What God Wrapped Up Inside Those “Swaddling” Clothes!
I. Introduction -
A. There are a lot of things that people focus their attention on at Christmas: Christmas lights, gifts under the tree, Christmas cards, crowds downtown, the virgin Mary, wise men from the east, and then there is Santa, and the north pole, and elves, and a lot of other rubbish
B. But at Christmas, there was a little baby born - laid in that manger of hay, and wrapped up in some strips of cloth called “swaddling clothes”
C. And like a gift, specially wrapped under the tree, this little GIFT, specially wrapped, was the fulfillment of a whole bunch of God’s promises to this sin sick world (Col 1:19; 2:3,9)
D. Let’s unwrap God’s Christmas Gift this morning and find out just a few of the gifts that God gave to this world through Jesus Christ
A. Zacharias is holding his miracle baby named John, and lifts that baby toward heaven and starts to praise God for what was going on.
B. Zacharias knew that God was doing something incredible, and was starting it right in their little home with the birth of John the Baptist
C. The Holy Spirit filled Zacharias’ mouth (1:67) with the following words announcing to everyone in the village that Christmas was coming, and that there would be a Gift like no other for the whole world
D. And then Zacharias begins to describe the contents of the Gift, and tells us that this one Gift is “Everything that God promised!”
Message - God’s
Christmas Promises (Luke
A. That Baby is God’s Promise to Visit Us (1:68) Emmanuel
1. People are looking desperately for visitors to come from outer-space - who will come and help us get rid of all our world problems. Guess what, Somebody already HAS come, and the answer to ALL the problems is found in... JESUS!!!
2. God promised it (Gen 3:14,15; Isa 7:14)
3. God fulfilled it (Matt 1:21-23; 1 Tim 3:16)
4. The very creator God of all the universe CAME, and walked on the earth, and lived through everything we go through, and touched the blinded eyes, and healed the lame man’s legs, and did the impossible as easily as we breathe!
5. When we could not go to God (as sinners), God came here! He had promised to come, and then He came! He kept His promise!
B. That Baby is God’s Promise to Redeem Us (1:68) Salvation
1. God not only promised to “come” here, but He came Here with a great purpose - to “redeem” us.
a. To Redeem: means to “buy back” - to pay off a debt
b. Here, wrapped up in Jesus, is God’s way of paying off the sin-debt that we could never pay-off (Gal 3:22; Rom 6:23)
2. How would Jesus do this? By submitting to a tormentor’s whip, and yielding to the nails of the cross, and staying on the cross until every last sin was fully paid for, when He cried, “It is finished”
3. God’s promise of redemption, “salvation” was all wrapped up in swaddling cloths. His very name JESUS meant Saviour, Redeemer
4. Settle it! The “church” is not the Saviour, nor is Mary, or your good works, or Buddha, or Mohammed, or ANYTHING of ANYONE! No one deals with SINS but Jesus!
C. That Baby is God’s Promise to Announce Salvation to the World (1:69,70) - The Horn. Not exclusive information, but Public Domain!
1. What good is the gift of salvation, if no one knows about it?!
2. God not only CAME, and PAID-OFF every sin of the world, but set in motion the process that would let the whole world know about Jesus! He raised up a horn (trumpet) through Abraham and David (Gen 12:3) that would blow loud and clear:
a. The preaching of the Gospel - not just the sharing, or the living, but the DECLARING - the announcing of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah
b. The carrying of the gospel (the good news about eternal life in Christ) into all the world (Isa 42:6,7)
D. That Baby is God’s Promise to Deliver Us From Our Enemies (1:71) - The Mighty God. Liberation
1. Not external flesh and blood enemies - not people enemies
2. But rather REAL enemies, that can really do damage:
a. Like the enemy of SIN - Jesus delivered us at the cross. According to Rom 6, no child of God HAS to sin! You possess the deliverance from the domination/control of sin
b. The enemy of SATAN - Jesus will deliver us when He comes again. You do not have to follow and obey Satan’s design! Satan is our enemy, but we don’t focus on him, but on HIM!
c. The enemy of death and hell (1 Cor 15:26). But God promised liberation by means of a sacrificial Lamb!
d. Deliverance is Freedom (Gal 5:1) Don’t get entangled again in
1) The “yoke” of sin and wickedness - don’t let it run your life - if you are saved, then you are free - live like you are free, and not like a slave
2) Serving Satan- doing his will instead of God’s
3) Fear of death, and the unknown! WE know where we are going when we die - because God delivered us! Every child of God knows freedom!
E. That Baby is God’s Promise of Mercy (1:72) - Prince of Peace.
1. Mercy is NOT getting what we deserve (Lam 3:22)! We deserve:
a. Death - physical and eternal (Rom 6:23a)
b. Eternal separation from God - hell
c. Satan - that’s what people want - people get what they want
2. Yet, because of God’s mercy, we receive just the opposite by faith:
a. Eternal life - Forgiveness
b. Fellowship and a relationship with God (Father/son)
F. That Baby is God’s Promise to Enable Us to Serve Him - To Live Right (1:72-75)
1. God’s covenant (promise) was not to provide “welfare” but LIFE that is worth living (Eph 2:8-10)!
2. Life that is lived FOR Someone else - not Self, or Satan - For God
3. Since we are free from “bondage” of sin and Satan, we don’t just “do our OWN thing” but we live for the One who set us free
a. Serve without fear - no more fear of hell, death and unknown
b. Serve in holiness (a rare word these days) - purity, clean-ness
c. Serve in righteousness - live AS Christ would! God enables a Christian to be able to do things that are of lasting value. Ask yourself, “Would Jesus do this?” “What would Jesus do?”
d. Serve faithfully - all the days of our life!
IV. Conclusion -
A. That Baby Came (1:68) Emmanuel - He wants to be God with YOU
B. That Baby grew up and died on the cross for you, to redeem you. Have you repented of your wickedness, and cried out to Christ to save you?
C. That Baby tells us that salvation is for the whole world! Christian, are you doing your part carrying the gospel to someone who doesn’t know
D. That Baby delivered us from our Enemies. He is the Mighty God. Have you been made free from sin, and Satan, and hell?
E. That Baby is God’s Mercy on your lost soul - Prince of Peace.
F. That Baby enable us to serve Him - Are you living for Him?