December 22, 2019
Pastor Andy Norris
1 Timothy 1: 12-14

Christ Has Come

This sermon will start on 
December 22, 2019
7:09 pm
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Now you guys can turn to First Timothy chapter one. That's where we're going to be this morning for this Christmas. Well, the Sunday before Christmas service as you're turning there, if you've come to the north household right now, you would see that we're a little bit bah humbug in terms of our Christmas decorations. Okay, we got like a Christmas tree. And that's about all we got. We got some nice scented candles that have Christmas themes, but that's about it. We love Christmas, but I guess we're just not, you know, gigantic fans of decorations. I don't know. So, but we like Christmas trees. I guess it's all good. However, Okay, so here's one thing. It's kind of crazy when you do some studying on what all of these, like the history of all the traditional christmas decor actually points to. Okay. So like, I've done a little bit of this study on this and I'm just going to give you guys you know, kind of, I don't know, discouraged A lot of us perhaps, but here it is. So, the timing of Christmas. Okay, traditionally in the West Western church is December 25. Okay, Christian calendar we all celebrate that. So December 25 is actually not connected to the historical birth of Jesus Christ. Many scholars believe he was probably born in the spring. Know that Christmas season that like December 25 season is actually more connected to the Roman festival of Saturn Alia which is in a festival in worship to the Roman god of agriculture during the winter solstice usually around December. So we picked that day well, so the symbols the symbols and Christmas are often very connected to pre Christian, Germanic, Celtic and Scandinavian festivals of the winter solstice. So these evergreen reads all around us. The Christmas trees Holly all of this like fruit and and new life in the midst of a winter season was used often by these different Colts all throughout pre Christian Europe. So evergreen trees and reads were used to represent perpetual life and Winter and to ward off wandering winter spirits the mistletoe which is Celtic and that means all healed to Celtic word that means all healed was a symbol of life and peace used by pagan drrew and priests for healing ceremonies.

And then they Yuletide idea. Okay, Troll the ancient Yuletide carol. Right. Okay. The Yuletide was actually a festival in Scandinavian culture to ensure that the sun deity would return. So they burn Yeah, they burn a decorative log that they call the Yule Log. And they believe that it's spurred on the sun god to return back in the midst of all of this winter. So here we go, guys were loaded our house full of just pagan imagery all over the place, right? How in the world makes us all wonder how in the world did all these incredibly worldly traditions get transformed into symbols that could remind us of a baby born in Bethlehem well, Christians All throughout history, have taken pagan customs, especially these around our holy days, and have directed them towards Christ rather than towards the last and dark ideas that they used to represent. They've taken what was once pagan, and turned it into reminders of our God and King. You see, our God has a way of saving fallen things and transforming them into vessels for His glory. That's actually the Christmas story right there of our God coming down and redeeming and saving and rescuing falling creatures and transforming them into vessels of His glory. And that's what Paul talks about in First Timothy chapter one, verses 12 through 15. So I've asked you to stand up with me, he's going to submit his life and ours as the picture of the glorious good news of Jesus Christ. So let's read this together. Verses 12 through 17 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor and insolent opponent, but I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly and unbelief. And the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy, and deserving a full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost but I received mercy for this reason, that in me as the foremost Jesus Christ might display His perfect patients, as an example to those who were to believe in Him for eternal life, to the king of the agents immortal, invisible. The only God be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. Let's pray together Jesus is that the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart would be pleasing to you, Lord, my rock, and my Redeemer. Bless us, Lord Jesus Christ, by the power of your spirit. As we have this word opened, and our hearts stirred to the light, and the incredibly good news that you came to save sinners, and pray these things in Christ's name, amen. You guys can be seated. So the main idea for this message is the main idea of this entire text. Christ came to save sinners, Christ came to save sinners. Paul talks about how Christ came for him in this text, and Paul also talks about how Christ came for all of us. That's going to be the two points I'll be walking us through Christ came to Paul, and Christ came to us. So we begin with this. So Christ coming for Paul, he came to Paul himself, which is kind of crazy because Paul deserved complete wrath in judgment for who he used to be. Hey, look in verse 12. I thank him who gave me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord because he judged me faithful appointing me to his service. Okay, so for us to like, think of the Apostle Paul, especially in the Christian church, we do think of a very faithful dude who should have been appointed to service. Half of the New Testament is written by the Apostle Paul. Many of the churches that first began were planted by his own hands, the apostle Paul, he was used as the forerunner missionary and expanding the local church, the apostle Paul, you would think was very much worthy of being appointed for service to God Himself. But when you look back on his life, and he does so in this text, it makes absolutely no sense that God would choose Paul previously known as Saul, to be the missionary that God would use to transform the world makes zero sense. So Paul calls himself a blasphemer, a persecutor and an insolent opponent. More of his story can be read in Acts chapter eight and chapter nine. And chapter eight opens with this detail about who saw was, that was his name before it's changed to Paul.

Saul was ravishing the church. Entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison. So Saul was a total blast femur meanness he denied Jesus was the Messiah, and sought to destroy anybody who would follow him. Paul was a religious fanatic who would stop at nothing to preserve his convictions for the Jewish faith. He would intimidate threaten cause fear throw in prison even kill those Christians who are jeopardizing the purity of his religious Get this. We call those people today, terrorists. religious fanatics stop at nothing to preserve their religious integrity, or they will do anything even even killing other people around them to preserve that purity. That's a terrorist people.

He was Jewish jihadist. That was the Apostle Paul. He deserved punishment and wrath for the crimes that he committed against the Church of Jesus Christ, destroying families, destroying ministries, destroying very lives, for the sake of His zeal for the Jewish faith. He deserved punishment and death from the Lord Himself for what he was doing to the church. And Jesus said later to him, you don't it to me, I've wrapped myself up with my people. So if you're persecuting them, Paul, you're persecuting me, is what Jesus said to him in Acts chapter nine. But instead of receiving wrath, Even though he deserved it, Paul received the mercy. So look in verse 13. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly and unbelief. Jesus radically showed up to Paul and Jesus radically showed mercy to Paul. He radically showed up to Paul in Acts chapter nine, and you can read it on his road to Damascus to wipe out the church in Damascus. Jesus Christ shows up to this zealous, proud, violent man and smacks him in the face with his glory, knocks them off his horse blinds them in that moment and says, You are persecuting me, Paul, me. He says, Who are you Lord, I am Jesus, the one who you have been denying. Jesus shows up and smacks him in the face with glory blinds them for three days. Why are you persecuting me? radically shows up to Paul. And then he radically shows mercy to Paul. The definition of mercy is this. Simply put, not getting what you deserve. Mercy defined is not getting what you deserve. So many folks in here college students, high school students, even med students DMU folks finals hopefully are done for you. You don't have one lingering alright so I know for me when I was in grad school in seminary I mean the finals it was just so brutal. Amen everybody stressed it out. It was it was awful. And what was really frustrating to me too is that I was kind of the dumb dumb and my friend group so I'd be the ones having to study like crazy and I baby basically scratch out to be if I got lucky, you know what I mean? And my buddies would just barely trying, they'd go and crush it and get a so but I found this out. So my friend Brad, who's now pastor, he was studying for this Old Testament class. We were both together. He was studying like crazy and he always just found that person. Who took the class previously and became best friends with him all of a sudden? And now like he they basically just asked weird questions and he gets all the insight about how to crack the professor, you know what I mean? And he saw the classes that was his Mo. So anyway, um, he gets done, and he was like, we're all taking this test. It was hard. And I remember Brad is sitting in the front of the class, just looking forward. Like almost the whole time, like I saw him working but then he was just done very quickly. And I'm still trying to finalize everything and grab ended up being the last person in the entire class and we're just like, What in the world is going on with Brad you can tell him he's really disruptive know what's happening. And so, so Brad comes out and he just has kind of, like, huge, huge, you know, saucers of eyes. And, and he's like, I just found out. So my friend, you know, they sent him if he let me see his old test, which is fine. You can look at old tests. Like that's cool. That's all great. The test was exactly the same last year is it was this year. Brad knew every single answer. on that test, so he got done about five minutes. And then he's looking ahead of like, what do I do in this ethical dilemma? I've completely cheated. I deserve to fail. So he goes up to our professor and kind of for me, Brad, I'm like bout time you kind of get hit with something. Because this are smart pants. He just crushes everything. And of course you find the test and yes, time for you to get an F Finally, do you know so I'm ready for that. And Brad goes. He said, it's fine. And he just gave me an A. And I'm like, I don't understand why the Lord works like this. This was my opportunity for vindication for me to have the level playing ground. But here was it This was a Brad deserved an F and he got an A. He got mercy extended to him from his professor. I didn't get any of that just got to C so.

Paul deserved a major punishment for his crimes against the church. He just served wrath. From the Holy God of the universe, earned every bit of it. That's what he deserved. But instead, he received mercy. He was healed of his blindness. He was in baptized, forgiven, pardon for his sins that he committed against the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He was forgiven. Mercy was extended to Paul and he was transformed by the grace of Jesus Christ. That was an extended to him as well. Verse 14, the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Grace towards Paul, Kate, he specifically mentioned two things and they're not synonymous. He mentioned mercy, and he mentioned grace. So it's back to our definitions. Mercy means not getting what you deserve. Grace means getting what you don't deserve. So My friend Brad got an A even though he didn't deserve it, I actually the Lord knew my pain. And I'm not not making this up the next semester theology to class, which is all about the atonement and the grace of God. We're like, we're wrapping up final class, my professor who was also like, ready to retire. One of those guys, you know what I mean? So, whole class, we're all studying, and he and we're all stressed out, I mean, it was gonna be a lot of material. And he looks at all of us. And he says, we've studied a lot about grace this whole semester. And it's time for me to follow our Lord. And the way in which he extended grace. I therefore extended to you, you all have A's on your finals without even taking it. Right now, is it I still happy about it? That's how I passed seminary I think because he gave me an A. So that is getting something that we don't deserve. That is grace. The grace towards Paul Paul sets was overwhelming. Okay, it over Float, right? That's me says overflowed for me. So I want to get technical for a second to properly understand that word that he used. So the root word and this and that is in the ESV overflowed. The root word of that is to abound. Or to be too much, to be too much. That's the root word. Okay? But Paul, put a hyper in front of it, a super in front of it. That's technically what this word is. So literally, to be super too much grace, to be hyper over the top grace to be like, what happens to me when I go to drink diner? I get two cups of coffee for sure, because they're going to absolutely fill it back up and it knows this. I kind of hit like a point of no return when I met Drake diner. Would you like more coffee? It's over, go for it. Go for it. And it just I can feel my party caffeinated. It's like one thing over caffeinated. That's when you're doing this right and like that's what's happening to me. Paul is saying, what the Lord Jesus Christ has done. Grace was enough. Not getting what I deserve mercy was enough receiving your love receiving your mercy receiving your patience, your kindness, your attention, your care, your protection. That was enough. You went overboard though. You went on top of that grace, grace upon grace upon grace, hyper grace over the top, Grace, way too much Grace, I'm overwhelmed grace. That's what our Lord does to sinners who don't deserve it. Over the top Grace is what extended to Paul.

God's grace is indeed overwhelming, especially when you recognize that you didn't earn an ounce of it. But this grace also lead to faith and love. faith and love came from Jesus Christ. So this faith, this conviction that this man had that Jesus was not the Messiah all of a sudden gets transformed into a faith that led to a deep conviction that Paul was willing to give up his entire life for a faith that Jesus Christ is indeed the King of kings and Lord of lords. And then a love for this Jesus Christ overwhelmed by this reality that he would save a wretch like Paul, because of his mercy and grace, overwhelmed by what we get even more crazy when you think about it this way. Think about this. Okay, God gave Paul a specific ambition. And it was the mission to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. Don't Don't overdo that for a minute. Okay, you got to think about that for a second. Remember his background, here was Paul's mission in life, kill anybody who threaten the Jewish way of life. And then God transformed them to have a loved one. Say I will go after everybody who's not a Jew. That's how the transformed to become so radically changed. It's a dramatic transformation of Paul. He came to Christ and immediately began preaching in the synagogues proclaiming that Jesus is the Son of God debating with the Jews and proving that Jesus was the Messiah. The transformation was so radical though, that the Christians in Jerusalem didn't believe that he was indeed a disciple of Jesus. Dudes like that don't get transformed to become legit. They didn't trust it. They didn't believe that he needed his board Barnabas to back up his testimony, because they didn't believe in so much. They were terrified of him. The believers were radical conversions can be unbelievable. Radical conversions can be unbelievable. Makes me think The classic CBS holiday special Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Yeah, I'm getting some amens from CJ over there. So if you know those if you haven't seen that movie you're not a human being so want to remind you of a character and Rudolph the Red Nosed right now the 1967 claymation version and some talking about the horrifying Abominable Snowman monster of the North, right with a weird like, like thing that he would that would echo all over the place. It was Yukon kornelius his arch nemesis right? And the monster was the one constantly chasing Rudolph and hermie you wanted to be a dentist by the way throughout all of the you know North Pole, Bumble Okay, which was the nickname you can Cornelius gave the abominable snowman serve the North was basically his like brash trash talking, you know what I mean? Super brutal, call them Bumble. Eventually Bumble gets knocked out by the crew and hermie practices and skills of Dennis History and removes the teeth of the bondable snowman. Remember that? My comic only that? And then you can't currently listen him kind of find the corniest reals, I can punch him and so he punches him over the cliff and he ends up they all fall over the cliff. And it was horribly tragic. It was very tragic.

And everyone's just moping their way back Rudolph is say, but no one cares because UConn died and they get back to the house or they get back to San this house and it's all like kind of sad. And then who comes up? You can't Cornelius, he's alive. But oh, no, what was me there is The Abominable Snowman of the North right there. And this is what happens is you can't Cornelia says, Oh, no, no, no. He's repented of his evil ways. He now wants a job Santa. And then what does Bumble do but demonstrates its usefulness and puts that star on top of that tree, and everyone realizes he's been transformed. The Abominable Snowman. The North is now the gentle giants, amen. Somebody who can now help out the short elves put that star on top of the tree The monster who terrorists who terrorize the North was transformed into a gentle giants. This is indeed what happened to the terrorist, Apostle Paul. Jesus transformed the worst enemy of the gospel into his primary instrument to expand his glory all throughout the year.

That's how powerful his Grace is. God is a pattern of doing that all throughout Scripture as well. He took a liar named Jacob, and he used him to father the 12 tribes of Israel. He took a murderer named Moses and used him to redeem his people from slavery. He took an adulterer named David and used him to be the picture of the Messiah. He took a zealot named Simon and turned him into a disciple and an apostle. He took a corrupt tax collector named Zacchaeus Who gave all of his half of his possessions away to help the poor and he took a persecutor and a murderer named Saul and turned him into the preacher for the Gentiles. God takes the least likely people and turns them into vessels for His glory, vessels for His glory. And he does this so that no one will be confused who is behind all this miraculous word? Only God Himself could enact such a powerful transformation on ratchets. like Paul, ratchets, like you and me.

Who do you know? Who do you know? That is the greatest opponent of the gospel? Perhaps this is going to be the person you're going to be sitting at a dinner table with and just a few days around Christmas dinner. And you know the biting comments are coming. You know, the debates are on their way. You know that no matter what you say to this person, you can't seem to sway. No matter how many apologetic books you read, you can't seem to get it done. You can think about even beyond that, who is the greatest opponent that is threatening the Church of Jesus Christ around you in the US, you can think of the jihadists you can think of the white supremacist you can think of anyone you could possibly imagine as being the opponent of the gospel. And Jesus looks at him and says that is going to be my missionary to the unknown world. That is going to be the next church planter, and a place where there is no church. That's going to be the next Sunday school teacher who loves kids more than you could ever imagine. That's going to be the next elder of a local church that's going to leave with gentleness and grace, although is full of violence and malice now, don't you see? Nobody is too far overwhelming for God to transform them into vessels for His glory. Nobody is.

So even as you go into this Christmas season, you're going to interact with that opponent, your brother, sister and uncle, whoever it may be. Trust, our Lord looks at them. And he's probably going like this. Waiting to show off his glory to that person. So Christ came for Paul, Christ came for us. Look at verse 15, which is the epicenter of this text and epicenter of this message. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. What is the gospel of Jesus Christ? Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. What is the message of Christmas? Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. What is the good news that will never get old? Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Christ came into the world. This incarnation separates Christianity from all other religions, the reality that Christ God himself came to the world separates Christianity from all other religions. Some of you had this conversation with people who do not know the Lord, who are antagonistic perhaps towards the gospel. And they say, I can't ever think of a God who would say that he would basically condemn people or reject people because they don't believe in him. Because what I can see is this is that there is God is on the top of the mountain. And there are like so many different ways for us to get on top of a mountain. As long as you're going up, you're going to get there some way shape or form, right that that is a common argument that people give against the exclusivity of Jesus Christ to be able to say this, there are so many different pads up to the mountain. How proud Can you be to say that you have found the right one, right?

Here's what the Incarnation says though. Incarnation says that while the whole path to the mountain idea argues that all religions lead us up to God. Only one religion One religion claims that God came down to us. That's what separates everything. Well, the reality is the mountain whole idea of getting to him is not what Jesus has done. He's come down to us, because there's no way we could go up the path to get to him. He had to come down to us. It's what separates Christianity from every other religion is that our God came for sinners, because there was no chance we could get to him. He came down to the world for us, the God of the universe came in the form of a baby to our world. He did not arrive at a royal palace, but in a humble stable. He was not royalty, he was common. So you can relate to us and know us intimately and purposefully. It was the greatest display of humility in all of history, and it came from the holy and glorious God of the universe. Who had no need to be humble? For us, the glorious one, he humbly left his throne and came down to us. And he came down for sinners like you and me. Who did not deserve it? Who did not deserve it? He didn't come because we were lovely. He didn't come because we were worth it. He didn't come because we had demonstrated some goodness, no, he came, all because of his mercy and love and grace for those wretches like you and me. That is why he indeed came even before his birth. pesta recap read it at the kickoff of this entire service. Gabriel's announcement and Matthew 121 was your to name him Jesus for he will save his people from his sense. From the gate. This baby showed up and his mission was to die when we think of the page in the manger, we are automatically thinking of the righteous man dying on the cross. That was his mission. He came to save a people deserving of wrath, who were desperate and without hope. And how was this rescue mission accomplished? Not through power, not through might, but through sacrifice, and through death.

Jesus saves sinners by receiving the penalty of sin, death and wrath that we deserve all because of his love and grace that we don't deserve. Because of his death. Sinners like you and me can be forgiven because of his mercy and grace. Sinners can be saved, and because he did not stay dead. Sinners like you and me can be transformed as well. Because that thing that bound us to be wretches, constantly going after sin and death and the devil, constantly being unloving, constantly being rebellious again, against the power of His Holy Spirit is unleashed to those who believe in Jesus. So, wretches get transformed into worshippers of the king. That's the power of the gospel to all those who have believed. And that's the Christian message. He came into the world to save you, in me. The baby born in Bethlehem, God in the flesh came to die for centers, so that all who would believe in him would not perish, but would be saved. But Paul keeps going in this text by the way, he doesn't stop there. He keeps going because he wants to make sure nobody misses this profound reality. For even the worst of sinners can be saved. I had a Convo with a friend of mine, just recently, recalling a time that he had in rehab struggled with drugs for many, many, many, many, many years. And this is the second time you went up into rehab. The first thing the director said to him when he walked in, and he had done some stuff, some bad stuff, a lot of it, selling drugs, addicted to them, did some terrible things to get them, all of that. So he shows up and the first thing this director of this rehab center said, M is a Christian rehab center. He said, welcome. God forgives you. That was the first thing that he said.

My friend knew Jesus, by the way, okay to grew up in the church, all of that. So that's kind of where he's gone. Welcome. God forgives you. When my friend recounts the story, he told me how angry he was at this dude. For in his mind lying to him. He said this to me that he said, he said this to the guy. He said, You don't know what you're talking about. You don't know what I've done. If you did, you wouldn't say that. God doesn't forgive people like me. are you here today? And that's exactly what you are thinking.

And you don't know what I've done. God's mercy and God's grace and God's forgiveness and God's love isn't directed towards a person like me. Well, there's a word for those of us in this room who's struggling with that today from this text. Look in verse 15. So Paul articulates the gospel so clearly Christ came to the world to save sinners. Then he says this, of whom I am, the foremost of who I am the foremost Paul's not being falsely humble here. He literally is saying, I am the archetype sinner. I've blessed seemed persecuted and was a horrible opponent, to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. There is nobody worse than me. I have killed Christians. I blast speed. The creator of the universe, I am the foremost of sinners, the worst of the worst.

But then he goes on and he says this. So press him of the world. I am the foremost and I received mercy for this reason that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display His perfect patients, as an example, to those who were to believe in Him for eternal life. Here's what he's saying, If Jesus Christ could save me, he could save you. If If I was not too far, God, and I was 100% too far back. And Jesus saved me. I'm the example. If he can be patient with me, he can be patient with anybody. Do we get that? There is nobody. For those who believe in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins and the salvation of their souls. There is no buddy can overwhelm God's grace for those who believe in him. Nobody, no sin. No rejection can do that. For those who believe in turn to the Lord Jesus Christ and Paul of Tarsus is proof. He's saying it's proof. This is good, good, good. Good. Good news. today.

If you are here, got a zero. If you are here today, and you believe you are too far gone, here the message of the gospel. When you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, no matter what you have done, you will be saved because it is about what he has done for you. That's the good news. But for those of us who have believed in Jesus Christ, this is still the unbelievably good news for you and me. It's still unbelievably good news for you and me. Pastor Travis and one of his message confessed this and it was so impactful for my own soul because he spoke something that was very true. He said, The bulk of my sin occurred after I became a Christian. This year I became a Christian. I was 15. I knew that I was a sinner. I knew that I needed Jesus, but my heinous sins, my really terrible ones, the ones that I regret more than ever came after I believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. Because I grew in my maturity, and therefore I grew in my expertise and knowing how to sin.

I grew and I grew and it was heinous, some of the stuff that I ended up doing even knowing Jesus Christ. But here's the good news. Okay, listen to me. His salvation for you doesn't stop with his justification at the end of all time. Where Yes, when you believe in Jesus, that you can now stay on Before the father of heaven, he looks at you and he does not see your sin. He sees Jesus Christ. And he says you are righteous because of what Jesus has done for you. That's called justification. Theologians say you've been made justified righteous, just in the eyes of God, set your status. You're good. You've been saved. You've been justified. But he did save you, but he is still saving you, which is called sanctification. So he came to continuously save you over and over and over and over again, to give you more mercy, more grace, more love, more restoration, more forgiveness, more empowerment, more ability to love him and hate. You're saying over and over, he's saving you today. That's called sanctification. And he's not stopping because the bigger ones called glorification where he will save us. He did save us. He is saving us. He will save us that when we look at this pain around us, look at this sin. We can't share. Look at the rebellion against God, we know he's coming, you'll make everything right, everything will be perfect again because our glorious King will return and save us all. Save us all.

When you meditate on the good news that Jesus came to save sinners, the only response we got is to worship him. Look in verse 17. This is the only thing Paul can do. There's no therefore, there's no so going back like this. There's no so therefore you should be thinking this way. This is all that he can do. Look at it. Verse 17, to the king of all the ages, the immortal, the invisible, the only God be honor and glory forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever. Amen. Paul gets done reflecting on his life and the truth. For the gospel, and he can't help but praise God. When we recognize the mercy and grace we've received our only response at its growth is to worship that King who saved us. That's our life now is in worship to that King, who has saved us as well. I'd love to So Paul can't stop it. The angels haven't stopped praising him. So they haven't stopped it. First Peter one says that the angels look on and wonder if what Christ has done for us. They were watching all of this unfold since the beginning, when God enacted this wonderful redemptive plan. It's why when the incarnate Son of God burst forth on the scene in Bethlehem as a newborn baby, they erupted with praise, saying glory to God and the highest, the great rescue mission has begun. He has come to save his people from their sins. She's here, he's arrived. The entire host of heaven erupted with praise when he came on the scene, how much more we erupt with praise for the one who came on the scene to save sinners like you and me. He came to save you. The all powerful King and creator of the cosmos came to save you. The Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end came to save you, The Wonderful Counselor, the mighty God came to save you, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace came to save you Jesus Christ, the Savior, the Redeemer, the second person of the Trinity, God in flesh, our elder brother, our Redeemer and friends, he came to save you. Amen. Amen. Let's pray. Jesus, we love you. Thank you for Thank you, thank you for the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ that began at Christmas, that you came in the form of a baby, humbly inserted yourself in the flesh was born in a specific time to a specific woman in a specific people group for a very specific purpose. And that was to save sinners like me. I struggle with it every day even today. Oh God, I need to be saved once again. I'm justified before you because of the fact that I placed my faith in you when I was 15 I repented of my sin and believe Oh God, but I need you You to continuously be reminded me that you are still saving me, redeeming me, showing me your mercy and your grace day after day after day. And I can look forward to the marvelous day when you will return and save all of this world from the brokenness. But it was that fateful day when you did come in that manger in Bethlehem pointed to the ultimate day not in a manger, but on a cross. When you took my place, received the punishment that I deserved mercy. And it said, gave me what I didn't deserve, which was your righteous. Your perfection. And now I can stand before the Father and say I am your adopted son. Oh, God, would that refresh all of us this Christmas season, that we worship a God who came to save us sinners. Because He loved us that we can only worship You, Jesus, we can only worship you. That's the only response we can give. a marvelous, marvelous, marvelous praise from your people as we say. Thank you for saving us, Jesus.

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Sunday mornings are a time for our local church to celebrate all that God has done and is doing in our midst. Let us know you're coming, we'd love to introduce ourselves!

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