T h e K i n g ’ s
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because it told of God’s salvation for man; and .it was to be accepted, because it was for all people. The second point told of the offices that this One who was born should hold'. He was the “ Saviour who is Christ the Lord.” The fact that He is the Saviour spoke of God’s grace. It was not the fitness o f the ones spoken to, but the fitness of the One spoken of, that made salvation pos sible. The fact that He is Christ spoke o f strength and power. The power for salvation was not to be found in man, but in the One who had come as the Sav iour. Finally, the fact that He is the Lord spoke of the authority behind the message. Men cannot decide for themselves whe ther or not they will accept this proffered salvation, and rejecting it, be without blame, for since Christ is the Lord, He commands all men everywhere to receive the offer and be saved. The third point told of the sign they were given—the Babe in the manger. It was a strange place for a king to be born, but the prophets had declared that He would come as a lowly One eyen though He was a King. The personal note o f this message should not be overlooked. It was “unto you” —a personal message, concerning a personal Saviour, for personal acceptance. We accept or reject Him for ourselves, and not for another. Another’s acceptance can never be made mine. Every man must either reject or accept the Saviour. VI. T h e M usic (13, 14). ( The music rendered was what W e call the “Gloria in Excelsus,” which has been used all down the years in the stately services of the church. Here, the first time, it was sung by a heavenly choir accompanied by heavenly music, among the heavenly com pany. Music has its proper place in the services which set forth the person and work o f our Lord Jesus Christ, and car ries with it an appeal which no spoken word o f man, however eloquent, can pro duce. VII. T h e E f f e c t s (15-20). 1. There was the decision o f faith. This decision on the part of the shep herds was willing—“let us” ; it was prompt —j now go” ; and it was believing—“even to Bethlehem.” 2. There was the declaration o f faith. . They said, “Let us now go and see what J-f come to pass” that the Lord had made known. They did not go to test the truth of the message, but because they believed the message. 3. There was the action o f faith. They came with haste.” This was the proof of their faith revealed in obedience. Hence, they “ found as it was told them.” Here we see the two elements o f true faith: first, belief; second, action or obed ience. 4. There was the testimony by faith. They made known the things concerning the Saviour. They might have spoken of the angel, or of the music, or o f the glory. They said nothing of these things, but their testimony was about the child Jesus, the Saviour, Christ the Lord. 5. There was the joy o f faith. The people merely “wondered” at the words o f the shepherds, but the shepherds had joy because they believed the angel’s message, and in the Babe o f Bethlehem they saw the consolation of Israel, the de sire o f nations, and the Saviour of the world.
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Lesson Questions Vs. 8, 9. Why do you think the an nouncement of the Saviour’s birth was made to the shepherds rather than to the religious leaders o f that day? What was the effect o f the display of glory upon the shepherds? Is this always the case? Vs. 10-14. How many “ fear not’s” can you mention ? What significance is there in the title, “The Saviour, Christ the Lord” ? By what sign was the Saviour to be recog nized ? What was the message of the heav enly host? Vs. 15-20. What indications are there that the shepherds believed the heavenly message? How was their faith rewarded? How will the second coming o f Jesus to the world differ from His first coming (cf. Matt. 25:31)? Golden Text Illustration An old negro in the West Indies, resid ing at a considerable distance from the missionary, but exceedingly desirous of learning to read the Bible, came to him regularly for a lesson. He made but little progress, and his teacher, almost disheart ened, intimated his fears that his labors would be lost, and asked him, “ Had you not better give it over ?” “No, massa,” said he, with great energy, “me never give it over till me die,” and pointing with his finger to John 3 :16, he added, with touching emphasis, “It is worth all de labor to be able to read dat one sin gle verse.” ________ God’s Gift to Men L u k e 2:8-16 Memory Verse: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, j
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Approach: Ever since Adam and Eve sinned, there has been sin in the world, and people have gotten far away from God.
God sent many mes sengers to bring them back to Him, many teachers and preachers and prophets. There was Moses and Josiah and David and Isaiah and ever so many more. Finally God sent His best Gift— His only Son—to save the people. L e s s o n S t o r y :
You have heard before the story of what happened on the first Christmas Day; how the angels first sang out the news from the sky, and how the shepherds on the hilltop were the first to hear. No one had expected the Son of God to come to earth as a humble baby. There wasn’t even room for Him in the inn where He was born. But this is the way that God chose to send His great Gift, and “whosoever will” may believe. All down the ages, people have believed this gospel story, and in return for the great gift of eternal life which God has given to them, they have wanted to give some gift. God gave His best to us; what can we give to Him ? There are many things which we can give. We can give money for His work, we can give our time to do His work, but most o f all He wants our lives—ourselves.
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