Summary: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” (Luke 3:4-6)
! Theme: Rejoice in your salvation
Text: Mal. 3:1-4; Phil. 1:3-11; Lk. 3:1-6
Introduction: Today is the 2nd Sunday of Advent. Advent refers to the coming of Christ and reminds us not only of His birth but also of His return. It is customary to announce important people before welcoming them. John came to announce the coming Messiah. In spite of this and the many revelations about His birth, only a few people took notice of His presence. Is the same thing not possible concerning His return in spite of the many revelations about His second coming? Advent therefore should not only be a time of preparation for the celebration of Christ’s birth but also a time of preparation for His return. Advent is a time to reflect on the birth of Christ, His finished work on the cross and His promised return and rejoice in our salvation.
Step One: The finished work of Christ
a) Christ paid the penalty for sin
Jesus Christ became a man to redeem humanity for all men “have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). Christ died in our place to pay the penalty for sin “For the wages of sin is death”. (Rom 6:23) His death restored the broken relationship between God and man.
b) Christ made man righteous
When Jesus Christ became sin with our sinfulness we were made righteous with His righteousness. Our righteousness does not depend on us but on Christ for “By grace are we saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God”. (Eph. 2:8)
c) Christ made us God’s beloved children
The righteousness of Christ has made believers God’s beloved children who have access to His presence and to His grace. The grace of God is not only God’s undeserved favour but also God’s empowerment to lead a new abundant life.
Illustration: Christ has paid the price for our salvation by the shedding of His Blood. In our sinful condition we could not do anything that is pleasing to God but Christ became our perfect Lamb and shed His blood for our salvation. God sent a witness to prepare us for this great revelation. Just as in Exodus God sent an angel ahead of the Israelites to prepare the way to the Promised Land so He sent John to prepare the way for the Promised Messiah and our salvation. Unfortunately no one likes to do what is involved in the preparation especially in our time when we are used to having what we want instantly. Life however requires preparation and it is in the preparation that we will either win or lose. It has been said that all is well that begins well. The right preparation for the Lord is to believe that Jesus Christ is God and have a personal relationship with Him. Are we ready to celebrate the birth of Christ and are we ready for His return?
Application: Have you prepared the way for Jesus? Have you dealt with the misconceptions about Christ hindering your acceptance of His great salvation? Whatever it is God wants to take care of it so that you can accept Him as Saviour and Lord this Advent.