4th Sunday of Advent Salvation Has Come

Luke 2
  /  December 24, 2023
Speaker: Jonathon Slagenweit

I’m inviting you to take your Bibles with me this morning. And we’re turning back to Luke’s gospel chapter 2. We’ve been hanging And, the anticipation of Christmas is here, isn’t it?

You adults may not feel it, but you just talk to the kids around here and the anticipation of Christmas is here. I was telling our Sunday school class this morning, number of years ago, it was actually before Carter was born. We just had Tyler and Zach. Zach was just I don’t know. He may not have even been a year old.

And we were a little concerned about putting the Christmas presents out He may have been just a little over one morning, Tanya went out and every one of those wrapped presents was unwrapped. But presents was unrapped. It was Tyler. Anticipation of Christmas. I mean, you just, you just get a you just get a it’s Christmas Eve today, and I just know there are going to be chomp and a I mean, tonight, they’re going to go to bed, and ready to get up before the crack of dawn.

Tomorrow. Because it’s You know, throughout this series of messages, I’ve mentioned that Christmas is a season of waiting. Stripper is a season of First Christmas, the wait for the micaia, the longing for the consolation of Israel, we looked, Simeon and Anna last week and they’re waiting for the redemption of Israel, the consolation of Israel. This morning, we’re turning to Luke’s gospel chapter 2, a part of the classic Christmas story. We’re looking at a section of scripture that I want to bear fruit towards the end of the message as it relates to this waiting experience.

I’m inviting you to stand with me this morning as we read this text together in honor of the word of God. We’re going to begin our reading in verse 8. And there were in the same country, shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night, and lo, the angel of the Lord, the glory of the Lord shown around about them. And they were so and the angels said into them. Fear, for behold, I bring good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all David, a savior, 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 angels were gone away so man. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this and all they that heard it wonder these things which were told them by the Shepherds. But Mary, they were told them at these things, which were told them by the Sheperd.

But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her. And the Sheperds returned glorifying and praising God for all these things. And they were all seen as it was stored. And them. Talked to us this morning, particularly from verse 11, that Salvation has come and Salvation is coming.

Let’s pray together. Right. We rejoice this Christmas Sunday morning as we have an opportunity Throughout this day and throughout the coming days ahead as we reflect on the reality fact that through your, you have, brought salvation to all I pray it in Jesus name. Amen. You may be seated.

The older that I get, the more interested I become in the advent of Christ. To the world, yes, as a baby, but also his promised second coming come. I won’t tell you how many. I’ll just tell you that I was 9 years old troubling thought to a 9 year old. Place in our farmhouse, I was more that I get, and the more that I think about that the more I think about the truth, the more I think about the truth, the more I think about the truth, the more I think about the truth, the more I think about the truth, the more I think about the truth, the more I think about the truth, the more I think about the the more I think about the truth, the to have a spirit a a spirit of that first Christmas of great anticipation process, aren’t we?

Once again, as as I look around our world and I see current world events, I realize that the world is silently waiting. There are some people that they’re going about their as if life is, and not a lot of anticipation of a comin. But for draw us to draw the draw for the most part, I mentioned this earlier source, we’ve romanticized the whole picture of Christmas, the story of Christmas, those. You know, we sing about how the angels sang. Scripter doesn’t tell us that the angels sang.

They were there’s a whole lot of fear going around. There’s probably a whole lot of shepherds trying to find a place to hide that first Christmas morning announce. Put into modern context, God’s revelation that he was sending the Messiah into the world. If we could put that in modern context, it would be like, night while a group of men were out digging Fiber optic cable so that you and I can have people in Jewish society. These are a group of men who live their lives out on the hills with a bunch of stinky children close your ears stupid sheep.

So Their dumb To be a shepherd was the lowest of society, and yet God sends his angels out into these these hills, out into these these to announce the birth of his I want to focus our attention this morning on verse 11 that says, for unto you is born this day in the city of David, a savior who is Christ the Lord. There are a couple of points that I wanna make this morning that I I trust will somehow energize our anticipation as we think about Christmas afresh and new. The focus of the angels message was a message of salvation. A salvation that was good news of great joy to a few people, right? No.

The angels say to all, the message of salvation so spectacular. What was it about this heralding of salvation to all men that was so spectacular? I think the first thing that you and I need to consider this morning is what is a savior? If this, a bring salvation, we have to understand what a savior does. A savior is one who redeems or saves someone from certain imminent desperate circumstances, right?

You know, Right? In in good a good position that you don’t need any kind of rescuing, then a savior means absolutely nothing. But whenever we grasp the reality that God broadcast to these shepherds, that he is sending That the angels’ message of salvation means to us. That the angels’ message of salvation means to us. And the first point that I want to make is their message of salvation is a message of personal salvation.

The angels said to the shepherds for unto you, sin. Go back to Genesis, chapter 1. And we read that man was created in the image of God. You begin to work your way through Genesis and you get to Genesis chapter 3. You don’t get very far and and takes of the fruit that God has said don’t touch, don’t, don’t.

There’s separation between God and man and darkness enters into the says to Joseph of what this son that will be born to Joseph and her husband Joseph being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quiet. Divorce or divorce. He considered these things behold an angel, the Lord appeared to him in a dream saying, her is from the holy spirit. She will bear a sun and you shall call his name Jesus for he shall save his purpose for a personal salvation. So that those who have been separated from God through sin can be brought back into relationship with him.

The fact that God chose shepherds to reveal this great news is a reminder that salvation is to all men. God chose the ditch diggers of the world, if you will, to reveal that salvation is to you. That means for us today, this salvation is personal to every man, woman, boy, and girl. There’s not a person that’s been excluded from this list of salvation. God doesn’t keep a naughty or nice list.

He doesn’t look for those that says, well, they’re worthy, they’re worthy. They weren’t such a good person. That he came for those who were and what the law For Are you catching the correlation here? The angels are heralding salvation to you, personal salvation. Why?

Because Paul says here that the law was weak and what it could not do a sinful flesh for sin. He condemned sin in the flesh verse 4, Romans chapter 8, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fulfilled in us, spirit. Christ came so that you and I can have salvation from our sins. The Hebrew writer tells us that through Christ there is a better way than the old testament covenant system. There’s a better way than bulls and rams being sacrificed on an altar, where a priest would go into the holy place once a year to offer sacrifice.

No. Now through Jesus Christ, you and I have direct access to the very throne of God, where we can find the remission of our sins. Amen? Thank the Lord for personal salvation. Christ coming is good news because it’s personal to us.

But let me give you another one. The second point that I think we need to consider from this particular text that we read together is that the message of salvation is not just personal, but it’s for unto you is born this day. For you is born this day, a day. Group of shepherds that are keeping the flock that is used in temple sacrifice. Now picture this with me for just a moment.

Here’s a group of shepherds that understand the whole process of what they’re doing. They’re raising sheep that will be taken back to the temple, that will be sacrificed on the altar for the purpose of the remission of the sins of those who come, year after year. He significance when he when the angels said that you’re gonna go to Bethlehem and you’re gonna find a child wrapped in swaddling clothes, They understood that when a lamb that was born that would have any kind of a blemish that needed any kind of healing, they would swaddle that lamb. They would they understood what was going on with this whole idea of a savior being born, swaddled in and they would have understood the significance of Israel’s need for salvation, both personal, futuristic event, something that would, reality? Isn’t that wonderful for us today that you and I can know today that we have been saved from our sins?

Why? Because there is a personal savior who has striated We as Westlands could learn a lot of. And I’ll ask you to say amen to that. But you we have a lot to learn about the fact things that I’ve so appreciated about our Westland heritage is the the emphasis that is put upon salvation that you and I, all men, can be saved. Wesley had a 4 point saying concerning man’s salvation.

He said, all men need to be saved. Why? Because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. He said, all men can be saved. Why?

Because Christ came into the world to be the propitiation for our sin. Wesley said, all men can know they are saved. Isn’t it wonderful to know that when we have confessed our sins that he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins? And Wesley said that all men can be saved to the uttermost. Isn’t it wonderful to know this morning that the salvation that you and I can receive through Jesus Christ is a present tense reality that is for eternity.

It’s weekend. I read an article about a in California who had gotten stuck. Don’t know all the details. The article didn’t know all the details. Some of the people Don’t know all the details.

The article didn’t know all the details. Somehow, this fella had got himself stuck in a little crevice Some teenagers just happened to be walked right along the coastline, and they heard these cries for a. So they called 911 and 911 came. And isn’t it wonderful when 911 can’t even get you out of your stuck position? To try to They couldn’t get them out, so they left blankets and some provisions for them and said we’ll be back in the morning to and and and and and and and they’ll be there to they’ll be there to they’ll be there to they’ll be there to they’ll be there to they’ll be there to they’ll be there to they’ll be there to be there to be there to be there to be there to be there to be there to be there.

Potentially drown, but hey, we can’t get him out. We’ll be back in the morning. And so they came back the next morning. That’s a true. -J.

-J. The salvation that was heralded to those shepherds at 1st Christmas morning is behold, born unto you this day is a savior, Christ the Lord. God provides present tense salvation. God sent his son into the world to make it possible for man to be saved from his sins right now. In Paul’s letter to the, second letter to the Corinthians, this is what he writes, for he says in a favorable time, I listen to you and in a day of salvation, I have helped you.

And in a day of salvation, I have helped you. Draw that verse by saying behold now is the favorable time. Behold now is the day of salvation. Can I just say to you this morning, if you are here or you’re turning in online and you don’t know what it means to have been personally saved from your sins by the blood of Jesus, today is the day of salvation? Why?

Because the salvation tense, Today, the Salvation broadcast that first Christmas night was concerning a personal salvation and it was a present salvation. But let me give you the third point I want you to take away. You is born this day a savior in the city of David, a savior who is Christ. The third point that I want to make from this text is that salvation is perpetual. This is about a in the city of David, which is Bethlehem, there is born to you a savior.

But that is also foretelling in its, in its thought. Because in the city of David is a reminder that there is a Messiah that is coming, that is, yes, salvation today, but it is a promise that there is coming another another mess or the messiah is coming again for the purpose of redeeming all of creation. Salvation that’s necessary for you and I to be relieved of our sins. I don’t ever want to lose the reality of that. Amen?

I don’t ever want to lose the reality that Christ came the gods and his son into the world to do more than just redeem you from your sins. God came into this world to redeem all of creation. God came for the purpose of salvation of all of creation. Paul wrote to the Romans that the world is groaning in travail, but that there is coming a day when Christ will come again to make his blessings known as far as the curse is found. When we celebrate Christmas too often, I think we celebrate a limited edition Christmas.

We celebrate the birth of Christ 2000 years ago. And we missed the reality that you and I are now the ones that are the Simeon and the Annas of the world, waiting for the consolation of all of creation. The restoration of all of creation, that there is coming the savior once again to redeem all of his creation. Want you to hear me out. Christ came because man sinned, yes, but he also came to restore a broken world.

God did not intend for us to live in a fallen world. Amen? If you could for us to live in a fallen world. Amen? If you go back to the Garden of Eden, you discover that God had created all things good, beautiful, perfect.

And he put us in it for the purpose of glorifying him. Sin, so that you and I could be redeemed of our sin, but he also has every intention to come again and restore all of this in the song Joy to the World. So when he put all the music stuff together But I purposely wanted us to sing joy to the world. Because Isaac Watts, in writing that song, draws for us a grander scope of the Christmas story than just about the birth of a baby. A right, as a reminder that the Lord is coming again.

Whenever he talks about the Lord’s coming, he is referencing the Messiah’s second coming. Mind, in, in comprising this him, the, the culminate, the, the, the, the, the, the, the, the, the, the, the, the, the, the, the, the, And so beautifully captured that one day when Christ comes again, every thing from this world has been affected by the fall of man. Creation. Yes, you and I will sing, with joy that the Lord has come to make his blessings flow as far as the curse is found at his second coming. For it is in the cross that the Lord has made no nature.

That you and I can experience. But it’s a perpetual salvation. That there is the Lord’s return again when he’s going to right all wrongs and faithfulness to the house we because of what it means for a future. The Lord is coming again. This Christmas, excuse me, as we consider the meaning of the waiting upon the Lord.

And we are waiting once again for the we are waiting for his return. Without question, we’re living in days that are dark, and I don’t mean that to sound like I’m some sort of a doomsday. Right? Doomsday. But I do believe that we’re living in a world that the darkness of the world seems to be ever increasing.

And yet, it is with great anticipation that the light of the world is coming again. Hallelujah. Let’s rejoice this Christmas in a salvation that is yes personal, yes present, but it’s going to be a perpetual salvation, a redeeming of all of creation. Hallelujah. Let’s stand together as we close in.

Father, we rejoice this. We rejoice this. We rejoice this. I pray this is this Christmas season that you would help us as your people to reflect on the wonderful reality that you have come, more than I pray for every person that is here and every person that’s tuning in on so that we can have personal right now, present in our oh, I rejoice in the truth that you are coming again. That you are gonna redeem all of hearts of great anticipation.

Would you give us that would wait patiently upon you? But in that waiting, glorify you through our words and through our lives and through our actions. I pray it in Jesus’ name. May you encourage our hearts afresh and anew. We pray it in Jesus name.

Amen. The Lord bless you. You are dismissed.

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