Brenda Roberts, a preschool teacher in Stone Mountain, GA was reading the story of Jesus’ birth to her preschool class one morning. As she was reading she stopped for a moment to see if they understood. “What do we call the three wise men?” She asked. A bright 5-year-old replied
“The three maggots,” She corrected him that it was 3 Magi, and then asked “What gift did the Magi bring baby Jesus?” The same 5-year-old replied. “Gold, Frankensteins and smurfs!”
Many people are confused about Jesus’ birth.
I. The Problem
A. The Devil
1. The Bible presents the Devil, Satan, as the source and instigator of all sin and rebellion against God.
2. He opposes everything that is good, and seeks to influence people to do the same.
3. In his influence over man, he not only inspires outright rebellion, but suggests to people that they choose wrong over right, convincing them that wrong is right and right is wrong; that evil is good and good is evil; that light is dark and that dark is light.
4. The devil has sinned from the beginning
a. Satan began as one named Lucifer. His name meant “light bearer”.
b. He was created as a high ranking angel, and yet chose to rebel against God.
5. Pride was the root of his sin.
a. Isaiah 14:13, 14 ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’
b. That was the beginning of the one called Satan.
c. He sinned then, and has only sinned since then.
d. That’s all that he has ever done, and that is all that he ever does.
e. John 8:44 He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
f. His other names include: Deceiver, Destroyer, Angel of Light, Murderer, The Prince Of This World, the Dragon, the Serpent.
B. His Influence In The World
1. Satan, as the source and instigator of all sin and rebellion against God.
2. In that way, and in that sense, whoever sins is of the devil, for they have been influences by that unseen creature that is very real, and opposes God and man.
3. He inspires sin among humanity, and is the root of sin in the world.
4. He tempted Adam and Eve to sin, and they did sin, and passed on that sinful nature to all of humanity.
5. That is why we have the strong propensity to sin.
6. Sin brings terrible consequences in this life, and brings eternal separation from God.
II. The Solution
A. Jesus Was Manifested
1. John uses an interesting word here: manifested
2. He doesn’t just say that Jesus was born, for Jesus pre-existed his birth.
3. As God the Son, Jesus is eternal, and has always existed.
4. John 1:1, 14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
14And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
5. Manifested- to make manifest or visible or known what has been hidden or unknown; make actual and visible, realized; expose to view, make manifest, to show one’s self, appear.
6. Philippians 2:6-8 NLT Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. 7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, 8 he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
B. Why Jesus Came
1. Destroy the works of the devil
a. Certainly, this doesn’t mean annihilate. Satan is still at work in this world.
b. When Jesus stepped into this world, He didn’t eliminate the works of the devil.
c. Literally- to loosen, dissolve, to render inoperative, to rob of power.
d. Bible Exposition Commentary- Satan has not been annihilated, but his power has been reduced and his weapons have been impaired. He is still a mighty foe, but he is no match for the power of God.
2. Wuest- “For this purpose there was manifested the Son of God, in order that He might bring to naught the works of the devil”.
3. 1 John 3:5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.
4. Jesus loosens/destroys the work of the devil in two ways, in two realms.
a. He died on a cross to pay for your past sins. The sins that man has committed found their origin in Satan, and man willingly sinned, which brings judgment. Christ died for our past sins, to free us from God’s judgment. Judicial blessing.
b. Jesus indwells those who commit their lives to Him, and He becomes the greater influence in the life of the yielded Christian.
c. 1 John 4:4b He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
5. Satan is like that strong man who has been overpowered by a stronger One: Jesus
6. BEC- Satan is the strong man, and his “goods” are lost men and women. The only way to release the “goods” is to bind the strong man, and that is just what Jesus did on the cross. Jesus, in coming to earth, invaded Satan’s “palace.” When He died, He broke Satan’s power and captured his goods! Each time a lost sinner is won to Christ, more of Satan’s “spoils” are taken from him.
7. Jesus’ work with the Christian is to loosen, to dissolve the work of the enemy against the saint. To shed truth upon lies. To bring light into darkness. To turn confusion into clarity. To turn ruts of sin into lifestyles of holiness. To bring faith where there is fear. To bring comfort where there is pain.