John 1:1-5; 10-14
Naturally, I will be preaching a Christmas sermon next week, but this week I want to step back from the manger scene to observe the bigger picture. What does Christmas mean?
God told Abraham that the coming Christ would be a blessing to all peoples (Gen. 18:18) but in what way? Certainly we don’t twist this to mean that everybody will be saved – but we can truthfully state that through faith in Christ all men CAN be saved.
Accepting Christ as Lord and Savior is the ultimate end of Christmas. Once a person trusts Christ then the full meaning of Christmas becomes a reality.
But first, let us back up and notice that since creation, the Son has always been:
I. [He is] God Over Us – vs.1-3
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
That little babe in the manger was actually the Creator of the universe! He is God Incarnate! Christ left the glory of Heaven and voluntarily became a man.
We should understand John 1:1 before reading Luke 2:7. Christ always was – then Christ was born of a virgin in the manger of Bethlehem. Normally when we think of a babe – we think of him in terms of weakness and vulnerability, but the Christ child would prove to be the very essence of God in the body of a man. He forever remains God over us regardless of the physical form He chooses to take up.
That Babe is the Creator – Col. 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
He is the Sustainer – Col. 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist
He is the Judge – John 5:22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
He is the Alpha and Omega – Rev. 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
The Bible says in Romans 9:5 that Christ is “over all, God blessed forever. Amen.” Since He is God over us, we owe Him our allegiance, our obedience, and our worship. Most people don’t mind a babe in a manger or a man on the cross because neither are in a position to make demands from us. But when we understand that the baby grew up, died on a cross, and rose again on the third day. And further, that He is seated at the right hand of the Father – then we come to realize that He is Lord OVER us. He is making demands from us. Have you submitted your heart to the Christ of Christmas?
I stand amazed when I think of the Christ-child as God OVER us coming down to earth. What an honor for all of His creation to host our Creator!
But also from 4-5 we see further see that His coming means that:
II. He is God FOR Us – vs. 4-5
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
Verses 4-5 speak of Christ’s advocacy for His pitiful creatures. The thought of an angry Judge coming to earth is not so pleasant. What’s He going to do when He gets here?! Thankfully, He came not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved as a result of His visit. The Bible says emphatically that Christ came FOR us:
Ro 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Ro 8:31 …If God be for us, who can be against us?
Ro 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all,..
Ro 8:34 … It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
My friend, Christ came all this way FOR you – will you turn Him away, or will you accept Him by faith?
next notice from verse 14 that His coming means that:
III. He is God WITH Us – vs. 14
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Matthew’s account affirms this fact.
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. – Mt 1:21-23
That babe in the manger is not just God FOR us, but He is further; God WITH us. Let me explain the difference.
According to the World Health Organization, of the 34.3 million people in the world who have AIDS — nearly 24.5 million of them live in sub-Saharan Africa. 3.8 million are children under the age of 15. According to the new report “Children on the Brink 2002” by USAID, UNAIDS and UNICEF, the number of AIDS orphans will increase to a staggering 25 million by 2010.
IMB Missionary, Dr. Gordon Fort, is the Regional Leader of the Southern Africa Region and he is right there in the thick of this battle. Every day he ministers to the sick and the dying and every day he tells these poor people about the love of Christ.
I am for the millions of HIV/AIDS babies in Africa but Gordon Fort is with them – you see the difference? He is loving them, touching them, comforting them. His presence is making a difference.
Christ is not only FOR us but He is also WITH us. He’s been touched with the feelings of our infirmities. Jesus Christ “dwelt among us.” He experienced the pain of losing a “parent” (Joseph). He knew the hardships and difficulties of life. He grew weary, and angry, and hungry, and frustrated. He experienced betrayal and denial. He was used and abused. Jesus also experienced joy and delight, and the bond of friendship. He was one of us in so many ways. Jesus even felt the awful pain associated with temptation. Though He never sinned, He was allowed to carry the weight sin of the entire human race when He died upon Calvary’s cross. Jesus was not merely God OVER us, and a God FOR us – but truly He came as God WITH us.
It is a miracle that God came here at all! It is an even greater miracle that He came to be our advocate – He is FOR us! Further, He came to be WITH us in our struggles. What a Savior!
But finally, I want you to see that Christ’s coming means:
IV. He is God IN Us – vs. 10-13
10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Here’s the best part yet. The babe in the manger was God in human form. He grew up, died, and rose again. Now, he wishes to live in and through you. The Bible says in
Col 1:27 “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:”
Ga 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,
You see, this babe did not come to be a religious cult figure. He came to be our personal Redeemer and Lord. Does He live in you? He wants to!
Christmas means that the God over us was willing to come to this sin-cursed dearth. The eternal Logos of God stepped out of heaven and into a manger.
Further, He came because He is a God for us. I could say that He is not willing that any should perish. God is pulling for you. If you go to Hell, you will go there against His desire.
Then we see that God is not just up there rooting for us, He is actually a God with us. He has felt the frailty associated with being a human being. He “feels your pain.” He is Immanuel – God with us.
He desires to be God in & through us. Will you open the door to your heart and let Him in right now? Pray a prayer of repentance & faith.