Sermons from December 2021
Luke situates the birth of Christ in its historical context. It happened during the days of Caesar Augustus, while Herod was reigning in Judea (1:5) and Quirinius was governor of Syria. Pastor Grasso explains the significance of understanding the birth of Christ as a historical reality.
In Luke 1:26-38 the angel Gabriel appears to Mary and explains to her what is about to happen with the birth of Christ. Christ will be born of Mary even though she is a virgin. This proves that Christ is the Son of the Most High and that as such he will inherit the throne of David.
Christ’s two names in Matthew 1:18-25 tell us who he is and what he has come to do. As “Immanuel” he is God with us. As “Jesus” he comes to save his people from their sins. The only way to make sense of the incarnation is to seek to understand it in light of the mission of Christ. Anything less than the salvation of his people from sin makes the incarnation incomprehensible.
In Deuteronomy 34 the greatest OT prophet dies. There would not be another prophet like Moses until the Lord Jesus Christ. Moses, however, in his death, as great as he was, shows that he was unable to bring the people of God into the promised land because of his sin. The prophet like Moses, but who far surpasses him, is able to bring all of God’s people into the land.
What are the last words of the greatest OT prophet? In Deuteronomy 33:1-29, Moses ends his recorded words before dying by pronouncing a blessing on his people. Because God is great, his people must be blessed. There is no one like God, and therefore there is no people blessed like the people of God. Do you recognize the blessings you have in Christ?
In Matthew 9:14-17 Christ shows that the entire Christian life must center on him. John’s disciples wondered why Christ’s disciples did not fast like they and the Pharisees did. Rather than conforming to the traditions of the Pharisees, Christ shows that all fasting must conform to the reality of his coming. This affects every area of life. Christ has not come to be the patch on the old garment of your living. Rather, he has come to be the entirely…
In Deuteronomy 32 Moses teaches the people the Song of Moses, meant to be a witness against the people when they sin. God is always good. All of heaven and earth testifies to this. There is never any excuse for sin. Even as we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.
In Matthew 9:9-13 Christ calls Matthew who, seeing that his sins can be forgiven by following Christ, immediately leaves his life of tax collecting to follow Jesus. The Pharisees, believing themselves to be righteous, have not concept of the forgiveness of sins. Christ shows that he has come for people like Matthew, who recognize their sins, rather than for people like the Pharisees who believed themselves to be righteous.