John Lloyd - Christmas Thoughts
Great Thoughts of Christmas
December 23, 2018
Today we will consider the past grace revealed in the birth of Jesus. This past display of grace is our guarantee of grace in the present for our daily needs. This present grace gives us a secure hope for future grace not only in this life but the one to come, Paul Tripp. It is our prayer that these great thoughts will encourage you this Christmas season.
Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Big Idea: The birth of Jesus is God’s clear demonstration that he will make good on all of his promises to us.
I. The birth of Jesus is God’s fulfillment of his past ______________.
Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
Genesis 3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
I Kings 8:56 “Blessed be the LORD who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke by Moses his servant.
Micah 5:2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.
Matthew 2:4-6 The scribes knew that Bethlehem was the prophesied birthplace of the Messiah.
Genesis 49:10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
Matthew 1:2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,(Is. 7:14, Lk.1:31-37)
Isaiah 9:2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.
The years between the fall of Adam and Eve and the coming of Jesus present a powerful promise to us that God can be trusted. They tell us that no matter what it takes and how long it takes, God will always do exactly what he’s promised to do. Paul Tripp. (Jeremiah 31:3)
The birth of Christ demonstrates past grace to every heart!
II. Present __________ is available because it has been promised.
Romans 8:33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
Colossians 2:13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
“I am not arguing that sin is okay or that you should not take it seriously. I’m arguing that the security of our relationship with God has never depended on the faithfulness of our obedience. If God withdrew his love every time we failed there would be no hope for any of us. The unbreakable faithfulness of God’s love for us is such a huge comfort precisely because we are unfaithful.” Paul Tripp (Ps. 130:3)
Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 2 Corinthians 12:9
The claim that Jesus is God also gives us the greatest possible hope. This means that our world is not all there is, that there is life and love after death, and that evil and suffering will one day end. And it means not just hope for the world, despite all its unending problems, but hope for you and me, despite all our unending failings.” Timothy Keller Hidden Christmas
Reach out to God for His present grace is sufficient!
III. Past and present grace are a guarantee of _____________ grace.
Romans 8:37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Christmas story is one big, beautiful promise. The fulfilled promise of Jesus’s birth guarantees that God will, in his perfect timing and in his wise way, fulfill every other promise he has ever made to us. Past grace is your guarantee of present grace and of all the future graces you will ever need. And at the very center of the guarantee is the promise of God’s eternal love. God sent his Son to us because he loves us. His Son now lives within us because God loves us. And we will live with him forever because God loves us. As you celebrate the birth of Jesus, celebrate the unbreakable love that his birth guarantees you. Paul Tripp
May we celebrate the unbreakable love the birth of Christ guarantees to all who call on Him this Christmas!
Spiritual Growth Questions for December 23, 2018
Opener: Share a testimony of God’s faithfulness to you in the past
that brings comfort to you in the present.
1. Read Romans 8:31-39. How can the apostle Paul’s words be an encouragement to you this Christmas season?
2. What is your favorite Christmas carol? Why is it special?
3. Read Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, Genesis 3:15, 49:10, Micah 5:2. Which prophecy encourages you and why? How does prophecy create trust in God? How does it help you trust Him with your challenges this season?
4. Read I Corinthians 1:18-25, Psalm 14:1. What is foolish according to Paul and the psalmist? What is real wisdom? What is the wisdom behind Christ becoming human flesh and living among us?
5. Read John 1:14, Hebrews 13:5, Psalm 23:6. Discuss God’s past grace in John 1:14, his present grace in Hebrews 13:5, and what future grace looks like in Psalm 23:6.
Reflect and discuss: How is grace revealed in these passages?
Luke 2:10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.