by Joe Alain

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The Gift of Peace (1 of 4)
Series: The Gifts of Christmas
Joe Alain
Romans 5:1

The first message in a series of four Advent sermons (''The Gifts of Christmas'') based on the blessings of salvation that the believer receives as described in Romans 5:1-5.

Series Idea: A symbol representing each ''Gift of Christmas'' could be unwrapped during the introduction to the sermon. Chrismons make great objects to use as symbols to unwrap as presents. I used the following Chrismons (that we already had available on our Christmas tree) gift wrapped for the series. A dove (peace), a key (access), angel blowing a trumpet (joy), and a cross (love). To create interaction, you could have a child in the congregation open the gift for you as a part of your introduction.

Scripture Reading: Romans 5:1-5
Theme Introduction: Exchanging gifts has become a major part of our Christmas celebrations. We like to receive gifts and we enjoy surprising people with the gifts that we have purchased for them. Christians have been given some incredible gifts by God, the most wonderful gift of all being the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ whom we celebrate this Advent and Christmas season. This salvation is described in our text as being ''justified through faith'' (Rom. 5:1).

To be ''justified'' is to be declared and made righteous and holy by God, it is to be placed in the position of, ''just as if I had never sinned.'' The slate, my slate has been cleaned. This real state of righteousness God has accomplished for us through the sacrificial giving of His Son Jesus Christ. And this justification is a gift received by faith as Paul tells us not only in this text but throughout the book of Romans. For example, in the first chapter Paul says, ''For in the Gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: 'The righteous will live by faith''' (Rom. 1:17).

This state of salvation brings with it many blessings, wh ...

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