TEXT: 1 TIMOTHY 1: 12-17
READING: LUKE 2: 1-20
SUBJ: The mission of Christ in coming into the world as declared from the beginning to the end and the need that we all must think upon the incarnation and salvation.
AIM: That we might understand that the stated purpose of Christ was all essential to salvation; noting could be omitted.
INTR: This testimony of the Apostle Paul is familiar to us all and it is good that the purpose of Christ's coming into the world be understood. It is the witness of Paul personally to a marvelous work of grace.
1. The tendency in considering the birth of Jesus is to treat it as an end in itself and fail to connect it to all that was and is to come to pass.
2. The whole of the life of Christ in the world was required of Him to complete our salvation and such were the declarations from the beginning.
3. Our God is a God of purpose, and it is all centered in Christ and the work of salvation and the purpose was stated in the name - Jesus.
THESIS: It is interesting to note that the world is very accepting of much that is celebrated at this time of the year, but they are so resistant to the purpose for which He came into the world.
I. Paul's personal testimony (vv. 12-17)
1. Thankful for being counted
1) This was done before Paul was arrested on the road to Damascus
2) Faithful was Paul was called to be and would be
3) And so was put into the ministry
2. A rebellious past leaving only mercy as his hope
1) Mercy was obtained
2) The only remedy to ignorance and unbelief (no merit in either of these - such as "I couldn't help it")
3) Grace was abundant in Paul bringing faith and love in Christ Jesus.
3. The centerpiece of this chapter:
1) The purpose of Christ restated and confirmed in Paul
2) He came to save sinners - "but are not all men sinners?"
3) Paul's assessment of himself and the relative manner of discovery in all when compared to the righteousness of Christ our Lord.
4. For this cause - That he might be an example and a pattern to them which should believe!!
II. The Prophecy of Simeon
1. Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. (Luke 2:28-35)
1. First from John: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13)
2. To do abundantly: The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
3. From Him: I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. (John 12:46).
4. His Answer to Pilate: Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. (John 18:37)
5. And we note that Pilate was constrained to acknowledge Him in every way as King.
6. Mission accomplished: When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. (John 19:30)