Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree of Life
Week ending 123117
Christmas Special 2017.
We have been looking at the ugliness found in our Lord”s birth, the first Christmas. In fact, His life was characterized by the ugliness of evil.
Think of it with me for the moment.
JOH 1:11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.
The dark and ugly side of Christmas is sin and evil. That’s was the reason for His coming. Sin was a part of the ugliness of Christmas. In the first Christmas, sin was dealt with. In the second Christmas, the Second Coming, our Lord God will be glorified.
So, you cannot look at Christmas without being reminded almost everywhere about its beauty and glory but also now also the cost.
Now, His life was also attacked by this evil and ugliness but He did not quit. Why? There are two reasons why our Lord endured after the first Christmas:
- Not My will but Thy will be done.
2. You and I were the joy that is set before Him. HEB 12:3.
Because of the ugliness of sin and evil, once our Lord was born, He continued to receive the ugliness from man from the OSN which He would come and crucify on the Cross.
Even after the ugliness or the presence of the OSN at the first Christmas, mankind would continue to rebel against our Lord and His desires for their life.
Think about it - as a child, our Lord had to be protected by the parents (guardians) and then He grew up and learned the principle of Perception, Metabolize and Application (PMA) .
So, sin is the ugliness of Christmas and this ugliness also carried over from His birth and then His life.
In fact, the night before our Lord died He said JOH 15:14-27, “You are My friends, if you do what I command you.
No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.
You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give to you.
This I command you, that you love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.
If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
Remember the word that I said to you, A slave is not greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My names sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.
If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also.
If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. But they have done this in order that the word may be fulfilled that is written in their Law, “They hated Me without a cause.”
When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of Me, and you will bear witness also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.
Our Lord did something about the ugliness of sin and evil not only upon that tree 1PE 2:24, He also left gifts, spiritually speaking, in the form of gifts and promises; EPH 4:7-10.
Don’t forget Christmas is about giving, and I want you to just think of some of those gifts underneath the Tree of the Cross. For example, notice how many different types of gifts of the promises of God?
In Acts 1:4, the promise of God the Father to the Church-age believer is that God the Holy Spirit would be given to each one of them.
EPH 3:6, The royal family of God is said to be partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus.
HEB 9:15, talking about Christ as our mediator says, and for this reason they which are elected may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
There are many valuable and fantastic promises throughout the scripture. They are valuable because they come from a God that cannot lie. They are fantastic because they come from a God who only operates in perfection.
HEB 10:23b, He who promised is faithful.
2CO 1:20, For as many as may be the promises of god, in him they are yes; wherefore also by him is our amen resulting in the glory of God through us.
In ROM 4:21, the promises are assured by divine ability.
In ROM 4:21 and being fully assured that what He had promised, He was able also to perform.
Do you believe that God is able to perform the promises? God’s promises are based on God’s performance, not man’s.
All the promises of God are said to be grounded “in Christ” - 2CO 1:20.
PSA 37:3 - Trust in the Lord, and produce divine good, and you will receive all the supplies needed.
Unlimited blessings are promised to those who believe - MAR 9:23.
And what does it mean to believe?
MAR 11:23, “Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be taken up and cast into the sea,” and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it shall be granted him.”
It means to metabolize doctrine.
Answers to prayer are promised. MAR 11:24, Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted you.
Removal of obstacles is promised to those who have faith as a tiny grain of mustard seed - LUK 17:6.
LUK 17:5-6, And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, ‘If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you.”
We have the promise of brighter days and joy. PSA 30:5, Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.
Deliverance in affliction is promised in PSA 34:19, Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
Divine care in sickness is promised PSA 41:3, the Lord will sustain him upon his sickbed; in his illness, thou dost restore him to health.
PSA 50:15, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor me.
It’s interesting that God’s promises are usually related to the believer giving glory to God.
PSA 138:7, though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me; thou wilt stretch forth thy hand against the wrath of my enemies, and thy right hand will save me.
Then there’s the beautiful promise of the divine presence of God comforting the believer, ISA 43:2, when you pass through the water, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you, when you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you,
The question is: Do you believe all these promises?
We have the promise of an eternal home in JOH 14:1-2, Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you,
We have the promise of all things working together for good for those loving God in ROM 8:28.
2CO 4:17, for momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.
The sufficiency of divine grace is promised in 2CO 12:9, My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.
This is the promise of God’s grace meeting our every need!
The promise of final deliverance - ie. Death.
We have the promise of death which is really a beautiful promise of final deliverance from sorrow, crying, and pain - REV 21:4.
We have the promise to those that give liberally, with no strings attached; PSA 41:1, How blessed is he who considers the helpless; the Lord will deliver him in a day of trouble.
Look at PRO 3:9-10, Honor the Lord from your wealth, and from the first of all your produce, so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.
PRO 11:25, The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered.
PRO 22:9, He who is generous (he looks for opportunities to give) will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor OR NEEDY.
LUK 6:38, Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.
We’ve already studied the characteristics of the promises of God and 15 categories.
We have the promises to the backslider or to those who have regrets and sorrow: PSA 34:18, The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves (delivers) those who are crushed in spirit.
JER 3:22, Return, o faithless sons (backslider) I will heal your backsliding.
HOS 14:4, I will heal their apostasy, I will love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them.
JOE 2:13, Now return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in loving-kindness, and relenting of evil.
Then there are the special promises to those who serve and honor God.
There’s the promise of the uniform of glory for those who win souls in DAN 12:3 and those with WISDOM and those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
There’s the promise of rewards for those who serve in the so called “little areas,”
MAR 9:41, for whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of your name as followers of Christ, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.
ROM 2:10, There will be glory and honor and prosperity to every man who produces divine good.
Now, I would like to close this subject with an understanding of the ugliness of sin (singular).
1JO 3:1-11, See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.
And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.
No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, let no one deceive you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning.
The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another;