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Celebrating Christmas IV
Love, Obedience, Truth
Philippians 2:5-8 – Have the attitude of Christ
II Corinthians 8:9 – Be generous, remembering the poverty of Christ
Hebrews 3:1 – Think deeply about Jesus, who He is and what He did
As we finish this series today we go to several texts in the first Letter of John. There is far too much in these texts to do them the justice they deserve. Everyone of them makes us want to spend a great deal of time in this Letter and squeeze out the vast quantity of marvelous truths about Jesus Christ that we find in here.
Five times in this little letter, the Apostle John refers to the coming of Jesus into the world.
1 John 1:1-4 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life-  the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us-  that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.  And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
1 John 3:7-12 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.  Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.  No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.  By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.  For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.  We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous.
1 John 4:1-6 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.  By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,  and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.  Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.  They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them.  We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
1 John 4:13-15 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.  Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
1 John 5:20-21 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.  Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
Why does John emphasize these things about Christ?
– Christ is always the issue
– they are threatened by what is false 2:18, 26, 3:7,4:1, 3 – It would be nice to just be positive all the time and if the marvelous Gospel were not under attack all the time we could be. But sometimes it is necessary to warn. Take the warnings out of Scripture and you have a MUCH smaller Bible.
– the particular heresy threatening the people John is writing – a form of Gnosticism. A denial of the incarnation/real humanity of the Lord – 4:2. This is a denial of Christ and the Father- 2:22f. Out of tis denial of Christ comes the denial of holiness and love for others … . Everything hangs on the Person and work of Christ.
So – John is writing to warn people not to deny the real divinity and real humanity of Christ. Dear ones – the Apostle considered this crucial to salvation. We dare not consider it less than that.
Five texts that show some implications of the Son of God coming into the world. Here we will see how to celebrate Christmas all year long.
I just want to take a few minutes with each of these texts and suggest to you what they tell us about how we are to respond to the fact that Jesus Christ has come into the world – or – to put it the way that I have put it to you over these last four weeks – how we celebrate Christmas all year long.
I I John 1:2-4
Proclamation – the Apostles saw it and they proclaimed it.
We have experienced it and we are to proclaim it as well. How did you come to know the Gospel? Someone told you …
Fellowship – the purpose of the proclamation? This is not what we expect to hear from John. No – we expect to hear … … … .
Fellowship – with God
– with other believers
– this is not a church supper – this is the bond of the Holy Spirit
– this is to be part of our declaration of the Gospel
– no “just Jesus and me”…
Joy – I Peter 1:8f
– complete joy – how is your joy quotient dear ones? … Have you shared the truth with someone else?
– “our joy” – the joy of the Apostles and those who come to believe because of their testimony. It is mutual joy.
II I John 3:7-12
Verse 8 – why did Jesus come? … How should this show in the lives of those who have come to Christ? You like the spirit of the season? You would like it to happen all year long? Nothing brings more happiness to the Christian soul than to know he has pleased his Saviour. Dear one – celebrate Christmas by fleeing form sin.
III I John 4:1-6
Faithful to a Right Understanding of Christ
– fully God …
– fully man
– this is the issue in the world
– the other religions of the world
– deny His deity
– deny His humanity
– deny His work
-His substitutionary death/propitiation/punishment …
– Dear ones – really celebrate Christmas. Hold fast to all the truth about Jesus Christ
IV I John 4:13-14
Confession of Jesus as the World’s only Saviour
This is a major battle field in the religious world today. And many are surrendering it up. The whole world needs Christ. …
V I John 5:20-21
– If all that this Letter has said about Christ is true then how can there be less than this as our response. The Son of God has come – worship Him alone…
This is why this church exists.
This is why we were created
Declare, from your hearts, in word and deed, the magnificent worth of God.
Know that there are many idols and they are greedy for the worship that only God should receive.
VI To the Lost
What will you do with Jesus? These things from I John must be the mark of your life since He has come …