I LOVE CHRISTMAS

I Love Christmas

In this sermon, Pastor Streeter lists numerous reasons why he loves Christmas. The reasons he lists are all scriptural and and should be common to all of us who love our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If you have ever wondered why we should all love Christmas, listen to this sermon and see if you do not agree with Pastor Streeter.  (881225)

LUKE 10:17-20

Verses 17-20 “17And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.
18And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
19Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
20Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”

The Seventy who returned to Christ to give a report of their ministry were bragging about what they were able to do.  Jesus sets them straight about some things that they might know that they had no right to boast.  He said that He was there when Satan fell and He knows all about the power of the Devil.  The power of the Devil is far greater than any person could withstand if it were not for the power and protection of the Lord.  Jesus is saying that He is the one who gave the Seventy their power over demons, so they should not brag about their recent exploits.  If you are going to rejoice, rejoice about your salvation.  Everyone who is saved should rejoice always and forever for the grace of God that saved an undeserving sinner.

 

MARK 14:22-25

Verses 22-25 “22And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.
23And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.
24And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.
25Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

Jesus instituted His supper, intending that His local churches would always observe it until He returns to catch away His bride, the Church. In this supper much is made of the blood of Jesus. We should always make much of His blood, because without His bleeding there would be no salvation for sinners. “Without shedding of blood there is no remission” (Heb 9:22). Sinners may be saved today only because Jesus shed His blood in His death.

LUKE 2:8-10

Verses 8-10 “8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”

The very first announcement of the Birth of God’s only begotten Son was made, not to priests, preachers, nor politicians, but to shepherds. The most important announcement in the history of the world was first made to some of the most lowly of earth, to working people, to those who lived closest to the soil. There is something grand and wonderful about this; and yet, it is not surprising when we consider that it is the God of heaven making the announcement and He values people differently than do men. With Him there is no respect of persons, one over the other. With Him there is no effort to impress the high and mighty of earth. So shepherds are first to hear the wonderful news that the Savior has come to redeem us.

There is always some fear when man comes in to the presence of God’s glory. It would have been frightening enough to meet one of God’s angels face to face. However, the shepherds saw not only the angel but also found themselves, totally unexpectedly, in the blinding presence of God’s Shekinah glory. The glory that the shepherds saw was the same Light that guided Israel in the wilderness, the very same Brightness that filled the temple of God when it was dedicated, the same Brilliance that hovered above the mercy seat. There is a healthy fear when sinful men meet our holy God; but the angel would not have the shepherds paralyzed by fear. He calms them with a message of joy.

The angel made the word JOY forever a Christmas message. It is the joy that God loves us, the joy of knowing that God came down to rescue us, the joy of salvation. Salvation is for all people, according to the angel’s revelation. No tribe, tongue, nation, race, or station is excluded. The full joy of Christ’s nativity is realized by any who will receive Him by faith. When we know him personally as Savior there is joy unspeakable and full of glory!

EXODUS 36:19

Verse 19 “And he made a covering for the tent of rams’ skins dyed red, and a covering of badgers’ skins above that.”

The ceiling of the tabernacle was made from rams skins dyed red, the red picturing the blood of Christ. Every priest who went into the tabernacle, and all who were instructed about the meaning of its colors, would know about the absolute necessity of being under the blood of the promised Messiah. It is not simply the fact that Jesus died that saves the sinner, but sinners are saved by His death through the shedding of His blood. “Without shedding of blood is no remission” (Heb.9:22). Think of that! Except for Jesus shedding His blood on the cross there could be no forgiveness of sin! John, the Apostle, says it is Jesus who has “washed us from sins in his own blood” (Rev.1:5). Jesus’ blood is not a euphemism for something different, nor is it a trivial matter. Our salvation could not be possible with out it.

MARK 6:7-13

Verses 7-13 “7And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;
8And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:
9But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats.
10And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place.
11And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
12And they went out, and preached that men should repent.
13And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.”

Jesus provided for all of His disciples needs, physical and spiritual. He gave them both pottage and power. When God sends a servant to serve Him, He does not want that servant to worry about material needs. God will provide for those who are serving in His will.

“They went out, and preached that men should repent.” Today, many are preaching that men do not have to repent to be saved. But Jesus said, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). Repentance is a change of mind that results in a change in behavior. It does not mean that the one who repents is totally sanctified. It does not mean that the one who repents can never sin again. But, no one can be saved without changing his mind about Jesus, about himself, and about sin. Repentance is required for salvation. It is not a work of man. It is a work of God.

MARK 2:23-28

Verses 23-28 “23And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.
24And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?
25And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?
26How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?
27And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
28Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.”

The Jewish sabbath day was a ritual which God could change if He wanted to. He did make some changes since He Himself is now our Sabbath. Sabbath means rest, and we rest in Him for our salvation, ceasing from all effort to save ourselves. God gave Israel many Sabbaths, a weekly Sabbath, special day Sabbaths, a seven year Sabbath, and a 50 year Sabbath (Jubilee). But He gave no Sabbaths at all to Gentiles or to the Church, except that Jesus is our Sabbath, and He is our only Sabbath. The Jewish Sabbath is still on Saturday. The Sabbath was not changed from Saturday to Sunday for the Jew or for the Church. Because of the resurrection of Christ, the Christian day of church attendance and congregational worship is on Sunday, not Saturday; but that is not a Sabbath. No one should try to make up rules beyond what the Bible says about what Christians should do, or should not do, on the Lord’s Day (Sunday). The Bible teaches that we should go to church on the Lord’s Day and worship Him. The Bible does not teach any “dos” or”don’ts” beyond that. The important thing is to be sure that you are resting in Jesus for your salvation.

MATTHEW 11:28-30

Verses 28-30 “28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

What a wide open invitation to come to Christ! No one who reads or hears these words can honestly say, “God did not invite me to come to Him.” It is an invitation to both salvation and a life of service. Every unsaved person is heavy laden with sin and the stress and guilt that sin causes. But the good news is that there is rest in Christ. Isn’t it strange, that people will laboriously work to try to be saved? But salvation is not received by working, but by resting in Him.