O Holy Night by James Merritt

O Holy Night
James Merritt
Philippians 2:5-11


1. All of us know the beautiful Christmas hymn "O Holy Night." this carol was written by Adolph Charles Adam, a French composer. Ironically, it was frowned upon by church authorities who denounced it for poor taste and "total absence of the spirit of religion."

2. In that first stanza the writer invites us to close our eyes and imagine the world before the birth of Jesus. He says it is a world that lay "in sin and error pining." the word pining refers to the wasting away of the human spirit as it grieves and endures pain. In other words, he paints a picture of a world of darkness without light, and a world of despair without hope. But then come the next three words "till he appeared." when he appeared everything changed.

3. The president of one of our great theological seminaries was at a meeting with the chairman of an accreditation committee, who asked him to state the purpose of his institution. Without a moment's hesitation, the seminary president said, "the purpose of this institution is to change the world."

4. Well, taken aback by that response, the committee members said, "you don't understand. I know that influencing the world is the general purpose of all education. But I'm asking you specifically, "what is the purpose of this school?" that seminary president reiterated, "the purpose of our school is to change the world."

5. That is exactly why Jesus came; to change the world. At no time of the year are we more reminded of just how much he has changed it than Christmas. Paul, unlike the gospel writers, never tells us of the story of Christmas. But here in this tremendous passage he tells us of the glory of Christmas. He tells us why the night on which Jesus was born was such a Holy Night.

I. Christmas is the celebration of a son

1. Did you know that there is no recorded birth in scripture after the birth of the lord Jesus? Did you know that the last genealogy or family tree listed in the new testament is that of the lord Jesus? Because the entire bible, from genesis to malachi, pointed to the birth and the name of Jesus Christ.

2. Paul doesn't give us any details about his birth. He leaves that to Matthew and Luke. Matthew and Luke looked at the birth of Jesus historically. Paul looks at it theologically. In Matthew and Luke you see the historical event, but Paul gives the theological truth.

3. Beginning in verse 6 Paul takes us back behind the curtains of eternity and shows us what took place even before Jesus was born. ". . .who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God." the Greek word for equal is the word isos. An isosceles triangle is a triangle with two equal sides, and the word means "equal in size, quality, character, and number."

4. In every way Jesus Christ was and is God. Even though he did not cling to his equality with God, he claimed it, and those who heard him knew that he claimed i ...

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