Adam’s sin that was passed down throughout mankind. Sin and the sin nature are passed down from our earthly father and since all of us have an earthly Father, sin and the sin nature are passed down to all of us.

a) That’s why Jesus had to be born through a virgin, so that he would not have an earthly Father. Sin and the sin nature would not be passed down to Him because His father with God.

b) (1st Corinthians 15:22) says, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

c) According to the Word of God there was no escape from sin and the destruction that sin brings, and that’s why God had to bring Jesus into this world, so that you and I might receive salvation.

2) But now the question ishow do we receive the salvation that God provided for us?

a) In (Romans 10:13) it says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

b) Paul and Silas said in (ACTS 16:31), “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”

C) So many times people think that salvation is going to come by doing good works or by being a good person, but the Bible is very clear how salvation comes.

1) We can’t make up our own rules and think this is how it’s going to be. It doesn’t work that way.

a) If you went into a bank and told them, “I’ve made up some rules on how the bank is going to operate.” They would look at you like you’re crazy. They would probably respond, “I’m sorry, but that’s not how it works.”

V) The same thing is true with God.

A) Turn with me to Romans 10:9-10

B) Look at verse 11.

WOLCC Sunday, December 21, 1997

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