by Dr Gregory Magruder | December 23, 2018
Gregory Magruder Parkview Baptist Gainesville, FL 12/23/18
INTRODUCTION: The Christmas season is the time of Advent. Advent means “coming.” Today we lit the Fourth Advent Candle, the Love Candle. Christmas marks the entrance of love into the world. Christmas is the ultimate expression of God’s love for us. John 3:16 has been called the Gospel in a nutshell. It tells us everything we need to know about God, love, giving, faith and eternal life. Say this verse with me, For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). This is a wonderful verse to remind us of what Christmas is all about.
CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT LOVE.
*We express love at Christmas. We gather with friends and family. We share the excitement and wonder of children as we remember the birth of the Christ child. The child in the manger, the celebration of angels, and a mother’s love are all wrapped up in the Christmas story. God loved us and sent his son. For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son (3:16).
Love motivates us to give our best.
CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT GIVING.
*Christmas is about gifts and giving. We give because God gave. We think of wise men bringing their gifts to give to the newborn King. The wise men and shepherds also gave their worship in gratitude for God’s gift to us all. The greatest gift was God’s gift. He gave his one and only Son. For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son (3:16).
*God’s love is sacrificial love. We are called to love one another like Jesus did. By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers (1 John 3:16).
The best gift is serving others in Jesus’ name.
CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT BELIEF.
*People believe in the Christmas spirit even if they do not believe in the Christ of Christmas. They take to heart the message of the angels singing “Peace on earth, good will to men.” They wonder why this same spirit cannot last the whole year round. Christmas is about belief. It’s about faith. It is putting your trust in the promised Messiah who was born in Bethlehem. For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
*God had a purpose in sending his Son. He gave us Jesus, so we could receive life. Jesus gave his life, so we could receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:9-10).
Christmas is the time to believe:
- Believe that Messiah has been born.
- Believe that salvation has been given.
- Believe that we can have life that begins now and lasts forever.
- Believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior who forgives us and gives us peace with God.
Will you believe in God’s love for you this Christmas