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Christmas-The Right Reason - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
December 23, 2021 2:00 am

Christmas-The Right Reason - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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December 23, 2021 2:00 am

God's plan for us has always been to be His children, not His slaves. In the message "Christmas—The Right Reason," Skip shares about your new standing as God's child and reminds you why we really celebrate Christmas.

This teaching is from the series A Red Christmas.

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Website: https://connectwithskip.com

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Certainly Jesus is the answer to the longing of mankind.

But we're awfully squirrelly about presenting Him sometimes. We don't always get it right, because sometimes we even forget that the Bible has but one central theme, and that is Jesus Christ. The world largely celebrates Christmas for secular and materialistic reasons. But today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Skip shares the right reason for celebrating Christmas and how it impacts your life significantly. Now we want to tell you about a resource that will help grow your relationship with God as you apply His Word in real life ways. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the reevaluation of priorities, life choices, and the path forward. This illuminates the question, what do I want out of life? Here's Skip Heitzig with some thoughts on priorities.

Don't we all want the life with a happy ending? A life marked by growth, a life marked by productivity and refreshment, and God's touch of blessing and prosperity and maturity upon it. Here's our special offer for this month for those who support this media outreach. The Daily God Book by Skip Heitzig, plus playlist, eight CD messages on significant psalms. Start 2022 with Skip's Daily God Book, and they're both our way of thanking you when you give $35 or more today to help more people connect with God's Word. Call 1-800-922-1888 or go online to connectwithskip.com. Now, here's another playlist sample from Skip. When you pursue him, when you pursue holiness, happiness tags along.

Call 800-922-1888 to give or visit connectwithskip.com. Okay, we're in Galatians Chapter 4 today as we get into the teaching with Skip Heitzig. For those of us who have been raised in a church, brought up in Sunday school perhaps, for that type of a person, there's an understanding that Jesus is the focal point, the central reason for the season. In fact, He is the answer to everything.

We tell people as much. We say, just keep your eyes on Jesus. Just follow Him. Just lean hard into Him. Just look to Jesus.

He's the answer to it all. There was a teacher who was teaching her Sunday school class, four-year-olds, and she thought she would engage the class in participation, so she was teaching on Noah's Ark and she said, kids, I'm going to describe something to you and you tell me what it is. So she began. She said, I'm furry. I have a fluffy tail.

I like to climb trees. No answer in the class. Dead silence. Not a kid raised a hand.

So she continued, okay, I like to eat nuts, especially acorns. Nothing. Dead silence.

So she thought, okay, I'm gray or brown, sometimes even black or red. Not a child spoke up. She was frustrated at this point, turned to a perky four-year-old named Michelle and she said, come on, Michelle, you know what this is. Michelle said, yeah, I think the answer is supposed to be Jesus, but it sure sounds like a squirrel to me. Poor little girl thought every question had to have the answer Jesus to it. Certainly Jesus is the answer to the longing of mankind. But we're awfully squirrelly about presenting Him sometimes. We don't always get it right because sometimes we even forget that the Bible has but one central theme, and that is Jesus Christ.

Think about it. In the Old Testament, the Old Testament promises Him. In the New Testament, the first four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John present Christ. In the book of Acts, Christ is preached. In the Epistles, another word for the letters of Paul, John, Peter, et cetera, Christ is pondered. In the book of Revelation, Christ is predicted.

It's all about Him from cover to cover. But for a lot of people, it's like going to a play and getting there late when it comes to reading the Bible and understanding the story. If you picture the Bible as part one and two, there's a two-part play.

You've got the Old Testament and the New Testament. For a lot of people, they read the Bible, they just read the New Testament, they open the book, and it's sort of like going to a play late, not having seen the first act. So you get your seat, act two begins, and you begin to make a perfect nuisance of yourself as you ask people around you, now who's that person? And what did that statement mean?

And what is that person referring to? You missed all this salient information that would have been given to you had you been in act one. So now you're a bit lost and you need some catching up. And when we talk about Christ, we have to understand that it all deals with Him in some form or fashion. But to too many people, opening the Bible is like being stuck in a jungle without any roads. You know, they open the book and they're confused immediately. They see no road, no rhyme, no reason, no familiar path, going anywhere, just disconnected phrases, enigmatic statements.

And they really see not having any form. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Bible is a seamless revelation. It's a very staged and coherent story, and it all makes sense when you give Jesus His rightful place. Paul said to the Colossians that in all things, Christ might have the preeminence. The apostle Paul in the book of Ephesians said that God works all things to the counsel of His own will. In other words, the Bible is not haphazard.

It's not disconnected. It's not some amorphous mass of ideas flung together by a bunch of guys throughout history. One who said, here's a poem, let's put this in the book.

Here's a cool story I heard, let's put that in the book. Far from being that, it is the revelation of a God who is orchestrating all things according to the purpose of His own will. So we have, for the last few weeks, been considering Christmas. And the first week we talked about Christmas, the right season. And we worked off the phrase in verse 4, in the fullness of the time, we discussed what that meant.

It was just the right time, culturally, politically, spiritually, prophetically. The second week we looked at Christmas the right person, that the one that God sent into the world was His own Son, having His own nature, deity. God in a human body, born of a woman, born under the law. As the hymn writer in Hark the Herald Angels wrote, Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see, hail incarnate deity. Paul would have said, amen to that Christmas carol, that's who it is. But now we consider Christmas the right reason, what's the whole purpose of it all, what's the whole reason?

All of that for what? Verse 5 tells us, of Galatians chapter 4, To redeem, to redeem those who were under the law that we might receive the adoption as sons. As we've told you the last couple weeks, I decided this Christmas to not spend a whole lot of time on mangers or shepherds or angels or stars or wise men.

All that's good and we've done that in depth in the past. But to go a little bit deeper to really understand the Christmas story, from I believe the perspective of the whole Bible and from the view of God. Because for many people Christmas sort of seems out of place.

Go back to people who read the Bible and find it a jungle. For a lot of people, Christmas, the whole baby in a manger thing seems out of place in the Bible. You've got creation and you've got law and you've got poetry and you've got prophets and you've got more prophets and then suddenly a baby gets born. And everybody makes a big to do out of the baby.

Leaving some people to scratch their heads and go, I don't get how it all fits. Certainly the manger scene, the baby born, seems to most people to be disconnected from real life, from their life. After all this is a different culture, a different time.

Thousands of years have passed. I'm working on paying my rent, on raising my kids, on saving up for college and then once a year everything stops and we celebrate a baby and then after that we go back to our year. So 12 months go by, we drag out the box of the Christmas tree and the decorations and dust off the manger and put it up and plug in the lights and pay the extra electric bill.

And then when it's all over we take it down, put it in the box, put it back in the garage and wait for 12 months. And so we're left wondering why, what's the purpose, what's the reason, what's the hoopla, what's the to do. So we can consider it was the right season, it was the right person, but what was the reason? And verse 5 tells us to redeem those who were under the law.

Now I'm going to break it up this morning. First of all, I want you to consider with me the history of this reason. This reason does have history. Now if you don't understand the history of this reason, you will not understand the Bible.

You will not understand Christmas unless you understand the history of the reason for this. I just want you to notice what Paul does in verse 5. He says to redeem those who were under the law, that's past tense, he's reaching back to the past that we in the present might receive adoption as sons. So he compares past history with present reality. He's been reaching back, if you were to read Galatians 1, 2, and 3, and I really trust that you're going to do that later on today to get the full picture. Paul's been talking about Jewish law and the promises of Abraham and all of that stuff, how it comes to fulfillment, and he says this is who we were, this is who we are, all of that history means something to us now.

And so we have a question. Where did Christmas start? What was the origin of it?

Where was its true beginning? Was it in the manger? Is that when Christmas began? Was it in the manger when Joseph and Mary brought forth their son Jesus and laid him there, and later on the animals came by and the shepherds gathered around and the stars shone overhead and somebody walked up and said, that is the perfect decoration.

I can make some money off of this. Or did Christmas begin when the angel made the announcement over the skies of Bethlehem, and he said to those few shepherds, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be for all people, for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord. Was that the beginning of it? Or do we go back a bit further, say to the prophet Isaiah, inspired by God to write what we quote every time this season approaches. Isaiah 9-6, for unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.

The government will be upon his shoulders, his name will be Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, predicting him. Is that when Christmas began? Or do we go back yet a little bit further, say to the time of Moses in Deuteronomy 18, when he predicted that another prophet would be coming, another set one would be coming, and to him you must listen, follow, obey. Where did Christmas begin? Well actually, we have to go all the way back to the very first book of the Bible, the first few chapters of it. You don't have to turn there because you know the story.

I'm just going to recap it for you. We have to go back to the creation. God created the heavens and the earth.

And when he did, after every creation, he said, it is what? It is good. And when it was all done, he said, it's very good. It's like saying, I'm really stoked on this. This is awesome.

This is good, very good. Man and woman were placed in dominion over the earth to represent God. The first man and first woman were direct creations of God, in a very real sense, sons or children of the living God. They had an intimacy with him, a fellowship with him.

The Bible tells us that God was looking for Adam in the cool of the day, walking in the cool of the day, suggesting they probably took a walk often together in fellowship. That's Genesis 1 and 2. We come to Genesis 3, it all changes, it all caves in. There's a rebellion. They rebel against their creator, they disobey his directives, and they become alienated from God. And they knew it, because they ran in the opposite direction. And so God pushed them out of the garden, putting an angel with a sword, so they couldn't get back in, lest they eat at the tree of life and live forever in that condition without any hope. But now they're alienated from God.

Now fellowship is broken. So we're reading this in Genesis 3, and we pause and we think, okay, now what's God going to do? Now he's left with a damned creation, a doomed creation. The children have rebelled, have fallen to the dark side. What's God going to do? What is God prepared to do to fix all this, to restore all this, to redeem, if anything? Well, we keep reading in chapter 3 of Genesis, and God makes the announcement to Satan, I will put enmity between you and the woman between your seed and her seed.

In other words, Satan, you and your offspring are going to have conflict with the offspring of a woman. That's the prediction. Now at that point, we don't exactly know what he means, because seed can be either singular or plural.

It can refer to one or many. So we go, okay, there's a prediction. It basically says, you're going to get into a war, Satan, and you're going to be the ultimate loser, because he gets now very specific.

Listen to it. I will put enmity between you and the woman between your seed and her seed. He shall bruise your head, you shall bruise his heel. Well, now we have more information. Now we know that the meaning of seed doesn't mean descendants, plural, but a singular descendant, a man, will be born of a woman who will crush Satan's head. By the way, that's how the NLT says it. The New Living Translation says, He, the seed of the woman, will crush your head.

Sounds very mafia. Look, he's going to come and crush your skull. I like God's style here. So he predicts that a man will be born to crush Satan's dominion, his head, his authority, and he himself will receive a temporary wound, the bruising of the heel. Okay, so we read that, and then history continues, we keep reading, and we find that we come to a great flood that destroys the world, except for how many people? Eight people, Noah and his family.

So now the possibilities of that seed being fulfilled is greatly reduced to only eight survivors. And we discover that Noah has three sons. One of them is named Shem, and one of the descendants of Shem is a guy by the name of Abraham. We discover that in Genesis chapter 12. And God makes the promise to Abraham. Through you, Abraham, through your seed, all of the nations of the world will be blessed. So the promise goes from Adam, through Noah, through Shem, to Abraham.

Keep reading. The promise is then repeated to Abraham's second son, not first son, Ishmael, second son, Isaac, in Genesis 26, verse 4. Keep reading, the promise is then repeated to Isaac's second son, Jacob, Genesis 28, verse 14.

Keep reading all the way through Genesis to the very end of the book, chapter 49, verse 10. The promise goes to Jacob's fourth son by his wife, Leah, named Jacob. I'm sorry, not Jacob, Judah, the tribe of Judah. So we're following the lineage down of the promise all the way to the tribe of Judah. Well, we keep reading as history goes by, all the way to 2 Samuel chapter 7. And there's a guy by the name of King David, and God says, Your descendant will sit upon the throne of David and rule forever and ever.

So that's the lineage, that's the history, that's the promise. But we're still waiting for the fulfillment until we get to chapter 1 of Matthew. Now we open the New Testament, and this is how it begins.

Listen. The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, Jacob begot Judah. He's following the same track of the promise down to verse 16, Matthew 1. And Jacob begot Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called the Christ. So the promises made in Genesis 3.15, Jesus Christ gets born as a fulfillment of that promise, sent to engage in conflict with Satan. The final result will be his, Satan's, final overthrow in the end of days.

But between then and then is now. And Paul would say, all of that is good, but we can see the results of that right here, right now. Where sonship that was lost is restored. Now we come to Galatians. Now we come to Galatians. And I want you to look at Galatians chapter 3.

I'm backing into our text, because I want to tie a bow on it all. Galatians 3, Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us, for it is written, cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree, that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Brethren, I speak in the manner of men, though it's only a man's covenant, yet if it's confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it. Now to Abraham and his seed, where the promise is made, he does not say unto seeds as of many, but as of one, and to your seed who is Christ. In other words, the coming seed, he says, is Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of the promise. Now that's not without price, for Satan would bruise his heel. That means a temporary wound would be sustained by Jesus Christ.

Speaking of his death on the cross, Jesus died on the cross, but he rose from the dead and his resurrection from the dead would strike the fatal blow to the head, the authority, the dominion of Satan. Now, go down a few verses. Chapter 3 of Galatians, look at verse 26, because it sums it up. For you, get this, for you are all sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ.

There it is. There it is, paradise regained. We are sons of God again. What was lost in Adam is regained in Christ, who died the sinner's death and rose to conquer death. When God originally created man, he created us to be sons.

We became slaves. He sent the promised seed so that we could gain sonship again. That's the point of the passage. Okay, now we go back to Galatians chapter 4, where we started last week and the week before, and I know we read it all in context, but we didn't tie it all together. Now we tie it all together. Galatians 4, now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is the master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father.

It's a very simple illustration they would be familiar with. You might have a child and a family, and that child is the heir of everything that is in that family, the heir of the estate. He might have a few million dollars in the bank, but he's a child. One day he's going to get it all, but right now, while he's a child, he's no different from a slave. In that, he's under authority, he's controlled by others, he's commanded, he's reprimanded, he's instructed to obey, he's made to conform like a slave until the date set by his dad, where his dad would confer upon him adulthood, and he would go from that child status as a slave to an adult son. Now the Romans, in their culture, the father could set the date arbitrarily, whenever he felt like it, between a certain age and a certain age, he could say, that's the day I set.

Jewish dads were more restricted. There was a specific day that they would follow, and it was the 13th birthday of the boy. The first Sabbath, after the boy's 13th birthday, was the boy's Bar Mitzvah. Bar Mitzvah means Son of the Commandment.

That's Skip Heitzing with a message from the series, A Red Christmas. Right now, we want to share about an exciting opportunity you have to take your knowledge of God's Word even deeper. If you're ready to study God's Word beyond going to church and personal Bible study, you're ready for Calvary College.

Take your learning and your life's purpose to the next level with an education in Biblical studies. Registration for the 2022 spring term is open right now. Classes have an on-site at Calvary Church, Albuquerque, and online. Classes like Biblical counseling, a study of the end times, and the history and authenticity of the Bible, plus theological studies in the doctrine of man, sin, and salvation. Calvary College partners with Veritas International University and Calvary Chapel University, so you can earn an accredited undergraduate or graduate degree, or simply increase your knowledge of God and His Word. Your application for the 2022 spring term is available right now. Classes start January 10th. Apply today at CalvaryChurchCollege.com. That's CalvaryChurchCollege.com. Our life on earth is temporary. That's why it's so important to keep our eyes and hearts fixed on eternity. That's what we want to help you do through this radio broadcast, by connecting you to God's truth and encouraging you in your spiritual life.

But that's only possible with your support. Your gift today helps keep these messages you love coming to you and many others around the world. Simply call 800-922-1888 to give right now. Again, that's 800-922-1888. Or, visit connectwithskip.com slash donate. Thank you. Come back tomorrow as Skip shares how Jesus' life and death allowed you to become a child and heir of God. Connect with Skip Hyton is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-05 23:17:02 / 2023-07-05 23:26:43 / 10

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