Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Jesus’ birth was the most significant day in history. What made it so significant?


Jesus’ birth was the most significant day in history. What made it so significant?

1) It was the day love was born. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The greatest display of God’s love came when he sent his son Jesus. God loved his creation so much that he was willing to let go of Jesus and allow him to come and live among us. Jesus was willing to leave the glory of heaven behind and become Emmanuel-God with us. 1st John 4:8 says that God is love. Since God is love, and since Jesus is God with us then when Jesus left his place in heaven and was born of the virgin Mary-it was the day love was born. Does that mean the world never experienced love until Jesus was born? No. God is love so love has always existed. However, now, through the birth of Jesus, the barriers would be removed as God “made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). Col. 1:15 says that Jesus is the image of the invisible God. Now there wouldn’t be this obscure understanding of God for now he would come down and cohabitate with his creation so that there would be intimacy and understanding; so that there would be a relationship with a tangible God in the person of Jesus. God so loved the world that he wanted there to be a closeness the world had not experienced since before the fall of Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve walked with God. They had a personal relationship with him. All that was lost once sin entered in. Now, with Jesus here, people would once again be face to face with God and have a close, personal relationship with him. It wouldn’t be perfect, like Adam and Eve’s, but it would be intimate nonetheless. They wouldn’t have to experience God from afar but up close and personal. Through Jesus the world would see every day, practical applications of love. It’s not that God hadn’t shown his love since the fall of Adam and Eve; he showed it all the time. But for 400 years before the birth of Jesus God had been silent. From the last book of the OT (Malachai) to the first book of the NT (Matthew) is a period of 400 years. He had sent no prophets with messages for the people. Then God started sending messages of love again. He used his angel Gabriel to tell Mary she would have a Son. He told Joseph the same. He revealed the birth announcement to the Magi and he sent a whole host of angels to some shepherds in a field. It was the greatest day in history, the day love was born. "The Day That Love Was Born" by Dara Maclean, “How could you dream; Not just a story; But a masterpiece; A baby boy; Delivered to rescue you; You've got me a future; By making history; The day that love was born; It changed everything; And Jesus the Son; The Almighty One; Sent here to redeem; You came to save; Not just to give Your life away; You made a way; Everything changed; On that glorious day; The day that love was born; Oh, oh what a gift; The depth of Your heartache; Limitless; My soul must sing; Oh how I adore You; I was only existing; But now I am living; Because of what You gave; The day that love was born.” Unless we look at God we won’t know what true love looks like. And when we look at the life of Christ we have been shown what true love looks like. God’s love is completely different from the world’s love. The world has watered-down love. I say I love you but if you mess with me I’ll hate you in an instant. God doesn’t fall out of love like we humans do. God’s love isn’t based on feelings like ours can be. God’s love is something unique; even beyond our ability to completely understand. Eph. 3:16-19. Paul wanted everyone to try to grasp the vastness of Christ’s love. He wanted people to know this love that surpassed all knowledge and understanding. He wanted us to be full of that love. When Jesus came love took up residence on the earth. On that first Christmas love was born.

2) It was the dawn of death’s destruction. Jesus’ birth also meant that death’s destroyer had now come into the world. The day Jesus was born changed history in that now death would no longer be the victor-the one sent to destroy death had just arrived on the scene. This was a baby with a mission; one that would culminate roughly 33 years later with Jesus hanging on a cross, paying the penalty for the sins of mankind and then, three days later rising from the dead-claiming that victory over the power of death. 2nd Tim. 1:10, “But it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” The gospel sheds light on death’s destruction and how it brought about life and immortality for those who would trust in Jesus. Because Jesus destroyed death, the power and penalty of death has been removed for us. 1st Cor. 15:54-57. Jesus took the sting out of death for us. His sacrifice meant death was swallowed up in victory. John Piper article, “The Apostle Paul wrote, “O death, where is your sting?” Anyone grieving the death of someone they love deeply will say that “sting” hardly begins to describe the pain. And Christmas often heightens this pain. Certain decorations recall hands we will never hold again. Gatherings make visible precious absences. Sweet voices now stilled echo in our memories as we sing or share stories. But this is not a bad thing. Christmas is actually a very good time for grief. Because sorrow has a way of expending fantasy nonsense and pointing us to what the birth of Jesus was all about: death’s destruction. The sting Paul is talking about is not grief. He is talking about something far worse: condemnation. “The sting of death is sin” because “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). And physical death hardly begins to describe this death. Like all of us, Paul would have preferred to not die physically but he knew he would. The death Paul spent his life trying to save people from was spiritual death. Paul’s main concern was the “wrath and fury” people would experience if they stood before the “judgment seat of God” still in their sins. He believed the worst possible thing a human being can experience is to be “accursed and cut off from Christ” (Romans 9:3). He believed Jesus, who said, Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28) This is the main issue in life. We must be reconciled to God and have our sentence of hell cancelled. And the only way to do that is to receive the free gift of God, which is the forgiveness of sins and eternal life through his Son, Jesus. That’s why Jesus came. His whole purpose for being born was to die, That through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. (Hebrews 2:14–15) But not just to die. Jesus was born to be raised from the dead. He is the Resurrection and the Life and whoever believes in him “though he die yet shall he live” (John 11:25). When Jesus was born in Bethlehem it was the dawn of death’s destruction. It made possible the fast-approaching time when, He will swallow up death forever; and the Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces, he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The Lord has spoken. (Isaiah 25:8) If you’re feeling grief this Christmas, then know that what you’re experiencing is very much a part of Christmas. Jesus came to deal with your grief. Hear with fresh ears the angel’s gospel: Jesus came to save us from our sins. And if sin is removed, death’s days are numbered and your numbered tears will be wiped away. May the Resurrection and the Life infuse your Christmas grief with hope.” Jesus’ birth was the dawn of death’s destruction and with it there was ushered in the reality of hope for all the people. Through Jesus the curse of death has been removed and replaced with the promise of life.

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