First Baptist Lafayette, Louisiana
Every Day Ought to Be Christmas
Finding Your Story in HIStory:
Every Day Ought to Be Christmas
March 25, 2012
Dr. Steve Horn
Text Introduction: Since the beginning of this year, we have worked our way through the major movements of the Old Testament. Our goal has been to see systematically the story of God throughout history. Today, we have come to one of the most significant moments in human history. We call it the incarnation—a word that means that God became flesh and dwelt among us.
Text: Now I say that as long as the heir is a child, he differs in no way from a slave, though he is the owner of everything. 2 Instead, he is under guardians and stewards until the time set by his father. 3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were in slavery under the elemental forces of the world. 4 When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
Introduction: When I was a kid, for several years I had an aunt and uncle, and their children, my cousins, who lived in Indonesia. During those years, my extended family celebrated Christmas in July, because that was the time of the year when my aunt, uncle, and cousins made their annual trip to the States. While I was a pastor in New Iberia, we were involved in a community service day much like our First Baptist Loves Lafayette Day, which was called “Christmas in April.” The truth is—if we understand that Christmas is the celebration of Jesus coming into our world, then why would we not celebrate Christmas every day. In a sense, “every day ought to be Christmas.”
As we think upon this pivotal moment in history, I want to put Christ’s coming in its historical and theological context.
The Preparation for the Coming of Christ into the World
Verses 1-3 put the coming of Christ into a historical perspective for us. The Apostle Paul uses the analogy of slavery to describe humanity’s predicament before the advent of Christ. I love what another pastor wrote about Jesus’ coming. “He walked with Adam and Eve in the garden. He spoke to Moses in the fire of a burning bush. He guided Israel in a cloud by day and fire by night. He sat enthroned over the ark of the covenant in the tabernacle and temple. But all of these were the the warm-up for the main act of the story. Now, the Lord would come himself, fully man and fully God.” (Adam T. Barr, Exploring the Story, Zondervan, 2011, p. 118.)
The whole of history before Christ points toward our need for Christ.
Hopefully, our survey of history has shown us that we desperately need a Savior. The creation event could not reconcile us to God. The reason? Sin. God setting apart a nation for Himself could not reconcile that people to God. The reason? Sin. Trying to keep the law could not reconcile people to God. The reason? Sin. We need a savior. Religion does not reconcile us to God. Good works do not reconcile us to God. Being born into the right family does not reconcile us God. Only God can reconcile us to God.
The Perfection of His Coming
Verse 4 points to the perfection of Christ’s coming. Christ’s coming was perfect in that Jesus was …
Born at the Right Time
Born as the Son of God
Born of a woman
The historical account of the coming of Christ points toward the nature of Christ.
Because of the timing and His nature, His coming was perfect.
The Provision of His Coming
Verse 5 points to what was accomplished by Jesus’ coming. He redeemed us.
The very point of Jesus’ coming is a major subject of the New Testament.
- Mark 10:44— For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many.”
- 1 Timothy 1:15— This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”
- John 18:37—“I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify to the truth.”
- 1 John 3:8—The Son of God was revealed for this purpose: to destroy the Devil’s works.
Why did Jesus come? We have said that we see a continuing pattern in history? God created us to have relationship. We have rebelled in that relationship. God has pursued us to restore that relationship. In Christ, God did what we could not do for ourselves. The theme of verse 6 and verse 7 is sonship—relationship!
The Question of His Coming
Will you let Jesus do what He came to do?
Will you let God’s story become your story? This question is summarized in one of the most well known verses of the Bible. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever should believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Something happened in our country on September 22, 1862 that set in motion something that would forever change our country. On this day, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which indicated that all slaves in the “rebellious states” would be free. But in effect, not one single slave was set free on that September day. First, the proclamation would not go into effect until January 1, 1863. Second, the proclamation had no real effect until victory by Northern states. In fact, by the time of April 15, 1865, the day that Lincoln died, the Emancipation Proclamation was still little more than a piece of paper. Not until December 6, 1865, when enough states had ratified the 13th amendment, was the idea of slavery totally abolished. But, as many historians will tell you, even ratification of the 13th amendment did not immediately free all slaves. Why? Some slaves could simply not free themselves from the institution that slavery had become.
Sin is like that. Jesus won for you and for me the forgiveness and freedom of sin on the cross. But many, maybe even some who are here today, live in bondage to sin. You must let Jesus serve you and let Him be the ransom for your sin. How do you do that?
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