Summary: 24 Days leading up to Christmas
Passage: John 3:16-17
Title: Week 4 – The Candle of Purity
ADVENT BACKGROUND: There are often many symbols used to represent Advent from various churches of many denominations. An evergreen wreath is a solid staple followed by four to five candles. The wreath is a symbol of Christ’s perfection (complete). The evergreen meaning eternal life and the light from the candles often times represent the light of Jesus Christ. Each of the candles has a different meaning.
• The first candle represents the anticipation of Christ coming (anticipation of Christ coming for those in OT and coming again for those living in NT).
• Note: This candle is sometimes tied in with the second candle. We learned this week…
o Jesus as the “Righteous Branch” (Jeremiah 23:5)
o The Righteous Advents (1 & 2 Coming of Jesus – Jer. 23:6)
o Anticipation of the Righteous King (Jeremiah 23:7–8)
• The second candle is a candle of hope (preparation). We learned two ways to prepare here…
o Prepare by Repenting (Luke 3:3)
o Prepare by Clearing the Way (Luke 3:4-6)
• The third candle is a candle meaning joy.
o The Joy of the Lord is the Fear of the Lord (Luke 2:8-9)
o The Joy of the Lord is the Salvation of the Lord (Luke 2:10-11)
o The Joy of the Lord is an Opportunity for Another (Luke 2:12-15)
• The forth candle is a candle representing purity (or love).
• The last candle (usually white to distinguish between the other candles) is the candle is lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day representing Christ on as the fulfillment of what is promised in the first four candles.
Depending on which circle one grew up these candles have been known to move from week to week depending on the denomination. The color of the candles often varies but most common are purple, pink and white.
Title: Week 4 – The Candle of Purity (Love – John 3:16-17)
#1: The Gospel is an Action of Pure Love (John 3:16a)
• Explanation: The most popular passage of Scripture is the culmination of the gospel. The gospel is the message of God’s grace on sin filled humans, sending a sacrifice, His Son, Jesus Christ – the God/Man Messiah, who proved Himself God in His birth, His teaching, His life, His death, His resurrection from the dead and His ascension to the right hand of God. The gospel is the message that there is eternal salvation for mankind through Christ’s one time sacrifice for all (Luke 24:46–47) who would believe (John 1:12) and call upon the name of Jesus. Therefore, the gospel is…
o A message we declare to others (Matthew 28:18–19).
o Powerful (Romans 1:16).
o A message that brings a change to life (1 Thessalonians 1:4–5).
• The gospel is a good God sending a pure sacrifice for His people who’s single motivation was one of love for His fallen creation in a gift that would have to be received in faith!
• Application: God’s love is not limited to a few or to one group of people but His gift is for the whole world. John tells us that “God so loved the world that He gave…”. There is nothing in it for us when we give. A gift is an expression of love. So what do we do with it?
o Acknowledge It: God loves you so much in our sinful state that He refuses to let us stay there. We MUST acknowledge that we need that which we don’t deserve.
o Believe It: It’s not enough that we simply believe the gift is present, we must believe it’s for us. The demons and Satan himself know God exists but they fail to believe it’s the saving truth and that rejection of God’s love keeps them in an eternity in hell.
o Conform to It: After we have acknowledged the gospel exists and believe it’s true, we then live our life conforming to God’s will. This is a process that is preparation for our eternity because Christ not only came once, He IS coming AGAIN!
#2: The Gospel is an Action Guaranteeing a Pure Eternity (John 3:16b-17)
• Explanation: In God’s love for us He not only gave, but He gave His us His most valuable gift, His Son Jesus.
o “God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all.” (Rom. 8:3 MSG)
o “With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us?” (Romans 8:32 MSG).