Summary: This is the 1st sermon and service notes for the series "Christmas Brings".
Series: Christmas Brings…[#1]
Hymn 87 “Joy To The World” (Vs. 1&4)
Hymn 89 “O Come All Ye Faithful” (Vs. 1&3)
Hymn 335 “Standing On The Promises” (Vs. 1&4)
Children’s Choir “Meet With Me”
Now that Thanksgiving has passed, the Christmas season is officially started. That means that every store will be filled with Christmas trees, decorations, toys for the young and old, etc… That means that we will have to go to those stores to spend ungodly amounts of money on gifts. That means that each one of us will have Christmas parties at work, church, school, etc… That means that many of us are preparing to go out of town while others of us are preparing for company that is coming to town. Each year I grow older and the more I think about what the Christmas season brings, the more I seem to dread the Christmas season. Is that what Christmas brings for you? I don’t want this Christmas season to bring dread. I want you to clear your mind this morning as we look together at what Christmas should bring to our lives.
This passage takes us almost 2000 years back. This passage was written to encourage the Jewish Christians to hold on to their faith in Christ because of all that God had promised them. The writer takes them back to a promise that God made to Abraham. God promised to give him a land of his own, He promised him a whole nation of descendants, and He promised that through Abraham all the nations of the earth would be blessed. From this promise came the nation of Israel and about 2000 years after Abraham, Jesus Christ.
What is the "two unchangeable things"? It is the promise of God and the oath of God. In order to help Abraham- and us- believe in a God we cannot see, God made a promise and then He swore by Himself that He would keep His promise.
During difficult times in our lives, we need to remember that God has promised and swore by Himself to give us an eternal inheritance. God’s promise and oath gives us hope and encouragement. That hope is an anchor for our soul which cannot be moved. It is firm and secure. Where can we find this kind of hope that will be an anchor for the soul?
Adult Choir: “He Hideth My Soul”
God’s “Track Record”
It’s one thing to say that God always keeps His promises, it is another thing to prove it. God has been making and keeping promises to mankind for thousands of years.
Our story begins in the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve had eaten the forbidden fruit. Sin had been introduced into the world. It seemed as Satan had won and God’s plan for fellowship with mankind was ruined. From that moment sin spread across the world damaging everything in its path. Sin had brought darkness into this world.
God was now faced with a dilemma. How was He going to deal with Adam and Eve? He could have destroyed them and started all over again, but He didn’t. God didn’t give up on mankind. He had a plan that had been foreordained before the creation. Satan was not going to lead all of mankind away from God as he had 1/3 of the angels.
After the fall, as God was passing out judgment upon the serpent, Eve, and then Adam; that God gave mankind a glimpse of hope when He passed judgment upon the serpent.
God’s plan was centered in a specific person. That person would be a man and He would enter this world by being born of a woman. God also promised that this man would fight Satan and although Satan would strike a blow against Him that he would not defeat Him. God also promised Satan that he would be crushed and destroyed by this man.
Light 1 Candle and pull up house lights. Keep house lights very dim.
Special Music: “Mystery”
As you travel through the Old Testament, you will find promise after promise that God made to certain people concerning this man that was going to destroy Satan and save Israel. As each promise was made, the qualifications became more and more specific for who this man was going to be.
Summing up many of these promises, God told us that He would be a Jew. He would come from the tribe of Judah. He would be a descendant of David. He would be born in Bethlehem. He would be born of a virgin.
The green garland which we use for Christmas decorations represents life. As we place these garlands this morning, let them remind us of the deity of Christ- the child born at Bethlehem who was both God and Man- "Who would spring up like a tender plant"- who would always be green and flourishing and who would live forevermore.