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Sermons about Advent
God’s promise is that the Church of God shall have both the Spirit of truth and the Word of truth ever abiding in her midst – from Jerusalem, and Judea, to Samaria and to the uttermost parts of the Earth, from the West to the “rising of the Sun”, even to the end of the world, as long as she wants them..God will not break his covenant by withdrawing his Spirit from his Church. He does not promise to be with the counterfeit Church, in our day or any other day, although there is surely some kind of spirit there. But the Redeemer put on His armor, wrapped Himself in zeal, and come and conquered death from coast to coast, and finished His initial work of redemption in order to give us access to the Father, and to deliver His Spirit to His Church, and that will not be thwarted by human bungling. The blessed Holy Spirit of God has come, and His work is being performed from day to day. He comes like a mighty rushing wind, and the Spirit will never be withdrawn while any part of his ministry remains unfulfilled. It will be working somewhere. May this be one of those places.
Advent is the time in the Christian year that comes just before Christmas. It sometimes gets confused with Christmas, but it’s very different in purpose. Christmas celebrates the arrival of the Savior. Advent is a time set aside to remind us that we are a waiting people. God’s people waited for the Messiah in the Old Testament times, and we await His return in our time. In the more recent past, I have come to appreciate the cycle of the Christian year, and the way that it not only lays out the life and ministry of Christ, but also the way that it can bring us in to that story. The seasons of the Christian Year are a repeating unfolding of the story of Christ – every year we can walk through the highlights of how God brought salvation to us, and as such, it is a means of keeping that story before us, and even of being embraced by it. Because, after all, and I hope that you are beginning to understand, contrary to the thinking of modern Americans, Christianity is not really about Christ coming into the story of your life. It’s about you coming into His story, and entering His life.
Consumer Christmas promotes covetousness and materialism. But Advent, you see, encourages Christians to have a proper attitude toward possessions because it teaches us that waiting and faith – and hope, even in times when it seems there is no reason for it, are indispensable to the Christian life. Advent humbles us with waiting, and prepares our hearts to receive and welcome Christ. Advent is the antidote for the commercial Christmas frenzy and a template for our entire Christian lives. Consumer Christmas exploits the fact that by nature we are avaricious sinners. When gift-giving time rolls around, we think about getting more stuff. But Advent whispers to us “this worlds treasures are temporary.” The Scripture readings and hymns set aside for this time of year proclaim that this world will end – and soon. And then, our material possessions – the things we so ardently wish for will be burned up with fire. Consumer Christmas promises us that the presents we get or give, THIS YEAR, can deliver what we truly desire. But Advent tells us that what we really want, whether we realize it or not, even when we are distracted by the bubbles and baubles, is to be joined to our Creator, who made us in His image. Advent hymns express this – Hymns with titles like; O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, and Come thou long expected Jesus. Only the Son of God who comes in human flesh in the manger, dies on the cross and will soon return can fill this desire. Advent calms our frantic wanting and points us to the manger, where, after four milennia of preparation, the Word of God takes on mortal flesh – and once crucified, He blots out our sins with His blood, and ascends to the Father, and sends us His Holy Spirit, to indwell us and make us partakers of the divine nature. He alone is our hearts true desire. Advent reminds us that we are empty, hungry sinners, waiting for a meal that we cannot provide for ourselves, and that the One who can fill us will soon appear.
The picture of the Advent Candle reflects how we should be living for Christ
Mary and Joseph, in their humble plans to marry and raise a family in the backwater town of Nazareth, discovered that there was a life changing challenge ahead of them that included Bethlehem. God has challenges for each of us that can change our lives and even the lives of others, challenges that may be worth living for, maybe even worth dying for.
The message, meaning, and miracle of Christmas is rooted in John 3:16 which tells us that God so loved the whole world that He gave His only Son to die on a cross for our sins. He would have done this if you were the only person on the face of the earth to love. Christmas reminds us that love is forever, and that there's nothing we could do to make God love us any more or any less.
Christmas Expectations December 23, 2012 Text: Matthew 1:18-25; Ephesians 3:14-21 Key Thought: God’s expectation for you this Christmas is to wake up to His incredible plan for you. When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. Matthew 1:24, NIV
Pastor Rob shares about the freedom we have because Jesus came, in the Sunday before Christmas
You see, the baby Jesus saved the world simply by being born because His birth meant that God himself was among us. But not only among us; the Son of God became one of us. And that amazing truth, that the Word, who is the Son, became a human being, that truth means that when God entered the world in this way, nothing could ever be the same again.