December 24, 2012

Christmas Carols Message

Scripture: Matthew 1:1-25

Sermon Notes:

  1. There has been a buildup through the generations of history anticipating this moment of Jesus’ birth.
  2. Beginning with Genesis 3:15, human history looked forward to the Saviour’s birth, and ever since we have looked back to that defining point in history.
  3. The biblical number of earthly completion is 7 – on the 7th day God rested. The genealogies contain three sets of 14 generations (6×7); at the start of the 7th set of 7 generations Christ appears – God ‘rests’ on man.
  4. Jesus is the truest expression of Abraham and David; the best qualities of these forefathers appear in Christ.
  5. Abraham was a man of faith, and so Christ represents faithfulness to God.  Christ declares that faith, not biology, is the basis of sonship (Matthew 3:9).
  6. Being both God and man, Christ was the human covenant partner who was fully faithful to God (Gal. 3:16; Matt. 3:17).
  7. The Eternal King of 2 Samuel 7:12-14 appears in Christ.
  8. So we see the significance of this man who is about to be born, the anointed one, the Saviour, our King.
  9. Five mothers are mentioned in the genealogy, all associated with scandal: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary (though Mary’s was only a perceived scandal).
  10. God was not impeded by their rebellion. God can draw a straight line with a crooked stick; God works through broken, sinful people to bring about His purposes. 
  11. Joseph, the husband of Mary, is unique: he is adopted as a son of God by faith, but he adopts God’s Son as a biological father.
  12. Joseph was a just man; unwilling to put Mary to shame, so he resolved to divorce her quietly.
  13. He must have believed that Mary was pregnant by God, and he did not want to marry the one bearing God’s Son.
  14. But the angel directs Joseph to take Mary as wife, and Jesus is then known as the carpenter’s son (Matt. 13:55).
  15. Joseph accepted public shame for the sake of his Saviour and his wife.  We too will suffer attacks on our reputation.
  16. In our day, by being chaste, or honest in business, we will be mocked as being ignorant, repressed, narrow-minded, and guilt-ridden. 
  17. It hurts to feel the shame of being mocked as a Christian.
  18. God the Father created the world, and created mankind in His image; however, we rebelled against God our Father.
  19. Now God’s character is publicly slandered because of man’s choices:  “If God is good, why is the world so bad?”
  20. God takes the mockery; He sends His Son into the world to become a man and to redeem the very people who have rebelled against Him. 
  21. God chose a father in a broken line of kings, a man who ignored the tarnish to his own reputation, to be His Son’s natural adoptive father.
  22. On the cross, Christ bore the weight of our sin and rebellion, that God might be our Father.

Application Questions:

  1. What is the significance of the genealogies of Christ? 
  2. What is the primary sense in which Jesus is a son of David and a son of Abraham?
  3. List several prophecies which anticipate Christ’s advent.
  4. What does God demonstrate by including scandal-ridden individuals in Christ’s genealogy?
  5. What lessons in humility surround Christ’s birth?
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