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Summary: Two Christmas Messages: Peace and Fear Not

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A. INTRODUCTION

1. There are two Christmas messages.

a. Peace. “Peace on earth good will to men” (Luke 2:14).

b. Fear not. “The angel told Zechariah, Mary, Joseph and the shepherds, “Fear not” (Luke 1:20, 30; 2:10; Matt. 1:20).

2. One message is negative, takes away “fear.” The other message gives, positive “peace.”

3. What is the most needed message at Christmas? “Peace on earth, good will towards men” (Luke 2:14).

a. Not primarily peace among nations.

b. Not primarily peace among races.

c. Not primarily peace among political parties.

4. The most important message begins internally within the individual’s heart.

5. If all had peace within, the rest will take care of itself.

6. Most of our problems are fear based.

7. Fears cause most of the problems in the world.

8. God works in people before He works for people.

9. When we are terrified we put up our defenses and strike out at others.

10. What does “fear not” mean?

a. Trust God.

b. Accept God’s plan.

c. Boldly face the future.

B. STRENGTHEN THE INNER YOU

“When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit” (Eph. 3:14, 16, NLT).

“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man” (Eph. 3:14, 16, NKJV).

1. The key to America’s strength is not in government, but within the inner heart of its citizens.

a. It begins in our pulpits.

b. It continues in our government leaders.

c. It flows down to the inner person of each.

2. What does “might” mean, i.e., “strengthen with might”?

a. “Power on the inside” as in fire cracker.

b. Inner moral power to do right.

c. Inner strength to stand against outside forces.

d. To stand against overwhelming numbers.

C. STRENGTHEN WITH MIGHT BY HIS SPIRIT–EPH. 3:16

1. The disciples had the physical Jesus, but when evil came with the threat of crucifixion, they ran away. Why? Fear.

2. When the disciples in the church were threatened, they prayed and stood fast. “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word” (Acts 4:29, NKJV).

3. They were ready to die. “These all died in faith” (Heb. 11:13).

“By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight” (Heb. 11:33-34, NLT).

“Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated” (Heb. 11:36-37, NLT).

4. What was the difference? The indwelling Holy Spirit. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you” (Acts 1:8).

a. We need the Spirit’s presence. “He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:17).

b. We need the Spirit’s filling. “Be not drunk with wine, but be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Eph. 5:12).

c. We need the Spirit’s guidance. “As many as are led by the Spirit” (Rom. 8:14).

d. We need the Spirit’s understanding. “The Holy Spirit . . . shall teach you all things” (John 14:26).

e. We need the Spirit’s strength to stand against persecution and temptations. “Strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man.”

f. We need the Spirit’s peace. “The fruit of the Spirit is … peace” (Gal. 5:22).

5. What will the peace of the Holy Spirit look like? “Be filled with the Spirit . . . singing and making melody in your heart . . . giving thanks always for all things . . . submitting to one another” (Eph. 5:14-21).

a. Singing, not complaining, i.e., a happy countenance. “Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Eph. 5:19, NKJV).

b. Thankfulness, not complaining, “Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 5:20, NKJV).

c. Submitting to others, “Submitting to one another in the fear of God” (Eph. 5:21, NKJV).

If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:

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