Christmas is a time to think about why Christ came.
All world religions say “If you are good you can, maybe or perhaps earn your way into heaven” Christianity is unique in that there is nothing we can do, Salvation is found only in Christ.
For Christ came to save, not those who do good, but those who are sinners.
In Luke 19:10 Jesus said himself “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Just a chapter before in Luke 18 Jesus told a parable about a pharisee and a tax collector that went to the temple to pray. The Pharisee was proud and indignant with his good works, yet the tax collector beat his breast in sorrow and bowed his head saying “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” Jesus said it was the tax collector who found forgiveness that day.
In the passage I read at the beginning of this service, 1st Timothy 1:15 Paul says “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”
We heard last week, as Ps Jeff preach out of Romans 2, that our works do not justify us, whether a person has the law or not, they are all guilty before God. No amount of good works can save us.
Romans 3:23 “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…”
You cannot earn your way to heaven, all religion that teaches good works is false and from the devil. It is doctrines of demons!
We are saved, not by works but by Grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone.
And this is why we seek holiness and obedience in Christ. For we love him and want to obey him. Our heart has been transformed, regenerated by the Holy Spirit, born again of the will of God, and we seek to live a life that honours God. This is why we can say you know a person by their fruit. The fruit does not save, rather it is evidence that salvation has come!
And what does Paul say? Examine yourself that you are even in the faith! He says it multiple time throughout his epistles. Faith without works is dead!
So how is one saved? Romans 10:9-10 “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
Christ came into the world to seek and to save the lost – to save sinners.
Communion is that time each week we remember what Christ has done, together as a community of believers. His body broken for us, His blood shed for us for the forgiveness of sins.
Let’s pray and eat and drink and song our final song in reflection
FINAL SONG: Emmanuel (Hallowed Manger Ground) – G