Summary: Christmas is the answer to my greatest need - the need for a Savior
Overall I tend to be pretty handy and can handle a lot of maintenance and repair projects around our home. And most of the time, I actually enjoy doing that. But there are also some repairs that are beyond my ability to tackle. For instance, when the “check engine” light goes on in my car, I know that it means there is a problem. But since I have neither the expertise nor the required equipment to diagnose and fix the problem I take my car to someone who does.
Over the years I’ve definitely bitten of a few projects that turned out to be a bit beyond my ability to handle. Several months ago a plastic piece on our floor cleaner cracked and so I figured I would just go ahead and order a new piece and fix it myself. But when the part arrived I discovered that replacing this part was no simple matter since that particular piece had about 25 other small parts attached to it and that removing those and putting them back into the new part was pretty much impossible. As I worked at that for well over an hour with no success I began to wonder who put these things together in the first place. I’ll make the story of that particular project really short by just saying that we now have a new floor cleaner.
When it comes to our salvation, I think many of us go through a process that is very similar to that. We begin by thinking that is something we can figure out and accomplish on our own. And while we might even feel like we’re making some headway for a while, we eventually come to the place where we realize that is something that we just can’t do on our own, so we finally do what we should have done in the first place and turn to God.
One significant aspect of the good news of Christmas is that God has done everything required to provide for our salvation. Last week, we began this short series on the good news of Christmas by discovering that Christmas is good news because it means that we can fear not. Christmas is proof of God’s sovereignty and His grace and when we humbly seek God and join Him where He is already at work, He makes it possible for us to live a life that is free from fear. Next week we’ll wrap up this series by focusing on the good news that God is with us. These three aspects of the good news of Christmas are inextricably linked. They all work together. So if you missed last week’s message I encourage you to go to the website and listen to or read it.
Just like we saw with the message to fear not, the good news that there is a savior is woven throughout the birth narratives of Jesus in Matthew and Luke. But before we get to those, let’s set the stage by seeing why it is that we need a savior in the first place.
WHY I NEED A SAVIOR
1. God is holy
Whenever we are given a glimpse into the throne room of God, as in Isaiah 6 or Revelation 4, it is always God’s holiness that is on display. I love the way the A.W. Tozer defines God’s holiness in his book Knowledge of the Holy:
We cannot grasp the true meaning of the divine holiness by thinking of someone or something very pure and then raising the concept to the highest degree we are capable of. God’s holiness is not simply the best we know infinitely bettered…Holy is the way God is. To be holy He does not conform to a standard, He is that standard.
When we understand God’s holiness like that, the next point becomes pretty obvious, God is holy, but…
2. I am not
I think that most of us here would consider ourselves to be pretty good people. But I’m also pretty sure that all of us would readily admit that we’re not perfect. Even if we’ve never murdered anyone or robbed a bank or cheated on our spouse, we’ve almost certainly been angry with a brother, or taken something that doesn’t belong to us or lusted after someone or something or failed to do good when we had the ability to do that. And God defines all of those things as sin. That’s why Paul wrote this to the churches in Rome:
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Romans 3:23 ESV)
That little word “all” there makes it clear that every one of us is in the same boat. We are all sinners. And when we consider that fact in concert with the fact that God is holy, we understand why…