A CHILD IS BORN
The Everlasting Father – He Can Give…
Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
For the past two weeks we’ve seen that this child has the ability to alter the here and now…
Wonderful Counselor – He can heal…
The Mighty God – He can help…
His third name, the everlasting Father, shows us that he can also affect our hereafter.
God is an eternal being.
We, created in God’s image, are also eternal. We were made to live forever.
Our physical bodies may cease to exist, but our true self, our soul, will live on.
Jesus provides the way for us to be reunited with our heavenly father.
John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
God’s great love for humanity caused him to make the most improbable of sacrifices – giving His own son.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Peaking at gifts under the tree as a child.
God has given us a gift.
You don’t have to sneak a peak or try and guess what’s in it.
He tells you what it is – eternal life!
We don’t have to guess what it is, but we do have to open the gift for it to be ours.
How do we open it?
John 3:16 says it’s by believing in him.
But what does that mean?
Let me see if I can help you understand this idea of belief with a few basic illustrations.
The Bridge Illustration:
Step 1 – God wants to have a relationship with us.
From the very beginning this was the case.
We matter to Him.
He loves us – and we were made to love and need Him.
He is the perfect Father and he desires to have a relationship with His children.
Step 2 – Our sin nature separates us from God.
Because of our sin, our relationship is broken.
Romans 5:12 “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”
God is perfect, holy, sinless and can have not part of our sinfulness.
It doesn’t mean He doesn’t love us anymore – he does, but our relationship is damaged as a result.
I love my kids even when they are disobedient, but their disobedience causes a barrier in our relationship that must be restored.
Step 3 – Most people are aware of their distance from God.
Ever have that feeling that you were forgetting something or something was missing?
Because of our broken relationship with God all of humanity experiences an ache in their soul – something is missing.
We attempt to mask that ache with things, relationships, even good works.
So we start doing all kinds of things like being a good neighbor – a good citizen, paying our taxes, going to church – all in order to get back to Him.
We’re crying out – trying desperately – to get back to God.
But the Bible makes it clear that it’s impossible to earn God’s forgiveness or get back to Him on our own.
Trying to get back to God through morality is like trying to jump the Grand Canyon.
God’s standard is perfection.
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Step 4 – The sins we have committed have consequences.
All choices in life have consequences – some good, some bad.
Our choice to willingly sin has a consequence.
It cannot go unpunished.
The penalty for sin is death, which is a physical and spiritual separation from God for eternity.
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death;…”
The payment for our sin is death.
All that we enjoy in life – a glorious sunset, the sound of children laughing, a good meal, a warm embrace from a loved one, the smell of the crisp clean air after a snow fall, the warmth of the sunshine against your face on a summers day – is simply a reflection of God. Apart from Him none of those things exist.
We enjoy those things because He has graciously allowed us to.
To be separated from Him is to be separated from all that is good and lovely.
Looks bad doesn’t it – Merry Christmas!
Step 5 – Good news - we matter to God.
He loves us so much that He did for us what we could never do for ourselves.
He provided a bridge to Him where we can find His forgiveness.
This is a bridge to Him.
God’s Christmas Tree.
The rest of Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
As we saw earlier, Jesus is the way through which our relationship with God can be restored.
Step 6 – He paid our death penalty.
God built this by coming to earth as one of us and dying on the cross to pay the death penalty that we owe.
Jesus was sinless, perfect and certainly not worthy of suffering the death penalty.
Yet he willingly laid down his life for us.
He took our place and bore our penalty.
Isaiah 53:5-6 “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
He didn’t have to do it – he chose to do it.
God did all the work.
What’s our job – belief!
Back to our original question – what does it mean to believe?
Step 7 – Crossing the Bridge.
It isn’t enough to know this information.
It isn’t even enough to agree with it.
Each of us has to act and move to the other side.
We move to the other side by admitting to God that we need Him.
That we need His forgiveness and leadership.
We move by putting our total faith and trust in him alone.
Where do you see yourself on this bridge?
Are you far from God?
Have you already made the decision to cross over?
Are you standing on the brink?
This morning I’d like to give you an opportunity to cross over.
To open the gift.
Why wouldn’t you open the gift?
You know what it is – eternal life. It’s just the right size, it’s what you’ve always wanted, and it’s the best gift you’ll ever receive.
It seems foolish to leave it here unopened.
Open God’s gift.
Today I began a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Already a believer – this holiday season I will enjoy the gift of salvation that God has given to me.