This week, be convinced that Christmas really is about a gift instead of good deeds.
Craig Priestley 2013 Christmas Sermon from Treasuring Christ Church on Vimeo.
How did we Christians come to be in God’s good favor? How can you come to be in God’s favor?
We Christians came to be in God’s good favor
When we were enslaved to appeasing the gods.
Placing your trust in being nice is equal to the bondage of embracing the naughty.
Shame is a way in which we attempt to pay back God for our sin.
Because God sent the Son to buy us and God sent the Spirit to include us.
The desire to contribute your own goodness feels like empowerment, but it is a shackle which will never let you go free, let alone adopt you as a child.
You have been transferred from being an enemy of god, a worshipper of the gods of this earth (power, merit, money, and comfort), who not only did not cry out to God, but even if you did, you didn’t know him well enough to get an audience—to one who cries out in God’s own voice to him as a child of his.
You have been invited into the relationship of the Trinity, which was perfectly, completely joyful in one another. Now you are connected. You have one person of the Trinity within you, crying out to the other person. “Abba!” You are being transformed even as you are indwelt. His desires begin to change you, as they are intricately interlaced within you.
Read Scripture through the lens of a God who favors you. Who likes you. Who welcomes you into connection to the Trinity.
And captives of religion have received righteousness.
The promise of God, the inheritance of God which you have inherited, is GOD Himself with you!
Live in light of “no longer”
You are NO LONGER a slave, but a son.
You are NO LONGER a minor heir with no rights to the inheritance.
NO LONGER is your relationship to God determined by your race, your rank or your role.
NO LONGER are you shut up in the prison house of sin.
NO LONGER are you under the curse of the law (George, 309).
In the hour of death: Law, you have no power over me; therefore, you accuse and condemn me in vain. For I believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, whom the Father sent into the world to redeem us miserable sinners oppressed with the tyranny of the law. He gave His life, He shed His blood for me. Therefore, feeling your terrors and threatenings, O law, I plunge my conscience in the wounds, blood, death, resurrection and victory of my Savior, Christ. Besides Him I will see nothing, hear nothing (Luther, 241).
George, Timothy. Galatians. The New American Commentary: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture, Ed. E Ray Clendenen. Broadman & Holman Publishers.
Luther, Martin. Galatians. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1988.