Advent 2019: Rediscovering Christmas: Third Sunday: The Good News of Christmas-12/15/19

The Good News of Christmas Text Luke 2:8-11

Introduction: PP: A drill sergeant making his morning announcements to a group of newcomers in a training camp, said: “Today, I have some good news and some bad news.

First, the good. Private Peters will be setting the pace on our morning run.’ With this the platoon was overjoyed, as Private Peters was overweight and terribly slow.
But then the drill sergeant finished his statement: “Now for the bad news. Private Peters will be driving a deuce and a half.” (Paul Decker)

PP: No matter where you look; TV, Newspaper, Internet, at work, in school or perhaps even inside your own home, you’ll find bad news.   That seemed to be also true in the make-believe life of Charlie Brown.

PP: A Charlie Brown Christmas’ as I understand it, is the longest-running cartoon special in history. It’s all about Charlie Brown’s search for themeaning of Christmas.

But, everything seems to be going badly for Charlie Brown.

What Charlie was looking for was some good news during the Christmas season… and he finds it, as we’ve seen in our Christmas Play, from his friend Linus. PP:

And that Good News changed Charlie Browns view of Christmas.

You might say he rediscovered Christmas through  Linus’ reading of the Christmas story in Luke 2. The same can be said for us.

When the problems of life get you down, when you’re straining to hold up under the burden of all the bad news around you,
like Charlie Brown, we can turn to God’s Word and find the Good News of Jesus, this Christmas season. 

PP: So, what is the Good News of Christmas? Ive narrowed it down to just 6 truths that can transform your life this Christmas season.

And don’t worry, I will be brief!

Transition: Open your Bibles to Luke 2:8

What is the Good News of Christmas?

1. Luke 2:10 Jesus removes all fear

PP: Luke 2:8-10 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”  

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In verse 9 Luke says that the shepherds were filled with great fear when they saw an angel of the Lord.

There’s so much that brings fear into our hearts and minds, not only during the Christmas season, but the rest of the year.

But, there is Good News. The angel didn’t come to bring God’s judgment. He came to bring a message of hope.

Immediately the angel tells the shepherds not to be afraid.
And he tells them why… I’ve come to give you Good News!

PP: 2. Luke 2:10,11 Jesus is the Good News

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

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Pictured here is an angel bringinga proclamation, an announcement from God Himself.

And this announcement is not the bad news of judgment or condemnation.
It’s the Good News of hope, joy, salvation and peace, in the person of Jesus Christ.

God’s 400 years of silence is over. He’s doing a new thing in the birth of Jesus. Not only is itGood News, it’s the absolute best news that has ever been announced. The Good News is a person, it’s the person of Jesus,

God in the flesh (incarnate.)
God with us.  (Immanuel.)

PP: 3. Luke 2:10 Jesus brings real joy

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

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From the time sin entered the world in Genesis 3 through Adan and Eve, humanity has known the pain of sin and God’s judgment.

It has brought us anxiety as we try to live lives that will please God, and only hope/wish that well be good enough.

Fear and anxiety give way to Joy, for through faith in Jesus, comes forgiveness, comes acceptance, comes… hope accomplished,which brings a deep joy that no one and no thing can ever take away.

Later Jesus would say: These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:11)

The Good News of Jesus brings the fullness of joy.

PP: 4. Luke 2:10 Jesus came for everyone

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

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From the very beginning, God’s plan was to bring the Good News of salvation: of forgiveness of sin, and acceptance by God… to everyone;

It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, what your educational level is, your financial portfolio, whether your male or female, it doesn’t matter your nationality, it doesn’t matter what church you go to…

God’s Word that says:

Whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.

The Good News, Jesus, is for everyone.

PP: 5. Luke 2:11 Jesus came for you

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

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God never disregards the individual for the many.

Yes, the Good News of Jesus is for everyone
And yes, the Good News of Jesus is for you!

To me that makes the Good News of Christmas… very personal.

It was not meant just for the shepherds, it was intended for you.
You are the whosoever, in the whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.

The Good News of Christmas is that Jesus came … for you!

PP: 6. Luke 2:11 Jesus came to save

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

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This is the best part of the Good News. Jesus just didn’t come to earth, He came for a purpose, He came on a mission… In Luke’s Gospel we find out what that was:

PP: For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. (Luke 19:10)

To be lost means to be apart from God’s family, to be in sin, to live w/o God’s forgiveness for your sin against Him.

The Good News continues in Johns Gospel:

PP: But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12)

The Good News of Christmas is this:

PP: For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

The bad news of the Christmas season, for many, is that it is full of anxiety, loneliness, and fear

because they’ve denied, rejected the fact that theyve sinned against God
and will be held accountable by God for their sin.

BUT, if we rediscover the GOOD NEWS of Christmas, we will find:

Forgiveness, acceptance, a new family and a new home in heaven…
And, the hope, joy, peace and love thats ours this Christmas Season and the rest of the year,
when we place our faith, our lives in the hands of the one who came to save us from our sin…Jesus!

Conclusion: One last Bible verse:

PP: For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

Yes, Christmas does have something to do with a gift, not the one placed under a tree, but the One placed on a tree… Jesus.

PP: Will you be like Charlie Brown and rediscover that the Good News of Christmas… is Jesus!

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