"JOY TO THE WORLD"
I. "WHOM HAVING NOT SEEN, YOU LOVE."
A. It is amazing how in love you can be with a person that you have never seen.
1. A man is foolish to base his love on a physical attraction.
a. That kind of love is so shallow. Only skin deep.
b. The old Swedish proverb, "Good looks don't last, good good cooking do."
c. Yet a man would also be foolish to base his love on the fact that she is a good cook.
d. She may be pretty and the best cook in the world, yet she may be a hellion to live with.
2. The deepest and most enduring love is based on character.
3. There is a scripture in Isaiah that suggests that when we see Jesus, His physical appearance may be shocking to us. "When we shall see him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire him and we hid as it were [our] faces from him." Isaiah said that men had so marred His face that you could not recognize Him as a human being. It may be that in a physical sense He still bears those marks. "But He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities." So if that be the case, I will not be repulsed by His appearance, but my love will only be greater when I realize just how severe a beating He was willing to take to save me from certain destruction.
4. We love Him, not because He is so handsome, but because He is so loving and kind, and compassionate.
a. John wrote, "We love Him because He first loved us."
b. People have loved Him so deeply that they have laid down their lives for Him.
c. People have loved Him so much that they have given their fortunes to follow Him.
B. How can it be that you can have such a deep love for someone that you have never seen?
1. As John said, "We love Him because He first loved us."
a. Our love for Him is a response to His love for us.
b. He loved us so much that He laid down His life for our sins.
c. Hearing and reading of His love for me, prompts a responsive chord in my heart that causes me to love Him in return.
2. We love Him because He has given us an abundant life.
a. John the Baptist said of Him, "He that believeth on the Son of God hath everlasting life, He that believeth not on the Son of God does not have life, but the wrath of God abideth on Him."
b. The Apostle John said, "He that has the Son has life, He that has not the Son, has not life."
c. Jesus said, "I have come that you might have life, and that more abundantly."
1. Talk of Christmas, there you have the reason for this special child to be born in Bethlehem.
2. He has come to give to man, life more abundantly.
d. He has made our lives so full, rich, and satisfying.
C. Not only do we love Him, but Peter declares,
II. "WE REJOICE WITH A JOY THAT IS UNSPEAKABLE AND FULL OF GLORY."
A. The word unspeakable is indescribable.
1. Man has not yet invented words that can adequately describe the feelings of joy that we have as a result of our relationship with Jesus.
2. There is an old saying, "Better felt, than telt."
3. There are feelings and experiences that are beyond description.
a. We sing the chorus, "You are beautiful beyond description too marvelous for words, too wonderful for comprehension."
b. After Paul the Apostle was caught up into heaven, no doubt many were asking him to share his experience, "Tell us about it Paul." He responded that it would be a crime to try to describe it with language. It surpassed the human vocabulary.
B. When the angel announced that birth of Jesus to the shepherds, he said, "Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people."
1. Great joy. The Christmas carol, "How Great Our Joy!"
a. The good tidings have brought great joy to all people.
b. All people, we sing, "Joy to the World"
2. What were the good tidings of great joy?
C. There is born this day in the city of David a Savior.
1. Man was dead to God because of his sin.
2. His sin had separated him from the only true God who created him and loved him.
a. The prophet Isaiah said, "Your sins have separated you from your God."
b. Without a relationship with God man is not a whole person.
c. At his very best he is only a two thirds of a person.
d. He lives on the animal plane of existence, body and mind. The mind under the control of the body appetites.
e. There is a yearning for God deep within the heart of every man, a spiritual thirst.
f. Man tries to satisfy that thirst with physical or emotional things, but to no avail.
g. He may get excited because of the chase, but when he captures his goal, there is a great emptiness.
3. By his best efforts man could not save himself, so he seemed doomed to eternal separation from God.
4. But there is born in Bethlehem a Savior.
a. The angel told Joseph to call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins.
b. When a man has his sin blotted out, fully cleansed and pardoned then fellowship with God becomes a reality.
c. Fellowship with God brings indescribable joy. Joy unspeakable and full of glory.
D. The long awaited Messiah has been born.
1. The Greek word Christ means anointed as does the Hebrew word Meshiach.
2. The priests were anointed with oil to initiate them into their office as priest.
3. The kings were also anointed with oil to inaugurate them into their office as king.
4. God promised to send to man His anointed to reign over them and to be their High Priest to represent them before God.
5. He became known as the Messiah, or the anointed one.
6. He was called by the prophet Haggai "The Desire of nations."
7. His birth would bring joy to the world.
E. This baby born in Bethlehem named Jesus, has been sent by His Father into this world to seek and to save those who were lost.
1. He is the Savior, the Messiah, the Lord.
2. When you come to know Him fully, you will experience joy that is indescribable and full of glory.