- Sermon Notes
Our Savior is Born
This is the scripture we most associate with the celebration of Christmas. We all love this story because it gives us a picture of what was happening in the world and the need that we all have for a Savior. This chapter puts it all in context for us and helps us understand the greatness of God in meeting our greatest need.
A decree went out from Caesar Augustus. Who was Caesar Augustus? Many consider him the greatest of all the Caesars. He was chosen by Julius Caesar to succeed him when he adopted him in his will. He was born by the name Octavian which simply means, “Eighth,” but because he had been adopted by Julius Caesar in his will, he was given the name Gaius Julius Caesar. However, even by adding the title “Emperor” this was not enough, so the Senate sought a more regal title for him. "King" was not sufficient, so the title Augustus was chosen for him, which means, “Majestic Grandeur.” The Roman senate voted that he was a god. They even named a month on the calendar after him – August.
Among Roman rulers, only Julius and Augustus permanently had months named after them—though this wasn't for lack of trying on the part of later emperors. For a time, May was changed to Claudius and the infamous Nero instituted Neronius for April. But these changes were short-lived, and only Julius and Augustus have had two-millenia-worth of staying power.
To God Almighty Augustus would have been just "Little Caesar." God used him to move Mary in her third trimester to Bethlehem so that the prophesies of Christ’s birth would be fulfilled. Jesus, seemingly born in obscurity would be the Savior of the world, but what was to become of Little Caesar?
Isaiah 40:17, 23-24, All the nations are as nothing before Him, they are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless… It is He who reduces rulers to nothing, who makes the judges of the earth meaningless. Scarcely have they been planted, scarcely have they been sown, scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth, and He merely blows on them, and they wither, and the storm carries them away like stubble.
When you see God moving through declarations of an Emperor that causes a terrible inconvenience to a very pregnant young woman not wanting to travel, but needs to travel in order to fulfill the prophecies and purposes of God, it helps us to understand that God works supernaturally through natural means.
Psalm 37:23-24, The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.
These verses in Luke chapter 2 are a reminder again of how God is answering man's greatest need in bringing light to a lost, lonely, and broken world.
I. He was Born Unto Us
- Vs 11 – “Unto you is born a savior.” We were born into a world of darkness and hopelessness and what we need is for someone to save us, we need a Savior.
A. So do not be afraid
- There were many reasons to be afraid in that day;
-Herod was on the throne; a cruel man.
-The Roman army was occupying their land.
-Darkness and oppression sat like a heavy dark cloud over all the nation of Israel.
-The promises of God seemed far away from them, but their hearts were far from God as well.
- There are many reasons to be afraid in our day as well;
-The recent economic events have shown us that we are vulnerable as a nation.
-The economy around the world is fragile.
-There are wars and rumors of wars.
- Jesus is the answer to fear, tribulation, hopelessness and darkness.
Ephesians 2:12, “remember that at that time you were separate from Christ ... without hope and without God in the world.”
1 John 5:4-5, This is the victory that has overcome the world -- our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
John 16:33, "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."
B. God is now with us
- His name shall be called, “Immanuel.” A Savior is born who is Christ the Lord.
- As a response to the fears of the shepherds, the angel responded, “Do not be afraid, I bring you good news…a Savior is born unto you who is Christ the Lord.”
- The answer to fear is the presence of the Lord.
Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
Joshua 1:9, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
Illus – We used to sing a praise song and the verse of it was very powerful…
“I have redeemed you I have called you by name,
child you are mine.
When you walk through the waters, I will be there,
and through the flames; you’ll not – no way – be drowned, you’ll not – no way – be burned for I am with you.”
Fear not, for I am with you, fear not.”
Illus – The angel said, “Do not be afraid for behold, I bring you good news.” That’s the answer to fear – a more excellent word.
C. This is good news of great joy
- The angel was not just bringing good news, but good news of great joy.
Illus – When fear has been relieved, when troubles have been answered, joy is the proper response. Their great fear had changed to abounding joy.
- Some people have lost the right perspective on life and need to know again that good news of great joy has come to our dark world!
Illus – It’s having the perspective that we read about last week when Mary said, "The Lord has done great things for me… And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior."
Nehemiah 8:10, Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Illus – Somehow we have lost the concept of joy. Perhaps it’s been replaced by the pursuit of happiness.
There is a difference between happiness and godly joy. A typical definition of happiness might be, "a mental state of well-being characterized by positive emotions." Godly joy is the spiritual state of having hope in God and trusting in His promises for us.
Illus – Godly joy happens when hope is born out of faith. You could lose a love one, but when you know he or she is in the presence of the Lord, hope is born. It’s like going through all the labor and troubles of having a baby, but hope is born.
II. He was born a Savior
- The angel didn’t say, “I bring you good news of great joy, a politician is born unto you, or a computer scientist, or an economist is born unto you who actually knows how to create jobs.”
A. He will save from sin
- In Christian circles we use the phrase, "are you saved?" Saved from what, is the real question.
- This was the word given to Joseph in a dream.
- He will save them from their sins. Have you ever realized that that is what we need to be saved from; our sins?
Illus – God must save us from our sins because without Christ, we will drown in them.
Illus – Look to Him and no other. You remember the old story about the guy who refused to be saved in the flood because he thought God would save him. God did try to save him, but he refused.
Acts 13:38-39, “Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses.”
B. He must be born in each person’s heart
- He is given to the whole world, but He must be received one person at a time.
Illus – The third verse of “O Little Town of
How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given! So God imparts to human hearts, the blessing of His heaven.
No ear may hear His coming, But in this world of sin, Where meek souls will receive Him still, The dear Christ enters in.
John 1:12-13, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Illus – it was to the church of Laodicea that Christ said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.” Was there any room for Christ in that church?
C. He is God’s only answer
- There is no other.
- Why would anyone want another?
- There can be no better news than what He brought to man.
- There can be no better provision for our sin; taking our sin upon Himself; giving us His righteousness.
Hebrews 1:1-4 How excellent is His name…
- Jesus is not only God’s Word to man, He is God’s complete and final Word to man.
- And He is Lord. He's God's only answer and He is Lord.
- The word “lord” is used many times in scripture to indicate a person of authority.
- A worker would use the word to refer to his supervisor.
- But when it is used of Jesus, it must be clearly understood.
- The angels said that He is both Savior and Lord.
- We are to recognize Jesus as Lord of our lives.
Colossians 2:8-10, See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;
"The hopes and fears of all the years; are met in Thee tonight." Jesus is the very place where our fears come face to face with hope. But we must receive Him as He was given; Savior and Lord.
Luke 2:1-20 NASB