Sermons

Summary: Exploring the Purpose of Christ's birth

Message/Devotion

December 1, 2019

Jesus On the Cross – A Christmas Message

Luke 23:33-43

The reading

“When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[a And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”

The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”

There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Sermon Prayer: “Heavenly Father, I stand before Your people, to deliver Your message. Though the words are mine and I prepared this message, I pray that this message is Your message in its entirety. I pray your blessing and anointing on its delivery, its reception and most of all its application in our lives.” Amen

Wait a minute! You said this was a Christmas message. Yes, I did and indeed it is. Yes, here it is the beginning of Advent and preparation for celebrating Christmas. Stores and the internet have been absolutely wild advertising Black Friday and Christmas sales for weeks now.

I want you to think long and hard about what I am about to say.

What is the ultimate purpose of Christ’s birth? What is the ultimate purpose of Christ’s life on earth? What is the ultimate purpose of Christ’s death on the cross?

Answer to first question: “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:17

Yes beloved, I know we celebrate the birth of the Savior at Christmas. The message that I want to convey the purpose of that birth. We get all excited and carried away with the “Joy of the Season” and there is nothing wrong with that, if we include a true focus on the true purpose of His birth. HE CAME TO SAVE THE WORLD!

What are we to do with that knowledge? It certainly isn’t by greeting others with: “Happy Holidays”! In that same light, it isn’t about going out of our way to be confrontational and challenging. Christianity is all about LOVE and blessing others. If a greeting of Merry Christmas is rebuffed, kick the dust from your sandals and move on. If we have an opportunity to reach out to anyone with love by offering friendship to a lonely person or shut-in; if we have an opportunity to reach out to someone in need; if we have an opportunity to simply lend a hand; and if we have the opportunity to re-unite with LOVE – our response will be in line with our understanding of purpose of Christ’s birth.

Answer to second question: “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.” Matthew 9:35

The word "teaching" is used 115 times in the New Testament, and in all except five instances it is used of Christians. It is used of the nation of Israel or those in Israel three times [ Matthew 18:17; Acts 7:38], and it is used of a gathering of mainly unsaved Gentiles twice [some Jews present (Acts 19:32, 39)]. (from an internet search)

Jesus came to save. His teachings are all leading us to salvation – to eternal life – to join Him in the Kingdom of God. Those who accept His teachings are those who are SAVED!

Answer to third question: “Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

“Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:7-8

“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24

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Howard Gunter

commented on Dec 13, 2019

Thank you Stephen for your kind words. May ALL praise and glory be directed heavenward

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