Topics: God, love, judgment, salvation
I. A fitting place for a new identity
* God changes names to reveal new characters and calling!
- Jacob changed his son's name to Benjamin (son of my right hand). See Genesis 35:18.
- Naomi changed her name to Mara (meaning bitter). See Ruth 1:20 and 4:17.
- David was born the youngest of 8 sons and yet was anointed as the king of Israel. See 1 Samuel 16:1 and 16:13.
- God desires to give us a new identity and a new name. See 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Revelation 2:17.
II. A fitting place for the lamb of God
* God uses ordinary things for extraordinary purposes!
- "But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity" (Micah 5:2; See Matthew 2:4-6).
- Therefore He will give them up until the time when she who is in labor has borne a child. Then the remainder of His brethren will return to the sons of Israel. And He will arise and shepherd His flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord His God. And they will remain, because at that time He will be great to the ends of the earth. This One will be our peace (Micah 5:3-5a).
- God has chosen to use the humble things of this world for His glory (1 Cor. 1:26-29).
III. A fitting place for Christ is your heart
* God longs to indwell and rule as Lord in our hearts!
- If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation . . . for "Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Romans 10:9, 10, 13).
- Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ . . . because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Romans 5:1, 5b).
- See 1 Peter 3:15.
Advent Sermon by Pastor Rod Akins December 19th, 2021