Sunday I brought a message with the above title. As promised here is the list of fifteen stated reasons in Scripture that Jesus came into this world. We need to think of Christmas with God’s stated purpose for sending his Son in our minds and hearts.
1. Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. 1 Timothy 1:15
2. Jesus Christ came into the world to call sinners to repentance. Mark 2:17
3. Jesus Christ came into the world to seek and to save the lost. Luke 19:10
4. Jesus Christ came into the world to demonstrate the true purpose of life and to give himself as a ransom. Matthew 20:28
5. Jesus Christ came into the world to be a King and to bear witness to the truth. John 18:37
6. Jesus Christ came into the world to do the will of the Father. John 6:38
7. Jesus Christ came into the world to be a Light in the world. John 12:46
8. Jesus Christ came into the world that men might have the Abundant life. John 10:10
9 Jesus Christ came into the world to judge the world. John 9:39
10. Jesus Christ came into the world to preach or proclaim the good news about the Kingdom of God.
11. Jesus Christ came into the world to die on the cross. John 12:27
12. Jesus Christ came into the world to be a Divider of men. Matthew 10:34-35 (We must choose between Christ and other loyalties which often brings division.)
13. Jesus Christ came into the world to fulfill the law. Matthew 5:17
14. Jesus Christ came into the world as a demonstration of God’s love. 1 John 4:10
15. Jesus Christ came into the world because the Father sent him. John 20:21
That is why He came!
In 1 John, John has much to say about the new life we receive when we are born of God. The following truths are gleaned from the pages of the epistle.
Those who are born of God: 1. Keep his commandments. 2:3-4
2. Walk as he walked.2:5-6
3. Love others. 3:14
4. Do not love the present world. 2:15
5. Confess and receive Jesus. 5:12
6. Practice righteousness 2:29, and do not make a practice of sinning. 3:9-10
7. Possess the Spirit. 4:13
8. Listen to the Word submissively. (The Apostolic word) 4:6
9. Believe that Jesus is the Christ. 5:1
10. Overcome the world. 5:4
This is a first. I am blogging between the two morning services at Crestview Baptist Church. I have just preached a sermon on the Great Commandment of Jesus using John 13:34 and 35. I also use two passages in 1 John. One subject that I did not include in my message for purposes of time, I will now address in this blog. I keep hearing the description of our nation as “deeply divided”. If we are deeply divided, it is not a political reality so much as it is a reality of the heart. If we could practice the teaching of Jesus to “love those who hate us and pray for those who despitefully use us and persecute us”, we could heal the animosity and vitriol. As things stand, we can barely have a civil conversation. This division is not really racial. This division is the age old division that was illustrated in Cain and Abel. On both sides racially and politically; there are people like Abel who love God and love others. They can disagree and still love and reach out in kindness. On both sides there are also people like Cain; people who have murder in their hearts. They are not motivated by love. The hateful rhetoric, the mindless violence, and the seething bitterness are not God’s way whether they come from the left or the right. When Lincoln spoke after the bloody Civil War in our nation’s history, he said “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right. . .” Those days were infinitely worse than what we are facing today. Surely God can lead us to a place where malice is laid aside and love (charity) prevails.
Sometimes we are at a loss as to how we can make contact with people and earn the right to share our message with them. I think you should know that on Tuesday of this week twenty or so of our members prepared and served a meal to more than 400 athletes and their families on the campus of Southwestern. As I stood in the service line passing out grilled chicken to parents, siblings, coaches and football players, I thought about the many ways churches advertise. We buy space in publications. We place ads in programs and papers. We keep a sign on Williams and insure its functionality and message are as well presented as possible. We produce mail outs and flyers and occasionally go door to door handing out information. Yet the thought I had as we served was that no amount of money we spent could make a better statement about our church than the faithful grilling in the hot sun of chicken breasts and the preparation and serving of a meal to these students, coaches, and families. Not only does it make them keenly aware of our existence, but by word of mouth becomes a part of the way people view the People Sharing Jesus.
Thank God for servant hearted people.
Once again I marvel at the willingness of hundreds of people to invest a week in the lives of children. Sadly it is uncommon these days to see an event such as Camp Crestview so wonderfully staffed and focused on sharing the good news of Jesus. Tomorrow I will speak to the first grade through fourth grade in two assemblies. This will be the time when children will be allowed to respond to the message they are hearing. In past years over one hundred each week have made the choice to become followers of Christ. The pre-teens will also be given that opportunity. Tomorrow the bible teaching is about Nicodemas. Pray that the children will understand just what the new birth means as the Holy Spirit opens their heart to know this deep truth. Jesus said, “Unless you are born again, you will not see the Kingdom of God.”