Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Wonder Of Christmas | Colin D

This message was preached  by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on November 25th, 2018. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.

In the entire Bible, there were 2 periods of 400years gap –
1.      Israelites had to endure 400 years of silence in Egypt, waiting to hear from God
2.      People had to endure 400 years of silence waiting for the birth of Jesus

Malachi 4:5-6 - “See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”
Malachi prophesies about prophet Elijah before the day of the Lord comes. And then the 400 years of silence follows.
This silence was broken by an angel

Luke 1:11-17 –

Zechariah and Elizabeth were very old and thus could not have children. But our God is a God of miracles. Even at her old age, Elizabeth could conceive.
We must remember to pray for the women who cannot have children. God will bless them with children.

Luke 1:7 - But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.

After the angel of the Lord spoke to Zechariah, he could not believe it. Hence, he became mute till his son was born.

Luke 1:18-20 - 18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”
19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”

In the bible, its written that John the Baptist was the greatest of all
Matthew 11:11 - 11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Why was John the Baptist the greatest?
John was the greatest because he was the one that is going to announce the birth of the Savior of the world. As Christmas is approaching, let us focus on birth of Jesus and works of the Holy Spirit in this birth of Jesus.

Luke 1:15 - 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born.

John was filled with the Holy Spirit while he was still in his mother’s womb.

Luke 1:26-33 - 26 

The whole Old Testament talks about the Messiah. In New Testament, it came to pass at Mary’s time.
Luke 1:35 - The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called [b] the Son of God. 

This verse talks about the Holy Spirit too.
For the first time in history, a woman was going to conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit without a man’s involvement.

Luke 1:35-37 - 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

From these verses we say that nothing is impossible for God.

Galatians 4:4-5 - 4 But when the set time had fully come,God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.

What is meant by “When the time has come.”?

When we go through the Bible, we see that, at different times, different significant things happened. One of the examples is that when the Roman government came up, there was good governance. One of the many good things they did was they laid roads so that the soldiers could move around easily and quickly. Thus the saying, “All the roads lead to Rome”

This is “Fullness of time”. God wanted the gospel to spread and hence the right time.

Luke 1:41-42 - When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leapt in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice, she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!

Once again we see that Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. The result of it is the burst of praise.

Luke 1:67 - His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied

Even Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit after the birth of John. The result of it is the prophecy from the verses 68 to 79

Luke 2:1-2 -  In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.)

Those days, Caesar Augustus and Quirinus were well known and famous. But now when we ask people about them, most of them don’t know who they are.

Before Jesus was born, Mary was someone whom people never knew about. But after Jesus was born, people know more about Mary but not Caesar Augustus.
Micah 5:2 - “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    though you are small among the clans[b] of Judah,
out of you will come for me
    one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
    from ancient times.”

It was prophesied that the saviour would be born in Bethlehem.  For this prophesy to come to pass, God planned that Caesar Augustus would take census of the entire Roman world for which everyone must go to their respective own towns. Thus Joseph, along with Mary who was fully pregnant had to travel to Bethlehem all the way from Nazareth on a donkey.

Luke 2:6-7 -  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger because there was no guest room available for them.

God could have provided them with a room. But Jesus who was rich chose to be born in a stable as poor. This shows the humility of the Savior.
Micah’s prophesy came to pass after 800 years

In Bible, every time an angel of God appeared, he said, “Do not be afraid”. Why?
Angels are not cute little babies with wings like how they are shown on greeting cards. Angels are powerful!!! The first time an angel was mentioned in the Bible, he had a sword in his hand to guard Garden of Eden.

Luke 2:8-10 - 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people

Angels are powerful and that is the reason why the shepherds were terrified.
The angels that are so powerful did not go to the rich people but instead went to the shepherds to share the good news. Why?

Shepherds were well known for being liars. Their witness was not considered valid. They were always looked down upon in the society.
But still, God chose these shepherds to reveal the good news. God chooses ordinary people for the works of His Kingdom.

1 Corinthians 1:26-31 - 26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called.Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

 If you are ordinary, then there is good news for you. GOD CHOSE YOU!
Luke 2:11-12 - 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

The angels revealed to the shepherds that the Savior was born and also revealed the sign to identify. The sign was – baby lying in a manger

Luke 2:13-14 - 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
The news revealed by the angels was a good news. Savior of the world was born! There was a great heavenly singing which was witnessed by the ordinary shepherds.
Luke 2:15-16 - 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.

The shepherds did not stay quiet but immediately went to see the saviour.
Luke 2:17- 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 

After seeing the baby, they did not keep the good news to themselves but went on to spread the word just as they were told and just as they saw.

Luke 2:18 - 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
These shepherds who were known to be liars, went around everywhere and shared what happened just as they were told. And the shepherds who were never believed, were considered and people believed what they shared about the Savior of the world.

Luke 2:20 - 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

The shepherds who once used to lie returned transformed. They started sharing the things just as they were told and just as they saw.

This is what happens when we accept Jesus as our Savior. We are transformed.
Luke 2:22-26 - 22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”[b]), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”[c]

When Jesus was taken to the temple, there was a man named Simeon waiting to see Jesus. Long time ago, Holy Spirit revealed to him that he would not die before he had seen the Messiah.

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.

Led by the Spirit he went to the temple. There he took Jesus into his arms.
Luke 2:27-33 - 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
    you may now dismiss[d] your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31     which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and the glory of your people Israel.”
33 The child’s father and mother marvelled at what was said about him.

Simeon who waited eagerly to see Jesus had finally asked God to let him die in peace as he had seen the salvation that was promised.
Would you be caught up in the wonder of Jesus, works of the Holy Spirit, miracles, signs and wonders?
If you are a person who hasn’t received this amazing news, would you do it now?

 Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto