We are looking at popular Christmas hymns and their origins in Biblical truth during this advent season. Our objective is not to exposit the hymns, but to worship along with the hymn writer and the countless others who know the hymn. We will look at the Biblical truths that inspire the hymn. This week we are singing the hymn, “O Holy Night.”
The writers of the hymns are moved by the truth of Christmas, and they use their talents to write songs of worship and adoration. We join in with these songwriters by singing with them in unity as we rejoice together. Many of the Christmas hymns are deep in theology. We want to explore the Biblical truths expressed by the writer of the hymn so we may sing them with the depth of passion and worship they felt as they wrote the hymn.
The main idea of the message is that we are to be enthralled with the intimate love of God. To be enthralled is to be held captive, spellbound, fascinated, and absorbed. The truth of God’s love is to permeate our mind, invoke deep feelings, pull on our heartstrings, and affect us in such a way, that God’s intimate love changes the way we live.
God’s revelation of Himself is a very loving thing to do. God makes Himself known so we may enjoy Him to the greatest possible extent. God wants us to know He is worthy of our trust. He is able to save us. If we want a big strong Savior, God says, trust Me because I am bigger than you think.
Let’s live today demonstrating we believe one day we will be filled with gladness and rejoicing in the reign of Christ. Let’s live in such a way that others will ask us about the hope that is within us; for our joy, and God’s glory.
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The beauty of this passage is found in God’s promises. If anyone else made these promises, we would scoff. Who can possibly fulfill these promises? Only God. Nothing can stand in His way. He is all-wise, all-powerful, and full of zeal to bring about His purpose and plan. “Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.” (Matthew 22:9)
The main idea in verses 4-11 of chapter 61 is that we are to produce the fruit of righteousness, praising God for His salvation in Christ. The work of Christ is to transform and restore God’s creation. He is sent to bring righteousness and praise among God’s elect. Jesus is sent to us. He intervenes in our life and establishes us as oaks of righteousness. We are to produce the fruit of righteousness as a result of Jesus being sent.
Perhaps, they see Jesus as being pompous. They see Jesus as Joseph’s son, not as the Messiah. We know just the opposite is true. Jesus is not a pompous man, but a humble God. He lays aside His privileges and divine glory, humbles Himself and becomes a man, He serves, and He obeys God to the point of death on a cross. Jesus takes on the mission, so we may be set free, comforted, and made righteous. We have a glorious Savior. Believe Jesus is the anointed Messiah sent to make us righteous, for the glory of God.
The work of the Messiah is transforming. Isaiah prophecies that God will transform deserts into lush gardens. Animals have a new nature so that the lion lays down with the lamb. And, God will transform people so that they are no longer rebellious, but righteous and holy. Isaiah 60, and Revelation 21 are passages prophesying that God will transform Jerusalem into a glorious city. She will be a sparkling gem upon the earth.
Before we finish, take a moment to notice the work of God throughout this chapter. God delivers the verdict of guilt. God expresses His displeasure with the situation. God sends His Right Arm because there is no other choice. God declares the victory over evil and wickedness. The same Right Arm of God defeats evil and is our precious Redeemer. God makes a covenant with those who Christ redeems. We bring nothing to our salvation except our confession of sin and our willingness to turn from our ways and follow God’s ways. We put our faith in Christ, the Right Arm of God, and He does the rest.
Real religion that pleases God is not easy. It requires that we die to our self. It requires humility. It requires sacrifice. Cruising along is not enough. Accumulating knowledge is not enough. We can do better. We are called to lay down our lives for the sake of the gospel and the glory of God. Believe God when He says that dying to self brings abundant life. Trust God when He says, it is better to give than to receive. Believe the words of Scripture that we can count everything as rubbish because we gain Christ. Let’s grow in maturity. Let’s excel at true Christianity for the glory of God and our eternal joy.
Pride is an obstacle to Christian maturity. God wants us to get the most out of a relationship with Him while we exist in this body. He wants us to glorify Himself in our lives. Make your life quest a quest for humility and enjoy the fullness of God’s presence.
The main idea of the message is that we need to examine our shepherds and our faith so we may be sure to stand on God’s holy mountain. We may not separate our salvation from our life. Salvation is a call to be set apart from the world. We are to put our trust in God and His ways. God gives us His word so we may grow. We need leaders to help us. We need teaching and correction. We need to be equipped. When God saves us, a work of transformation takes place. We follow people who proclaim Christ. We live holy lives, set apart for the gospel. Trust God and take refuge in Him.
At the end of the age, believers like Bonnie, will who walk the highway of holiness, rejoicing in their salvation. The trees of the field clap their hands, and the mountains and the hills break forth with joy as they walk by. They are people blessed by God. Call upon God while He is near. Ask Him to show you your heart. Ask Him to help you be sure that you are a genuine believer who gives evidence of His work of grace. Trust in God and you will not be disappointed!
Is your soul satisfied? Would you like it to be? God offers satisfaction for our soul that is free. He promises it to be complete and abundant. God promises that our soul will live. Nobody else is offering us such a rich and abundant enjoyment where our mind, body, heart, and spirit find complete enrichment. God can make good on His promise. God never lies. He is faithful.
The main idea of this passage is very simple. We are to worship the Savior for His remarkable transforming work of deliverance. To truly worship Jesus, others will see Him as being the center of our heart and affections. His name is on our lips. His salvation dominates our conversations. When we worship Jesus, the church is a sparkling jeweled city where we grow in the knowledge of Christ and learn how Jesus is to be the center of our life.
Verse five of this passage is an amazing picture of our salvation and one which helps us to think rightly about our salvation. The basis of our salvation is not on our merits but upon the character and glory of God.Shout for joy, expand your tent, and fear notfor your husband is your Maker, whose name is the Lord of hosts; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, who is called the God of all the earth.
The world’s most famous verse sums up what God desires for us to know.For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.Are you prepared to stand before the judgment seat of God? As you stand there, will you be justified by the blood of Christ, or will you stand before God as a guilty sinner? Receive Jesus and you will not perish, but have everlasting life.
Jesus is the perfect Lamb of God who has no blemish. Our atonement may only come from someone who does not deserve the punishment. In other words, Jesus cannot take our punishment if He also deserves punishment (otherwise, He will have to die twice, once for Himself and once for us). Isaiah rightly prophecies that the atoning sacrifice of the Lamb of God is made with an innocent Lamb without a blemish. He is pure, holy, and righteous.
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)The well-being Jesus offers is to have peace with God. The healing Jesus offers is healing from our rebellion. The Palm Sunday people are disappointed.But, those who see Jesus carrying their grief, sorrow, and sin, are not disappointed. Jesus makes us righteous. He makes us right before God.For the Scripture says, “whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”
The Son of Man, who we despise, willingly endures the shame and mocking. He outstretches His arms so we may nail Him to a tree. As He hangs there in shame before the public, the Man of Sorrows, offers forgiveness to those who are crucifying Him. He bleeds for our salvation. He is marred for our sin. It is our grief and sorrow He carries. There is only one who is worthy of our worship and praise. Worship Jesus for His atoning sacrifice for our salvation. His work of salvation is astonishingly complete in every way.
God expects us to respond to His work of salvation. We are to endeavor to respond to God’s saving work according to His word of truth. This passage reveals five ways we are to respond to our salvation.God expects for us to herald the good news of peace and happiness and that our God reigns.We are to break forth in joy knowing we receive all things in Christ.As we herald the good news and when people ask us about our joy, we are to point to the cross as the only way of salvation.We are the temples of the living God.
God is speaking to us. He says that we are free. Arise, and respond to God’s voice, believing He rescues His people. Arise, and put on strength. Clothe yourself with the beautiful garments of holiness. Arise, shake the dust off your feet. Remove the chains of addiction, anger, pride, depression, shame, hopelessness, oppression, sin, selfishness, and so on. Take off whatever chain is keeping you from having a full relationship with the Lord, and walk into the freedom of being alive, risen, and seated with Christ in the heavenly places.
We need to remember Jerusalem in her glory. She is a woman who was once the envy of all. She was beautiful, rich, and clothed in luxury. She was proud and stood tall as she brought the work of her hands to the market. She ate the finest food and drank the best of wines. She was virile and gave birth to strong, handsome sons. The picture Isaiah paints is that Jerusalem has become a pitiful drunk and helpless woman in the streets. She is clothed in pity and shame. She is filthy and covered in sores. If we were to see her, we might throw her some pocket change. We would not invite her to our home. As we go through these verses, picture this woman in mind.