OFFICIAL SERMON NOTES:
Teaching Series: Compelled by Greatness
Part 2: The Greatest Gift
• “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” (NIV)
• “The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us.” (NIV)
• “The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighbourhood.” (Message)
WHY IS JESUS CHRIST THE GREATEST GIFT?
1. In Jesus, God Entered History in a Totally New and Personal Way
a. In John 1:1, there is a new name introduced for God. He is called the Word. Then in John 1:14, the Word is identified as Jesus Christ who came to earth in the flesh. God had revealed Himself all down through history. There were great revelations of God through prophets like Elijah and Isaiah who preached the word of God but they weren’t called the
Word; there were great miracles like the dividing of the Red Sea; there were angels like the one who shut the mouths of the lions in the story of Daniel in the lions’ den.
b. Now God reveals Himself in a totally new and revolutionary way as a human being who could be seen, touched and heard so we can never question whether or not God exists. Further, in Christianity, Christ is described as the unique Word from God. When God is revealed as the Word through Christ, there is much more fullness and precision in our knowledge of Him than a revelation through dreams, visions or angels. In a subject as important as how to come into relationship with God, we humans need clarity and precision.
c. God in the flesh spoke the divine Word to us with a certainty like no one else had ever done. Everyone, not just the prophets or the priests, can now hear God speak.
d. The Word in the flesh brings the GIFT OF CERTAINTY.
2. In Jesus, God Made it Unmistakably Clear That He Is On Our Side
a. When you think of the greatness and majesty of God and compare this to our limited abilities and our tendency to give in to weaknesses, it is easy to be intimidated by the idea of God.
b. In order to pull down this misconception of God’s lack of concern, Christ entered history as a baby - helpless and totally dependent on two ordinary, young people, Mary and Joseph.
Philip Yancey - “What could be less scary than a newborn baby with jerky limbs and eyes that do not quite focus?” Christ came as a baby who all of us can relate to and are attracted to because we started our journey on this earth exactly the same way.
c. John 1:14 - “The Word became flesh/moved into the neighborhood”. God in Christ knows what it feels like to be lonely, to be disappointed by people, to have some of your human dreams not fulfilled, to be tired.
d. Three of the most amazing words in the Bible are “God with us”. These words are the meaning of the term, Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 - “The virgin will be with child and give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel”. Yancey translates Immanuel as “God with skin on.”
3. In Jesus, God Did Everything Possible to Make Our Lives Whole/Complete
a. John 10:10 - Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
b. When we follow Jesus, He says to us, “Whole be thou.”
c. Peterson - “We see all of God’s creation and salvation completed in Jesus and all parts of our lives - work, family, friends, memories, dreams - also completed in Jesus.”
d. In Romans 8:32, Paul says, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all -how will he not also, long with him, graciously give us all things?”
Oswald Hoffman says, ”Having given us the Christmas present, do you think that God will now deny us the ribbon?”
You could accurately say that at Christmas, God emptied His pockets. He gave His all. In 2 Corinthians 9:15, Paul says, “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.”
At Heartland Church our vision is to be people passionately connected to God, one another, our community and the world.
OUR MISSION STATEMENT
At Heartland Church, our mission is to be a vibrant, diverse Christ-centered family committed to serving people in the Greater Toronto Area with excellence, responding to their needs, introducing them to a personal and maturing relationship with Jesus Christ, and ultimately mobilizing them to bear spiritual fruit at home and throughout the world.
9-145 Traders Blvd.
Canada, L4Z 3L3
Heartland Church has 2 Sunday services, one at 9:15 and one at 11:00.