Sermons

Summary: Third in a series of sermons that discusses Christmas from the vantage point of major participants in the incarnation.

Songs of Worship

(A) My Glorious

(A) Freedom Reigns

(F) All who are Thirsty

(Dm) God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

(G) You are Holy/Oh Holy Night

Welcome and Announcements

Advent Candle lighting

VANTAGE POINT—GOD, THE HOLY SPIRIT

Vantage Point Christmas—Part 3

Roll Video “Four Words”

THE HOLY SPIRIT LONGS FOR US TO EXPERIENCE GOD AT CHRISTMAS

Jesus is “God is with us.” The Holy Spirit is “God is in us.”

THE HOLY SPIRIT LONGS TO BE UNLEASHED UPON THE WORLD

"And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy,

your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. [29] Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. Joel 2:28-29 (NIV)

THE HOLY SPIRIT ENABLED THE CHRISTMAS PIONEERS TO EXPERIENCE THEIR DIVINE DESTINY.

Just prior to the coming of the Messiah and in connection with his birth and infancy, several people in the New Testament are depicted as being enabled by the Holy Spirit to fulfill various roles and missions.

1. John the Baptist

he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. [16] Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. [17] And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous--to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." Luke 1:15-17 (NIV)

John was a climactic representative of the Old Testament prophets—going before the Lord, preparing the way. But in terms of the Holy Spirit John stands out above any OT figures, for he was filled with the Holy Spirit from birth.

2. Mary

The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:35 (NIV)

Mary is the supreme human example of the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. No human father was to be involved in the birth of Jesus; it was to be the work of the Holy Spirit.

3. Elizabeth

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:41 (NIV)

In the sixth month of her pregnancy the mother-to-be of John the Baptist was visited by Mary. When Mary greeted her Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. It’s significant that the occasion of Elizabeth being filled was Mary’s arrival, for Mary carried in her own womb the promised Son of God.

4. Zechariah

His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: Luke 1:67 (NIV)

Zechariah, the husband of Elizabeth and father-to-be of John the Baptist was filled with the Spirit who enabled him to prophesy concerning both the coming Messiah and the role of his own son. The background of Zechariah’s prophecy is significant. There was a deep struggle between faith and doubt. It is against the background of revived faith and fresh obedience that Zechariah is filled with the Spirit.

5. Simeon

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. [26] It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. [27] Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. Luke 2:25-27 (NIV)

Simeon was prepared by the Spirit for the imminent arrival of Joseph and Mary with the infant child. He then took the child Jesus in to his arms, blessed God and rejoiced “For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel." When the Spirit came upon Simeon there was this extraordinary disclosure of God’s salvation which would include both Gentile and Jew.

Following this, Simeon blessed both parents and then proclaimed that Jesus in his role as Savior would be “ Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, [35] so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too." Luke 2:34-35. Thus Simeon by the Spirit was enabled to discern both the joy and the pain that was soon to come.

THE HOLY SPIRIT DESIRES TO GUIDE YOU TO GOD’S TRUTH

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. John 16:13 (NIV)

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