I Bring You Good Tidings of Joy
INTRODUCTION: To me, Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, wonderful in the sense that we can turn our attention from the TRAPPINGS of Christmas to the PERSON of Christmas. Let us once again turn our attention to the Christmas story found in Luke 2, where we read in part verses 8-14,
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. (9) And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. (10) And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. (11) For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (12) And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. (13) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, (14) Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Please notice again our text verses 10-11, “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. (11) For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
One cannot find human language to express what the coming of JESUS has meant to the world, and for multiplied millions of souls for the past 2000 years:
There are those who in life have found that "peace of God, which passeth all understanding" as He has lifted the burden of sin from their souls.
There are those who in death have walked “through the valley of the shadow of death” and felt the touch of His hands and the joy of His presence; and as they leaned upon His rod and staff, they found support and comfort, as they passed from this life into the presence of the Lord.
No wonder the angel said, "I bring you good tidings of great joy." It was the greatest day this world had ever known when the angel said, "This day a Saviour is born." JESUS had come at last! Oh, how sweet that name! The redeemed of God have sung it in their sweetest anthems in carols and hymns of praise. For 2000 years, the theme of their songs has been:
All hail the Power of Jesus Name! Let angels prostrate fall:
Bring forth the royal diadem, And crown Him Lord of all.
There is a name I love to hear, I love to sing it's worth.
It sounds like music in mine ear, the sweetest name on earth.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus the sweetest name, I know
Fills my ever longing, keeps me singing as I go.
That beautiful Name, That beautiful Name,
From Sin has power to free us!
That beautiful Name, That wonderful Name,
That Matchless Name is JESUS!
Luke 2:10 is an awesome verse, “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. Now, let me point out FOUR truths found in this verse.
I. FEAR NOT: The Angel said, "FEAR NOT." These two very interesting words, "FEAR NOT," are used FOUR times in the Christmas story.
In Luke 1:13, the angel said to Zechariah, in announcing the birth of Jesus’ forerunner, John the Baptist, “…Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.”
In Luke 1:30, the angels said to Mary while delivering the news to her that she would be the woman God had chosen to bring Christ into the world, "Fear Not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.”
In Matthew 1:20, Joseph received these words from an Angel, “… saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.”
In Luke 2:10, angels said to the shepherds, "… Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”
Christ's coming was destined to evoke FEAR from the human heart. But the message from God is "FEAR NOT." There is no need to have FEAR OF LIFE, because we who have Jesus Christ in our lives need not fear the eventuality of life.
More than 80 times these words were spoken from the heart of God to the heart of humanity that is beset and torn with fear. Need I remind you that the most unsettling thing in human life is FEAR?
We FEAR JUDGMENT of our ACTIONS in the PAST.
We FEAR the PRESENT circumstances of life.
We FEAR the FUTURE situations in life and death.
Oh, hear God throughout scripture as He says "Fear Not."
To ABRAHAM who was alone after a long journey from his home in UR of the Chaldees, having made his way over a thousand miles on foot not knowing whither he went, and finally arriving in the land of Canaan, God appears to him saying, in Genesis 15:1, "Fear not, Abram, I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward."
To ISAAC who was beset with the enemy on every side. Everywhere he tried to settle down and dig a well; the enemy would drive him out. Finally, as recorded in Genesis 26:24, he dug a well and God came and said, "I am the God of Abraham thy father: FEAR NOT, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed."
To JACOB, in his old age doubting his ability to go into the land of Egypt, the angel of God in Genesis 46:3-4 said to him, "FEAR NOT to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation."
To MOSES, as he stood at the Red Sea with the hosts of Pharaoh's army behind him, with a mountain wall on either side, and the sea of rolling water in front. With confidence in God's leading, Moses said to the people in Exodus 14:51, "FEAR you NOT, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord."
To DANIEL who had been praying for twenty-one days and nights down in the land of Babylon. The angel Gabriel stood by him in Daniel 10:19 and said, "O man greatly beloved, FEAR NOT: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong." And Daniel answered and said, "When he had spoken to me, I was greatly strengthened."
To PAUL who was on his way to Rome in a ship being tossed and driven by a storm, he said in Acts 27:23-24, "There stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, saying, FEAR NOT, Paul…"
To JOHN on the isle of Patmos in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, he tells us, in Revelation 1:17 that Jesus laid His "right hand upon him, saying… FEAR NOT; I am the first and the last: I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore."
There is no one who can cast FEAR out of a human life like JESUS MY SAVIOUR. Oh, think of it! He who holds this planet out in space is holding me in His hand, so with the hymn-writer I can sing:
I've anchored my soul in the haven of rest:
I'll sail the wide seas no more;
The tempest may sweep over the wild, stormy deep,
In JESUS I'M SAFE EVERMORE.
May these words ring out in your heart, "FEAR NOT.” For God's grace will be right there to meet our needs in the PRESENT as well as our needs in the FUTURE.
Someone said, "There is much in this world to make us afraid, but there is much more in the Word of God to make one unafraid. It's a message of profound consolation, "FEAR NOT."
II. GOOD TIDINGS: Notice again in our text, verse 10, the angel said, "Behold I bring you good tidings of great Joy." Behold I bring you "GOOD NEWS." In our day we find ourselves surrounded by NEWS.
On most radio stations there is news reported every hour on the hour.
On some stations, like Fox, CNN and MSNBC, there is nothing but news.
On other TV stations you have the 7:00 am, 12 noon, the 5:00 pm, the 6:00 pm, the 6:30 pm and then the 10:00 or 11:00 pm news.
And many of you read the local news, every day!
Our nation is NEWS orientated, and most of the NEWS that we hear is either: terrifying, trite or tragic!
Very seldom is it "GOOD NEWS." But here we read about some terrific news, "Fear not for I bring you good tidings, I bring you GOOD NEWS." Perhaps you are saying, Pastor,
I have heard this news proclaimed every Christmas to be exact.
I have heard this Christmas story over and over again. How can it be NEW NEWS?
I have heard it before, why tell it again?
How can something I relate to year after year be called FRESH NEWS?
Now listen carefully. The reason why it was GOOD NEWS yesterday and it is FRESH NEWS today and it will be GOOD NEWS next year and throughout all eternity, is because when this event took place, THE HAND OF ALMIGHTY GOD WAS ON THIS NEWS, AND BECAUSE GOD'S HAND IS STILL UPON IT:
It is always fresh.
It is always relevant.
It is always important.
It is always comforting, and
It is always absolutely imperative that we proclaim it.
"Fear Not" the angel said, "For behold I bring you GOOD NEWS." It is GOOD NEWS today, and if tomorrow you take your Bible and you read these verses, it will be as FRESH as it is today. It will always be GOOD NEWS, because the HAND OF GOD IS ALWAYS UPON IT!
Did you notice who God used to give out this GOOD NEWS? In each case, it was an angel who delivered the "Fear Not" statement. Because of that use of angels, I ask myself:
Why doesn't God just use angels instead of us to communicate the Good News of the gospel? But he doesn't. God has commanded US to share this GOOD NEWS: THE DEATH BURIAL, AND RESSURRECTION OF JESUS with everyone in whom we come in contact.
May we be challenged throughout the coming year to become a communicator of this GOOD NEWS as we reach out into this community. It needs to be our resolve to be more effectively communicating the message that JESUS SAVES.
III. GREAT JOY: Notice once again verse 10 of our text, in which the angel says, "… Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” He did not say, "I bring you good tidings of joy." Rather, he said "I bring you good tidings of GREAT JOY." Yet to some in this room, during this service, the coming of Jesus Christ only brings:
LET'S BE HONEST, a HINT of JOY.
Not GREAT JOY, but just a measure of JOY.
To say all of us have GREAT JOY, I believe would be stretching it.
“Pastor,” you might ask, “what makes the difference in a believer’s life – as an outgrowth of their faith in Jesus Christ, some have just JOY, and others have GREAT JOY? I believe what makes the difference is indicated in verses 10-12.
First: "There are those who embrace Jesus as Saviour ONLY."
Second: "There are those who embrace Jesus as Saviour and Lord."
If you would draw a line from the word JOY down to the word SAVIOUR in verse 11, you will realize that when we trust Christ as Saviour, there will be JOY in our lives.
Now, circle the words GREAT JOY and draw a line to the word SAVIOUR in verse 11 and connect that to the word LORD. Those who have GREAT JOY know Christ not only as SAVIOR but also as LORD of their lives.
Those who only know Christ as Saviour merely have a measure of Joy.
But those who know him as Saviour and Lord have GREAT JOY!
The difference is as simple as that.
Please notice something else in verse 11. In the English it reads "A Saviour, who is Christ the Lord." However if you were reading this in the Greek New Testament, it would read "For unto you is born this day in the city of David SAVIOUR CHRIST LORD." In the Greek there is no article before the word Lord. This is saying in effect that when Jesus Christ came into the world, and when Jesus Christ came into your life, He came in as Saviour and Lord.
If you would like to have Him as Saviour, that's fine.
If you would like to have Him as Saviour, that's great.
However, when you believe in Jesus Christ the word of God indicates that you believe on Him as SAVIOUR and LORD of your life.
He was born to be your Saviour.
He was born to be your Lord, Master, Sovereign, Owner.
That is what He must be in your life. That is what He must be in my life. If I am to experience GREAT JOY in the Christian life, I must submit to the LORDSHIP of JESUS CHRIST.
IV. TO ALL PEOPLE: Once again notice verse 10 and the last phrase, "which shall be to all people." When we think about our complex world, what personality would be suited to be Saviour and Lord to all people? How could this one who came from Heaven relate to all people? That is a staggering dilemma.
In our country, we revere George Washington who was our great revolutionary war leader, father of our country, and first president.
You go to England and Sir Winston Churchill comes to mind.
Once in France, Napoleon is recognized.
With the Italians, there is Garibaldi.
The Germans revere Otto Von Bismarck.
As you move around the world, you find somebody in every country to be REVERED, HONORED, RESPECTED and LOOKED-UP-TO.
But there is no one like the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only one the world over (from England, France, Germany, Korea, Japan, India, Philippine, South America, Mexico, Canada, and even in Russia) suited to mend the hearts of all men in every country of the entire earth.
The word of God says, "FEAR NOT." Here is some "GOOD NEWS" for a change.
This GOOD NEWS came to bring you more than JOY. It came to bring you GREAT JOY. This GREAT JOY is for "ALL PEOPLE." That is the message of Christmas.
Again we read in verses 10-11, “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. (11) For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Beloved, on this Sunday before Christmas may the Holy Spirit turn your eyes of faith to Him and fix your heart upon Him who came to be the Saviour of the World.
Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, I will still give thee aid:
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my gracious, omnipotent hand.
When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace all-sufficient shall be thy supply.
The flames shall not hurt thee: I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.
The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, through all Hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake."
Thank God for a gospel message that is given to the high, the low, the rich and the poor!
Grace, Grace, God's Grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, Grace, God's grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.
If God has spoken to your heart after reading the sermon “I Bring You Good Tidings” right now talk to God about what He has spoken to you.
Do you have the assurance that one day you will go to heaven? If you have no assurance that you know Jesus Christ, then I trust you will decide to accept Him as your personal Savior. The Bible tells us in
Acts 16:31, “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…”
Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
This prayer is here for those who need to ask Jesus to be their personal Savior: “I do want to go to Heaven. I know I am a sinner, and I do believe Jesus Christ died for me. I realize I cannot buy this great salvation, nor can I earn it. Knowing Jesus died on the cross and arose from the grave to pay my sin debt and to purchase my salvation, I do now trust Him as my Savior, and from this moment on I am completely depending on Him for my salvation.”
If you made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, please let me know. Please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you some literature that will help you in your Christian life.
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