Episode 42: God Incarnate, the End of Fear

Read the sermon text at Spurgeon Gems

If you missed it, I did a livestream while I was recording on the Facebook page.  Follow this link if you want to see this sermon read unedited for mistakes, coughing, etc.

I won’t belabor this final episode of the year, except to wish you all a merry Christmas and happy new year.  I ran a little poll on the Twitter account to see what people would choose for the Christmas episode, and this sermon won out by a large margin.  I found it very fitting as well.

Right before things began to officially blow up in my life earlier this year, I recorded an episode called “Joy in Place of Sorrow.”  In it I talked about two phrases from Scripture that struck me as being very central to the day to day life of a Christian: “Rejoice” and “Do not fear.”  Furthermore, they both seem linked directly to the greatest commandment: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength; and the second which is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.  If you are loving God completely, you will rejoice in all circumstances, and that love will kill what Brother Spurgeon here calls “slavish fear,” the fear that drove Adam and Eve into hiding in the garden.

I have been put through a crash course in these truths this year, and as we prepare to close out one year and begin a new one, I want to say to you, my listeners: Rejoice in the coming of Christ, every day.  Do not fear the Lord, but call out to Him and seek to worship Him in everything you do.  Let that love spill over to how you treat your neighbors, how you love the people close to you and the strangers you meet.  I have seen a disturbing trend of many Christians digging in trying to find safety for their traditions and I want to tell you: stop.  Safety is not why we are here.  Love is why we are here, and we must have our eyes open to those around us, for every way we can show it.

We don’t do it out of fear, but because of the love He has shown us.  Do not let your thinking be so high that you cannot lower yourself to the level of Jesus loving the poor, broken, desperate people around Him.  If you want to show the truth of Jesus, let your hands match your words, brethren.  I pray that I will live as consistently with that as I can in this coming year.

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Charles Spurgeon’s “Morning and Evening” – December 24, Morning – from Theology Mix

“For your sakes he became poor.” -2 Corinthians 8:9 The Lord Jesus Christ was eternally rich, glorious, and exalted; but “though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor.” As the rich saint cannot be true in his communion with his poor brethren unless of his substance he ministers to their necessities, so…

via Charles Spurgeon’s “Morning and Evening” – December 24, Morning — Theology Mix

Morning and Evening does continue apace even through the holidays thanks to Theology Mix.  I intend to record the sermon for the Christmas episode of Spurgeon Audio this evening.  Furthermore, I am planning to livestream that on Facebook, so if you would enjoy hearing the sermon with all my coughs, water-drinking, and puppy interruptions intact, keep an eye on the Spurgeon Audio Facebook page.

Spurgeon Audio Christmas Bonus!

Luke chapters 1 and 2

Obviously, this is not a Charles Spurgeon sermon.  But my lovely wife gave me this idea, to record the passages of Scripture commonly read as part of “the Christmas story.”  And there is so much here that we can reflect on as we gather with family to celebrate, as Linus would say, “what Christmas is all about.”  Look at the great mercy shown in God’s actions by sending His Son.  Look at the great glory of the heavens torn open to reveal the angels singing the praises of God in the act of the incarnation.  Look at the people driven to worship by the leading of the Holy Spirit at the coming of a mere child.  And look at how God makes His grace known to His people through this incredible outpouring of His love in the sending of His Son.

Christmas is probably one of my favorite times of year, but it is also a severely confusing time in our culture.  We as a culture celebrate a holiday explicitly named after Christ, and yet when you look at what most people, even Christians, think about when Christmas comes, it seems that what we have in our minds is a celebration of a baby being born in a barn one night.  We should not be so light in our remembrance of this, but we should rejoice in it!  God the Son humbled Himself to the point of entering creation, becoming man–humility beyond imagination!  He was born and lived most humbly to be sure, but certainly the text does not stop with that implication.  It is only the beginning: there is so much worship each step of the way, from the recognition by the unborn John the Baptist of the unborn Jesus, to the coming of the angels and the shepherds’ report of them, to the prophetic words of two people who had lived for so long seeking only to know the coming of the promised one.  And even in seeing Him, at the time I don’t know if they fully understood Who they beheld.  I can only imagine the worship they would have known had they heard the words of Paul decades later to the Colossians:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.–Colossians 1:15-20

Let us take this Christmas and remember what this season really is all about.  It’s not just a time for family and vacations, it’s not just a time for giving and receiving, and it’s not just a time where we get warm fuzzies over the birth of a baby.  It is a time to remember the most amazing act in the history of the world, the incarnation of God, to serve as the perfect sacrifice, and the destroyer of death.  And that, my friends, is what Christmas is all about.

If you’ve liked the music from the last few episodes, please visit the Bandcamp page for my church’s band, The Loverlies, for links to these and more songs.