Faithlife
Faithlife

How God's Gift Was Given

Communion  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 2 views
Notes & Transcripts | Handout

Introduction

When you give a gift, how you do it is important. Let me explain. In our house we have a hallway. In this hallway there is a closet. In this closet we have all kinds of junk, but that’s not the point of the story. Among the various items stored in this closet are a plastic tub with about 8 different kinds of wrapping paper. There are also two approximately 4x10 inch boxes of tissue paper. In addition to these things, there is a huge box of gift bags. Whenever we are given a gift bag, we save it and the tissue paper. Now, why do we have all this? We have stored and collected all these things for one simple reason. How you give a gift is important! You can’t just hand it to someone! Right?! You want to have some flair! Ben and Brian try to use a lot of duct tape in their gift wrapping. Cause you have to have flair! When it comes to giving a gift with flair, nothing surpasses the flair around the birth of Christ! However, we’re not going to talk about Jesus’ birth today. We are going to talk about the announcement of His birth.
Today is our communion Sunday. We have spent most of our communion services this year examining . In that verse Jesus is described as something that God gave. Jesus is the greatest gift that has ever been given! With Christmas only three weeks away I wanted to look at how God chose to give us this gift.
This is the greatest announcement that has ever been made.
How God’s gift was given teaches us three important lessons about our God.
He is a God of grace. He is a faithful God. He is a sovereign God.
It is my desire today that these lessons would increase our faith.
God’s gift was given through…

1. The Least Likely Candidates vv. 26-28

The first least likely candidate we are introduced to is
The city v. 26
The city v. 26
In after the coming of the Holy Spirit, when the disciples are speaking in other languages, there is a question asked (S).
Acts 2:7 NKJV
Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans?
When we examined this verse we discussed how Galilee was thought of as the home of the uneducated, common laborer, working class people of Jesus’ day. This angel is sent by God to Galilee. One of the accusations against Jesus later is that “no prophet has arisen out of Galilee”. This is a false statement but it demonstrates the prejudice that existed against this area. In Galilee there is even a lower class area, that area is Nazareth. The attitude of people toward Nazareth is clearly seen in Philip’s brother Nathanael in (S).
John 1:46 NKJV
And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
This angel of God is sent to the least likely city in the least likely county in the least likely country of the world! If you were going to choose a king to rule the world, this is not where you would look for him! This is kind of like strike one. But then we are introduced to the second least likely candidate.
The virgin v. 27
As all of you probably know, women were not highly regarded in ancient times. A woman’s worth was counted in the number of children she had given birth to. A virgin is both a woman and not a mother. Therefore, a virgins value is only in her potential to have children. This virgin is betrothed to a man named Joseph who is in the lineage of David but in the cursed line of Jeconiah (; ). Mary is also in the lineage of David, not through Jeconiah (Lk. 3:31), but since she is a woman, no one really cares.
Here we have an apparently poor woman engaged to a poor man who has the dubious honor of being from a cursed line of David. These are not the people anyone would choose to be the earthly parents of the Messiah, the Son of God! This is kind of like strike two. And then, to top it all off, we have
The greeting v. 28
This is the greatest announcement that has ever been made! And it is greeted with total confusion. Are you kidding me? How am I highly favored? I know the Lord is with Israel, but how is He with me in particular? I cannot be blessed among women because I have no children! Three strikes and your out right? Least likely city, a virgin, a weird greeting. God what is going on? Allow God’s Word to explain itself. Turn to .
This is the greatest announcement that has ever been made! And it is greeted with total confusion.
1 Corinthians 1:26–29 NKJV
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.
God’s grace is seen in His selection of the least likely to accomplish incredible things!
Here’s what I want us to walk away with here.
The Lord never calls the qualified; He qualifies the called.
God is not interested in your qualifications! Being the least likely candidate doesn’t disqualify you from being used by God! In fact, it may give you a head start. After all, we are not saved because we are worthy. Therefore our usefulness doesn’t depend on our worthiness either. Mary is from the least likely city, is the least likely person, and is confused by an angel’s greeting and yet she is the one chosen by God to bear the Messiah!
#124 “Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus” verse 2
Being the least likely candidate doesn’t disqualify you from being used by God! In fact, it may give you a head start.
God’s gift was not only given through the least likely candidates, but also through…

2. The Fulfillment Of The Greatest Promise vv. 29-33

God promised a redeemer back in . This promises was clarified and developed through the centuries until it is finally fulfilled. In these verses we learn the method of that fulfillment. God’s promise is fulfilled through…
The grace of God vv. 29-30
As we already mentioned, Mary is confused by the greeting. She has no idea what is going on. What the angel says in v. 30 is powerful. Don’t be afraid. Generally speaking, this is only ever said when our human perspective tells us we need to be afraid. The angel is going to tell Mary some scary things. Scary circumstances do not mean we should be afraid! Why not? Because God is with us! That is what the angel said in v. 28!
Don’t be afraid, Mary. The angel knows her name. We serve a God who knows us! He knows our names! He calls us by name, reaches out to us by name. Why shouldn’t Mary be afraid? She has found favor with God. The key word here is “favor”. This is the Greek word χάρις (charis) which we most often translate grace.
Favor – χάρις (charis)
Mary found grace! This reminds me so much of where we are told how horrible mankind had become and then we read this in v. 8 (S).
Genesis 6:8 NKJV
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
Mary found grace with God! This is how God keeps His promises! Not through our worthiness, but through His grace! He is faithful to extend His grace to us and use us to keep His promises. Don’t be afraid Mary. Why not? Because of the grace of God. That is the story of every single one of our lives. The penalty for sin is death. That is what we deserve. But for those who have trusted in Christ there is no fear. Why not? Because of the grace of God! God fulfills His promises through His grace. Secondly they are fulfilled through…
Fulfilled through…
The command of God v. 31
Call His name Jesus. That is the command. This virgin will conceive, she will have a son and His name will be Jesus! This name means “Jehovah is salvation”. Already it is clear that this will be no ordinary child. After all, He will be born to a virgin. His name signifies the purpose for which He will be born. Matthew records an angel appearing to Joseph. When telling him what name the child will be given, the angel states the reason for the name. (S).
Matthew 1:21 NKJV
And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
He will save His people from their sins! This command of God to name Him Jesus reflects the promise of a Savior, a redeemer. God is always faithful to keep His promises. Thirdly, His promises are fulfilled by…
Fulfilled by…
The Son of God vv. 32-33
It is revealed here exactly who this child will be. He will be great. The Son of the Highest. Who is the Highest? God! He will have David’s throne. He will reign forever! His kingdom will not end! This cannot describe anyone else! This is God coming in the flesh. The Messiah, long expected and hoped for. That is who will fulfill the promises of God.
God fulfills His promises by His grace, His command, and through His Son. He is ever faithful! Here’s what I want us to walk away with here.
The promises of a faithful God never fail.
God is faithful! He keeps His promises according to His will, His timing, and His design. He can and will do whatever is necessary to keep His Word. He promised to send a deliverer, a Savior, and He did!
#124 “Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus” verse 1
God’s gift was given through the least likely, through His faithfulness, and finally through…

3. The Most Impossible Circumstances vv. 34-38

It is often stated that we serve the God of the impossible. While many passages of Scripture reveal this to be true, the impossibilities overcome through the birth of Christ are awe inspiring. The first impossibility to be over come is that of…
A virgin having a son vv. 34-35
I love the blend of faith and practicality revealed in Mary’s response. She doesn’t protest what has been said. She doesn’t argue. She simply asks a question. Since I am a virgin, how is this possible? The angel’s explanation is powerful. The Holy Spirit will come, the Highest (or the Father) will act, the Son will be born. All three members of the trinity are present and active in the birth of Jesus.
Mary’s question reflects a reality that we are all aware of. Virgins don’t have babies. However, God does the impossible! He is sovereign over all things! The one who spoke all of creation into existence in six days can certainly have a virgin give birth! The second impossibility is one that is mentioned to Mary as evidence that God can do what He has promised. The angel informs Mary of…
An impossible pregnancy vv. 36-37
The entire first half of this first chapter of Luke is spent detailing the announcement of John the baptist’s birth. Look at v. 8. Someone who is barren and has been for many years and is now very old, doesn’t have a baby! Yet the angel says that she is in her sixth month! This is what a sovereign God does to accomplish His purpose! He overrules our idea of the impossible and brings His will to pass! That is what the angel Gabriel reveals in v. 37.
Nothing is impossible with God. Not virgins giving birth, not barren women or those past child-bearing years getting pregnant, and not a hardened heart coming alive to Christ! God is the sovereign Lord of the universe and nothing is beyond Him! The final impossibility is the reaction of Mary to all of this. She responds with…
An unwavering faith v. 38
What she has been told is not possible, humanly speaking. Yet she responds with faith. In calling herself the maidservant of the Lord she is recognizing His sovereignty over her life! He is in control. We simply act as He dictates. Our response to the work of God in our lives should mirror that of this woman of faith. I am your servant, do what you will! “Let it be to me according to your word.” Mary’s response takes on deeper meaning when we understand that this decision marked her and Joseph out. She was considered unfaithful and Joseph foolish. I believe she knew full well the weight that this blessing would carry. Oh it would be a joy! But it would also be a trial.
This is not how we typically respond. When God calls us to do hard things the temptation is to avoid it! Mary doesn’t. Mary doesn’t balk at the impossibilities that have piled up. She simply believes that God will do what He has said. Here’s what I want us to walk away with in this section.
A sovereign God makes the impossible possible.
We never need to look at life and moan at the impossibilities! God can do it! He delights in taking impossible situations and turning them around for His glory! Trust Him with the impossible.
#133 “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” verse 2
This is how God the Son was born as a man. And as we saw in , He came to save. The salvation that He came to accomplish is what we celebrate today. He was born to bear our sin on the Cross. He came to die.
Turn with me to . This is a time for believers to remember the price that was paid. To be reminded of the penalty of sin. Taking part of communion does not save you. This is simply a way for us to be reminded of what Christ has done. If you know the Lord as savior this morning, please join us in bread and juice as we remember Jesus Christ. These are only symbols, they represent the body and blood of our Savior. Examination – verses 26-32

OBSERVANCE OF COMMUNION

The Bread (His Body) vv. 23-24 #145 “O Come, All Ye Faithful” (Chorus Only)
The Cup (His Blood) v. 25 #123 “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” (Chorus Only)

Conclusion

God uses us, the least likely of candidates, to fulfill His promises in even the most impossible circumstances.
God has something He wants to accomplish in and through your life. Surrender to Him. Don’t worry about being qualified. Be faithful. God is full of grace.
God will always keep His promises. He will keep them through His grace, through His commands, and ultimately through His Son. As we walk with Him, trust that He will do what He has promised. God is always faithful.
When we serve the Lord with unwavering faith, we have the joy of watching Him overrule impossible circumstances. God is the sovereign Lord of all.
May our faults and failures reveal that it is Christ who is at work in us.
May our unwavering trust in His promises bring Him glory.
May impossible circumstances be viewed as opportunities for God to show His power.
I pray that we will be men and women who walk by faith.
#465 “In His Time” verse 1
Luke 1:26–38 NKJV
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Luke 1:26-38
RELATED MEDIA
See the rest →
RELATED SERMONS
See the rest →