Some of the most familiar and happy words of Christmas are these:
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men (Luke 2:11–14)
There are important questions in life that we need to ask and answer correctly: Is there a God? How can I know Him? Is there life after death? Do heaven and hell exist? If so, where will I go when I die?
At the root of all these important questions is a crucial question that every person must answer. In fact, every person reading this will answer this question, either now or at the judgment.
The question you must answer and respond to correctly is, “Who is Jesus Christ?”
The correct answer to this question will answer all of the questions I just asked:
“Is there a God?” Jesus came to reveal the Father to us.
“How can I know Him?” You can only know God through His Son Jesus Christ.
“Is there life after death?” If so, where will I go when I die? Jesus tells us authoritatively about the reality of both the way to heaven and how to avoid hell.
The proclamation of the incarnation of Jesus Christ is THE answer to all of these questions.
“For unto you is born this day . . .” The birth of Jesus Christ happened on a day; a very particular day in human history. Not a day in some mythological, imaginary story, but a day when Caesar Augustus was the emperor of Rome “and Quirinius was governor of Syria” (vs.1,2).
It was a day that was planned in eternity before the creation of the world. The whole universe with its untold billions of galaxies was created for this glorious day when God would become man for the purpose of redeeming man from the debt, penalty and eventual presence of sin.
Speaking of Jesus Christ as Creator, The Holy Spirit would say: Col. 1:16 For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him.
For him! All of creation was made for Him. All creation was made for this day of His appearing. Gal. 4:4,5 When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law. To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons
The birth of Christ happened in the fullness of time. The perfect time appointed by God before the foundation of the world.
“..in the city of David” the birth of Christ happened in a real city. Not in Narnia. Not in Middle Earth. Not in a galaxy far, far away. The city still exists today.
The city’s name is Bethlehem Luke 2:4, Joseph also went up from Galilee . . . to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem.
Bethlehem, six miles from Jerusalem. Bethlehem, the city where Jesse lived, the father of David, the great king of Israel.
Bethlehem, the city that Micah prophesied over: Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting
The birth of Jesus Christ, The Eternal God, happened in a real city called Bethlehem like the city you live in.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior.”
The word Savior is only used two other times in the gospels. In Luke 1:47, Mary said that she rejoiced in God my Savior. The only other place is in John 4:42 where Jesus is called the Savior of the world.
A Savior. If you have ever sinned against God (and we all have), then you need a Savior.
The angel said to Joseph, Matt. 1:21 You shall call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins.
Only God can forgive sins against God. That is why God sent the eternal Son of God into the world, because He is God. That’s why Jesus said, The Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. Therefore, a Savior was born to save His people from their sins.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ.”
Christ is the English for Christos, which means, “anointed one,” which is the meaning of “Messiah.”
Just after Jesus’ birth, in Luke 2:26, 30, 38, both Simeon and Anna bore wit- ness to the fact that this child was the Lord’s Christ, the Savior, and The Redeemer.
Jesus Christ is the long-predicted, long-awaited Anointed One. Jesus Christ is the final anointed king. Jesus Christ is the final anointed prophet. Jesus Christ is the final anointed priest.
2 Cor. 1:20 In Him all the promises of God are yea and Amen.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” The Lord or ruler, the sovereign one, the mighty God, the everlasting Father. The Lord of the universe.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end. (Isa. 9:6–7)
Christmas in Summary
The joyful news that we gather to celebrate today is that on a day, at the perfect fullness of time, in the perfect prophesied city, a Savior was born, who was Jesus Christ, the Lord.
The fact that these events happened means that God exists and that He truly broke into human history in the birth of Jesus in fulfillment of many prophecies.
The fact that God sent Jesus as a Savior implies that people without the Savior are alienated from God and desperately need to be reconciled to Him through the forgiveness of their sins.
Jesus did not come as a nice man offering a new philosophy about life. He did not come as a great moral teacher, offering some helpful insights on how to live a happy life. He came be the Savior and only hope for sinners!
Two Great Declarations were made on the night of Christ’s birth.
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
This brief hymn is called the Gloria in Excelsis Deo, from the first words of the Latin Vulgate translation (meaning “Glory to God in the Highest”).
The coming of Jesus Christ is the greatest revelation of the glory of God.
The message of Jesus Christ is the proclamation of the gospel of peace from the Prince of Peace.
Peace with God
The most basic need that every human being has is to have peace with God. How does that happen?
The key passage here is Romans 5:1: “Therefore, being justified by faith [there’s the pivotal act of believing], we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Justified means that God declares you to be just in His sight by imputing to you the perfect righteousness of Jesus. And God grants that justification by faith alone: “Since we have been justified by faith” (Rom. 5:1).
And the result of that justification is peace with God. Because of Christ’s perfect sacrifice for our sin, God’s anger at us because of our sin is put away. On the basis of faith in Christ, God adopts us into His family. He will never be against us. He is our Father and our friend.
Our works does not justify us in the sight of God. We are not justified in the sight of God by baptism or any other ritual or ordinance. We are not justified in the sight of God by church membership. We are justified by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
May The Spirit of God impress in our hearts and minds that sense of amazement that in spite of all your sins, God has forgiven you of al of your sin by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
I was reading on the Internet last week how a number of years ago, a toddler fell down a narrow well. Her mother went looking for her as soon as she realized she was missing and was horrified to hear her daughter’s voice coming from this deep, dark shaft. Fire fighters and other rescuers soon swarmed on the scene. News media arrived and for hours the attention of the nation was riveted on the desperate attempt to rescue that little girl before it was too late.
That little girl didn’t need anyone to give her some ideas on how to live a happy life. She was doomed if someone didn’t save her from death. The most important news that that desperate mother could hear in that situation was, “The rescuers have saved your daughter!”
When someone is lost and within hours of death, the only news that will matter to them is that The Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has come Who can rescue them from eternal damnation.
Jesus didn’t leave heaven and come to this earth and go through the suffering of the cross just to give you a boost or a few tips on how to have a happy life. He came to rescue sinners from the debt and penalty of eternal separation from God because of our sin.
Only Jesus Christ can save you from the penalty of God’s wrath because of your sins.
So the crucial question that you must answer and respond to correctly tonight is this: “Who do you say that Jesus Christ is?”
One day, everyone will get it right, for the apostle Paul says Phil. 2:10-11 at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. On judgment day, every single human being is going to bow his or her knee and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
But some will bow on judgment day in terror as they hear the Lord say Matt. 25:41 Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels. For whatever reason, these people refused to believe the gospel and bow their heart and knee to Christ before they died.
For those who bow their heart and knee to Christ before they die, The Lord will say to them on judgment day Matt. 25:34 Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Have you believed the gospel and bowed your heart and knee to The Lordship of Jesus Christ? By the grace of God, you can respond to Christ right now! Confess your sinful condition and receive Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord.
For he wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.