Sunday, January 4, 2009

Christmas 2

Christmas 2
January 4, 2009
God’s Eternal Plan for Christmas
Ephesians 1:3-6, 15-18
Introduction: The celebration of Christmas has been going on for a long time now. We usually think that the celebration started with the announcement of the angels to the shepherds, who then made haste with joy to see the great thing that had happened. But then we are reminded that people in the Old Testament looked forward with much joy to the coming Messiah too. We Christians today celebrate the birth of God’s Son, for Christmas is still on our minds. The Epistle lesson for today leads to a continuing celebration of Christmas and added an eternal dimension as it talks about God’s eternal plan for Christmas.

1. Christmas began before the world was made.
A. God love us then already (v.4)

1. He did not fall in love with us. He loved us because He is love. “We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:8) In spite of our sin, which separate us from Him. (Ephesians 2:4-5)
2. His love had a purpose and design that set the pattern for all that would happen in the world (V.4)
B. He planned to make us His sons and daughters. He chose us. (V.5)
1. This would happen in Christ, who would effect the forgiveness of our sins by His sacrificial death on the cross. (V.5)
2. In His grace God would also attach us to Christ by faith so that we would enjoy and have for our very own the forgiveness of sins. (v.8)
3. This is how His plan would work out in time to make us holy and blameless before Him.

2. Christmas happened at Bethlehem.
A. We went in spirit to Bethlehem last week and there adored again the newborn Savior.
1. It was not a new celebration but a special celebration of God’s faithfulness to His plan and promises.
2. Our wisdom and understanding grew through the means of grace.
B. We can not limit the celebration of Christmas to one week.
1. The celebration is a life-style. We are people of grace.
2. We celebrate all year long.

3. Christmas is taking place today in the life of the New Testament Church.
A. The eternal plan is being work out among us.
1. We have been brought to faith in the Lord (Vs. 15)
2. Therefore we love each other.
3. We know and believe we have been chosen.
B. The eternal plan moves us to specific prayers for God’s people.
1. We thank God for believers in Christ. (V.16)
2. We pray that God’s people may grow in knowledge and faith (V.17)
3. We pray that the church may be filled with the hope of the glorious inheritance prepared for God’s people (V.18)
4. Christmas points us forward to the celebration that will take place in eternal life.

Christmas involves an eternal plan. It stated before the world was made, was worked out in time when Christ was born, and continues to unfold in the life of the church today. God had you in mind from the beginning of the world and has worked out that plan so that you might have eternal life.

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