Who Needs Christmas (Week 3)

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SCRIPTURE

“Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20-21 NIV).

“Then neither do I condemn you” (John 8:11b NIV). “Go now and leave your life of sin” (John 8:11c NIV).

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10b NIV).

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body . . . (Romans 6:12a NIV).

For sin shall no longer be your master . . . (Romans 6:14a NIV)

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

TEACHING OUTLINE

Let’s talk about the name Jesus for a second, shall we? It’s important to understand that the name Jesus was really Joshua. Joshua was a warrior leader, which is also what the people needed during his leadership.

Mary, Jesus’ mother, was engaged to a man named Joseph. But before the wedding day, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.

She probably would’ve been burnt alive or stoned for being pregnant outside of marriage. Joseph certainly didn’t want Mary to be killed, so he planned on breaking up the engagement. That’s when, according to Matthew’s account, an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream.

With things like a virgin birth, I see why the Christmas story can seem unbelievable at times. Matthew tells us that angels appeared to Mary and Joseph, telling them both that this boy named Joshua would be conceived by the Spirit of God.

Put yourself in Joseph’s shoes for a second. Joseph obeyed the angel and took Mary to be his wife. The message of Christmas is about more than just forgiveness of the consequences of our sin.

Jesus came to deliver us from the power of sin.

In fact, there’s a story from the gospels where religious leaders catch a woman in adultery and they take her to Jesus.

This sounds nice, but is it even possible to leave our lives of sin and say no to it? Jesus is saying that He came to do more than forgive us of sin, but to free us from sin. This makes it sound like Jesus came to give us a choice.

Because it’s true that wherever there’s sin, something always dies. The gift you receive when you place your faith in Christ is a gift you receive right now in this life.

Christmas is for people who need freedom.

And here’s the best news. When you put your faith in Christ, the Spirit of God is in you. When you became a Christian, you placed yourself in Christ. It means you are free.

The world needed Christmas. And God needed it to demonstrate His love for us. But it’s also for anyone who needs freedom from sin.