Monthly Archives: December 2005

Churches Close for Christmas

The headlines quoted below (with links to the articles attached) reveal a new low in faithfulness among believers in Christ.

Some megachurches closing on Christmas, CNN.com 12-7-05
When Christmas Falls on Sunday, Megachurches Take the Day Off, NY Times 12-9-05
Defense of canceling church on Christmas, Kentucky.com 12-11-05

How can one even try to justify our failure to worship God on the basis of a holiday? If Christmas isn’t about Christ, how can we justify canceling services? If Christmas is about Christ then we are still hypocritical for not worshiping Him on that day.

For those Christians who did cancel worship services in observance of Christmas, who did you put first in your life in making that decision: yourself or Christ?
We are explicitly instructed against “forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb. 10:25).

We cannot justify our failure to worship God on the importance of family gatherings (Matt. 10:34-39).

34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

The Peace Christ Brings (Powepoint sermon outline)

Attached is a powerpoint presentation delivered on Christmas morning, December 25, 2005, on “The Peace Christ Brings.” The sermon began with a reading of Luke 2:1-29 where the story of Jesus’ birth is found. It then focuses on what is meant by “peace” in Luke 2:14, 29. The file is found here (and below). If you open the file within Internet Explorer (by choosing “Open” as opposed to “Save”) you will be able to advance from slide to slide by pressing your left mouse button.

I chose this topic because the sermon was to be given on Christmas Day (Sunday, December 25, 2005). I began the sermon by reading Luke 2:1-32, which tells the story about the birth of Christ.

AN OUTLINE OF THE TEXT OF THE SLIDES IS AS FOLLOWS:

Christ’s Birth Announced
Read Luke 2:1-32

The Peace in Luke 2
• Luke 2:14 – “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
• Luke 2:29 – “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace ….”

What is peace?
From the Greek noun “eirene” – It describes
• harmonious relationships between men, Matt. 10:34; Rom. 14:19;
• between nations, Luke 14:32; Acts 12:20; Rev. 6:4;
• friendliness, Acts 15:33; 1 Cor. 16:11; Heb. 11:31;
• freedom from molestation, Luke 11:21; 19:42; Acts 9:31 (RV, ‘peace,’ AV, ‘rest’); 16:36;
• order, in the State, Acts 24:2 (RV, ‘peace,’ AV, ‘quietness’); in the churches, 1 Cor. 14:33;
the harmonized relationships between God and man, accomplished through the gospel, Acts 10:36; Eph. 2:17;
the sense of rest and contentment consequent thereon, Matt. 10:13; Mark 5:34; Luke 1:79; 2:29; John 14:27; Rom. 1:7; 3:17; 8:6; in certain passages this idea is not distinguishable from the last, Rom. 5:1
Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, http://www.menfak.no/bibel/vines.html, 12/18/2005 11:44 PM

Peace as contentment
• Abraham, Genesis 15:15
• Simeon, Luke 2:29
• Philippians 4:6-8
• Rom. 1:7, 8:6 (vss. 38-39)
– See also 1 Cor. 1:3, 2 Cor. 1:2, Gal. 1:3, Eph. 1:2, Phi. 1:2, Col. 1:2, 1 Thes. 1:1, 2 Thes. 1:2, 1 Tim. 1:2, 2 Tim. 1:2, Tit. 1:4, Phm. 1:3, etc.

All Men Need Peace
• Sin separated man from God, Genesis 2:16-17, 3:1-6, 19, 22-24
• Through Adam’s sin, death came to all men, Rom. 5:12
• The wages of sin is death, Rom. 6:23
• All have sinned, Rom. 3:23
• All men die, 1 Cor. 15:22

Peace to all men?
• Luke 12:51 – “Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division.” See also Matt. 10:32-39.
• Luke 2:14 (NASB) – “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
• Psalm 37:37-38
• Psalm 119:165

Where Can I Find Peace?
• Through Christ & God’s Word
– Acts 10:36
– Rom. 10:15
• Christ made peace, Eph. 2:14-18 (Isa. 57:19)
– Between Jew & Gentile
– Between Man & God
• Christ’s blood made peace possible, Isa. 53:5; Col. 1:20-23

How Can I Have Peace?
• Through Justification (declared righteous, acquitted of sin)
– By Faith, Rom. 5:1-2
– By Christ’s blood, Rom. 5:9-10
• When and how do I benefit from Christ’s death?
– Through Baptism, Rom. 6:3, Gal. 3:27
– Through righteous living after baptism, Gal. 5:22; Isa. 32:15-18; Isa. 57:21

Can I expect peace in my present condition?
• The angels praised God for the peace Christ brought, Luke 2:13-14. Can you?
• Simeon knew he would die in peace, Luke 2:29. Do you?

Creative Commons Stuff:

The Peace Christ Brings
2005
A sermon-based powerpoint presentation about how Christ brings peace to the world (Luke 2) , who the peace is made available to, and how one may obtain this peace.
William W. (“Bil”) Blue
William W. (“Bill”) Blue

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2005 William W. Blue


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