As always, David starts his sermon with a little ice breaker for daily living....
Reading for today:
A celebrity always attracts crowds - people flock to see royalty and presidents. And here we are at Christmas, with the greatest of all! And so few there! But how few today flock to him? Of course his situation was humble, a baby in the manger, but the angels announced the coming of "Christ the Lord" (Lk 2:11). We battle to realise his Lordship, but perhaps we should battle more with how the Lord could become a baby - of course easy for the Lord of all! The Lordship of Jesus is the essence of Christianity. The message of Christmas is EMMANUEL, so a Lord with us!
He is Lord, but that does not mean that he is second rank, less than a king. "Lord" was the title of the emperor, and the kings, such as Herod, of second rank. The name of God in the Old Testament was translated by the word Lord in the Greek, and our Bibles follow that. But do you treat Jesus as second rank? Jesus is Lord - but why do we believe that? It is because
He is God, He is creator, He is redeemer
Jesus is God. This is seen by many miracles, of healing, feeding etc (eg Lk 5:8), by his claim (eg Jn 8:58), especially by his resurrection. But then Jesus shows us what God is like, a God of love.
Is He YOUR God? In the full sense? So obey and worship Him alone
But there could be a god without power ....
Jesus is creator. See Jn 1:3, Col 1:16 etc, and the resurrection shows his power over the life that he made. Then Jesus shows us what His power is like, he is the God who limits Himself for us. More importantly, is He YOUR creator? Is he creating and guiding your life, or are you trying to run it yourself?
But there could be a creator who is not a saviour
Jesus is redeemer. The angels, spoke of the coming of a saviour (Lk 2:11). He came to die for our salvation. Then the resurrection is power over death. He gives new life and Jesus shows us what new life is like, repentance and obedience. Most importantly, is He YOUR redeemer? Do you belong to Him?
Are you serious about his lordship? In the fourth century there was a big movement, like modern Jehovah's Witnesses, that said that Jesus was divine, but not absolute lord. A man rose up called Athanasius, who knew that only full God could save. If Jesus is not fully God there is no salvation. He was prepared to suffer for his Lord, and so for us - are we?
The wise men came to Jesus to worship (Matt 2:11), they recognised the LORD. What of us? And let us be serious, not just using the word without meaning (Lk 7:46)!
Sermon by Prof David T Williams