Summary: This is the fourth message in a series based on some of the most popular Christmas hymns.
“O Holy Night” is of the most beautiful and favorite songs that tells of the Savior’s birth in Bethlehem. What many people don’t realize is that the combined talents of three much unexpected people brought us this song. In fact, this song is the result of the work a wine merchant, a penniless French composer and a liberal American preacher. The song began as a poem written in 1847 by a French wine merchant named Placide Clappeau whose hobby was writing poetry. The music was written by a French composer named Adolphe Charles Adam who wrote thirty-nine operas during his lifetime. Adam became penniless late in his life due to a failed business venture involving the French national opera. This French carol was discovered and translated into English by a Unitarian minister by the name of John Dwight. Ultimately Dwight would leave the ministry due to his increasingly liberal views and begin a career in music journalism. The main question that comes to mind when we think of that night more than 2,000 years ago the main question is, “What made this night any more holier than any other night during the time Jesus walked on this earth?” Before me examine the message of this great Christmas Carol I believe it would be very appropriate to get more familiar with the term “holy” as it is used in the Bible. So let’s turn to the pages of Scripture and examine what we can learn from this timeless classic, “O Holy Night!”
I. Understanding what Scripture means when it uses the term holy.
A. The use of the term in the Old Testament.
1. The Hebrew word is qadash which means to seat apart, consecrate or dedicate.
2. This word appears fifty-seven times in the Old Testament.
3. The world is used of course to describe God’s character showing that He is set apart from the world.
4. The word is used to describe things that are set apart to be used for worship and in the service of the temple.
5. The word is used in connection with the Sabbath showing that God established it and set it apart.
6. The word is also used to describe how God chose the nation of Israel and set them apart to be His exclusive people.
B. The use of the term in the New Testament.
1. The Greek word is hagios which means set apart or sacred.
2. This word appears two-hundred-thirty-two times in the New Testament.
3. The word is used to establish anything that is connected with God.
a. The Christian who are His chosen people in the New Testament.
b. His Spirit.
c. The Church that He established.
4. The word is also is used to describe anything that God chooses to set apart for His exclusive purposes.
5. The word is also used to describe the type of life that a Christian should strive to live.
II. This night in Bethlehem ushered in a new era for humanity.
A. This new era would bring with it a solution to mankind’s greatest problem.
1. Since man first disobeyed God in the garden all of humanity had been cursed with sin.
2. In fact Paul writes in his letter to the Romans of the universality of sin.