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If there is no Christmas, I am still dead in my sin
Matthew 1:18-21 READ
Matthew 1:21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
The greatest need we had was our need for our sin to be satisfied
Jesus arrival is an announcement of our forgiveness. To be released from the penalty of sin and to be in a right relationship with God- His birth is the precursor to his death
Eph 2: 4-5 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
We were spiritual DEAD and we needed a savior!
This is why the Christmas songs sing
Angels From the Realms of Glory -Sinners, wrung with true repentance, Doomed for guilt to endless pains, Justice now revokes the sentence,Mercy calls you; break your chains.
Holy Night- With sin and error pining
God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen- To save us all from Satans Power when we had gone astray
Hark the Herald Angels Sing- God and Sinners Reconciled
The red of Christmas should always remind you of the Blood of Christ which has covered our sin! And you’ve been forgiven. But with no Christmas- no FREEDOM from SIN
Read a story about Joe Bunn. A young man who was convicted of Murder at 14. Corrections officer murdered, car stolen. 27 years later- set free. Tears, joy, Can you imagine?
Now- Can you imagine if you WERE guilty of the crime? You DID it? And THEN you were set free?
You are ALIVE in Christ! I have been set free from the law of sin and death and made NEW
My sins have been forgiven. My past has been erased. My name has been written in the book of life and I have a right relationship with God
This means if you have accepted Christs free gift of grace youI can be excited about Christmas- you can be overjoyed with my inheritance you can be FREE.
But How do we know that DEC 25 is Christmas anyway?
(Adapted from http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/cri/cri-nwsl/crn0056a.txt)
People will argue- Winter Soltice and other Pagan Holidays were on DEC 25- why do we do it?
Christians redeem pagan things- We, in this culture, and in ancient cultures, are surrounded by pagan rituals and practices, and we either take part in them, or we redeem them and make them Christian
Acts 17:22-31 Paul did this when he addressed the Areopagus. These guys were worshipping A god but not THE God of the universe.
Paul used their words against them “in him we live and move and have our being” that they were using from their poets to draw them to “the unknown god” to draw them to worship GOD
He didn’t see a problem with redeeming a bunch of pagans with their words and eventually saying to them
Acts 17: 30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
Romans 14:5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.
Col 2:16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.
But the Symbols pastor, the Symbols!
Christmas trees started in Germany- It was the combination of two different Christian symbols
The paradise tree decorated with apples to symbolize the tree of life in Eden and a shelf in the shape of triangle that had little figures on it and a star for the magi. By 16th century these two Christian symbols were combined.
The apple trees were from the Paradeisbaum celebration in Germany which was on the 24th of December to celebrate the feast of Adam and Eve (Not pagan rituals of Jeremiah that is idols)
Santa Claus actually has Christian origins, not Pagan ones. Santa is from Dutch Sinter Klaas, a bishop of the fourth century. Christian tradition is that he was kind towards children and he attended the Council of Nicea in AD 325 and defended the doctrine of the Trinity
He’s not the modern day image of the CocaCola Santa who lives at the North Pole.
Gift Giving is a Christian tradition connected to the Magi who brought gifts to Christ
Some may say that Jesus doesn’t need our gifts, and he doesn’t, but when we give to his people, we give to him
Matthew 25:40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
He didn’t speak against gift giving
Matthew 7:11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
Many people claim that Dec 25 was the date of a pagan festival. But this does not make Celebrating Christ on that day pagan.
The reason the early church chose 25DEC To celebrate the Christ child was to show the triumph that Christ had over the pagan traditions of Rome. Christians wanted to redeem everything!
It wasn’t endorsing it, it was having a rival celebration! No one celebrates the Roman pagan celebrations anymore- but a Billion Christians and Millions and millions of other Non-Christians now Celebrate Christ instead! Don’t get caught on the name- This is the day we choose- we chose it. Doesn’t matter what else happened on this day- It’s the day we set aside
If there is no Christmas-There is no church
If Jesus wasn’t born- there is no Church. Thank you Jesus for establishing your church
Ever since I got saved when I was 15, I have loved being at church. I didn’t leave church to go and do things, I left what I was doing to go to Church. Loved being around the people, the preaching, the worship, the events.
I am who I am because of the church- Leadership, preaching, people, worship, fellowship.
I didn’t appreciate the church when I was younger because I didn’t understand it
The church is the only institution that Jesus Created on this earth.
1 Timothy 3:15b is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
Acts 20:28 says he purchased the church with his own blood
Col 1:18 says he is our head and we are his body.
Matthew 16:18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
The Church of Christ is a precious thing. It’s a city of refuge. A place for healing. A hope for the hopeless. A family for the orphaned.
It’s the Body of Christ- It is what Christ is returning for. We are his bride- he is the bridegroom
The letters of the NT were written to CHURCHES
Paul said to the CHURCH in Rome-
Romans 12:5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
Eph 5:30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
We are to be ONE FLESH with CHRIST and the CHURCH, encourage one another, study the word with each other, disciple each other, love, serve, give, build up and HOPE together!
The church is HOLY Institution of the Living God and is not to be taken lightly
It would be SAD without the church. I love my church. I love the people. I love living out the Christian life together. We are family. I feel safe at church.
Without the church we couldn’t Add to those daily who were being saved Acts 2:47
We couldn’t grow together- Ephesians 4:16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
Angels from the realms of Glory- come and worship. Come and worship
3.There is no future hope
1 Corinthians 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.
That means if Jesus isn’t real, I’m to be pitied. I’m an idiot and wasting my life.
I am Christian for a few reasons. 1. I believe the story of Jesus as presented in the Bible. 2. I believe that I need my sins forgiven or I will go to Hell 3. When I die, I do not want to go to Hell. I want everlasting life. I want to live forever in the presence of Jesus
I’m not going to be pitied because Jesus is real, the Bible is true, and I’m going to live forever
I want to experience Revelation 21:4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Without Christmas, Jesus could have never said-
John 14:2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Praise God I’ve got a home in Heaven waiting for me. Thank God For Christmas.
1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”