CHRISTMAS MORNING WORSHIP SERVICE, 25 December 2020
Sermon Text: Luke 2:1-20
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I. Christ’s birth proves the seriousness of man’s sin
II. Christ’s birth proves the way of salvation open for sinners
III. Christ’s birth proves God’s incomprehensible love for us
There was a great joy with all those gathered around the baby boy in the manger in Bethlehem, Judea about 2,000 years ago. Not because of pleasantness of the place the baby was laid, but because of peace and hope the baby Jesus brought to their hearts. Their joy was unimaginably great because they were beholding their Saviour! What a wonderful moment it must’ve been for those chosen to meet the baby Jesus who was laid in a manger! Who would imagine seeing the Messiah of the world? It was the Son of God they laid their eyes on that night. From their amazed and overwhelmed hearts came praises to God the Father of all true believers. It was the first Christmas, and as the day was blessed, the hearts of God’s beloved were filled with pure delight.
I believe that the same joy overflows from your heart as you’ve come and gathered together to celebrate the birth of the Saviour Jesus. We behold Jesus with our spiritual eyes and rejoice in His grace and love. To be more accurate, the joy of Christmas you and I have is better than that of those who were invited to the birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem. Why? Because you and I have heard the full gospel Jesus brought to the world, whereas Joseph and Mary and the shepherds did not know at their meeting with the baby Jesus what the Saviour would achieve in His life and ministry as well as in His death and resurrection. We have received through Jesus a faith that exceeds sight, a faith that does not require a visible proof. We were not at the Saviour’s birth, we haven’t seen Him lying in a manger, but we believe that the Son of God came to us in flesh, and, by believing, we see Him clearly and we rejoice in Him!
And I’d like to make your joy shine brighter, your praises go higher, by reminding you of what Jesus’ birth proves. Christmas proves, firstly, the seriousness and fatality of man’s sin, secondly, an open way for salvation, and, thirdly, God’s incomprehensible love for us.
Let us ponder these points in order to see your heart and mine filled and overflown with the joy of Christmas.
I. CHRIST’S BIRTH PROVES THE SERIOUSNESS OF MAN’S SIN
The first thing we should know is that Christ’s birth proves the seriousness and fatality of man’s sin. The birthplace of Jesus proves this fact. He was born in an unpleasant place; it was in a stable, and he was laid in a manger, a trough for animals. It was not a place for man to lie down and rest, let alone a newborn baby to be laid. He came to a filthy place. Despite the best of Joseph’s preparation, it was still a loathsome, disgusting, distasteful and foul place.
Why did Jesus come into the world, choosing a place like that, a filthy stable? Because He planned to tell us that this world He came into was and is a place of sinners and, in sin, all are loathsome, disgusting, distasteful and foul. There’s no difference between a fully adorned room in a king’s palace and a stable at a peasant’s place; where sin is, all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness and malice is found and death reigns! In this sense, if Jesus had been born in a king’s palace instead of a stable, there would’ve been no difference with the fact that the King and Lord Jesus who is God came to a filthy place of sin and sinners.
Moreover, He came because we needed Him as our Saviour. If a Saviour like Jesus did not come to save us, if the Son of God did not come to rescue us from sin, all people would’ve perished in sin. So, because of our sin, Jesus came. That is to say, our sinfulness brought Christ down to earth from heaven! In this way, Jesus’ birth proves the seriousness and fatality of man’s sin. No man can cancel his sin; Jesus the Son of God alone can save sinners like us. Otherwise, Jesus didn’t have to come. But because of our sin, He came to us in flesh, the righteous God to this place of unrighteousness and death.
2. CHRIST’S BIRTH PROVES THE WAY OF SALVATION OPEN FOR SINNERS
The next truth Christ’s birth proves is that the way of salvation is opened wide for sinners. Although our sin is seriously fatal and deadly, God’s message for us is to not fear. That’s what the angel who appeared to the shepherds in the field delivered and said, “Fear not.”
Some people might hear it as an attempt for calming down those bewildered shepherds from the shock of seeing God’s messenger, but that is not its full meaning, but a partial or rather superficial implication. The very message he delivered to those shepherds was a comfort from above. “Fear not” is the very summary of God’s message for all who were and are in the darkness of sin because a way of salvation was open for all sinners when the Saviour was born in Bethlehem.
The angel continues with the reason why sinners should not fear but rejoice. That is because ‘good news of great joy’ is given to all sinners. Good news of great joy is that the Saviour is born; the One who can take away man’s sin and its curse is here; He is Christ, God’s Anointed One, Messiah, and the Lord. By His birth, the way for salvation is wide open for all – both Jews and Gentiles, men and women, young and old, all who live near and far. Everyone who acknowledges Jesus as the Saviour who forgives sins and grants His eternal life, thus, comes to Him in repentance and faith will be the recipient of this ‘good news of great joy.’
No need is there for sinners to fear if he comes to the Saviour who came to this world in flesh, born on the night the multitude of heavenly host praised God and said, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom [God] is pleased!”
3. CHRIST’S BIRTH PROVES GOD’S INCOMPREHENSIBLE LOVE FOR US
The third and last point for today is that Christ’s birth proves God’s incomprehensible love for us. We heard the message on this subject last Lord’s Day, but let me emphasise once again how amazing God’s love for us is as revealed through Jesus’ coming in flesh.
God doesn’t owe us anything; He created us out of nothing; then, He gave us everything He created to be under our oversight. But we rejected Him as our God, rebelled against Him by breaking His commandment. The simplest proof of our rebellion against God is our self-centredness. The natural man does not recognise God as the Giver of life or Lord of his being; instead, he thinks he is the centre of the world and God a useful or convenient servant or concierge. You and I were not different; before Jesus came to each of us and drew us to Himself, we had proclaimed, in principle, alongside Friedrich Nietzsche who blasphemed and said ‘God is dead.’
So, God could’ve simply left us alone in sin and abandoned us to perish in sin. But He did not leave us alone. Instead, He emptied Himself and came to us to be our substitute, to die in our stead. He emptied His glory of the Creator God and Ruler of all, and took the form of a servant – or more precisely, of a slave. He left His heavenly throne and came to be laid in a manger, then, walked to the cross on Calvary!
God the Father had planned it all even before the Creation, as the Bible testifies. And God the Son in perfect harmony with His Father agreed with the Father and voluntarily gave Himself to the redemption of sinners. God the Holy Spirit worked out every detail of this redemption plan throughout history, interweaving lives and matters and events and time altogether.
No human mind can comprehend the depth of this love of God toward us. In fact, it’s more than love. So, we call it ‘grace,’ that is, ‘love to the undeserving.’ And Jesus’ birth proves the Triune God’s incomprehensible love for us. In fact, His birth visualises the immeasurable love of God!
Having said, let me encourage you to enjoy Christmas even more and rejoice greatly in the Saviour Jesus. His birth proves that we’re His and He is ours through faith. Jesus’ birth is the only landmark that reminds us of our desperate need of Him our Saviour. His birth is the brightest sign to the eyes of sinners for salvation and, for the eyes of believers like you and me, the unchangeable proof of the Father’s incomprehensible love for us!
May God bless you as you rejoice and thank Him for sending His Son, Jesus, to us! ***