We’ve been sharing this week from Pastor Rick Warren’s book and study, The Purpose of Christmas, which offers us three major purposes for Christmas:
- A time for celebration
- A time for salvation
- A time for reconciliation
The second purpose of Christmas can be found in the very next statement the angel made in Luke 2:10-11. Luke 2:10 reminds us to celebrate, but then…
11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!
The second purpose of Christmas is salvation.
Surveys confirm that around 90% of our society prays on a regular basis…so people recognize their need for someone greater than themselves and ultimately to save them from something they can’t solve on their own.
Salvation is usually three-dimensional. You are saved from something, you are saved for something, and you are saved by something.
Jesus came to save you FROM sin. Sin is an attitude; it is a pride problem.
Sin is saying, “ I want to be my own boss. I don’t need God.”
Romans 3:23 reminds us that everyone has sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard. The problem with sin is that it separates us from God. Isaiah 59:2 reminds us that our sins are the “roadblock” between us and our God; that’s why he doesn’t answer our prayers.
Jesus came to set you free from your sin. But there’s something else you need to be set free from. You need to be set free FROM yourself. Romans 7:24-25 says “I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me?” The answer, thank God is, that Jesus Christ can and does.
The answer to your problem is not in a place, a program or a pill. It’s not jumping into another relationship. The answer to your sin problem and to your dissatisfaction in life is Jesus Christ. You need a savior.
Jesus also came to save you FOR a purpose. 2 Timothy 1:9 reminds us that, “God saved us and called us to be his own people; not because of what we have done, but because of his own purpose and Grace.”
It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Ephesians 1 reminds us that long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up “he had his eye on us; had designs on us for glorious living…part of the overall purpose he is working out and everything and everyone” (Message version). God has a plan and a purpose for your life. He’s had it all along! As your creator, he knows what’s best for you.
Pastor Rick says we can live life at one of three levels: the survival level, the success level, or the significance level. Hopefully we know that we were made for significance. Significance comes from what? Knowing God, knowing his purpose for your life, and then doing it. You were made by God and for God and until you understand that, life is never going to make sense.
Finally, Jesus came to save you by his grace. What is Grace? Grace is when God gives you what you need and not what you deserve. One good acronym for Grace is God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.
Ephesians 2:8-9 remind us that by Grace we have been saved; through faith and not from ourselves…it is the gift of God, not by works so that no one can boast.”
The good news is this – Jesus Christ came to save you. He came to save you from your hurts, your habits and your hang-ups. He came to save you for his purpose and by his grace.
Congratulations to our Christmas Gift Exchange winners Tim from Gambier and Mary from Mt. Vernon!
Thanks for listening!
– Joe and Lilly