The Christ Light of Christmas

advent 2016

The Christ Light of Christmas

Christmas Eve 2016

Isaiah 9:2, 6 with Luke 1:79; Ephesians 2:1

 

Christmas Lights

Christmas trees with twinkling light

Christmas candles in windows bright

Christmas stars that shine on high

Golden stars in the wintry sky

 

While in our hearts the Christmas light

Glows with the love of that first Christmas night

The infant Christ of lowly birth

Came to bring good will and peace to earth

TWINKLE OF CHRISTMAS LIGHTS is one of the most beautiful parts of Christmas

Lights in Trees… Lights on Houses (thankful for the Clark Griswolds)… Drive through lights or drive through neighborhoods and you’re sure to find lights… 150 million light sets sold each year![i]

 

Lights at Christmas are only fitting because the day we celebrate Christmas follows the darkest time of the year in the Mediterranean world and in Europe, where Christmas celebrations first took shape[ii] (i.e. Winter Solstice, Dec 21, 2016)

 

It was Into this darkness a Child was born, a Son was given

>>> Isa 9:2,6 <<<

 

These words are the PROMISE OF GOD through the prophet Isaiah, 700 B.C.

  • Not the 1st time God promised to redeem humanity from the darkness
  • Is a REITERATION OF THE PROMISE of God made after sin 1st wrecked the world through rebellion of humanity in the Garden of Eden

 

When sin entered, this world became a dark place wrecked by sin

 

To understand the Light of Christmas… to understand why Christ came… we have to understand the darkness

 

When the Bible talks about darkness

  1. Effect of sin on the world
  2. Effect of sin on our hearts

 

When the Bible talks about darkness, it talks about the EFFECT OF SIN ON OUR WORLD

With sin comes untold evil and suffering

“Is there any good news?”

At the time of the birth of Jesus: violence, injustice, abuse of power, homelessness, refugees fleeing oppression, families ripped apart, and grief. SOUNDS LIKE TODAY.[iii]

Sin wrecked the world

 

When the Bible talks about darkness, it ALSO talks about EFFECT OF SIN ON OUR HEARTS

Sin is not just around us but in us

 

Sin is NOT

  • BIOLOGICAL (chemical imbalance)
  • SOCIOLOGICAL (resultant of a socio-economic status)

 

Our sin problem is ultimately THEOLOGICAL

  • We have a God problem
  • We keep trying to be God, but don’t have the qualifications
  • In short, our sin problem is refusing to surrender to God

Personal Testimony of Hank Williams

I wandered so aimless, life filled with sin

I wouldn’t let my Dear Savior in

Just like a blind man I wandered along

Worries and fears I claimed for my own

 

Sin doesn’t just exist around him/us.. SIN EXISTS WITHIN HIM/US

WE ARE BROKEN BY SIN. THIS WORLD IS BROKEN BY SIN

Some of you are in the darkest places you have ever been

These are not caves.. or closets.. or moonless nights on the fields outside of Bethlehem

 

They are:

  1. Derailed plans (downsized)
  1. Dashed hopes (of your bid for a promotion/kids tryout)
  1. Difficulty that comes w aging
  1. Deep grief that accompanies the loss of someone you love
  1. Debilitating guilt that comes w that temptation to sin that you struggle to say no to

 

The world can be a very dark place; it is broken by sin

 

We are broken by sin… sin THAT DIMS ALL OF OUR CAPACITIES even to the point of thinking we can pull ourselves up out of the darkness by our own bootstraps (Isa 8:19,22)

 

Frankly, that couldn’t be farther from the truth

 

The Stark Truth About Sin

(Eph 2:1)

          you were dead in your trespasses and sins,

Sin Makes Us Dead

 

Dead people can’t do for themselves

 

Glorious Truth About Grace – the glorious grace of Christ’s coming on Christmas and Christ’s soon return

Eph 2:4-5, 8-9

4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ…

 

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

 

The Gift of the Light of Christ

Salvation is the gift of God through JX

 

The “Child that was born to us, the Son who was given to us” (Isa 9:6) is

  • God’s gift
  • the promised Messiah
  • whose name is “Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Mt 1:21)
  • Jesus is the Gift that precedes every other
  • Jesus is the Gift of God Himself to humanity

 

700 years after the Word of God through Isaiah there would be the first Christmas Day

 

Where we walked about in the deepest, darkest night of the soul, THE SON OF GOD WOULD BRING THE DAWN

 

In fact.. JESUS IS THE SUNRISE OF GOD’S MERCY

 

Jesus: the Sunrise of God’s Mercy — Luke 1:77-79

By the coming of the Son, comes Forgiveness, Eternal Life, Direction

 

The Sunrise of God’s Mercy

  1. Brings salvation by the forgiveness of sins (v77-78)
  2. Dispels the shadow of death (v79a)
  3. Guides us into paths of righteousness.. the way of God.. the way of peace (v79b)

 

JESUS IS THE LIGHT and the DARKNESS CAN NOT OVERPOWER IT

Now, we no longer are a people wandering in the dark

But only if we open our eyes to the dawn

But only if we receive this gift by faith

 

Some gifts are difficult to receive

Illustration:

If this Christmas I receive some workout videos and a book Breaking Free from Facebook, if I receive these gifts with humility and gladness and apply them to my life, in some way I am admitting that I’m both overweight and addicted to social media.

 

Or if I were in need of a bailout, and someone came and offered me a large sum of money, if I were to take it, I must first put my pride behind me before I can receive the gift before me

 

To receive the gift of JX, you must put your pride behind you and admit your utter need of Jesus

His unmerited grace

His sacrificial atoning death

His Lordship over your life

 

If there is going to be the Sunrise of God’s mercy in your life, YOU MUST SURRENDER TO JESUS AS SAVIOR AND KING

 

Then, we become “Light in the Lord [Jesus], who walk as children of Light” (Eph 5:8)

 

“We have been lifted out of the dark caverns of our sin and guilt and fear into the bright daylight of his grace. How can we help but spread the light?” –John Piper[iv]

 

For the Light of Christ was birthed in Bethlehem to ultimately bring us new birth

 

To reside in us in order that we carry the Gospel of the True Light, Jesus Christ, forward into the darkness.. to people who walk in darkness so they can see the great Light for who He is

11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11)

 

[i] http://www.pressandguide.com/lifestyles/history-of-decking-the-halls-with-christmas-lights/article_07b2b19e-b891-59b9-a56f-9c57c8fc2d60.html

[ii] Timothy Keller, Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ (Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. October 25, 2016.), 5.

[iii] Ibid. 6.

[iv] John Piper, “A Big God for Little People: Seven Christmas Eve Meditations,” http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/a-big-god-for-little-people

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