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Christmas-The Right Reason - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
December 24, 2021 2:00 am

Christmas-The Right Reason - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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December 24, 2021 2:00 am

Jesus' coming to earth restores our lost heritage of closeness and intimacy with God. That truth has largely been forgotten during Christmastime. In the message "Christmas—The Right Reason," Skip gets to the heart of the reason we celebrate Christmas.

This teaching is from the series A Red Christmas.

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Website: https://connectwithskip.com

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The blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son cleanses a man from all sin. So when we're talking about red Christmas, we're not talking about you getting in the red because of Christmas.

We don't mean red eyes because of somebody who's partied too much around Christmas or even the red suit that the fat man wears that we call Santa Claus. It's the red blood of his son that cleanses us from sin. Love fueled God's desire to bring you closer to Him and Jesus' decision to give His life for you. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Skip shares how Jesus' life and death allowed you to become a child and heir of God.

But before we begin, reading the stories of the Bible is a very good thing. Walking where these stories took place is at a whole other level. Skip Heitzig is planning his next tour and you can be on it.

Here's the invitation from Skip. You're in for an incredible time as we travel throughout Israel and experience the culture that's so unique to that country. Now, I've been to Israel a number of times over the years and I can honestly say that visiting the places where the events of the scriptures unfolded, where Jesus lived, taught, and healed, it just never gets old. We'll start on the Mediterranean Sea and head north, seeing places like Caesarea and Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, and the Jordan River. We'll spend several days in and around Jerusalem and see the Temple Mount, Calvary, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Mount of Olives, and much more. This remarkable itinerary is made richer with times of worship, Bible study, and lots of fellowship.

The Bible will come alive to you in a way it never has before. I hope you'll join Lenny and me on what is always an unforgettable trip. I can't wait to see you in Israel. This dream can come true for you. Start planning and saving now to tour Israel with Skip Heitzig. Information at inspirationcruises.com slash C-A-B-Q.

That's inspirationcruises.com slash C-A-B-Q. Now, we're in Galatians chapter four. As Skip Heitzig gets into today's message, 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 one 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 in verse 16, Matthew 1.

Jacob begot Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called the Christ. So the promise is 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.

No doubt, 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 four, 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, son of the commandment. It's where he becomes an adult member of the community. You go, my goodness, age 13, and we would consider him an adult? You know, one of the problems we have in America is we don't have rites of passage for young people.

That's a tragedy. We just sort of let them figure it out on their own, and whenever you think you're ready, and whenever you feel like you're an adult, I guess you are. Then it was 13, and if you're thinking, oh 13, that's crazy. It just goes to show you the kind of spiritual preparation the parents offered so that the child would be ready at age 13. So he was Bar Mitzvah, and when he was Bar Mitzvah that day, he was no longer the son of his father. He was no longer the son of his mother. He was, in effect, a son of God, because he was a son of the commandment under the authority of God's command. That's Paul's point. There's an exact set time by a father in a child's life where he goes from slave to son.

And so he continues with the illustration. Verse 3, Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, when our father in heaven set the time, God sent forth his son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those who were under the law that he had the adoption as sons. He says, we too were slaves, but that was never God's plan. God's plan is that we are sons, not slaves. So he sent the serpent crusher, the promised one in Genesis 3. And Jesus coming would restore lost sonship, lost inheritance, lost intimacy, lost closeness, would all be restored by the promised one. Now our bondage was long and hard.

Remember Genesis 3? You keep reading, keep reading, keep reading. That represents thousands and thousands and thousands of years. Our bondage was long and hard. As the Christmas carol we sing, Oh Holy Night, has those words that are so accurate. Long lay the world in sin and error pining, till he at lay the world in sin and error pining, till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.

Our bondage was long and hard, but then he came in the fullness of the time, at just the right time, the Genesis 3 promise was fulfilled. So that's the history of the reason. And as I said, you will not understand the Bible till you understand the history of the reason.

But now you know it. But there's something else, and that is not just the history, but the centrality of the reason. Summed up in a single word, look at verse five, to redeem. That's the core of the sentence, to redeem.

The word redeem means to buy back. It's a beautiful picture of somebody going to a slave market 2000 years ago and laying down money, hard, cold cash to buy a slave out of the market and give the slave its freedom. But notice another word, to redeem those who were under the law that we might receive adoption of sons. Now picture somebody going to the slave market, laying down the money, setting the slave free, but taking the slave home and saying, I'm adopting you as my own son, and I'll give you everything one day that is mine. So the analogy is that God went to the slave market of sin, saw us in our condition, purchased us, brought us to himself, and adopted us as his son, as his daughter.

Beautiful, beautiful concept. John chapter one declares, as many as received him, to them he gave the power to become sons of God. So now let me give it to you in one nutshell.

The son of God became a man to enable men who were slaves to become sons of God. That's all of what I'm saying in a single nutshell. What does that mean to me? What does that mean to us? You know, this is all fine and good.

I'll tell you what it means. It means you never have to again be in the bondage of trying to earn your way there. By your own good works, by your own good deeds, you never have to try to get God to like you.

Ever try to do that? I've got to really prove to God that I'm worthy. You're not worthy, get over it.

He knew it a long time ago. I don't know why you keep bringing it up, but you're not worthy. You'll never earn it. And here's the deal, you don't have to grit your teeth and try and get God to like you and work hard because you're a son.

There's a relationship. You're not a slave. You shouldn't live in that slavery anymore, but you're his child. Now, what kind of father, what kind of father would give his son to be killed? Only the kind of a father who loved the world enough to buy it back, to redeem people.

Only a God who knew that in his son's death, his heel would be bruised, but he would rise again from the dead, striking the fatal blow to the enemy. Now, this is the site of Christmas that is usually not told. We like the lights, we even like the manger, as long as there's no light. We like the lights, we even like the manger, as long as we put it in its proper place in the house.

Looks good, I like that size. Put Jesus right there, shepherds, wise men, all together. We like that and we look at the little baby Jesus and we marvel at his soft little hands and cute little feet, forgetting that those little hands were destined to have a Roman spike driven through them. That's why they were there. And those cute little feet would trod the road of sorrows to the place of execution.

That's why they were there. And that soft little baby's head. I don't know, there's something about a baby's head.

I have my little granddaughter cadence and when I just snuggle her close and I smell that soft, pretty little head, it's all, I'm in heaven. But that little head was destined to wear a crown, not of a king yet, but a crown of thorns. That's why we've called this Red Christmas. Bing Crosby's saying, I'm dreaming of a white Christmas. God says, I am too, but it takes red to get white. The blood of Jesus Christ, God's son, cleanses a man from all sin. So when we're talking about Red Christmas, we're not talking about you getting in the red because of Christmas.

We don't mean red eyes because of somebody who's partied too much around Christmas or even the red suit that the fat man wears that we call Santa Claus. It's the red blood of his son that cleanses us from sin, makes white. So that's the history of the reason. That's the centrality to redeem.

And finally, there is the reality of the reason. And that finishes off the verses that we've been considering the last few weeks, verse six and seven, because here's what we need to ask and Paul answers it, anticipating this. We would read all this and we would go, okay, that's good, but now what? I mean, it's one thing for God to say that I'm his son, it's yet another thing for me to know that I'm his son. God might say, you're my child, I confer that status. What does that do in my life, if anything?

Is there any reality, any vitality, any confirmation of that? Verse six tells us, and because you are sons, God sent forth the spirit, that's the Holy Spirit of his son into your hearts, crying out, Abba, Father, therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Holy Spirit comes in. When I invite Christ in, the Holy Spirit is also sent in and he produces in me this instant knowledge. I've seen it in every new believer, this knowledge, this confirmation. I'm right with God. I'm close to God.

This overwhelming subjective feeling that proves the objective declaration. God has declared you're a son. Now I feel it because I cry out, Father, Abba. The word Abba means daddy in Hebrew and in Aramaic, daddy, papa.

If you go to Israel today, you hear the little kids, Abba, Abba, and you go, I've read that in the Bible. Yeah, because it just means daddy. It's a term of intimacy, nearness, closeness. How do you know that you're his child? Because you have this subjective feeling, this awareness put there by the Holy Spirit that I am close to God. He is my father and that's part of, not the totality, but part of the proof that you are a son or a daughter of God.

So look at it this way. Verse five, God sent his son that we might have the status or declaration of sonship. Verse six, God sent the Holy Spirit that we might know the experience of sonship.

Why is this important? Because the Jew under the law didn't have this. The Jew only had external principles and no internal power. Just a bunch of laws, rules that couldn't change his heart, in fact, simply made him more of a slave, right?

That's what the law did. It just pointed out, you know what, you're hurting because you read the list of the commandments and you go, I broke that one, broke that one, broke that one, broke that one. It just reminds you that you're in bondage, that you're in slavery.

It didn't help. We have the Holy Spirit in our hearts. It gives that confirmation and we cry out Abba, Father.

So now today we get the entire picture here and here is the picture in a nutshell. We started out as sons. There was intimacy with God in the original creation in the garden.

The sons became slaves. Satan succeeded in bringing in darkness. But even in the midst of that spiritual darkness, a promise brought a ray of light that one day He will come and He will crush the head of Satan. And that He, says Paul, is the Son of God, the Son of God, born of woman, born under the law. As the angel said to Mary, that holy thing that is in you shall be called the Son of the Highest.

He who was by nature a son became a servant, so that we who are by nature servants of sin would become sons and daughters. That's what Christmas is about. Christmas could be boiled down to two words, paradise regained. Paradise regained. What is lost in Genesis 3 is restored, regained because of the redemption in Jesus Christ.

But wait, there's more. Verse 7, therefore you are no longer a slave but a son. Watch this, and if a son, then an heir of God. God says, I'm buying you from the slave market, I'm adopting you into my family.

You're not a slave, you're my son, you're my daughter. And, and I'll give you an inheritance. I'll give it all to you.

Here's the peak of it. Peter writes, we have an inheritance undefiled that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for us. Now I began this sermon quoting from Charles Wesley's hymn, Hark the Herald Angels Sing. Listen to this part. Born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth, hark the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn king.

But you know what? I was thumbing through that Christmas carol. I discovered there's a last verse that I have never heard sung before. It's kind of complicated to sing it, it's old English, but it perfectly captures everything we've been talking about for three weeks. So here's the last verse of Hark the Herald Angels Sing. Adam's likeness, Lord, efface, stamp thine image in its place, second Adam from above, reinstate us in thy love. Let us thee, though lost, regain, thee the life, the inner man, O to all thyself impart, formed in each believing heart. I read that and I thought, goodness, Charles Wesley has studied Galatians chapter four.

He got it all. And so that's Christmas, the right season, fullness of time, right person, Jesus, son of God, born of a woman, the right reason to redeem and to adopt. Now you know the rest of the story, the story behind the manger. Now you know the plan.

Now you know the plan. There was a lady who had it in her heart to buy gifts for her circle of friends. She belonged to a little group, like a Bible study group, and she had a circle of friends, these other gals that she hung out with, and she thought, I have to buy them a present, a little gift for for Christmas, but you know how it is this time of the year, how time just gets away from you and you run out of time. So she ran out of time, didn't have time to get the gift, so she thinks, I'll just get him a card, I'll get him a card. So she goes into a store, looks over the already picked Christmas cards, finds a box of 50 Christmas cards on sale.

She says, I'll get that. She never opened the card to see what was written on the inside, but she liked the looks of it on the outside. It was shiny and colorful, and so she bought them, and she opened his card and quickly said warmest greetings, signed her name, sent the card. It wasn't until New Year's Day when she looked at that little stack of cards left over from that box that she decided to open the card and see what was written inside.

It's a good thing she did, because this is what was written. This Christmas card is just to say a little gift is on the way. Oops, got the card, left out the gift, right? Most people do not take the time to read and understand the message of Christmas. You're different. You have.

We have. For a lot of people, they simply like the beautiful trappings, the trees, the lights, even the scene of the manger, but not realizing that all the while God was sending a gift on the way. The greatest Christmas gift isn't anything you'd ever give to God.

The only thing He wants is you. The greatest gift is what God gave to us. Here's God stepping out of heaven with the baby in His arms.

The Savior says here, here's my son. Merry Christmas. This one will grow up and die for you. Live the perfect life you could never live. Die the atoning death in your place so all you have to do is trust Him and His work.

And I'll buy you and you'll become my child and you'll have my inheritance. That concludes Skip Heitzig's message from his series of Red Christmas. Now, here's a resource that will help you hear God's voice more clearly by walking through His Word.

2022 is almost here. Plan now for your spiritual menu starting in January. This month, we're offering Skip's daily God book devotional containing strong thoughts for each day of the year.

Here's a sample from January 1st. Martin Luther once said, the Bible is alive. It speaks to me. It has feet.

It runs after me. As you read each day, listen each day and prepare for the greatest adventure of your life. That's an excerpt of the direction found in Skip's daily God book that you'll receive in hard cover when you give $35 or more today to help keep this Bible teaching ministry growing. We'll also include playlist, eight messages by Skip on key Psalms delivered on CD as our thank you. Here's a sample of the wisdom you'll hear in the playlist series.

If you're going to spend energy in life, and we all do, make sure it's about people that you're building up, not just projects that you're building up. To give and receive this month's resource package, visit connectwithskip.com or call 800-922-1888. Did you know you can watch Skip's messages from the comfort of your home with your Roku device or Apple TV? Just search for his channel and watch thousands of powerful Bible teachings and live services.

Find more information on the broadcast page at connectwithskip.com. Join us next Monday as Skip Heitzig picks up back in the series playlist and share several remedies to help you face depression and live fully in the joy and hope of Jesus. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast all burdens on His word. Make a connection, connection. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-05 13:55:49 / 2023-07-05 14:05:34 / 10

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