Now, you know, as I was thinking about what we should talk about today, this Sunday before Christmas, and I was asking the Lord, what passage should I talk about? I mean, the thought came to my mind, well, why don't you just talk about the verse that you guys have been memorizing all month anyway? I mean, it's a Christmas verse with lots of great information in it, great spiritual truth about our Savior coming at Christmas.
And so that's what I want to do. Let's say the verse, we know it, right? Ready?
Ready? For today, in the city of David, there has been born for you a Savior who is Christ the Lord. So that's what I want to talk to us about.
We want to take that verse apart, look at the spiritual truth in it, put it back together for our lives. So, okay? All right. Well, it's got to be because it's the only message I got.
So it's got to be. Okay. Now, before we dig into the verse, let's do what we've been learning. And that is first, let's look at the context in which this verse is found. We begin at Luke chapter two, verse one.
Here we go. And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. And everyone went to their own city in order to be registered. So Joseph went up from Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem, to the city of David, because he belonged to the house and the line of David, to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him and expecting a child. They had to go from Nazareth up in Galilee all the way to Bethlehem is a very long journey, especially for a young woman who was about to give birth to a child. Verse six. And while they were there in Bethlehem, the time came for the baby to be born.
And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son, and she wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were greatly afraid. But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid, for I bring you good tidings of great joy, which will be for all people. And here comes our verse. For today in the city of David, there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Now here in Luke chapter two, verse 11, we learn three very important things about this Savior that was born that night in Bethlehem. And I want us to look at this together.
So here we go. The first thing that we learn is that this Savior was a promised Savior. The angel says for today in the city of David. And what is the city of David? Well, we just saw it in the context back in verse four, the Bible says, So Joseph went up from Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem, to the city of David. So the city of David is what? It's Bethlehem.
Right. And why did Joseph have to go to Bethlehem? Well, the Bible says, verse four of this chapter, because he belonged to the house and the line of David.
And so therefore, he was required by this Roman census to go back to his ancestors hometown, the town of Bethlehem. But you may not know this, we know that Joseph was a descendant of David, but you may not realize that Mary was also a descendant of David. There are two different genealogies for the Lord Jesus given in the Bible, one in Matthew's gospel, one in Luke's gospel, one's for Joseph and his line, one's for Mary and her line. And what we discover is that Joseph was a descendant of David through David's son Solomon, while Mary was a descendant of David through David's son, Nathan. So both his mother and his father were descendants of David and returned to the city of David for their registration, which is where their baby was born. Now, none of this was a coincidence. None of this was an accident. Remember we said that our Savior was a promised Savior and his birth in Bethlehem fulfilled two promises that God made about the Messiah in the Old Testament.
Let me show them to you. Promise number one is that the Messiah would be of the house and of the line of David. 2 Samuel 7, God said to David, When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant who will come from your own line, David, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
God repeated this promise in Isaiah 11 one. He said a branch will arise from the stump of Jesse. Who was Jesse? David's father.
Right. And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him. Righteousness will be the belt around his loins and faithfulness the belt around his waist. The point is that God promised that the Messiah would be David's direct descendant, which indeed he was both through Joseph and through Mary. But there was another promise God made about the Messiah that Jesus' birth in Bethlehem fulfilled. And that is promise number two that the Messiah would be born in the city of David, Bethlehem.
Micah chapter 5 verse 2 in the Old Testament says, But you, Bethlehem, out of you will come forth the one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from old, from ancient times. He will shepherd his flock and they will live securely, for his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. And God kept this promise too, didn't he?
Yeah? Even though he had to discombobulate the entire Roman Empire and move people all over the Roman Empire for this census, hey, there was no problem. God knew just what he was doing. That was the only way to get Mary and Joseph from Galilee to Bethlehem so this child could fulfill the promise that God gave that the Messiah would be born there in David's city. In fact, God made over thirty promises in the Old Testament about the birth, the life, the ministry, the death, and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. And God fulfilled every one of them, kept every one of those promises with absolute and perfect precision. The bottom line is that in over thirty ways, our Savior was a promised Savior. But number two, not only was he a promised Savior, but he was also a personal Savior. Remember what the angel said to those shepherds. The angel said, for today in the city of David, there has been born for who?
For you. He didn't say, there has been born for the cosmos, or there has been born for the world, or there has been born for the Roman Empire, or there has been born for the nation of Israel. He said to those individual shepherds, today there has been born for you.
Because Christ is a personal Savior for you. How many Redskins fans we have here? Raise your hand.
God bless you guys, I swear. What a tragedy. What a tragedy. And it just seems like we can't get this thing right in this town, doesn't it?
I don't know. But you know, I checked this week, and I discovered that in the fourteen years he's owned the Redskins, that Dan Snyder has fired six different coaches. One of them was North Turner, and I personally thought the way that that was handled was not the most sensitive way of handling things, not the most personally nice way of handling things. But when asked about that, Dan Snyder said, and I quote, hey, it's all about winning. End of quote. Now I understand that. Don't you understand that? Yeah, we understand that an owner, his goal is not to be a personal owner. His goal is to be a winning owner. We understand that.
Yeah? But you know, I got great news for you. The Bible has great news for you. And that is that the Lord Jesus Christ didn't come into the world to be a winning savior. He came into the world to be a personal savior.
Isn't that great news? And he came into the world, therefore, caring about you and me, caring about people. He came into the world as a savior that cares about our feelings and our pain, our heartaches and our struggles, our joys and our sorrows and anxious to intervene and help us with all of these things. Now, I've been a follower of Christ for 43 years, and I got to tell you, to this day, I do not understand why God cares about me. I don't get it, but he does. The Bible says he does.
First Peter chapter five, verse seven, Peter says, Cast all your cares on him. Say the next five words with me, because he cares about what? You. Wow.
How great is that? Huh? When Brenda and I were raising our children, they would often come home with problems. You know, something happened on the playground. Something happened in the classroom. Something happened on the bus. Something happened at soccer practice. Somebody pushed them. Somebody took the ball away from them.
Somebody wouldn't let them play dodgeball. And you know, in the grand scheme of our life, these things were very trivial, very small, except that because we were personally involved in their lives, they weren't trivial to us, because if it was important to them, it was important to us. Right?
Weren't you that way with your children? Yeah, of course. And you know what? Isn't it great to know that when we come to God, even with things that look trivial in light of a universe, in light of running the world, they may be trivial to other people, but they're not trivial to God, because we are his children. He is our personal Savior. He came to take care of us personally. And if it's important to us, I don't care what it is, lost keys, a parking space at the mall, a pair of shoes that fit, you keeping that old jalopy running, whatever it is, financial problems, trouble at work, if it's important to you. Folks, it's important to him. Is that great news or what? Praise the Lord for that, huh?
Now we could stop right here, frankly, and go home with our hearts and courage, but I got more. All right, because there's a third thing this verse tells us about the Lord Jesus Christ, and that is not only was he a promised Savior and not only is he a personal Savior, but third, he's a powerful Savior. Look what the verse says.
It says, for today in the city of David, there has been born for you a Savior who is Christ the Lord. Now this word Lord, the Greek word kurios is the standard word that's used throughout the New Testament to apply to Jehovah God himself. And in using this word here in Luke 2 11 to refer to the Lord Jesus Christ, what the Bible is trying to tell us is that we are not dealing with a baby in the manger here. The person that we are really dealing with, the being that we are dealing with, is Jehovah God himself wrapped in human flesh. And that's really important because it's great to have a promised Savior and it's great to have a personal Savior who wants to get involved and help with the problems of our life, but if he's not powerful enough to do anything, then what good is he? Ah, but this verse says, don't worry about that. The Savior you got is powerful enough to do anything he needs to do because he is the Lord. And just lest there be any doubt whatsoever about that, he proved it by rising from the dead. Amen? Amen.
So let's summarize. The verse says, for today in the city of David, there has been born for you a Savior who is Christ the Lord. And what we learn from this verse is three things about our Savior. Number one, he's a promised Savior born in the city of David, just the way God promised. Number two, he's a personal Savior who was born for you and for me.
And finally, he's a powerful Savior because he is Christ the Lord. Now, that's as far as we're going to go in the verse right now because we're going to stop and we're going to ask our most important question. And we all know what this question is and this is like the last one before Christmas. So this is like our Christmas So What. Okay?
This is the one that has lights and bells and tinsel on it. Okay? We all ready? All right.
And at Loudon and at Prince William and at Bethesda and on the Internet and in the Edge. Here we go now. Christmas So What.
One, two, three. Christmas So What. Ooh. That was great.
That was great. You know, yes, the Lord Jesus Christ was born to fulfill a promised coming. But you know, he was also born to fulfill a promised mission. And this is in that verse too.
And I want to show that to you as our So What for today. Look at the verse. It says for today in the city of David, there has been born for you a what? A Savior. Who is Christ the Lord? A Savior.
Okay. So what does that mean? Well, I looked it up in the dictionary, the word Savior. And the dictionary says that a Savior is a person who saves somebody from something. Profound. Yeah. Well, okay. If that's what a Savior is, then what is it that the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to save you and me from?
That's worth knowing. Well, the Bible answers that question. The Bible says all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
And we all know this down deep in our heart. You know, one of my favorite passages in the Bible is John Chapter eight, where the Jewish religious leaders bring this woman before Jesus who was caught in the act of adultery. And they demand that Jesus command her to be stoned because that was the penalty for adultery. And I love what Jesus said.
Jesus said, He said, Let him who is without sin among you cast the first stone. Now listen to what happened. And the Bible says, And those who heard this, each of them being convicted by their own conscience, began to file out one by one, beginning with the oldest, even to the youngest, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing in front of him. And friends, I wonder if you and I have been there. If you and I wouldn't have been one of those people who just filed out, I would have. You would have too. My conscience would have convicted me that I was in no position to pick up a stone and throw at this woman.
I don't think you'd have been the first to pick up a stone and throw at her because we all know that we're not perfect. We all know that we've done things wrong. We all know that we're sinners, too.
Yeah. OK, well, that leads to a problem, though, because sin has consequences. And listen to the Bible.
Tell us about that. There's a penalty for sin. Romans 6 23 says the wages of sin is what? Death, eternal death, eternal separation from God in a horrible place the Bible calls hell. And this is what Jesus came to save us from.
Let me make that clear. He came to save us from the penalty of our sin, which we all admit we've got. And listen to Isaiah 53 in the Old Testament.
Tell us about this. It says he, the Messiah, was pierced for our transgressions. Where did this happen? On the cross.
Yeah. And he was crushed, it says, for our iniquities. Where did that happen? On the cross. And the punishment that brought peace to us in our relationship with God fell on him. Where did that happen, folks? On the cross. All we like sheep have gone astray. Each of us has turned to his own way. And the Lord laid on him the Messiah, the sin of us all.
Where did that happen? On the cross. That's right. And the rest of the Bible reiterates this truth. 1 Corinthians 15, 3, the Bible says Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, one of the major ones of which is what we just read, Isaiah 53. Colossians 1 says Jesus made peace between us and God by the blood through the blood of his cross. Revelation 5, 9, the Bible says Jesus redeemed us to God by his blood.
Shed where? On the cross. On the cross, right. Revelation 1, 5 says Jesus freed us from our sin by his blood.
Shed where? On the cross. On the cross, yeah. And finally, Jesus himself said, I came to give my life as a ransom for many. Where did he do that? On the cross.
That's right. Friends, this is the work of Christ on the cross for us. His work is that he died for our sins on the cross. That he took the penalty of our sins upon himself on the cross. That he made peace between us and a holy God on the cross. That he redeemed us to God on the cross. That he freed us from our sins on the cross. And that he ransomed us back to God on the cross. And this is why Jesus came into the world.
To be our savior and go to the cross and save us from the penalty of our sin. Now, where does all this leave us today, my friends? Well, it depends.
It depends. If you're here today and you've trusted Christ as your personal savior, man, all of this leaves you praising God. And really understanding what the meaning of Christmas is all about.
That this promised savior, this personal savior, this powerful savior, loved you so much that he came into this world on that very first Christmas day to end up going to the cross and bailing you out of your penalty for sin, freeing you from it, reconciling you to God, paying forever for your sin. Hey, how can you not say amen and hallelujah to that, huh? Amen?
Amen. And when you get together for Christmas this year, I mean the presents are great. But just remember, this is what Christmas is all about. This is what the present is that started the whole thing. God gave the world his son to go to the cross and save us from the penalty of our sin.
Now, I said where all this leaves us depends. Because if you're here and you've never trusted Christ as your personal savior, then all of this leaves you in great need of fixing your eternal death problem. And how do we do that?
It's very simple. It's by coming to the cross and embracing what Jesus did for us on the cross. Remember what he did. He paid for our sins. He redeemed us back to God. He freed us from our sins. He made peace between us and God. He took the penalty of our sin upon himself so we don't have to pay it. All of this he did on the cross, depending, embracing on what he did for us on the cross as our one and only remedy for sin in the sight of a holy God. And my friends, please remember that what Jesus did for you and me on the cross, we cannot do for ourselves.
It can't be done. This is why the Bible says, not by works of righteousness which we have done, not by church membership, not by baptism, not by saying the rosary, not by taking communion, not by being bar mitzvahed, not by trying to do good deeds, not by doing volunteer work, not by the works of righteousness which we have done, but by his mercy poured out on the cross. What does the Bible say? God saved us. You know, 43 years ago, I was walking down the streets of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and there was this gentleman standing on the street named Bob Eckhart. And Bob was handing out literature about the Lord Jesus Christ.
And he was being laughed at and mocked and people were spitting at him and cursing at him and everything. But I stopped to talk to him because I was in great need. You see, for years, I had been trying to figure out how to fix myself because I was a mess.
And no matter what I tried, I couldn't do it. Finally, I came to the point that I understood I need external help to do this and I don't know where to get it. And then I was trying to figure out how do I make sure that I know I'm going to heaven because I was scared to death of dying. And I figured out I need external help for that too.
And I tried to go to Eastern religions and drugs and back to Judaism and everything to find this external help and I couldn't find it anywhere. So I was a desperate man. And when this guy began talking to me and began telling me things like, You know, you're a sinner. I said, I got no problem with that.
I agree. And he said, You need someone else to save you. I said, I have no problem with that either.
I said, Bob, I totally agree with that. God had humbled me friends to the point I knew that. I just couldn't figure out where to go to get to hell. And that's when he began telling me about Christ, which I had not really heard or known much about. But I thought, well, I ought to give what he says a try. And I gave my life to Jesus Christ.
And I'm telling you, for 43 years it's been the best decision I ever made in my life. Friends, God is aching. Listen, listen, listen. God is aching to save you.
Do you understand that? He's aching to save you in his heart. He sent Christ into the world to go to the cross because he wants to save you. But there's one thing God insists upon and that is that we humble ourselves and come to him admitting that we can't save ourselves. Come to him admitting that he's the only one who can do it for us or to put it another way, and we come to him renouncing every way of saving ourselves, friends, and we're willing to let the Savior do the saving.
You with me? We've got to let the Savior do the saving. So that's what I'm going to offer you the opportunity to do right now. To humble yourself before Almighty God, to admit that you're a sinner and that you can't fix or save yourself, but you're willing to depend on his work on the cross on your behalf to get the job done. And I hope if you're here and you've never trusted Christ, you'll take advantage of this opportunity to do this. Let's bow our heads together. And with our heads bowed and our eyes closed and nobody looking around, here's what we're going to do. We're just going to pray a short prayer, one phrase at a time telling God what we just said. So I'll pray out loud. You pray silently.
Here we go. Lord Jesus, I come to you today and I admit that I'm a sinner. And I admit that I cannot fix or save myself because I've tried.
And I admit that I need external help. And so today I renounce every effort and every way of saving myself and I embrace what Jesus did for me on the cross as my one and only remedy for sin. My one and only hope for getting into heaven.
And my one and only hope of escaping the death penalty I brought on myself. So I open my heart to you today and I invite you into my life as my Lord and Savior. Apply the finished work of the cross to my heart and life today in your mercy. In Jesus' name I pray. And with our heads still bowed and our eyes closed, if you prayed that prayer with me, nobody looking around now, I really want to pray for you real quickly. But I wonder if you'd be kind enough just to slip your hand up and say, Lon, I prayed with you.
You can put it right back down. God bless you. God bless you. Amen. Lord Jesus, for all these folks who raised their hand, confirm in their heart today, right as they sit here, that you have honored, if they've been genuine, you've honored what they've asked. And that this is the beginning of an entirely new life for them, Lord.
Move into their heart with power and apply the work of the cross to their life, just like you did for me 43 years ago. And I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen. Amen.
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