"THE PURPOSE OF HIS COMING"
Intro. As we again enter into the Christmas Season, and our hearts are turned toward the manger in Bethlehem, as we think of the child that was born that night, we have come to realize that the Child was none other than the only begotten Son of God. God sent His Son into the world. Oh, the wonder of it all. Why did God send His Son into the world? What was the purpose of His coming? (Read text.)
I. HE SENT HIM TO PREACH THE GOOD TIDINGS TO THE MEEK.
A. The night that Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea there were shepherds abiding in the field by night and the angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shown round about them and they were sore afraid. But the angel declared, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy."
1. What were the good tidings?
2. There is born to you this day in the city of David, the Savior, the Messiah, the Lord.
3. This Savior, Messiah, and Lord is the one who Isaiah prophesied about who would bring the good tidings to the meek.
B. What were the good tidings that Jesus preached?
1. God loves you and wants to adopt you so that you can have a meaningful, loving relationship with Him and become an heir to His eternal kingdom.
2. God's plan is to remove the evil, which is called sin, from your life that you might know the joy of fellowship with Him.
3. The plan will cost an awesome price, but God loves you so great that He is willing to pay it.
4. You see, God had sentenced the sinner to death. He said, "The soul that sins shall surely die."
5. This was a just sentence. But all sinned, and all deserved to die.
6. This child that is born in Bethlehem is going to take the sins of the world upon Himself and die for those sins, that whoever would believe in Him, would not have to die for their sins but may have everlasting life.
a. In another prophecy concerning this child, Isaiah said:
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7. The good tiding is that God is not sending His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
C. Who did He preach the good tidings to?
1. By the world's standards, the meek.
a. Shepherds, fishermen, prostitutes, the outcast Samaritans.
b. Not many wise, not many noble.
c. On one occasion He said that those who were whole did not need a physician, but those who were sick.
d. On another occasion He said that He did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
II. HE SENT HIM TO BIND UP THE BROKENHEARTED.
A. There are so many brokenhearted people in the world today.
1. Sin had done its dirty work.
2. Sin leaves people with broken hearts.
a. It gives great promises, but doesn't perform.
b. It promises fulfillment, but it leaves you empty.
c. It promises happiness, but in the end is sorrow.
d. It promises to love forever, but you discover that instead of pure love, it was pure lust.
3. Oh, how many are those whose hearts have been broken because of sin, we meet them every day.
a. The lives that have been ruined, sometimes before they really have a chance to begin.
b. Sin leaves in its wake, broken hearts, broken dreams, broken promises.
B. The purpose of His coming was to bind up those broken hearts.
1. How does He accomplish His purpose?
a. By giving to you true love.
b. By delivering you from the destructive power of sin which was destroying your life.
2. A little further down in the text, it declares that He gives beauty for ashes.
a. There have been so many thousands whose lives as the result of sin were in ashes.
b. They were burned out before they even left their teens.
c. I think of Mike MacIntosh. His life was ashes when we first met him. He was a true space cadet. But to see now the beauty that comes from his life today, as he touches and blesses the lives of thousands of people.
d. I think of Steve Mays.
e. The stories are multiplied thousands of times over here today, so many of you who before meeting Christ, your lives were already on the ash heap.
III. THE PURPOSE OF HIS COMING WAS TO PROCLAIM LIBERTY TO THE CAPTIVES.
A. There are so many people today who are held captive by sin.
1. The paradox is that sin brings you into bondage under the guise of giving you freedom.
a. Under the guise of free speech, pornography has flooded our nation. Today there are millions of people who are addicted to pornography.
b. There was a big cry and hue for free sex in America. Look today at the hundreds of thousands who are slaves to their sexual lusts.
c. There is a cry for the freedom to use drugs, especially marijuana. The freedom to use drugs will only enslave other thousands.
d. My father grew up in a home that prided itself on allowing the children to drink wine with their meals. His mother spoke of teaching them how to drink responsibly. My uncles became alcoholics, and had it not been for my father coming to know Jesus Christ, he probably would also have been an alcoholic.
e. There are those who are captives to the urge to gamble.
2. To those, so many thousands whose lives are being destroyed today because of their bondage to sin, Christ came to set you free.
B. True freedom is not the freedom to do it, but the freedom not to do it.
1. Jesus said:
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
IV. THE OPENING OF THE PRISON TO THEM THAT ARE BOUND.
A. I believe that this is a reference to those Old Testament saints who died in faith, believing the promise of God to send the Messiah into the world.
1. It would seem that heaven was not immediately open to them upon death because of sin.
2. The Old Testament sacrifices could not put away their sins, only cover them.
a. The Old Testament word atonement is the Hebrew word kophar, which means to cover.
b. In Hebrews we read:
For it is not possible that the blood of bulls or goats should take away sins.
3. So then we are told that the Old Testament saints died in faith not having received the promise but seeing it afar off, claimed that they were just pilgrims here, and were looking for a city which has foundation, whose maker and builder is God. And again, these all died in faith not having received the promise, God having reserved a better thing for us, that they without us, could not be complete.
4. From Luke 16
, it would seem that they were in an isolated compartment in hell not in torment but being comforted by Abraham till the Messiah should come to unlock the prison doors of death for those who were bound.
a. In Revelation 1:18
, Jesus said: "I [am] he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
b. In Peter's first letter we read:
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but made alive by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
Wherefore he saith, When He ascended up on high, He led the captives from their captivity, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
B. So a part of His purpose for coming was to die for the sins of man, that He might enter the realm of the dead to bring the believing ones from the prison and into glory.
V. HE CAME TO PROCLAIM THE ACCEPTABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.
A. Now is the time that God is offering salvation to all through the sacrifice of His Son for the sins of the world.
B. Now is the time that God will accept you into His family.
1. If you reject Him too long, you will wake up one morning and find that He has rejected you.
2. Paul wrote:
(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I helped you: behold, now [is] the accepted time; behold, now [is] the day of salvation.)
C. When God was ready to judge the world in the days of Noah, He brought Noah into the ark, and God shut the door. After the door was shut, and the judgment began, no one else was able to enter the ark. Soon the door of salvation will be shut, once the judgment begins, it will be difficult to enter in.
1. The only entry will be through martyrdom. But if you cannot live for Him now with the help and aid of all the believers, how do you expect to die for Him then?
VI. I AM SO GLAD HE CAME.
A. I am so blessed by the good tidings He proclaimed.
B. I thank Him for healing my broken heart.
C. I am so glad for the freedom that I have through Him.
D. I am so glad that I have accepted Him, and even more, that He has accepted me.
E. He has given beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for my sorrow, and the garment of praise instead of a heavy heart. He'll do the same for you, He said, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."