This Week’s Outline

THIS WEEK’S OUTLINE:

The indescribable gift: What He came to do
Matthew 1:18-23
12/10/17 BAC
Rev. Brian T. Smeal; pastor@brookvillealliancechurch.com

Adapted from Wubbels, Lance: Jesus – The Ultimate Gift.

 

Each one of us has an impossible climb

  • Each one of us has built up a personal mountain of sin and offense against God
    • There was nothing you could do to go around, over, or through it.
  • Without Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we would’ve been without hope & separated from God forever
    • But – Luke 19:10 – “[Jesus] came to seek and save the lost”
    • Jesus is the indescribable gift of Christmas because of who He is, but also because of what He came to do.

What makes a gift indescribable?  When is a gift so amazing that it is beyond description; that it is impossible to accurately describe using words?

Every gift you and I can give to each other is within the realm of description

  • Jesus – the first gift of Christmas was, and remains to this day, the greatest and only indescribable gift of Christmas.

British historian Arnold Toynbee – “And now as we stand indeed with our eyes fixed upon the further shore, a single figure rises from the flood and straightway fills the whole horizon of history.  There stands Jesus, the Savior.”

Jesus is not an innocuous teddy bear, sitting idly on a rocker-recliner, contributing nothing and demanding nothing of your life

  • He is light and life, bursting onto the stage of world history from the outside
  • His story is our link to a loving heavenly Father
  • Full of grace and glory, worthy of your worship, He is Jesus, the Messiah
  • The long-awaited one had arrived and His mission makes Him indescribable
  • He calls you to leave behind the shackles of sin and shame and walk in the freedom that only He can offer

Jesus came to save you…

…from sin

  • Matthew 1:21
  • Hebrews 7:25

…from danger

  • Matthew 14:30
  • Matthew 27:40

…from spiritual conflict

  • John 12:27
  • 1 Timothy 4:16

…from sickness

  • James 5:13-15
  • Matthew 8:14-18
    • Isaiah 53:4
    • Revelation 21:4

…from hell

  • John 3:16-18
  • Mark 16:16

…from slavery

  • Jude 5

There are two major divisions of sin ‘types’

  • Sins of commission and sins of omission
  • Parable of Good Samaritan – Luke 10:30-35

Galatians 4:3-7 says: “Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’ Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”

A Christian is called away from superstition, error, bondage, deception, guilt, depravity, ignorance and a destructive life, from being a captive of Satan and facing eternal death. He is called to liberty in Christ, receiving forgiveness of sins through His shed blood, now knowing freedom from guilt, an awareness of the truth of God and, as a free gift, the hope of eternal life.[1]

Jesus came to save us, for there is no other who could have done so.  But there’s more!

  • Jesus is our instructor in Godly living (Titus 2:12)
  • Jesus is our redeemer from wickedness (Titus 2:14)
  • Jesus is our advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1-2)
  • Jesus is our example of righteousness (1 John 2:29)
  • Jesus is our deliverer from sin (1 John 3:9)
  • Jesus is our victory over the world (1 John 5:1-4, John 16:33)
  • Jesus is our protector from the evil one (1 John 5:18)

Jesus is the indescribable gift of Christmas because of what He came to do

  • Matthew 1:21 – “…he will save his people from their sins.”
    • “Sin” – from Greek, ἁμαρτία
    • Sin can be in thought, word, or action
  • John 1:29

Charles Spurgeon – “Jesus Christ is the central fact of the world’s history.  To Him everything looks [either] forward or backward.  All lines of history converge upon Him.  All the great purposes of God culminate in Him.  The greatest and most momentous fact that the history of the world records is the fact of His birth.”

Author Handel H. Brown – “The shepherds did not go to Bethlehem seeking the birth of a great man, or a famous teacher, or a national hero.  They were promised a Savior.”

 [1] https://www.ucg.org/the-good-news/what-does-it-mean-to-have-freedom-in-christ

Dig In Questions

  1. Name one of the best gifts you’ve gotten from a family member or friend for Christmas. What made it so special? Do you still have it?
  2. Which is the greater temptation for you, sins of commission or sins of omission? Is one type worse than the other? Why or why not? How do you know?
  3. Did you ever go swimming in the Pacific Ocean? How fun was that, right?
  4. Jesus makes claims on the lives of those who call on Him as their Savior. What have you had to ‘give up’ in order to completely follow Him?
  5. What has Jesus saved you from? Be specific in your answers. Or, if it’s easier to think of it this way, what has Jesus called you away from?
  6. Of the 6 things listed on the front of this page, which ones have you seen and experienced deliverance from? How? When?
  7. How has exchanging gifts obscured the real celebration of Christmas? How will you change that this year?