2023 Christmas Eve Service - [Matthew 1:20-23]

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Tuesday Guy Preaches the 2023 Christmas Eve Service - [Matthew 1:20-23]

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My text tonight was read by Scott Brown, Matthew 1, verses 20 to 23.
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You know, I love rescue movies. You know why I like them? Because the good guys win.
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I like that part. And I identify with the people who are in danger.
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And I want them to be rescued. And this evening, we're going to see, essentially, the
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Divine Rescue Plan. Here's the question tonight. I only have one, unlike Pastor Mike with his seven questions.
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I have one question, but I have four answers, and no, it's not multiple choice. They're all correct, because they're all
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Jesus. Here's the question. Who can save sinners?
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Who can save sinners? Four answers.
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Again, all of them center around Jesus. Answer number one. Only one, the only one who did not need to be saved himself.
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To be a rescuer, you need to be somebody who doesn't need to be saved. Makes sense.
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Jesus was, as the text says in verse 20, Matthew 1, verse 20, born of a virgin, and we'll discuss about, or we'll discuss why that is so vital, and why that makes him not needful of being saved.
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Verse 20. But as he considered these things, Joseph, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying,
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Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the
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Holy Spirit. Now, we read in verse 19,
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Scott read, I didn't, that Joseph and Mary were betrothed.
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Well, that means more than engaged. You know, we typically think, well, they were kind of engaged, but it's more than that.
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Because in order for the wedding not to be consummated, there had to be a divorce.
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So we don't really have a parallel between betrothal and what we do in our culture.
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But betrothal was far more serious than just getting engaged. I mean, people get engaged, and then they don't get married, and they don't have to go down and file for divorce.
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Joseph and Mary were seen by everyone in the culture as virtually married.
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The only difference is, they didn't live together, in our understanding of that term, with all that goes with living together.
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And then, Mary is found with child. It would be a scandal back then.
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And you can be sure that Joseph is brokenhearted. In fact, that's why he kind of considers what to do, and he thinks, well,
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I'll quietly divorce her. Meaning, I'm going to divorce her, but I'm not going to make a big deal out of it.
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I'm not going to make a big issue out of it. Because Mary, in his mind, had to have been, what?
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Unfaithful. Otherwise, how did she get pregnant? And under the
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Old Testament law, she was worthy of stoning, because they would have seen her as being an adulteress.
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And even though the law had changed some, so that they didn't stone people for that anymore, she still would have been seen as an outcast, a single mom, with nobody to support her.
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But the angel in Joseph's dream tells him that the child is from the Holy Spirit.
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Now, again, just think about Joseph for a moment. I don't think Joseph gets enough credit. What kind of man did he have to be?
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He had to be strong -willed. He had to be strong spiritually, because what do you think everybody's saying?
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I mean, we know what people were saying, because they say it later on in Jesus's life, that he was not born with a...
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that Joseph wasn't his father. But Joseph had to be strong enough to believe what he'd seen in this dream.
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He had to believe what God, through this angel, had told him. So let's connect the dots for a second.
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How is it that being born of a virgin means that Jesus does not need salvation?
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Because being born of a virgin means he's born without a sin nature.
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That sin nature is passed down through the Father, thus fulfilling the curse, or continuing the curse, that was pronounced on Satan in the
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Garden of Eden. If you recall Genesis 3 .15, I will put enmity between you,
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Satan, and the woman Eve, and between your offspring, by which he meant unbelievers, and her offspring, children, he shall bruise your head, meaning this descendant of a woman would put an end to Satan, and you shall bruise his heel.
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Jesus was the only human being in history ever to be born without a sin nature.
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And you say, what about Adam and Eve? Not born. Okay, a little trivia action there.
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He's the only one in history to be born of a virgin. And what does that mean that he's born?
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It means that he's truly human. The Bible tells us that he grew, that he got hungry, that he grew tired, that he learned.
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In fact, our confession of faith says this, when the fullness of time was come, Jesus took upon himself man's nature.
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In other words, the divine took on a second nature, that of a human being, with all the essential properties and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin.
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I was thinking about that, common infirmities, like what?
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Common cold is the first thing that came to mind, but I won't go down that road. But Jesus is without sin, unlike all of us.
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He always did, thought, and said everything that was perfectly pleasing to his
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Father. I can't even say that I did, said, and thought everything that was perfect for my, in terms of my human father, let alone
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God the Father. But when Jesus was crucified, when he was nailed to the cross, he was a sinless, spotless, perfect sacrifice.
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One who did not need to be saved, but died in the place of others. Everyone who would ever believe.
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He said that himself, John 6 verse 40, for this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the sun, by that he didn't just mean see him, he meant believe on him, and he says it, and believes in him, should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the third day, or on the last day.
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Well, what does that mean? It means that if you trust in Christ, that he will raise you up on that last day, that day of judgment, you will go to heaven.
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Our second answer to the question, who, my question, who can save sinners?
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The second answer, only one who is sent by the Father, only one who is sent by the
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Father. Verse 21, she will bear a son, and you will call, or you shall call his name
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Jesus. For he will save his people from their sins, and you say, well how does that say that he is sent from the
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Father? Simple, that word there, Jesus, means
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Yahweh saves. There's only one way God can save, there's only one way the covenant keeping, faithful, loving
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God, who is Yahweh, can save, and that's actually by doing something. And make no mistake,
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Jesus entering into our world was a rescue mission. We are sinners, we fail to do as God commands, personal, perfect, perpetual obedience, that's the standard.
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Each one of us is required to obey the law of God to the letter, no exceptions, no mistakes, no syndromes, perfect, perpetual, and personal obedience.
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We can't, and we don't. From our mother's womb, we are inclined towards sin.
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We sin by nature, and by choice. Now about Jesus, talking about how we can know that God sent him, listen to his, part of his high priestly prayer, also the covenant of redemption,
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John 17 verses 3 to 6. And this is eternal life,
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Jesus says, that they know you, the only true
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God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work, listen, that you gave me to do.
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Well when was that? Before creation. And now
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Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you, listen, before the world existed,
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I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world, yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.
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Most famous verse in the Bible, of course, John 3 .16, God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
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Who can save sinners? Only the one who did not need to be saved himself,
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Jesus, and only one who is sent by the Father, Jesus.
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Answer number three, only one who is truly
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God, truly God. Again from verse 20, Joseph is told that this one is from the
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Holy Spirit. This baby, this son, Jesus, is from the
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Holy Spirit. Well how could a virgin conceive? Only by the power of God could such a miracle happen.
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Luke 1 verses 34 and 35, and Mary said to the angel, how will this be since I am a virgin?
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In other words, how am I going to conceive? That's impossible. And the angel answered her, the
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Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the child to be born will be called
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Holy, the Son of God. Mary had been told before Jesus was conceived, and now
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Joseph has been told that he is from the Holy Spirit. Also look at verse 21, and you'll see that Jesus is going to save who?
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His people. Well, for them to be His people, these are the people of God as we just discussed in John chapter 17.
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God the Father chose them, He gives them to the Son. He's saving His people, the people of God.
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Our confession says this, it says, Jesus did not come to save every person on the planet.
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But He came to save His people. If you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, He came to save you.
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He came to rescue you. He came to save the elect, those whom
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God chose before creation. Those whom God would, as we just read, call, justify, sanctify, and one day glorify.
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That is to say, take them to heaven. Only God can possess
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God's people, right? That's logical. Only God can claim control over God's people.
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They are His sheep, His elect. Verses 22 and 23 of Matthew chapter 1.
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The prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 714. And they shall call
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His name Emmanuel, which means God with us.
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And that's exactly right. God, even though it was read in John chapter 1, the second person of the
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Trinity, the Word, the eternal Word, has come among us. Has taken on human flesh.
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Here's the miracle that we celebrate at Christmas. That the eternally begotten second person of the
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Trinity, truly God, took to Himself a human nature so that He's truly man while remaining truly
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God. Answer number four. Who can save?
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Only one who can bear the guilt of others. Only one who can bear the guilt of others.
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Again, look at verse 21. From their sins.
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From their sins. Our sins, which I said that we commit, create a debt that we cannot pay.
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Puritan John Flavel said this. He says, as priest, talking about Jesus. Had He not been a man,
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He could have shed no blood. Right? If He'd never become human,
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He couldn't have shed His blood. And if not God, it had not been adequate value for us.
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If He had just died, if He'd just lived a perfect life and died as a man,
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He wouldn't have infinite value. His death would not have infinite value. So He couldn't have redeemed all of us.
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John 19 verse 30 says this. When Jesus had received the sour wine,
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He said, It is finished. And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. That's on the cross.
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Well, what did He mean when He said, What did He mean? The work that the
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Father had sent Him to do was done, finished, completed. God sent
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Him to save the people of God from their sin. Jesus had done that.
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He paid the price in full. I believe
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Pastor Mike read this verse this morning. John 10, or this passage, verses 17 and 18.
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For this reason, the Father loves me. Because I lay down my life, that I may take it up again.
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What was He saying there? That He was voluntarily, sacrificially giving up His life.
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Why? Because He intended, by His own power, just as He raised
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Lazarus from the grave, He was going to raise Himself from the grave. The man
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Christ Jesus, His humanity could die. His humanity could suffer.
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But His divinity, His godness, as it were, could not die.
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So He waited. The divine waited until the human had spent three days in the grave.
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And then He raised Him from the dead. Listen to Romans 3, verses 24 and 25.
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Talking about believers. Are justified by His grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
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Whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood to be received by faith.
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Meaning a satisfaction. So that the penalty for our sin, paid by the blood, by the death of Jesus Christ.
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All of our sins, as Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5, verse 21.
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All of our sins placed on Jesus. He paid the price on the cross.
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And what do we get in return? His righteousness imputed to us.
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The righteousness that we don't have. The obedience that we don't have.
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Because we disobey. Because we sin. Because we don't do what we're committed. We get that righteousness through faith.
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And that's exactly what He said. To be received by faith. It's the instrument of faith by which we appropriate that great forgiveness and that great obedience.
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It's by His life, death, and resurrection.
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By trusting in that, that we are saved. Commentator Hendrickson said this.
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He said, to be saved means to be emancipated from the greatest evil.
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The guilt, pollution, power, and punishment of sin. That's great. To have all of our sins forgiven.
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But it goes on. Also, to be placed in possession of the greatest good.
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We get the greatest good. That's the gift of Christmas. We're going to be exchanging gifts.
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But the greatest gift is that our sins are forgiven. And that we get that obedience that we need.
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That great good that we need to enter Heaven. This is the greatest rescue mission in history.
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We, hopeless, helpless, like the worst victims in any kind of movie you could imagine.
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And we have the greatest hero, the greatest champion in the Lord Jesus Christ. Let's pray.
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Father, thank You for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We thank You for the reality.
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That the second person of the Trinity added to Himself human flesh.
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Dwelled among us. Lived a perfect life. Went to the cross voluntarily. And sacrificially paid for the sins of everyone who would ever believe.
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And then triumphantly rose on the third day. Father, what a glorious message of hope.
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And that is why we celebrate Christmas. Father, we thank
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You for the gift of the Son. We thank You for the life He led. Father, I pray that everyone here would believe on the
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Lord Jesus Christ. That they might have the greatest gift of all time. In Jesus' name we pray.