First Baptist Church of Minneola
- The First Noel
- Good Christian Men, Rejoice
- In our series Christmas 2019 we’ve noted the the Facts of Christmas and how God makes it easy for us to Focus on Christmas.The facts: Christmas happened one way. A virgin had a baby conceived by the HS. God changed Mary and Jesus changes the people who turn to Him and ask Him to forgive and save us.The focus: last week we considered the Wow, the Word, and the Work of God. Jesus changed everything; all the world relate to history anchored by the first Christmas. Jesus is the most famous in all the history of the world; His name is more recognized than any other name. The work of Jesus is to save people from sin and this work continues to this day.Let’s turn our attention to that very important day. Let’s look to that very first Christmas.TRANS - We will look at the text from the book of Matthew and then pray for God’s help to hear His message this morning.“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”PRAYAmbition of His Arrival“the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel”Stop, take notice. This says a whole lot about Jesus.Doctrine is a word you frequently hear mentioned in church and religious works. Basically this means true teaching.Let’s consider two teachings contained in this phrase.Arrived with a Message700 years prior to our the time our text was penned, the prophet Isaiah said this:Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.Now, look at this verse, the one prior to our text for this morning:Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:and now, again, our verse this morning:“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”Did you catch it? Our verse is the fulfillment of a prophetic message uttered 700 years prior. God said it will happen and it did happen.Now, some things, given enough time, will happen. If I say, “One day this building in which we stand will be no more.” Well, that does not make me a prophet. We all know that this will happen. Even the great pyramids are crumbling with time.But this prophecy, a virgin will give birth, that is pretty specific; it only happed once in all history.TRANS - So, God’s ambition, in part, is arriving with a message “God with us.”Arrived in a Unique MannerThe message says something special, “a virgin.”Unique, yes, but with good reason. In part, yes, fulfills prophecy. But, we want to know “why” this way?Jesus was conceived in a way unlike any other human being. All the rest, have a sinful nature. But, not Jesus.Do you know that lots of people don’t believe the virgin birth? They side with science and say, “It’s not possible.”But, we know better. The Bible, the truth that is, tells us all things are possible with God. Besides that, He made all that stuff the scientists claim to “discover” anyhow.Try as many will, the truth will not change. The Bible will not get distorted because God’s Word is infallible. Just as God is perfect, Christ Jesus was born perfect and without sin because of the way he came into this world; by way of a virgin birth.TRANS - So we see His ambition was to arrive with a message and in a particular manner. That is how He came.When He did come, our text relates something special about Him; His nature and personality make Him stand out from all others just as did his conception and birth.Aspects of His Arrival“‘His name Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God with us.’”ILL - This past week I spoke with a local pastor about the great lack to talk with people about Jesus. He recalled a time, not so long ago, when people were more afraid of God than the world. It seems that has flip-flopped.Thom Rainer wrote about this and I want to share his list with you:There is no priority of evangelism.I know. That sounds too self-evident. But churches that do not make evangelism a high priority are really making it no priority at all.Many laypersons believe that evangelism is what we pay the pastors and staff to do.Such a perspective is first unbiblical and, second, unproductive. Evangelistic churches always have enthusiastically evangelistic laypersons.Many churches have an excuse mentality.So pastors blame it on the laity. The laity blame it on the pastor. And both blame it on culture, the denomination, or some other external scapegoat.Too many church members do not connect prayer with evangelism.Many members are pretty good at praying for those who have physical needs. But many are woefully lacking in praying for those who have the greatest need: a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.Too many Christians fail to be compassionate and Christ-like to others.Evangelism always ultimately includes a clear articulation of the gospel. But too many Christians never get that opportunity to share the gospel, because they fail to show Christ in their actions and compassion.Most church ministries are not intentionally evangelistic.The church should always seek to make certain any and all ministries include intentional efforts to share the gospel.Some church members are concerned that new Christians will change their church too much.I’m serious. I’ve heard that line many times. When I was a pastor, I was chastised by a church member who told me I was leading too many people to Christ. They were, she said, changing her church too rapidly. (https://thomrainer.com/2014/06/seven-factors-hindering-evangelism-churches/ accessed 12/11/19)TRANS - Now let me remind all of us that “God is with us.” That’s what our text relates: God with us. 2 pointsGod had ArrivedIt’s pretty clear that Jesus is God. That the Bible teaches this can’t be disproven.Bishop Arius, from the 2nd - 3rd centuries, tried to teach Jesus was not eternal, but created. Today the J.W.’s still try to teach the same thing. If only they’d just read the Bible!!!Our text is clear as ever, Jesus is God! But, some people have a strong will and continue in unbelief. Even given this very clear teaching, they continue to not believe that Jesus is God.TRANS - God is hear, but for what reason?To be with us He ArrivedWhy did God come to be with, to be born like and live among people?Think about it. God knew people would reject Him and kill Him on the cross. Even today people don’t want Jesus!I can’t imagine living without knowing Jesus. Yet, many people like it better when God is left out of their lives. The want nothing to do with God. Sad truth, God will allow that to happen and they will spend eternity in Hell.But, this is not God’s will. Scripture is clear:“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.God does not want people to go to hell; their sin lands them there. God’s will is for all people to have eternal life.God came to the world to save people from their sins:She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”TRANS - This morning we discussed the aspect and ambition of Christ’s arrival. We noted he came completing the prophecy and unlike any other baby.We noted He is God and even while rejected by many, is here so we can be saved.ConclusionChrist came:completing prophecy.completely unlike any other baby.and is called “God.”to be with us.Christmas will never be “Christ-less;” don’t fall for the “don’t take Christ out of Christmas” craziness. It can;’t happen.The only way to take Christ out of Christmas is not doing our part to share Him with others.Add to that how the Bible tells us how to give a present to Jesus this Christmas and this Christmas has HUGE possibility:And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.Do good, share with people, and give God a Christmas gift this year.(end)
- I Am His, and He Is Mine
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