Volume. XXVII, No. 26
Sunday, 23 December 2012


Why Celebrate Christmas? - Part 2


…..continued from last week.

Second, Jesus was born to save us from our sins (Section B)

God\'s promise of salvation from sin and death is gradually revealed over the course of redemptive history. A much more detailed explanation, however, is given by Moses. The Mosaic Law, on the one hand, shows us our problem: our sin, our guilt, our unholiness and consequent lack of fellowship with God. On the other hand, the Mosaic Law provides the solution to our problem: forgiveness of sins, and the way of holiness and thus fellowship with God. The Psalms and Prophets expound and expand upon the Mosaic Law. Besides the numerous declarations and promises of forgiveness, we read in Isaiah about God\'s Servant who would be wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities.

Bear in mind that Jesus\' sacrifice for sins, however, does not personally benefit anyone, unless and until they are united to Him by faith! By nature, we are united to Adam and so inherit his guilt and corruption. Dear reader, how can you be in Christ and so receive the forgiveness of sins? To be united to Christ is to believe and trust in Him, and Him alone! (John 3:16; 8:24) "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12; cf. 10:43; 13:38; 26:18)

Third, Jesus was born to be king

A third reason for Jesus\' birth is one that is emphasised by both Matthew and Luke in their respective accounts of the first Christmas. And it is this: Jesus came to be King! Once again, we will begin at the beginning so that we might gain a fuller understanding of this reason for Christ\'s coming into the world.

In the beginning, man was created and commissioned to rule over the world. After God made Adam and Eve, He blessed them and commanded them to preside over all that He had made. Genesis 1:28: "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." This command, which is often referred to as the cultural mandate, is reiterated in Psalm 8:6-7. Man, therefore, was made to be God\'s vice-regent on earth. God did not intend for us to escape the world, spending all of our time in solitude, reading and praying. Rather, He made us in His image, equipping us with all the necessary tools, like our mind (i.e. reason) and senses (i.e. eyes, ears, etc.) to go out into the world and reign over it.

Sin, however, has affected man\'s ability to rule over the world. Taking dominion became difficult if not impossible. The curse given to Adam explains it well (Gen. 3:17-19). From it we learn two things. First, our rule is resisted and frustrated. In other words, the world works against us. Second, our rule is terminated by death. The ultimate resistance and frustration is death. We are here today, gone tomorrow. Although we were set apart to reign over God\'s creation, sin and death has destroyed any chance of fulfilling that calling in any meaningful way.

The good news, however, is that instead of leaving man to suffer the full consequences of his actions, God promised to one day restore him as ruler over all. God did so immediately after the fall in Genesis 3:15. We have seen already how this verse refers to God\'s promises of conquering the devil and delivering us from our sins. Yet* it also refers to restoring man as ruler because all three aspects are interconnected. Just as sin brought us under the reign of death and Satan, so it has kept us from properly taking dominion over the earth. Thus, as we shall see, Christ\'s death and resurrection, not only led to his victory over Satan, setting us free from sin and death, but it also led to his coronation as ruler over all the earth. And we who are in Him, reign with Him!

Conclusion

Why celebrate Christmas? Why rejoice in the birth of Jesus? We do so because Jesus was born to destroy the Devil, to save His people from their sins, and to become King. If you are a Christian, during the Christmas season, indeed during the whole year, let these truths sink deep down into the core of your being so that they then resurface in a life that is holy and pleasing to God. If you have not come to Jesus in faith, trusting in Him to deliver you from the kingdom of darkness, to purify you from your sins and to be your King, then do so now! 16"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16-18)

 

Pastor Weng

 


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster: Today’s Team Leader: Dn Colin Gan. Next Lord’s Day:  Dn Edwin D’Mello

*Hope Bookstore: Open today: 12:30 - 1:45 pm. Christmas & other greeting cards, new books available. It will be closed on Christmas Day.

*Serving the Lord in the Flower Roster for 2013 - please write your name on the sheet of paper on the Notice Board in the foyer.

*Serve the Lord with Gladness: volunteers needed to provide flowers, transportation, and to clean and setup the sanctuary before Christmas Day and before Next Lord’s Day Worship Services. 

*Please Note: There is NO Fellowship Lunch after next Lord’s Day Worship Service.

*Adult & Junior RPGs (English & Mandarin) & Daily Manna for Jan - Mar qtr available. Donation appreciated.

*O’Week - there will be no stall for the YAF this year, but we hope to distribute tracts to the new students.

Praise & Thanksgiving

 1. Journey mercies: Ps & Sis Ki, & family (S’pore); Dns Joyce Gong; Bro Ngie Joo & Sis Sooi Chin Gong (Per); Bros Raymond Ang (Pinnaroo) & Raphael Ng (Goolwa/Adl); Sis Grace Gan’s parents; Sisters Megan Lim  & Clara Sim (S’pore); & others who have arrived safely.

2. Sis Felicia’s father responding well to chemotherapy.

3. Church Activities, in the past week.

4. Session Meeting last Lord’s Day.

5. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.

6. Visitors & new worshippers.

Prayer Items

1. Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev & Mrs James White; Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson (Nursing Home); Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Bros Elton Law & Kang Fun Tan (S’pore); Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth (Nursing Home), Margaret Hooper, Lai Kheng Chiong (KL), Myung Ki, Choon Fong Lee (KL), Lehia Paauwe (Per), Susan Varadi (Nursing Home); Mr Swee Liang Ng (Bro Raphael’s father); Mr Mang Soo Ong (Sis Gillian Ong’s father); Mr Wong (Dn Wai Kin Wong’s father); Mrs Maggie D’Mello (Dn Edwin’s mother in Mumbai) & Mrs Chuilin Yap (Malacca); Mr Tony Zhang; & others in affliction.

2. Cambodia Missions - Rev Luke Kim & Ministry (Phnom Penh, Veal Renh); Rev Srun Chivan & Ministry (Sihanoukville).

3. IBPFM & PMU Boards & their Missionaries.

4. Laos Missions - Bro Surish Dharmalingam

5. Ministry in New Life BPC (London): Ps & Sis Ki. Special Prayer: Ministries in S’pore in Dec.

6. Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry.

7. iSketch&Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry & Ordination - Pr HS Lim  (Melbourne, Vic).

8. Ps & Sis Weng - Ministry in Hope BPC. 

9. Journey mercies: Ps David & Sis Susan Weng, & family; Dn Colin & Sis Grace Gan, & family; Dn Wai Kin & Sis Mavis Wong, & family (Melb); Bros Raymond Ang (Pinnaroo), Raphael Ng (Goolwa/Adl) & Lucas Yiew (Adl); Sis Mary Ting & family (USA); Sis Sarah Carpenter (Tas); & others who are travelling. 

10. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.

11. Full-time Job - Sisters Michelle Lee  (Melb) & Corinne Teng; & others looking for  stable jobs.

12. Unity in doctrine & fellowship of all B-P Churches

13. Postnatal recovery - Sis Josephine Wong; health - James Wong. (Melb).

14. Health in pregnancy - Sis Kerrie Lam

15. Believers under persecution in Islamic nations.

16.  Australian work visas - Sisters Clara Sim & Felicia Tan

17. Australia - politicians and people to turn to our Lord Jesus this Christmas season.

 

 

© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063