Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
303-665-6105
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Advent 1 – December 2, 2012 – Jer. 33:14-16 – The Coming Of Christ

Introduction:  Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father, and from our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our text is the Old Testament Lesson just read, from Jer. 33.  We begin with prayer.

Dear fellow disciples of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ:

  • There is so much that we are aware of, things that we take for granted, that have become rather common and unspectacular to us.  For people living in cities along the Front Range in Colorado, this would be the mountains – which many people rarely go into, or even look at on a daily basis, even though they are spectacular in beauty.  The same is true for much of the food we eat – which is well seasoned, nutritious, and usually quite delicious; but we have it all the time and do not appreciate it as being wonderful.
  •  I believe that this is also the case with Christmas, the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – even for many Christians.  Obviously we are aware of the season – though for many it is mainly a shopping time, or a partying time.  We are aware that it has to do with God, and with Jesus, His birth in Bethlehem many years ago.  We are aware, in a kind of general way, that Christmas is about something good – but in view of all that is difficult and challenging in life we may think of Christmas more in terms of “unrealized potential” than blessed reality. 
  • In fact, we may relegate the wondrous blessings of Christmas to mere “religious thoughts,” utilizing them only in a general kind of way as “part” of our thinking about life, but as though they were not really certain, dependable, reliable, and integral to our very being.  If this is the case, we are cheating ourselves out of the wonders of God’s love, and taking His great gifts for granted, as though they were rather common and unimpressive.  Our text – and all of Holy Scripture – urges us to think differently, to truly grasp and appreciate “THE COMING OF CHRIST.”

I.  His Coming Was Fulfillment Of God’s Promise To Israel

 

Text:  “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.”

 

Statement:  What is so important about God “fulfilling” a promise?  Promises are made and kept all the time!  But God’s promise – as described in our text – is a wonderful and marvelous promise, one of forgiveness, redemption, mercy, and newness of life for people under the condemnation and misery of sin.  His promise is about grace and eternal love for us, and a blessed eternal future in His new heaven and earth. 

 

Application:  These promises are also “fulfilled” to us – with “THE COMING OF CHRIST” – and are even now the greatest realities for human beings.  And when we consider all of the other promises God has made to us, how blessed it is to recognize that God fulfills His promises – when He says a thing it is as good as done!  Stop to consider – and to consider taking seriously – what a huge blessing this is that God keeps His promises!  For:

 

II.  Christ’s Purposes In Coming Are For Our Greatest Blessedness

 

A.  He Came To Execute Justice And Righteousness, So That All Might Be Saved And Live Securely In His Love

 

Text:  “In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.  In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell securely.”

 

Statement:  These are promises – now kept in Jesus Christ – that apply directly to us.  Justice was executed upon Jesus – the just punishment for all of our sins, our crimes against other human beings, our anger and meanness, our selfishness and greed, our pride and arrogance, and our lack of love, compassion, concern, and care for those in need.  Righteousness was established for us – “God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that in Him we might be made the righteousness of God.” [2  Cor. 5:21] 

 

This “righteousness of God,” perfect holiness and righteousness is now “accounted” to all who believe in Jesus – the just shall live by faith, and we understand that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, Whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith.” [Rom. 3:23-25]

 

Application:  So even now you have His righteousness accounted to you, and you have eternal life, for “he that believes the Son has everlasting life.” [John 3:36]  Your existence, both your life in this present world and your eternal future are sure and secure in blessedness – because of “THE COMING OF CHRIST!”  Do not take it for granted, or consider this “common” and unremarkable – you know your sins, how great your need for forgiveness and renewal is, and it has all been provided and corrected for you in Christ Jesus! 

 

Transition:  This is not just a “personal” blessedness for us – to be appropriated and kept privately for ourselves.  Rather, the blessings are extended and seriously offered by God to all people – to the whole world, and we are to bear witness to this, for Christ came:

 

B.  That All People Might Know God As He Truly Is – “The Lord Our Righteousness”

 

Text:  “And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.”

 

Statement:  “It” – that is, Judah and Jerusalem, the whole people of God, the holy Christian Church, including Eternal Savior Lutheran Church, and every believer in Christ Jesus, here in this sanctuary and throughout the entire world.  “It’s” name is a divine Name – “the LORD is our righteousness,” and “it’s” name describes our great blessedness – “the LORD is our righteousness.” 

 

Though our own personal “righteousness” leaves much to be desired – as we are aware and as others around can observe, we have another righteousness – “the LORD” Himself is our righteousness, righteousness that we possess, a perfect and complete righteousness. 

 

Application:  This is reality – present reality already fulfilled in “THE COMING OF CHRIST” that first Christmas, and in the suffering and death and resurrection which He fulfilled for us, for our redemption and salvation.  Does this mean anything?  Is this worth anything?  What is the value of this to us – personally?  And again, the fact that God has already fulfilled this promise gives liveliness and electricity to everything else that He has promised us – in the glorious kingdom of Heaven yet to come! 

 

Application 2:  And this gives our lives their principle purpose – our name is now “the LORD is our righteousness.”  By our very existence, by our establishment of this congregation, by our participation in the life of this Christian Church, we are bearing witness to “THE COMING OF CHRIST” and all the blessings He has fulfilled and provided for all human beings, the whole world, “for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” 

 

Conclusion:  Of what importance is this to you?   I understand, we all get distracted by all of the “things” of life in this world, our duties, our responsibilities, our concerns about finances, health, relationships, children, grandchildren, and other interests.  But surely not so much that we lose sight of “THE COMING OF CHRIST” so that His blessings become common to us, and rarely noticed, and not celebrated and exulted in as our greatest blessings!

 

The season of Advent and Christmas celebrated and observed within the life of the Church, among those whose name is “The LORD is our righteousness,” are a good reminder of what really matters in life.  But even greater than the waste of those who forget even to gaze at the beauty of the mountains, is our waste if we don’t remember and recall each day – and frequently each day – the blessings that are ours because of “THE COMING OF CHRIST.” 

 

And more great blessings have been promised by God to us – and these blessings will be inexorably fulfilled, for it is God Who has promised them to us, and once God has spoken a thing, it is as good as done! 

 

Christmas is not a celebration of “unrealized potential” but of REAL blessings of God given to us in His beloved Son, Jesus Christ.  His coming is proof and guarantee of all the blessedness that is yet to come!  Our life in the church is completely wrapped up in these blessings, these realities – and none of this is mundane or common, but wondrous, joyful, and exhilarating! 

 

So we don’t just have a “Merry Christmas.”  Rather, every day of our life and being is a merry Christmas, celebrating the blessings that are ours because of “THE COMING OF CHRIST,” Who is with us always, even to the end of the age.  Thanks and praise be to God forever, Amen.

 

Votum:  And the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in the true faith, which is in Christ Jesus, even unto life everlasting, Amen.