Let’s Celebrate Christmas

  • Matt 1:18-25 – celebrate
  • Merry Christmas! Man- who else is done with 2020? I am! That’s why I’m celebrating Christmas early
  • Im  Purist- no Christmas before thanksgiving but based on this year- I need some Christmas joy
  • I need it in my spirit- I also need some Christmas cookies- so I’m doing that as well
  • This is the birth announcement of Jesus- the arrival of the king- the reception of the savior
  • We all know the story- heard it many times- but just like a friends good story- its always good to hear it again- my kids will say, Dad, tell that story again- there’s some stories that never get old
  • Whats going on- Matthew is recounting the birth story. Mary is bethrothed to joseph, she’s a virgin, but she’s pregnant by the HS. Joseph was going to pull her away, but an Angel speaks to him in a dream and tells him to not be afraid, its God, call him Jesus and he’s going to change the world. Matthew shares once again- this is a fulfillment of prophecy. (Connection to Jewish audience) and then Joseph is obedient to what the angel of the Lord told him (insert sermon on obedience)
  • Before we get into the sermon- I need to talk a moment about the virgin birth- because its so vitally important and the backdrop to this story- fully human without a taint of sin, fully God and fully man, and because God himself comes to us, able to save us from our sin
  • Title- Lets celebrate Christmas!
celebrate
  1. Lets celebrate Christmas- God speaks
  2. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream,
  3. The Lord speaks in a dream to Joseph through an angel- and its two fold- Don’t be afraid, here’s whats going to happen and heres what you do v20-21
  4. Can you imagine if you hadn’t been with your betrothed and she came up pregnant and you’re wondering what you’re going to do? Full of despair,  not sure what to do next?
  5. God- knew- and God sent a prophetic angel to speak directly to Joseph at the exact right time to comfort him, explain to him, and direct him
  6. This is God’s ways- when he moves he tells the people who need to know
  7. Been this way- Dt 18:18-22  READ-  will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.
  8. God spoke in the OT, the NT and now. God speaks- That’s a theme of Christmas to celebrate
  9. Luke 1:70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, Who have been since the world began,
  10. Why? Because in this backwards make no sense world, we need God to speak to us- we need him to speak and he does.
  11. Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord God does nothing,Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.
  12. Prophecy is a huge part of living for God- it comforts his people, explains to them, and directs them.
  13. This is the verse that Matthew was waiting for- Isaiah 7:14 14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
  14. What does it mean to you?
  15. Do you believe in prophecy? Do you seek after the prophetic?
  16. 1 Corinthians 14:1  Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.
  17. Now- I’m all about flowing in the prophetic- but not the pathetic- If you can’t hear from God what you need to do to manage the simple details of your life- he’s probably not speaking through you to arrange the affairs of others lives.
  18. Prophecy first starts with you- what is God speaking to you, and about you- this is  a step many skip-This prophecy to Joseph was for HIM not what he was going to tell others
  19. Many people want to be the prophet without responding to direction from the HS
  20. 1 Cor 14:3 But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.
  21. Discern that which comforts men- you don’t have to speak everything the HS tells you- some of it is just for you- but its not about YOU and you can’t push it- no school of prophets
  22. 2 Peter 1:21  for prophecy never came by the will of man, but [a]holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
  23. Prophecy is real- I’ve seen it in my own life- and the life of others- I have seen it misused as well, so you must be unbelievably careful what you say to whom. You do not want to go to Hell for misdirecting someone’s life, including your own.
  24. Crystals word for Ong daughter- thought it was weird- it happened.
celebrate
  • Lets celebrate Christmas- Jesus saves
  • 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name [h]Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
  • This is the central theme of Christmas and the Gospel “God and sinners reconciled’
  • Such a simple message that gets highjacked by so many people to pull Jesus in different directions
  • John the Baptist- when he saw Jesus- said-John 1:29 29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
  • He didn’t say “Here comes the guy to get my politician elected, or change societies problems, or make cool music, or fix people’s relationships, or find someone a spouse- NO SAVED FROM SIN
  • Any intention that anyone has for Jesus that isn’t rooted and grounded in Sin salvation has changed Jesus into something for the own personal gain-
  • Isaiah 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
  • This healing is the spiritual healing of the sins of our flesh that need to be forgiven and could only be forgiven by a perfect blood sacrifice
  • This is something to celebrate for Christmas- I’m healed from my sin! I’m forgiven!
  • 1 John 3:5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.
  • This is why Jesus came! Human bodies haven’t evolved. Lives haven’t much either- Eat, sleep, work, recreate, learn, build, procreate, die. Not much else- Might look different but same.
  • The sin of Adam had to be rectified- 1 cor 15: 45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
  • Jesus is that life giving spirit- fixes the sin of Adam- releases us from the penalty of sin
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  • What does it mean to you?
  • Do you reflect on your salvation? Do you neglect such a great salvation as this?
  • Acts 4:12 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
  • IF you want to stay grounded in your faith- stay grounded in the reality of Christ as savior
  • Do not allow anyone to hijack his life and message for any other means- only Jesus saves
  • Colossians 1:20-23
  • And people would say- man- there’s so much to be fixed- and there is- There’s abortion, racism, corruption, schools, divorces, violence, laws etc that all need to be changed- but those don’t change hearts- only Jesus can do that. I can tell you to not be racist and you can act not racist- but only Jesus can change a racist heart- do you want heart change or acting like it?
  • Acts 5:31 31 Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. THIS WAS THE MESSAGE OF ACTS- repent- and forgivenes
  • Lets Celebrate Christmas- God is in us
  • v23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
  • This is one of the greatest distinctions between Christianity and all other world religions- that God would come and dwell within us.
  • Ezekiel 36:27 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
  • This was even back in the OT that God promised this to his people
  • Broke busted nasty worldly flesh- filled with the spirit of the Living GOd
  • Psalm 46:11 11 The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
  • What a blessing that the God of this universe wants to dwell within us- to be in US
  • He didn’t have to- but he wanted to –
  • John 14:20 20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.
  • Can someone praise God for that this morning? – celebrate
  • Pastor John has a 3rd now- He can look at him and know he’s in there- that’s God in us
  • What does it mean to you
  • Have you been born again and received his spirit? Romans 8:9 New King James Version (NKJV)
  • 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
  • You must be born again- you must receive his spirit- The Christmas celebration is that you don’t have to walk through this life on your own- you can walk through it with God IN YOU
  • Colossians 1:27 says Christ in you, the hope of glory.
  • This is the hope above all hopes- the abiding prescense of God within us- helping us and directing us and molding us- we don’t walk through it alone- we don’t grow alone
  • 1 John 4:4  He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.1 Cor 3:16  says- the Spirit of God dwells in us John 14:17 He dwells with you and will be in you.
  • This is a power for to live victorious lives over sin, fear, doubt and defeat- that spirit that dwells in us is a power source for us to be able to walk through
  • How? Praying, reading, dwelling, abiding, obeying, seeking, asking, walking in it.
  • Romans 8:11 READ
  • We don’t walk alone- we walk with God- Merry Christmas! – celebrate
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