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Good News from Bethlehem (Luke 2:8-11): A Sermon for Christmas Eve 2015

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Good News from Bethlehem (Luke 2:8-11): A Sermon for Christmas Eve 2015

The birth announcement of Jesus Christ comes directly from heaven. Luke tells us “an angel of the Lord” speaks to the shepherds, and what he says is specifically called “good news.” The term is used 93 times in the New Testament, and it means a happy headline, a joyful announcement, a victory report, glad tidings. It’s our word “gospel,” and it was often used to announce a military triumph, a victory in court, or the birth of a king. As news, it’s a report of something that has already happened. So the gospel is not something we do for God; the gospel is something God has done for us—he sent us his Son. That means the gospel is not keeping laws, rules, or principles. It’s not living by the Golden Rule or trying your best. It’s not being pious, devout, or religious. Those things are all well and good, but they’re not the gospel. The first commandment of Christianity is not, “Behave!” It’s “Behold!” Look at what God has done! You’ll find his best work in a manger! In this message, Pastor Tim makes the happy announcement of Christmas Eve 2015: Christmas means we are more broken than we ever realized, and more loved than we ever dreamed. Because of this good news, our past can be forgiven, our present can be empowered, and our future can be assured through simple faith in Jesus Christ. So come adore on bended knee Christ the Lord, the newborn—and everlasting—king.

The birth announcement of Jesus Christ comes directly from heaven. Luke tells us “an angel of the Lord” speaks to the shepherds, and what he says is specifically called “good news.” The term is used 93 times in the New Testament, and it means a happy headline, a joyful announcement, a victory report, glad tidings. It’s our word “gospel,” and it was often used to announce a military triumph, a victory in court, or the birth of a king. As news, it’s a report of something that has already happened. So the gospel is not something we do for God; the gospel is something God has done for us—he sent us his Son. That means the gospel is not keeping laws, rules, or principles. It’s not living by the Golden Rule or trying your best. It’s not being pious, devout, or religious. Those things are all well and good, but they’re not the gospel. The first commandment of Christianity is not, “Behave!” It’s “Behold!” Look at what God has done! You’ll find his best work in a manger! In this message, Pastor Tim makes the happy announcement of Christmas Eve 2015: Christmas means we are more broken than we ever realized, and more loved than we ever dreamed. Because of this good news, our past can be forgiven, our present can be empowered, and our future can be assured through simple faith in Jesus Christ. So come adore on bended knee Christ the Lord, the newborn—and everlasting—king.