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Sermon: To the Praise of His Glory, Why Jesus Really Came? A Christmas Message

This is the rough transcript for the sermon dated Sunday, December 20th, 2009:

The CROSS of Christ – Why Jesus Really Came?
Seeing Christmas through Christ is something that we have TRIED to do over the last two weeks. To some degree I must say that pulling topics out of scripture is dangerous and it is weak and it is a chance for man to do something deadly, create a pretext as ultimate authority.

Looking at LUKE we have seen the Worship and Glory of God in Christ as the LIVING GOD MAN who came to live with us from eternity to be the propitiation for the sins of the church.

MUCH can be said, taught and dived into over this topic which is why it is so dangerous at times, that we could leave out such glorious truths about Christ. But in the essence of our focus, our goal today is to look at Christmas from the lens of Christ once again as the REASON HE was born into this world…

LET US READ John 1:14-18 together: Please stand.

John 1:14-18 (ESV)14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 ( John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’ ”)
16 And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

As we think on this text, we might ask ourselves, “Why does this have to be a Christmas message?” To answer: “Because the REASON CHRIST CAME TO EARTH was to be GOD in the flesh so HE could DIE ON THE CROSS”

The Cross of Christ is the essence and apex of history. Let’s look at this text in “light” of the “topic” at hand.

BACK UP A BIT:

John 1:10-11 (ESV)
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.
11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.

NOW MOVE THE BOTTOM OF 18 – “NO one has ever seen God”

18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

Can you feel the tension here? God is NOT SEEABLE… He cannot be seen. EVEN CHRIST was not SEEN – The light of God in Christ was still not seen. So the question is now, what did Jesus come to do?

Jesus came to give light: that LIGHT is LIFE and that LIFE is ETERNAL: Listen to this in verse 4
John 1:4 (ESV)
4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

NOW listen to Jesus prayer in John 17:

John 16:33 (ESV)
33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

John 17:1-3 (ESV)
1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you,
2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.
3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

SO – the trouble is this: How can you know someone you cannot see and is NOT seeable?

The answer is SCRIPTURE or the WORD – See Verse 17
17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Several things that show us GOD:

1. HIS LAW: The law was given through moses – however, the law cannot give us SIGHT to see God – the law just points the way in TRUTH and is gracious… but it is NOT GOD but an pointing to the fulfillment of the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God who is CHRIST! This is also the WORD of GOD – given to moses… His word proclaims His glory to us… It tells of Him.

  • Moses is shown to SHADOW Christ in several ways in John’s Gospel –
  • The serpent on the pole in chapter 3 – MOSES shows the grace of God who tells the truth that if “anyone looks, they will not die.”
  • Jesus says, “So must the Son of Man be lifted up that whoever looks and believes in Him will not die…” para
  • Jesus says in chapter 5 that “If you believe Moses you will believe me and if you don’t believe Moses, you cannot believe me.” Moses writing, God’s WORD points to CHRIST, the fulfillment of TRUTH and GRACE so that we might SEE the LIGHT that gives LIFE and KNOW GOD so that we might have ETERNAL LIFE.
  • Jesus also says that MOSES didn’t give the Jews bread in the dessert, but God did…
  • Jesus is the BREAD OF LIFE…

2. MOSES – saw God, spoke to God, saw the BACK of God when he wanted to see His glory!!
3. His EVANGELIST – Verse 15 – Continuation of John the Baptist’s testimony – John even came a brief moment in life and ministry before Jesus to PROCLAIM HIM as the LAMB of God!
4. GRACE and TRUTH came through CHRIST ALONE – This is GOD in the flesh who is GRACE which is the only way to SEE GOD and TRUTH in that the law, although true, was not the REAL – Christ IS THE REAL – the LAW pointed to CHRIST! – See that the law was a small picture of Jesus – this is the essence of how one can SEE GOD. The fulness of GOD in the flesh – JESUS!

  • THIS IS HOW we see God, Jesus is how we know God, Jesus is GOD’S IMAGE: Perfect SEEING of His glory. LOOK
  • MOSES brought the picture of God’s glory to the people, Moses mediated for the people but Moses could not SHOW the glory of God to the people ultimately because ALL Moses had was the back end view of things!

SO – who is Jesus that He can show us God? Well, look and see:

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

GOD’S WORD shows us JESUS because God’s WORD IS JESUS and God became MAN.

John 1:1-3 (ESV)1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

WORD was in the beginning, before time and the word was with and the word was GOD.

JESUS is the WORD the WORD is God and JESUS was man – FLESH (INCARNATION) / DWELT (TABERNACLED – LIVED, Camped)

Colossians 1:15-20 (ESV)15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

JESUS came, God came and lived with us and lives with us still and will live with the church forever! JESUS knows us, He is man, He is God and He sits to BE the mediator between God and US forever. He did not pack up and go home, He came to KNOW man forever and be intimate with mankind.

OH LET US SEE HIM!

Hebrews 2:14-18 (ESV)
14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,
15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
16 For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham.
17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Hebrews 4:14-16 (ESV)
14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

LET US SEE JESUS AND LET US KNOW GOD

14b, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

WE have seen GOD’S GLORY – as of the only SON from the FATHER

EVIDENCE:

God is not just something to be studied, He is someone to behold!

2 Peter 1:16-21 (ESV)
16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,”
18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.
19 And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,
20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.
21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

1 John 1:1-4 (ESV)1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—
2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—
3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

GRACE AND TRUTH

God is GRACIOUS, He gives LIFE to the DEAD and SIGHT to the BLIND – In a sense of spiritual sight and life that only He can give. And gives this through HIS SON – Jesus who is ALIVE, real, the WAY, TRUTH and LIFE

God is TRUE – to His promises, His existence, His nature, His glory – now much more than what we cannot see can be seen in the fulness of GRACE – The FULLNESS OF CHRIST! FULLNESS – “Without Measure in chapter 3 – God gives the SON ALL THINGS, Spirit, Love, Power, Dominion… Jesus lacks nothing of Who God Is as He is GOD FULLY – We can know GOD as completely as He is through CHRIST the LIVING WORD!

We cannot take ALL OF THIS IN ONE SITTING… it’s much more than I can handle.

16 And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.

FULNESS OF GOD – The completeness of GOD we can see GRACE UPON GRACE. We can SEE HIS GRACE in Christ and we can RECEIVE His grace through Christ!

How? Through the sacrifice of His Son there is JUSTICE on Sin – He is our mediator, through His flesh and blood, He has brought man to God.

John 1:11-13 (ESV)
11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.
12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Grace comes and continues to come – Grace is the essence of SEEING GOD.

Which are you? DID NOT receive Him or DID – If you did, you SEE HIM, that’s the issue here… You see Him and if you see Him you know Him and if you believe, You have been made a child! Given sight to see, believe, love, adore, cherish, treasure and KNOW the God of all the universe as Christ the MAN!

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