Summary: Advent 4(A) - God's peace comes through grace. First God sends Christ to provide peace. Then God sends saints to proclaim peace.
GOD’S PEACE COMES THROUGH GRACE (Outline)
December 20, 2009 -
ADVENT 4 -
INTRO: Every day brings us closer and closer. Christmas Day with the blessing of the birth of the Savior of mankind is soon upon us. In connection with Christmas Day believers recall that each day brings us closer and closer to the Last Day. Both days are and will be joyous times of celebration and rejoicing for every believer. At Christmas we remember God’s gift of grace to us. Long after Christmas God’s gift of grace is still the center of our living. Jesus, our Savior, is God’s gift of grace. As with any gift God freely gives his Gift. No one deserves any of God’s good gifts. "But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy" (TITUS 3:4,5a). With great joy we carefully study God’s undeserved grace.
GOD’S PEACE COMES THROUGH GRACE.
I. God sends Christ to provide grace.
II. God sends saints to proclaim peace.
I. GOD SENDS HIS CHRIST TO PROVIDE GRACE
A. God’s message contains two constant teachings – law and gospel. God’s law is connected with sin.
1. God’s gospel is always connected with Christ, verse 2. God promised a Savior after first sin.
2. Verse 3. Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Mary and Joseph (David’s line) went to be counted.
B. Verse 4. There was more to Jesus’ life than his birth. Jesus lived, suffered, died, and rose again.
1. Almost everyone recognizes Jesus as a good teacher or a miracle worker.
2. Jesus is also God’s Son. This truth takes a “leap of faith”. Jesus’ resurrection proves his deity.
C. Verse 4b. Jesus is the name that saves. Christ is Messiah and means anointed. Lord is God.
D. Grace is God’s undeserved love for mankind. This very fitting description beautifully describes God’s Gift – His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord. God’s grace at times goes beyond our limited human understanding. Therefore it is important for every believer to faithfully, carefully examine God’s undeserved love with deep thought and a grateful joy. "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich" (2 CORINTHIANS 8:9). This is Jesus our Savior, God’s grace. Jesus left his throne of glory and was born in a cold manger at Bethlehem. Jesus lived a humble, poor life so that we would inherit heaven.
E. God’s promises also sometimes moves beyond our human understanding. God promises and promises and promises. God also fulfills all of his promises. The Lord promised Adam and Eve a Savior. God promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob a Savior. Joseph and Mary were told about that promised Savior. Every one of God’s promises made are all always kept. This is quite different from promises that we make and do not always keep. This is quite different from the rest of the world that makes promises and seldom delivers. Remember God is not a man that he should lie. A promise made and a promise kept is God’s grace. "He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit" (GALATIANS 3:14).
F. At Christmas we examine closely the manger in the town of Bethlehem. It is not always that easy to also connect the manger with the cross. Birth and death have very little in common. Jesus’ birth for mankind has everything to do with his death to save mankind. There is a vital connection from the humble town to a tortured death on a cross. Jesus is the only one ever born with the specific purpose of dieing. "You were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, (but) with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect" (1 PETER 1:18b, 19). It is only the perfect blood of Jesus that can and does cleanse us from sin and purify us from all unrighteousness.
GOD’S PEACE COMES THROUGH GRACE.
God sends His Son Jesus as a Gift of grace for us. Jesus is truly God’s Gift of peace and joy and hope to us and for us to show others sitting in the dark.
II. GOD SENDS HIS SAINTS TO PROCLAIM PEACE.
A. Verse 1. Paul is a servant of Christ. No longer is Paul a self-serving, selfish, proud Pharisee.
1. The Lord Jesus Christ has called Paul out of darkness. God appointed Paul to preach.
2. Paul is God’s apostle – sent to proclaim God’s gospel. It is not Paul’s gospel, but God’s.