The Reason for Christmas

The Reason for Christmas

Text: 1 John 3:1-8

Theme: The ultimate reason Jesus came to earth as a man.

I don’t often use The Amplified Bible in messages anymore. Partially because it tends to insert every conceivable meaning of a word into a text, whether it fits the context or not. The other reason being that it is abused by fellow Charismatics and Pentecostals, usually out of context, to prove things the Bible doesn’t prove at all. But for this post I violate my own rule because I think the subject warrants it. If you disagree, then please forgive me.

1 John 3:1-8

1 SEE WHAT [an incredible] quality of love the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us, that we should [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! The reason that the world does not know (recognize, acknowledge) us is that it does not know (recognize, acknowledge) Him.

2 Beloved, we are [even here and] now God’s children; it is not yet disclosed (made clear) what we shall be [hereafter], but we know that when He comes and is manifested, we shall [as God’s children] resemble and be like Him, for we shall see Him just as He [really] is.

3 And everyone who has this hope [resting] on Him cleanses (purifies) himself just as He is pure (chaste, undefiled, guiltless).

4 Everyone who commits (practices) sin is guilty of lawlessness; for [that is what] sin is, lawlessness (the breaking, violating of God’s law by transgression or neglect — being unrestrained and unregulated by His commands and His will).

5 You know that He appeared in visible form and became Man to take away [upon Himself] sins, and in Him there is no sin [essentially and forever].

6 No one who abides in Him [who lives and remains in communion with and in obedience to Him — deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] commits (practices) sin. No one who [habitually] sins has either seen or known Him [recognized, perceived, or understood Him, or has had an experiential acquaintance with Him].

7 Boys (lads), let no one deceive and lead you astray. He who practices righteousness [who is upright, conforming to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action, living a consistently conscientious life] is righteous, even as He is righteous.

8 [But] he who commits sin [who practices evildoing] is of the devil [takes his character from the evil one], for the devil has sinned (violated the divine law) from the beginning. The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil [has done]. AMP

Introduction: At this time of year there are all kinds of “meanings” given to the season.

  • We hear that it’s a season of giving.
  • It’s a season of peace.
  • It’s a season of goodwill.
  • It’s a season of charity & love, and so on.

Even the Bible includes a number of things that Jesus accomplished in His earthly life and ministry.

  • He revealed who God is and what He is like.
  • He delivered us from spiritual darkness into spiritual light.
  • In the words of Luke 4:18-19, Jesus said,

18 “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;

19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.” NKJV

In the main passage at hand for this message, the Bible says that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil.

  • Everything Jesus did was for the ultimate goal of destroying the works of the devil.

So this message this morning will focus on 1 John 3:8b:

The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil [has done]. AMP

The rest of this post is in the form of an attachment, which you will find linked here and below. May the Lord Jesus Christ truly bless you with the True Spiritual Riches that are found in Him this Christmas Season, and throughout the coming year.

2015-12-17 The Reason for Christmas

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Jesus Christ—The Alpha & Omega

Jesus Christ—The Alpha & Omega

Today’s post is a break from some of the controversial posts I have made lately, exposing the unfruitful works of darkness and false shepherds.

While this post is not intended to be theologically exhaustive in scope, I do hope it will give the reader food for thought and some encouragement for the work of the Lord.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8, NKJV).

The Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. In saying that He is the Alpha and Omega, Jesus Christ is showing us that He is the all-sufficient One to meet your needs. He is the A to the Z and everything in between. Whatever the struggle or the need, Jesus Christ is the answer.

What are the characteristics of the alphabet, whether it be Greek, Hebrew, English, or whatever?

First, the alphabet is inexhaustible.

There are still new ideas being communicated through use of the alphabet in every language. You cannot come to a place where everything that can be said has been said, and there is nothing else that can be said through the use of the alphabet and language. In fact, our human knowledge is growing at an exponential rate.

Jesus Christ is also inexhaustible—you can never exhaust all that He has to offer you. You can never exhaust all that He can & will do for you. No matter how exponential our understanding of Him and His Word may seem to be, there is more that we don’t know than what we do know. Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction” (NKJV). Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (NKJV; cf. Psalm 111:10). If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of both knowledge and wisdom, then the must be to stand in His presence eternally.

Second, the alphabet is adaptable.

Those who write filth and deceitful things use the same alphabet that teachers and ministers use to communicate biblical truth. The same alphabet used to write about theology as is used to write science, math, history, and poetry. You can write about love or hate, joy or sorrow, good or evil, God or Satan, and so on. The atheist uses the same alphabet to deny God that the theologian uses to glorify God.

Likewise, Jesus Christ is adaptable and applicable to every life and every area of life in every generation in every culture. Hebrews 4:14-16 says, “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (NKJV).

There is no life, or generation, or culture in which Jesus is irrelevant. It is the height of arrogance for Christians to think they can make the Gospel relevant—the Gospel is the ultimate relevancy. That is if what we’re giving is really the Gospel. Preach the Word of God in context, exegeting, or drawing out, its meaning, and you have an inherently relevant message for every living soul, in every place, in every situation, in every time.

Third, the alphabet is the key to understanding.

The first thing you learn when you learn a new language is the alphabet of that language. In English: A B C D E F G H I, etc.

The first thing you have to learn before you can understand the language of the Bible is who Jesus Christ really is. A lot of people have no clue about wisdom, knowledge, or understanding because they don’t the One who is the Key to Understanding. If you do not know Jesus Christ, you are reading someone else’s mail, and it won’t make any sense. Without Jesus Christ you don’t have the key to understanding life or the Bible. Regarding Jesus’ discussion with two believers while He walked with them to Emmaus, Luke 24:27 says, “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (NKJV; Read Luke 24:13-35). Wow! Jesus said the Scriptures are about Him. It’s not about you, me or what we can do in our own human strength. It’s about Jesus Christ, Who He is, what He has done and is doing, and that He is returning again someday. Those great Old Testament stories we love to tell are typological records of how Jesus ministers to, and delivers, His people.

Fourth, the alphabet is the key to life.

Everyone is looking for meaning and purpose today, but it can only be found when you find the key to life—Jesus Christ. Without Jesus Christ, nothing in life or the world makes any sense. What is our purpose? Our purpose is to serve and please God. But we cannot find that purpose unless we are in Christ.

John 20:30-31 says, “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (NKJV). When we understand that Christ is the New Testament equivalent of the Old Testament word Messiah, we realize that John, by the Holy Spirit, is telling us that the signs written in the Gospel of John were written so that we might believe that Jesus is the Messiah. The Messiah of whom? Israel. It is not Israel that has been grafted in, but we Gentiles. Israel is the natural olive branches that have been cut off, but we Gentiles are the wild olive branches grafted into the natural olive tree. It is due to Israel’s rejection of their Messiah that they have been temporarily cutoff, and Gentiles have been given such a broad opportunity to be grafted into the natural olive tree to God’s glory (Romans 11:11-24). Yet too many Gentiles are rejecting God’s gift of salvation, as did the Jews—the natural branches.

Without Jesus Christ you don’t have the key to understanding life. In fact, one reason there are so many books designed to show Christians the meaning and purpose of life is because the Scriptures are not being taught to most of the Church, so most Christians don’t have a clue what their purpose is in life. If you want to know purpose and meaning, it is found in knowing Jesus Christ—intimately not superficially. Knowing Jesus begins with a knowledge of His Word, which is the only way one can even be saved (1 Peter 1:23; Read 1 Peter 1:13-25).

Fifth, the alphabet is the key to Scripture.

The first thing you have to learn before you can understand the Bible is Who Jesus Christ really is. Again, if you do not know Jesus Christ, you are reading someone else’s mail, and it won’t make any sense. Without Jesus Christ you don’t have the code that is the key to understanding the Bible. 1 Peter 1:22-23 says, “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever” (NKJV). We cannot even be born again to know Jesus without His Word.

Studying the supposed secret codes of the Bible has been very popular in recent years, but a lot of the authors of this stuff ignore the plain meaning of the Bible for esoteric nonsense. Some of the authors are well-meaning brothers who have been caught up in a frivolous pop theology trend. Others are outright pagans who don’t even believe in God, but rather believe in extra-terrestrials. We should be a lot more concerned about understanding the plain meaning of the Bible, than with understanding some supposed secret Bible codes. When we get caught up in looking for secret codes, we usually miss the plain meaning of the text. The Bible is a Book about Jesus Christ. To paraphrase the late Mark Twain, who was not noted for being a religious man, “It isn’t the parts of the Bible I don’t understand that trouble me most; it’s the parts I do understand.” At any rate, these things serve as a distraction to what we should be doing—teaching, preaching, and living out the Word of God before an ungodly generation as witnesses to our neighbors.

Sixth, the alphabet is the key to history.

Why do we have BC and AD? BC means “before Christ”, and AD means “anno dominum” (year of our Lord). Modern liberal scholars like to use the terms BCE and CE. BCE means “before the common era”, and CE means “common era”. What’s missing is Jesus Christ. Most modern historians reject Jesus Christ and the Bible, and this is why their writings often make little sense. They don’t know the Key to History—Jesus Christ. In fact, the very word history testifies of God—His Story.

Even though many of them refuse to use the designations BC and AD, preferring instead to use the terms BCE and CE, they still can’t get away from the division of history. Again, BCE means “before the common era”, and CE means “common era”. But what divided the timeline? Actually, it wasn’t a what, but a Who. His name is Jesus Christ. Knowing Him is the only way the divided timeline makes sense.

Seventh, the Alpha & Omega (Jesus) is the A-Z.

He won’t drop you at M or N. No matter how many times you fall, He will keep picking you up, if you let Him. He isn’t going to give up on you. He isn’t going to accidentally lose His grip and let you drop. If you get dropped, it’s because you jumped out of His hand of protection. Yet He waits to receive you back.

He is all you need for every situation in life. He’s all you need in your time of prosperity and abundance. He’s all you need when things are going great in life. He’s all you need in your time of sickness or sorrow. He’s all you need at the time of death.

Jesus is all we need for everyday living. We will find Him in His Word—the Bible, and in the place of prayer.

I hope this encourages you today to rely on Jesus Christ as your Everything. Now, go forth and do His business till He comes back (Acts 1:8).