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Lesson 2: The Birth Of The Promised King (Matthew 1:18-25)

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I. The Setting:

a.       When a baby is on its way, preparations are made.  Parents know that life is about to be very different.

i.  We have been preparing for our third baby for quite some time.

ii.                        Re-paint the babies room.  Order extra newborn diapers. Deep clean the house, again.

iii.                      Get the car-seat ready.  Time the contractions.

iv.                      Google some videos on “How to speed up labor?”  Try to find a magic bullet to get this baby out.

v.                         Finishing touches here and there.

vi.                      Because we know that when the baby comes, our lives will be different. We will be a family of five, not four.  Getting places will take longer, again. 

vii.                    Kiss the routine good-night sleep goodbye.

viii.                  People with multiple children are often asked, “What is a bigger change going from one to two, or two to three?”  People with more than four kids usually just say “After four it doesn’t really matter anymore.  It’s just a blur.”

b.      Everyone knows that when a baby comes, your life is changed in some ways.

i.  Well that’s what’s happening in this story.  Only it’s a bit different, because of the nature of baby that is about to come.

ii.                        But we will see that this baby who is on His way, will dramatically change some lives.

iii.                      And that’s the point…

iv.                      This baby is different.  The nature and essence of this baby is different.  And He will dramatically change the lives of some people.

c.       The story is told from Joseph’s perspective, not Mary’s, like in the gospel of Luke.

i.  Luke’s gospel account focuses on the incredible faith and character of Mary, Matthew’s gospel focuses on the incredible faith and character of Joseph.

ii.                        Mary, rightfully gets a lot of press, but it’s interesting Joseph doesn’t really get that much press.  He seems to kind of be in the background.

iii.                      But Matthew places him front and center.

d.      The story has three parts:

i.  An Awkward Situation.

ii.                        An Angelic Visitation.

iii.                      A Christmas Incarnation.

e.       The BIG IDEA or main point of this story is…When Jesus comes, he changes everything.  Has everything been changed for you?

i.  Sir James Simpson, the famous Edinburgh physician, was made famous with his discovery of chloroform and its use as an anesthetic.  He was asked what he considered to be his greatest discovery, and he answered, “That I have a Savior.”

ii.                        I pray to God that some will make that same discovery this morning.


II.                      An Awkward Situation (1:18-19). “Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.”

a.       “Mary had been betrothed to Joseph”

i.  They were engaged to be married.

ii.                        A bride would be betrothed to a groom and it would be a firm commitment that would usually be about a year before the actual marriage.  During that year, the girl would remain with her family, but it was like the first stage of marriage, minus the consummation.

iii.                      Engagement frequently occurred when girls were 12 years old, but the bride would stay with her parents for a year or two before she came under her husbands authority and she moved in.

iv.                      So Joseph and Mary were engaged, publically and legally committed to each other, and virtually married.

v.                         For instance, an engaged woman could be punished as an adulteress, whereas, the punishment of a virgin who wasn’t engaged, was a different kind of punishment.

vi.                      So this was a very serious situation.

vii.                    Not like today, where guys will say, “No ring, no thing”

1.      Meaning, if she’s not actually married, then there is still hope.

b.      “before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.”

i.  Matthew doesn’t really give any details, He just says that Mary is with Child, and it’s due to the Holy Spirit.

ii.                        This is the “Virgin birth” which is actually a misnomer, neither Matthew or Luke talk about a virgin birth, but technically it’s a virgin conception, which was hinted at in v. 16.

1.      Joseph is referred to as the “husband” of Mary, not the biological father of Jesus…

iii.                      We will look at this more in a minute.

c.       Joseph is put in a really awkward situation:

i.  It’s hard to overestimate how awkward and difficult and life-changing this situation is.

ii.                        This is an unprecedented situation.

iii.                      Imagine finding this out…

iv.                      Imagine the conversations…

v.                         He knows the public will be less apt to believe him.

vi.                      He will face accusations that he “jumped the gun.”

vii.                    Or…“Sure Joseph, your fiancé is pregnant by God…couldn’t you come up with a better story?”

viii.                  “Mary always seemed like such a good girl…I never would have guessed Mary…”

ix.                      It would literally take an act of God to convince someone of what Mary had claimed.

d.      Joseph was a “just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.”

i.  Joseph is really an incredible guy. 

1.      Not many songs are sung about Joseph. 

2.      If you look through the hymns, you don’t read a lot about Joseph. 

3.      But Matthew puts him front and center.

4.      He is mentioned twice as much as Mary is in this story.

ii.                        “just” means he is a devout man who obeys the Law of Moses.

1.      Even though he obeys the Law of Moses, he is not willing to use the law in all its rigor to shame Mary.

2.      He basically had mercy on her.  He plans a quiet divorce.

3.      He could have given her a bill of divorce and it’s over.

4.      All he knows is that his fiancé is pregnant, and he is not the father.

5.      Mary at least, had a growing fetus to confirm the angels words.  But Joseph didn’t have the same kind of confirmation.  In a sense, he displays greater faith.

6.      There are men who are righteous, but not kind, and there are men who are kind, but not righteous.  Joseph is a righteous and kind man.

e.       Observation: The Coming of Jesus is disruptive.

i.  In a sense it’s an illustration of the gospel coming to a person.

ii.                        When Christ comes, will you welcome him, or will you spurn Him?

iii.                      It will change the way we live.

iv.                      It will change the way our family and friends think about you.

v.                         It will disrupt your life; but it will make all the difference in the world.

III.                   An Angelic Visitation (1:20-21) “But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

a.       The angel gives Joseph five important details:

i.  First, it is God’s will that you marry Mary.

1.      Jospeh is wondering what to do…Do I marry her or not?

2.      When I was dating Lonnalee I quickly knew that this is the type of woman I wanted to marry.  But I was still not sure.  We had only been dating for a few weeks, but I wanted to know.  Then I met with Doyle!

3.      He gave me great advice… “Is she committed to Biblical principles?”

ii.                        Second, Mary’s pregnancy is supernatural, it’s miraculous, it’s the work of the Holy Spirit.

1.      It makes sense that an angels of God is they only way Joseph would be assuaged.

2.      But now he sees the whole picture, or at least more of it.

3.      Like any conversion, the scales fell from his eyes, the veil is removed.

4.      By God’s grace his eyes are now opened to reality.  He sees things clearly now.

5.      Mary is exactly who He thought she was…and now so much more!

iii.                      Third, your baby will be a boy.  A male.

1.      This is before ultrasounds.

iv.                       Fourth, the name of your baby boy will be ‘Jesus.’

v. Fifth, in connection with his name, your baby boy will be a Savior, and he will save his people from their sins.

1.      Your boy will be your Savior!

2.      This is quite a kid.  Not your average birth…that’s the point.

b.      This is a lot to take in…

i.  This is a life-changer for Joseph.

ii.                        Now you are taking in the woman who is publicly seen as unfaithful.

iii.                      For the rest of your life you will have to live with the accusations of naysayers.

iv.                      You are choosing to build your marriage on some hard-to-believe circumstances to the outsiders.

v.                         Certainly Joseph and Mary were convinced, but how convinced were their parents, or their uncles, or their neighbors, or their co-workers.

1.      “So yea, Mary is with child because of the Holy Spirit, huh?....”

vi.                      Let’s not underestimate how difficult this must have been.

vii.                    Only an angelic visitation could persuade someone.

c.       This is what happens when people come in contact with Jesus.

i.  Their lives are challenged.

ii.                        They are afraid.  It’s frightening.

iii.                      They realize that this will be life-changing.  Truly life will never be the same again.

iv.                      Christ changes everything!

v.                         And they couldn’t be more right!

vi.                      “Until this point, Christ had changed nothing in Joseph’s life.  From now on Christ would change everything. I wonder if everything has been changed by Christ, for you?”  Sinclair Ferguson

vii.                    When you open the door to Jesus, in simple faith and trust, it’s terrifying!

viii.                  Sometimes, I wish that more people would be terrified by Christmas…

ix.                      But the message from the angel is to not fear, do it!  Receive Him!  Open your lives and your closets, and your family to him!

d.      Will we trust the Word of God?  Or will we trust our own instincts?

i.  Christian blogger Tim Challies tells a story,

1.      One of the episodes unravels the story of a plane that only narrowly averted disaster. The airliner had been flying along with everything appearing normal when suddenly it began to experience all kinds of strange problems. It gyrated across the sky, plummeting thousands of feet at a time and turning violently to one side. One and then two of the four engines stalled and failed, leaving the plane without the power it needed to maintain level flight. The pilot and copilot responded instinctually, doing their best to right the course of the aircraft. Meanwhile hundreds of passengers waited in abject terror, not knowing if they would live or die. The pilots fought valiantly and eventually found they were able to control the plane. Mysteriously, the engines restarted and were again able to provide sufficient power. The pilots directed the plane to a nearby airport and landed safely. Only a handful of passengers experienced serious injury, though the plane sustained heavy damage from the immense loads placed on it during the erratic flight.

2.      In the aftermath, investigators found that almost everything that had gone wrong had been the fault of the pilots. When the plane encountered significant turbulence the pilots should have responded according to their flight training and according to the plane’s manual. Instead, they relied on instinct. And then, when the plane began to experience further complications, the pilots ignored the instruments that should have directed them to the source of the problem and the straightforward solution. They swung the plane violently from side to side attempting to right it because they ignored the aircraft’s instrument that told them where the horizon was and how to keep the plane level. They ignored the instruments that told them that their engine problem was not as serious as they thought. Blinded by the stress of the situation, they ignored the manual and did things their own way. It very nearly cost them their lives and the lives of hundreds of passengers.

3.      Those pilots refused to trust their instruments, relying instead on their flawed assessment of the situation. Even though they thought they saw the situation clearly, they were in fact flying blind because they refused to heed the information conveyed to them by their instruments.

e.       Joseph and Mary both illustrate for us what a simple trust in God’s Word is all about.

i.  They didn’t rely on their instincts, they relied on God’s Word.

ii.                        “Faith comes by hearing the Word of God.”

1.      Joseph is portrayed as a man who knew the Law, but practiced grace.

2.      Joseph is also obedient in the same way that Mary was.  They believed the Lord in spite of harrowing circumstances.

IV.                    A Christmas Incarnation (1:22-25) All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.”

a.       Notice Matthew’s comment, “This Jesus is the fulfillment of the promises of the OT

i.  In other words, this isn’t the beginning of new religion or sect.

ii.                        This is the fulfillment of God’s promises to the Jews.

iii.                      Salvation is from the Jews.

iv.                      2 Cor. 1:20, “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.”

v.                         Mat. 1:1, “son of David, son of Abraham”

vi.                      In the beginning, Adam and Eve dwelt with God.

1.      They sinned.  God’s presence has left.

2.      Years later, God graciously gives plans for the Tabernacle.  Now His presence has returned in a modified sense and location.

3.      Then the Temple.   A more permanent location for God’s presence.

4.      Then, Jesus comes to earth.  And He dwells among the people.  He literally “tabernacles” among His people.

5.      History ends with the Redeemed in heaven dwelling with God.

6.      “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man.”

vii.                    So the Christmas incarnation is a foretaste of heaven.  A progressive stage of development in the history of redemption.

viii.                  This is the fulfillment of a specific prophecy:

1.      Is. 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

b.      When Joseph woke up, he obediently fulfilled his obligation to his betrothed.

i.  Joseph takes Mary in, but does not “know her” until after Jesus is born.

1.      This is a euphemism and a gentile way of saying that Joseph didn’t have sex with Mary until after Jesus was born.

2.      This seems to imply that they did have sexual relations after Jesus.

3.      There is no indication in the Bible that Mary was a perpetual virgin, as some traditions claim.  In fact, Mary had other children—

a.       James, Judas, Simon, and others.

c.       The meaning of Christmas.

i.  Try to step back from this story for a minute…

1.      God is in the flesh…

2.      Try to imagine this…

3.      “Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th’incarnate Deity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel.”

ii.                        The Incarnation.

1.      Poem by By Glen Scrivener, an evangelist in England.

a.       “This God in the Manger uproots all our notions:
A heavenly stooping, divine demotion.

b.      Born in a stable, wriggling on straw, Fully committed to life in the raw. 

c.       Santa gives things and then goes away.  Jesus shows up, to befriend and to stay.

d.      Santa rewards those with good behaviour.  Jesus comes near to the broken as Savior. 

e.       If you don’t like God, I think I know why…
You probably think He’s St Nick in the Sky.

f.        You’re right to reject that far-away stranger!  This Christmas look down to the God in the manger.”

2.      Playing with my father.

a.       I loved when he would get down on all fours, come down to my level, and wrestle me and my brothers.

b.      He seemed more human.  He entered my world.

c.       I found this true with my own kids.

i.  When I play princesses with Mollie, or nerf gun with Ryle, or chase them around the house, you see them light up.

ii.                        Their eyes get bright.

iii.                      When I lay down and let them jump on me or wrestle me.  They love it.  It’s how I connect with them.

d.      It’s incarnational playing.  It’s incarnation.

3.      This is what God did; He stooped down to our level, and identified with us.

a.       It’s like becoming a dog to saves

d.      Sam Storms comments on the paradox’s of Christmas

i.  The Word became flesh!

ii.                        God became human!

iii.                      the invisible became visible!

iv.                      the untouchable became touchable!

v.                         eternal life experienced temporal death!

vi.                      the transcendent one descended and drew near!

vii.                    the unlimited became limited!

viii.                  the infinite became finite!

ix.                      the immutable became mutable!

x.                         the unbreakable became fragile!

xi.                      spirit became matter!

xii.                    eternity entered time!

xiii.                  the independent became dependent!

xiv.                  the almighty became weak!

xv.                     the loved became the hated!

xvi.                  the exalted was humbled!

xvii.                glory was subjected to shame!

xviii.              fame turned into obscurity!

xix.                  from inexpressible joy to tears of unimaginable grief!

xx.                     from a throne to a cross!

xxi.                  from ruler to being ruled!

xxii.                from power to weakness!

V.                       Application (What can we learn from this story?)

VI.                    The Significance of the Virgin Birth.

a.      Is it even reasonable to believe in a virgin conception?

i.  We live in an age of science and reason.  Is it reasonable to believe that this story is true?

ii.                        Is belief in the virgin birth backwards and backwoods?  Is it tenable in the 21st century?

1.      In one of his columns for The New York Times, Nicholas Kristof pointed to belief in the Virgin Birth as evidence that conservative Christians are “less intellectual.”

a.       “The faith in the Virgin Birth reflects the way American Christianity is becoming less intellectual and more mystical over time,” he explains, and the percentage of Americans who believe in the Virgin Birth “actually rose five points in the latest poll.” Kristof

2.      Al Mohler comments on this and says,

a.       “The real question is this: Can a Christian, once aware of the Bible’s teaching, reject the Virgin Birth? The answer must be no.”

3.      Nicholas Kristof pointed to his grandfather as a “devout” Presbyterian elder who believed that the Virgin Birth is a “pious legend.”

4.      “Follow his example, Kristof encourages, and join the modern age. But we must face the hard fact that Kristof’s grandfather denied the faith. This is a very strange and perverse definition of “devout.”

5.      Kristof’s grandfather, we are told, believed that the Virgin Birth is a “pious legend.”

6.      The very fact that Kristof’s grandfather was allowed to serve as an elder in his church raises a whole different set of questions.

a.       We live in a day when we can deny the authority of Scripture and be considered devout.

7.      Millard Erickson states this well: “If we do not hold to the virgin birth despite the fact that the Bible asserts it, then we have compromised the authority of the Bible and there is in principle no reason why we should hold to its other teachings. Thus, rejecting the virgin birth has implications reaching far beyond the doctrine itself.”

b.      Why is the virgin conception important?

i.  The Virgin Birth tests our Biblical fidelity.

1.      If you can make the Bible say that Jesus was not supernaturally conceived, than you can make the Bible say anything you like.

2.      There is a sense in which this story tests us and our Biblical faithfulness.

a.       Do we believe in a supernatural God or not?

b.      A God who is capable of doing miracles, rising from the dead, making the lame walk and the blind see?  Is this fabrication, or is this reality?

3.      The Virgin conception is miraculous, that’s Matthew’s point.  This isn’t a normal birth.  It’s divine.

a.       Story of C.S. Lewis

i.  There is a story that one day C.S. Lewis was sitting in his office in the English department when a friend, who was an unbeliever, wandered in. There were carolers below in the courtyard singing Christmas carols and as the two were speaking, they could hear them singing a Christmas carol that contained words about Jesus’ virgin birth. His unbelieving friend said to C. S. Lewis, “Isn’t it good that we now know better than they did.” C. S. Lewis said, “What do you mean?” “Well, isn’t it good that we now know more than they did.” “I am afraid that you will have to explain,” Lewis said. “Well, isn’t it good that we now know that virgins don’t have babies.” C.S. Lewis looked at him incredulously and said, “Don’t you think that they knew that? That is the whole point.”

4.      Matthew’s point is that this birth isn’t human in origin.  It is divine.  Supernatural.

a.       The first part of Matthew chapter one tells the Genealogy and human origin of Jesus Christ, Son of David, and the second have of Matthew chapter one tells the divine origin.  This birth is supernatural.

5.      If you take away a God who intervenes into creation, then you are left with something other than Christianity.

a.       If you don’t have a God who can create.

b.      If you don’t have a God who can raise people from dead.

c.       If you don’t have a God who can make blind people see.

d.      If you don’t have a God who can make deaf people hear.

e.       If you don’t have a God who is miraculously conceived.

f.        Then you don’t have Christianity.

g.      Call it something else, just don’t call it Biblical Christianity, call it another religion.

h.      You say, “Well I just can’t believe in a supernatural conception…” That’s fine.  Then don’t call yourself a Christian.

i.        Liberal scholars in the early 20th century tried to do this. 

i.  They tried to strip Christianity of everything supernatural.

ii.                        They reinterpreted the miracles, they reinterpreted the resurrection, they reinterpreted the virgin birth.

j.        They stripped everything supernatural away from Jesus.

k.      And they just kept the teachings of Jesus.  The ethics of Jesus.  The morality of Jesus.

l.        So Jesus became little more than a helpful guide and role model.  Someone to admire and respect and live like.

m.    Like the popular shirts “Jesus is my Homeboy.”

6.      But he was not the Savior, they claimed, nor the Savior they needed.

ii.                        The Virgin Birth is essential to salvation.

1.      He became flesh, and is uniquely qualified to deal with sins.

a.       He is God, so He is infinitely holy, just, and perfect.

b.      He is man, so He can die.

c.       He is God, so He cannot die.  Death cannot conquer him.  He conquered death.

d.      He is God, so He cannot sin.  Sin cannot conquer Him.  He conquered sin.

2.      If a really really righteous person died, could he or she make atonement for themselves, or for another person?

a.       Let’s just assume, for the sake of argument, that a human was actually perfect.  No sin whatsoever.  Such a person would be neutral before God, like Adam and Eve.  And one could say they could theoretically be an atoning sacrifice for another person.  But that’s all.

3.      Jesus as God, is infinitely holy and his atonement is sufficient for every sinner and every sin.

4.      The sum total of all of the sins and wickedness of the world cannot match the infinite perfection and righteousness of Jesus.

5.      So Jesus, as the Son of God, is uniquely capable of being an infinitely satisfying sacrifice for sins.

6.      And Jesus, as the Son of Man, as a human, is uniquely qualified to identify with us, and actually become a sacrifice for sins.

7.      He is the God-Man, and no other option would have worked!

8.      God cannot die, and perfect humans are not a sufficient sacrifice.  Only an infinitely righteous God-Man could solve this dilemma.

9.      So, if Jesus is not God, we have some serious problems, and we are still in our sins.  And if Jesus is not human, we have some serious problems, and we are still in our sins.

10.  If you don’t have a supernatural Jesus, then you don’t have the Jesus of the Bible.  Please call it something else, because it isn’t Biblical Christianity.

11.  Jesus is our Uniquely qualified Mediator

a.       I suppose it’s possible for God to send Jesus down as a fully grown man, but then would we really believe that He is human and able to identify with us as a High Priest and a Mediator?

b.      Or if he was born of two human parents, would we really believe that He is God?

c.       In order for Jesus the Christ to die in our place, he had to be one of us.

iii.                      “It cannot be said that the incarnation demands the virgin birth, for God could have accomplished it another way.  But it can and must be said that the virgin birth of Jesus is entirely appropriate to the nature of the one who became flesh although he was equal with God (Phil. 2:6).” Donald Guthrie

VII.                The Significance of Jesus’ Name.

a.       Call him “Jesus” because he will save his people from their sins.

i.  This is central to why He came.

ii.                        He came as King, but

iii.                      “Jesus was not so much born to be king as much as he was born to be Savior.”  Barclay

b.      Names are important. 

i.  For the most part what your parents named you is what you carry around the rest of your life.

ii.                        We are about to have a baby, and one fun activity is to discuss names…

iii.                      The story of my name:

1.      My name is David Michael Anderson.  It’s a good name.  I like it.  But unfortunately, millions of other men have the exact same name.

2.      It’s like being named Jose in Mexico or Mohammad in Saudi Arabia.  There’s a lot of us…

3.      So when we were picking names I had picked names that had theological significance.  One name I really liked was B.B. Warfield.

iv.                      Weird Names:

1.      Batman Bin Suparman—things will go one of two ways for this kid.

2.      Pilot Inspector

3.      GoldenPalaceDotCom Silverman

v.                         When we talk about the name of Jesus it’s a little different:

1.      Names are important in the bible.  The word “name” is mentioned 764.

c.       Jesus’ Name tells us His mission in life:

i.  There are many different names for Jesus, but there is one that stands out in the birth narrative:

1.      He is called “Immanuel, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace, Holy One of God, Lamb of God, Prince of Life, Lord God Almighty, Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Root of David.”

2.      But the name given to Him at birth, the name we predominantly use, is Jesus.  This was the name given to Him by the angels.

3.      Angels always show up when something huge is about to happen.

4.      They give interpretation to the events.

5.      Mat. 1:21, “She shall bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for He will save his people from their sins.”

ii.                        There is no exaggeration in His name.

1.      It’s not some gross-understatement.

2.      It is a name that is completely justified by the facts of His ministry.

3.      Spurgeon said that he once saw the grave of a child, which had this inscription on the gravestone, “Sacred to the memory of Methuselah Coney, who died sixth months.”  The infant had a name to which he did not attain.  Methuselah lived 969 years.

4.      People call their world leaders by names which make extravagant claims:

a.       “Alexander the Great”

b.      “Charles the Bold”

c.       “Richard the Lionhearted”

d.      “Jesus the Savior of the World”

d.      His Name tells us who we really are:

i.  If the very essence of His name means that He is a Savior, then we can only conclude one thing about ourselves, we need to be saved.

      1. The story of New Tribes Missions**
        1. Etau! (It’s true! It’s good!)

2.      A middle-aged couple from Pennsylvania moved to Papua New Guinea to serve a small village who had never heard the gospel.

3.      They taught on the OT for two months before they even mentioned the Name of Jesus.

4.      They proceeded to teach the New Testament and the birth of Jesus, then His Life, suffering, and death.

        1. They hammered sin and judgment and God’s demand for a blood sacrifice.
        2. When the got to Jesus, and heard about Jesus, they loved Him.  They were enraptured by Him.
        3. Then they got to the crucifixion.
          1. Some of the Mouk people stopped eating and sleeping they were so distressed.
          2. As the missionaries told the story the people were appalled. 
          3. They heard of people spitting on Jesus, they were visibly disturbed.
        4. They explained that Jesus is the lamb of God.  God is pleased with this sacrifice.  God is pleased to crush His Son instead of you.
        5. They then explained his resurrection.
          1. And people started yelling out, “I Believe!”
          2. I didn’t know what to do about my sins, but now I know God’s has made a way!
          3. Different people stood up and testifying that they are trusting in Jesus.
          4. Spontaneous rejoicing breaks out for two and a half hours.

iii.                      Christmas is a celebration of who HE is because of who WE are.

1.      ‎"If you do not love Christ, let me plainly tell you what is the reason: You have no sense of debt to Him." ~ J.C. Ryle

2.      “If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator; If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist; If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist; If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer; But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.” Unknown

e.       When Jesus came, He changed everything for Joseph ad Mary…has He changed everything for you?

i.  Is this story of Joseph and Mary merely a cute story to you?

ii.                        Have you been challenged by Christmas?  Have you been invaded and has your life been turned upside down?

iii.                      There’s a difference between a profession of faith and a possession of faith.

iv.                      There’s a sense in which if you have not been made uncomfortable by Christ’s demands, you have not been saved.

v.                         Christ demands total allegiance, and He offers Himself as your Savior.

vi.                      There’s a sense in which this should make us uncomfortable, just like it make Joseph uncomfortable.

1.      This means you recognize your lostness.  Your helplessness.  Your rebellion.  Your wickedness.  Your sin.  Your heart.  That you have broken the first and greatest commandment, to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

vii.                    “Whoever calls upon the Name of the Lord will be saved.”

VIII.             The Gospel.

Related Topics: Angelology, Christmas, Christology

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