Summary: A three part Christmas series about Celebration, Salvation, and Reconciliation, based on the book The Purpose of Christmas by Rick Warren.
In this series- look at three aspects of- Christmas story-
Celebration, Salvation, Reconciliation (N)
Last week-looked at-Celebration,
this week- Salvation,
finish up Christmas Eve with Reconciliation.
The Christmas story- amazing story of the Christ child.
Christmas is the celebration of God coming to earth in the form of a man- His arrival was celebrated by the shepherds,death was for the salvation of the world, and His resurrection provides an opportunity for each of us to be reconciled back to God.
As we did last week- look at the Christmas story
Last week we looked at the first purpose of Christmas, which was Celebration.
Psa 118:24 This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it. NASU
As we looked at this verse, we discovered that the Psalmist was talking about a particular day the day Jesus came to this earth,
to provide the way of salvation for all of men.
This a day worthy of our celebration.
Roving Mic (two mics- ushers handle)
How would you define Salvation?
Lk 2:11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. NASU
Savior- deliverer, save, protect, preserve, make whole, bring to safety, deliver from danger/suffering.
For many salvation is being saved from something bad
However salvation is much more than just being
saved from something, but
it is also being saved for something.
Salvation is being given the freedom and power
to fulfill God’s purpose for your life.
It is being set free from the affects of sin/death.
Salvation is much more than just fire insurance
Jesus indeed saves us from something, but
He also saves us for something.
1. Jesus came to Save us from Sin and Self (N)
Man is by nature self-centered
You are the source of most of your problems (N)
Our natural bent is to want our own way, not God’s.
Eccl 7:20 Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins. NASU
What is sin- the Bible clearly defines sin for us
1 Jn 3:4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.
Sin is the tendency to make wrong choices,
denies God’s rightful place in our lives.
is acting like we are God and know what is better for our lives than He does,
is allowing self-will to control the way we live.
is habit forming and difficult to break.
One side effect of sin
is that it makes us feel disconnected from God.
If you feel distant from God, who moved?
Isa 59:2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,
And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. NASU
So, what hope to we have …
Psa 118:5 From my distress I called upon the Lord; The Lord answered me and set me in a large place. NASU
Large place- the sense here is a large open space where we experience freedom and liberty.
It is freedom from distress and anxiety, and all those things that trouble us.
Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. NASU
What are some of the things God has set us free from?
1. Guilt over the past (N)
Guilt comes from violating our God-given conscience.
Jesus paid for every act of disobedience, past/future.
2. Bitterness and Resentment (N)
We have all been hurt by others.
We cannot control how others treat us, but we can control how we respond to them.
3. The Expectations of Others (N)
Many struggle w/the approval or disapproval of others.
It is good to receive the affirmation of others, but knowing that God loves you is far greater.
Man knows himself only when he learns to understand himself in the light of God, and he knows others only when he sees the mystery of God in them (Pope Benedict XVI).
We may not be able to live up to the expectations of others, but we can know that God always loves us.
4. Addictive Habits (N)
We cannot break destructive life patterns on our own.
Sometimes God allows problems in our lives we cannot solve, so we will trust Him
we can TRY to save ourselves or
we can TRUST God and allow Him to save us.
5. The Fear of Death (N)
Having confidence in God makes- difference when …
your dreams are shattered,
relationships break apart,
the bottom falls out financially,
physical pain consumes our body, or
you lose a loved one.
If you accept-Jesus died for you, then regardless of what happens in life, your eternal destiny is secure.