North Anderson Baptist Church
The Real Joy Of Christmas (The Word Has Come)
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  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
The real joy of Christmas has come to us through the Babe from Bethlehem. He brings joy to our hearts because He has forgiven us of our sin and guaranteed that we will spend eternity in heaven with God through His resurrection. If we will only believe and accept these truths in our hearts, we will partake of that joy now and forever more.
The Word Has ComeThere were gatherings in the cities and towns across Israel, families that had not seen each other in a number of years were now visiting together as they went back home to pay their taxes to the Roman government due to the census that Caesar Augustus ordered. Thinking about the gatherings, even though all despised the Romans for making them return to their towns of origin to pay taxes, people probably used this time to catch up on family that they had not seen in years. But for one little family, it didn’t seem to be a family matter at all. While all those around them were either grumbling because of the trip and the paying of taxes and others with gathering with joy to see old friends and family all accompanied with the laughter, there just in the same little neighborhood, maybe just outside the little village not far from the noise and bustle, was a young virgin girl giving birth to a Baby. No one had any idea what significance this Baby Boy was to have on the country of Israel and the nation of the Jews, more less the impact He would have on the rest of the world, for eternity. People had no idea that maybe just a few yards away, the Word became flesh.
The Real Joy of Christmas

Joy is knowing that God brought His Son, Jesus, to us in the form of a Baby Boy to be born in the town of Bethlehem. Joy is celebrating that birth and recognizing that He is not only a Baby but He is God in the flesh! His name is Immanuel, the prophet Isaiah said, “God with us!.” All power rests in this tiny human being and we know now that eventually every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is King of kings and Lord of lords.

As a human He had to give up His omnipresence, His ability to be everywhere at one time, because He would be limited in His physical presence to where He was at that moment in time. He humbled Himself, willing to be born a Baby but also willingly to die a death on a cross that would pay the sin debt for you and me and all mankind!

This Baby lying in the manger in the stable of Bethlehem was weak and frail as well as helpless to care for Himself. He was to be like all of us but as He grew He knew no sin! Isn’t it great that you and I have a Savior who knew no sin so He could pay for my sin and redeem me to God the Father that I might stand in Christ’s righteousness!
Think of what it took for Jesus to become a man? He would step out of “glory” where He was worshiped and adored by all, where His power was endless and there were millions upon millions of angels to do His bidding. It is from that place that He chose to become a helpless Baby, born in a stinky, dirty and animal filled stable - not an antiseptic hospital where there were doctors and nurses to care for Him through the birthing process. There were just two dear loving people helping Him be born - one His young and tender mother and the other a special human step-father.
“Joy of Christmas”- really is a phrase of our contemporary time. Celebrating Christmas as the birth of God’s Son was not seen in the scriptures except in the Matthew and Luke’s Gospels. The early Christians did not consider the birth of the Savior that important - probably because the scriptures were not yet canonized and brought before the body of Christ until much later - some say the 4th century after Christ’s death. These first believers celebrated the joy of the resurrection of Jesus! His death, burial and resurrection were the focal point of the Gospel - the Good News - for it was in them that lives were changed! Jesus death and resurrection brought forgiveness of sin and a clear and ever hunger for eternal life with God in heaven. But if you look at John’s Gospel he clearly wanted you to know Jesus was flesh and blood and yet He was God. Notice John 1:14,
John wanted to make sure we knew Jesus was a man, flesh and blood, and the only way was to say He was born just like we were but the Incarnation of God made flesh. Doesn’t that bring joy to your hearts?
Joy announced by the Angel of GodThe joy that the angel announced that night to the shepherds was not to be kept to themselves and they didn’t. Take note to the 20th verse in Luke 2,
These same shepherds did not keep their news to themselves. They went out to tell all who would listen about the “Good News” that had arrived in the city of David, He is Christ the Lord. While they told others of this new Baby born, they praised God and honored Him as they went.

(An aside. Do you during this Christmas time, where we celebrate Christmas and the birth of the Savior, do you tell others of the faith you have in this Baby of Bethlehem? As you're going about, are you praising God and telling others of His coming?)Would you look at this with me for a moment. Notice what the angel of God says,
Do you see that you are mentioned in this verse? Look at “for all people.” All people becomes you and me, God said that the Good News would not only be for the Jews but also for the Gentiles, everyone else in the world!

Friday, as I was doing devotions for the Anderson Police Department, talking to the Criminal Investigation Division, I spoke of this scripture saying that it was to all of “us,” while pointing at everyone in the room, and then I said unless you are Jewish. Then one of the investigators said that he was Jewish. So quickly I let him know that first the message came to men and women just like him, Jewish folks whom the prophecy was written to, many hundreds of years before the birth of Christ and that the angel that night was speaking to his ancestors.

For us here who are now Gentile believers, except Steve Cottingham who is part Jewish and Identifies as a Jew, this Good News came for us second after the Jews. How do I know that? Paul tells us clearly in Romans 1:16,
Paul clearly says that the people of God, the Jews, who were the chosen ones of the Lord, were to hear the message first since it was a promise to Abraham and from God to the nations of the world. We should rejoice in the fact that God also chose us to hear the Good News that Jesus was born, that He lived a perfect life, that the wicked and sinful of men chose to rebel and put Him to death on a cross while His followers buried Him in a borrowed tomb. May the Lord be praised that God was not through yet, but raised Him from the dead, on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He now lives forever more, sitting at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. That is the JOY of Christmas!

As we celebrate Immanuel, we should not keep this a secret. Part of our joy is that “God is in Christ, Christ is in us and therefore God is in us!” What a fellowship we have through Christ with God Himself, our Father, God in us all because of Christ coming as a Baby!
Where is your Joy?

The Joy of Jesus should be in the heart of every believer. But, if we are honest with ourselves, there are some of us who would say, “This is a very hard time for me. I have had sadness and sorrow over this year and my heart is broken because of sickness or death, I have struggled with personal issues that are killing me and I just don’t feel like having joy today or any day during the holidays.” When we address this honestly we have to remember that those kinds of hurts are real and hard to overcome. BUT GOD!!!! He is able to overcome those thoughts and those experiences in each of our lives. Because of His love for us He will help you become an overcomer. Remember, Jesus said to us that we are to become overcomers through the power of the Spirit of God in our lives and Paul wrote that nothing can separate us from the love of God. (Romans 8) We are in the hands of the great God of the universe. If we will allow God to work in our lives, using whatever means He chooses, He will do what only He can do when these feelings come upon us and our joy disappears. He is able to bring to mind His JOY, Jesus, and all He brings to us. If you can’t celebrate the joy of Jesus during these days even though you have experienced tough times, think back to what Christ has done for you and think of your salvation. Remember how He has carried you through the tough times of life and He never left you or have forsaken you and just remember the heaven that is in your future. After all of that, if you still can’t find that joy, spend time alone in prayer with God your Father and Savior. By the way we need to do that regardless of how we feel.
Conclusion

Christmas is the time of the year where we think about the Baby born in Bethlehem and how He has brought to us a new life with hope, peace, joy and love. Remember that He loves you and that He has broken the chains of slavery in your life to sin through His death, burial and resurrection. Yes, we go on to sin and even in some cases we choose to allow ourselves to be enslaved again. But, our God is a great and mighty God who is more powerful than anything that will come our way. Remember this is a spiritual battle that we are in and with God on your side and you trusting in Him and holding on to Him, you will make it through no matter what comes your way. “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” The second verse says this, “Not a burden we bear, Not a sorrow we share, But our toil He doth richly repay: Not a grief or a loss, Not a frown or a cross, but is blest if we trust and obey.”

Remember that Jesus is the prophesied Messiah that has come to set His people free and we are to rejoice in Him. For He is “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) Amen and amen!

Invitation

Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is www.northandersonbaptist.com and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby

http://www.northandersonbaptist.com