Episode 2
|
6 December 2022

Advent | Love

Love has arrived! Through Jesus, sin was defeated so you can be a child of God.

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hey we are um we're in the Advent season
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I don't know if maybe you don't have a
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whole lot of experience with with what
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Advent is
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uh maybe maybe for you your your extent
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of Engagement with Advent is you have an
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advent calendar at home if you have an
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advent calendar it's a calendar that
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that's starting like the first of
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December you get to open up a little
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door and pull out candy every day
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clearly invented by a child uh our kids
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have one and they love it every single
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morning the first thing my youngest does
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she runs downstairs you hear the pitter
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patter of her feet across the hardwood
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floor and she goes straight to that
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calendar so she can start her day off
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with candy
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such a great parenting strategy
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maybe maybe for you when you were maybe
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you grew up in a traditional setting
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Church setting every single week during
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Advent there was a thing called an
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Advent wreath on the stage in an Advent
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wreath basically was a a wreath with
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four candles in it and it had a white
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candle in the middle the white candle in
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the middle was the Christ Candle and the
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candles around the outside all
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represented a different topic like hope
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love joy peace and they were like pink
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or purple or some combination of those
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and and they would light one and there
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was a reading involved if you grew up in
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a traditional Church setting maybe you
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were familiar with those things
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an advent quite literally means a rival
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it is a season in which we not just
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prepare for the celebration of Jesus's
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birth his arrival but but we also
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prepare ourselves for his return When
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when Jesus comes again his second coming
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if you will it's a season of preparation
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as we get ready to to experience all
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that Jesus arrival has for us so so
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we're kind of leaning into Advent this
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year last week we talked about hope
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this week we talked about what that
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second candle would be which is love and
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then we'll talk about joy and we'll talk
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about peace and and then we'll talk
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about Christ on on Christmas Eve
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but we're also doing this in a little
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bit of a different way we're leaning
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into some of those traditional Christmas
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carols you know those those songs we
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were kind of all familiar with
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um and we're actually looking at what
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those songs teach us about these things
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so today we're going to talk about the
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Advent of love the arrival of Love
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specifically through the personhood of
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Jesus
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if you have your Bibles go ahead and
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flip with me to First John chapter three
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uh first John chapter 3 is what we're
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going to begin to to dig into to see
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what does it mean for us to to receive
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this love not just any kind of love but
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God's kind of love for us
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anytime we talk about love it's
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important for us to kind of really begin
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to hash out what we mean when we talk
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about love
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here's what I love I love my wife
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I absolutely adore my wife I I also love
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my kids I mean I I just I would give up
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my life for my kids I love them so much
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I also love uh when I'm spending time
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with my kids and like you're dipping up
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their ice cream
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and you know when you have the carton
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out of the freezer for a few minutes and
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the edges get melty and you take your
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spoon you scrape that off and you eat
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that like that is the best I love that
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and that's the best part of ice cream
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now if I said that I love the melty
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edges of ice cream the way I love my
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wife or my kids
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I'd be having a really awkward
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conversation tonight at home
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but you you
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when I say that it's not the same thing
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right like I'm like when I say I love my
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wife I love my wife differently than the
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melty edges of ice cream yet we use the
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same word
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this is where I think the Greek language
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has an advantage over the English
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language is they had multiple words for
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love
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in fact in scripture the Apostle John
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wouldn't have said that he loved the the
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melty edges of ice cream the same word
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that he would have used for his wife
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because it just it doesn't mean the same
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thing so they had different words
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different word for love of your life and
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different word for love of the melty
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edges of ice cream we also have a
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specific word for
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um
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for the love of God
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and maybe you've heard this word before
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but it's Agape which means a sacrificial
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love
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this is the kind of love that that gives
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of oneself right this is this is
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actually a verb
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understand this isn't some sort of just
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feeling or or perception this is a verb
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to Agape Love is to actually show love
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to someone else Jesus actually talks
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about this
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this is when he was asked about what the
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greatest commandment was and this is how
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he replied it says love the Lord your
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God with all your heart and with all
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your soul and with all your mind this is
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the first and greatest commandment and
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the second is like it love your neighbor
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as yourself both of these cases of love
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Jesus uses the word agape
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this is the sacrificial kind of verb
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love that we get from God but it's also
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the love that we're supposed to show
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back to God and it's the love that we're
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supposed to show to one another
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to all people
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so I want you to think of it this way
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like the love that we have for God and
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the love that we have for others is
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supposed to be a sacrificial
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kind of verb type love like we actually
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show that love think of it this way the
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the most authentic type of love you can
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have
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is the love you have for the people you
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don't get along with
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let's just call them enemies for lack of
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a better phrase
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how you love your enemies is the
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greatest most authentic form of love you
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can have and the reason for that is it's
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sacrificial
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because sacrificial Agape Kind of Love
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is a kind of love that says I'm going to
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love you with no expectation of anything
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in return
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I'm going to show you love and not
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expect you to do anything back like like
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if I love you only because I think I'm
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gonna get something that's a business
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transaction
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but if I love you with no expectation of
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something coming back that's the
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sacrificial Agape kind of love that we
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hear about God having for us that we're
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supposed to have for a God and the worst
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was to have for others
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this sacrificial kind of love
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for your enemy is exactly what God did
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for us
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now I I know you you hear that and
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you're probably like well I'm not I'm
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not an enemy of God
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like I would I would never categorize
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myself as an enemy of God but this this
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is exactly what sin does in our lives
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sin puts us at odds with God it actually
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makes us an enemy of God we are
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transgressors of of God in fact this is
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why the book of Romans
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chapter 5 is such a beautiful statement
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it says but God demonstrates his own
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love for us in this while we were still
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sinners Christ died for us
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while you were actively transgressing
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against God
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while you were actively disobedient
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while you were actively living contrary
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to how how God desires for you to live
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Christ died
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for you
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he gave up his life for you
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when you were still a sinner Christ died
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for you this is a sacrificial kind of
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love this is how he demonstrates his
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love for you and for me like this is
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what we celebrate on Christmas right
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we celebrate the fact that in my
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Brokenness and my sinfulness in my in my
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disregard for the will of God in my life
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like Jesus still died for us
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and we celebrate that coming on
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Christmas right and here's the picture
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we have we have a nice peaceful calm
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major scene like
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we just set up our Nativity and stuff in
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the house and you've always got baby
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Jesus in a
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on straw and a manger and Mary knelt
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down beside him and and Joseph is there
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and everything's peace and calm and
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quiet and you've got Shepherds and
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there's goats and maybe a donkey or two
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and maybe even a camel and if you're
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like don't understand time the wise men
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are there even though they won't be
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there for three years but they're there
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anyway if you're like our household the
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Velociraptor is there and the
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Tyrannosaurus Rex is there because
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that's what our nativity set was like
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for a long time
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and it's okay but it's just it's this
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big peaceful scene right hey we get this
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in our music and our songs too I mean
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think about the most sung song the most
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sung song uh at Christmas Eve will be
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silent night
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churches all across the world will sing
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Silent Night and it's almost like a
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non-negotiable negotiable in the
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Christian world like you sing Silent
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Night because this is the idea that we
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have about Christmas this is this real
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peaceful silent calm Serene scene going
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on but what if there's a different story
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what if what if the Advent of God's love
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is actually something much different
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look what we read in first John
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the one who does what is sinful
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is of the devil I want to pause here for
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a moment because I know I said earlier
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like we become enemies of God and we're
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like well I'm not an enemy of God well
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well John tells us that anyone who does
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what is sinful is of the devil
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like if we're in the camp with the devil
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then then we are clearly enemies of God
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because of our sinfulness because the
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devil's been sinning from the beginning
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the reason the Son of God appeared was
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to destroy the devil's work
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today about what Christmas is about the
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arrival the Advent of love the Advent of
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Jesus the coming of Christ
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was to destroy the work of the devil
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again we all have this this real calm
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peaceful scene of a of a baby lying in a
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Manger but that baby that child that was
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born unto you came to destroy the works
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of the devil he came for battle
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he came to win a war
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like that child that that lies in a
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Manger came to overcome sin and the
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grave in your life
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and this is this is the love and how
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it's demonstrated this is this is what
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takes place
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like Jesus shows up to destroy the works
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of the devil
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I know this isn't how we often think
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about it
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it's not what we typically picture when
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we think about Christmas but this is the
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reason that he came you ever hear of
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Halo missions
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high altitude low opening that's it's a
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military term they they jump from an
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airplane that's way up there and the
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reason it's way up there is because they
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don't want the enemies to be able to
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hear the airplane
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and then they jump and they free fall
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for as long as possible before they open
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their shoots because you don't want to
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be a Target in the sky very long
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and the reason they do it isn't to like
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to bring the first pitch to the Ball
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Game or or like join a kid's birthday
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party they're they're coming to
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infiltrate
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they're coming for battle
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they're coming to to conquer an enemy
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and in a way like what Jesus did for us
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was that Jesus came from up high and and
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descended to to conquer an enemy
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Halo missions are meant to be quiet and
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and kind of sneak in and in a way in
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this this manger seeing this quiet
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peaceful scene that we have with what's
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actually happened is sneaking into the
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world is is
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savior who's ready to go to battle for
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you
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who's ready to fight for you
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is ready to overcome a war for you
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all because of the Advent of God's love
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check the lyrics of this song
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O Come Thou Rod of Jesse free
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thine own from Satan's tyranny
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from depths of Hell thy people save
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and give them Victory or the great
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there's two things I notice here number
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one
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Satan is present in Christmas
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number two
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like who talks like this this is really
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confusing stuff
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so what we're going to do is we're going
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to kind of actually dig into this a
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little bit and begin to understand like
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like what is what is the songwriter
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telling us in this song now one of the
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things we have to understand is that
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songwriters of this day were actually
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some of the most popular theologians of
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their time
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and the reason they were is because
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people were illiterate
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people didn't read they didn't know how
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to read
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so truth and messages were communicated
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orally
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like you share the stories with one
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another so so people would write these
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songs that that had some deep
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theological truths to them to
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communicate to people the truths that
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they needed to know and why did they use
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songs because songs are memorable
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how many of you have tried to say the
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ABCs without doing it to the tune of the
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ABCs it's really hard
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how many of you know uh how to say every
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state in alphabetical order
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if you do you sing it it's Alabama
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Alaska Arizona Arkansas California
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Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida
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Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois you must
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remember this I gotta learned this in
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school a long time ago and I still
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remember it and I even taught my kids
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this my my daughter said that she got on
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YouTube to memorize it because she felt
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she felt ripped off in school that she
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was never taught this song
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how many of you remember the McDonald's
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menu song
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remember this Big Mac DLT a quarter
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pounder with some cheese flavor you're
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right
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thank you thank you that's all I got
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like we know this song right and they
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use the song to to help us memorize we
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used to get these little records
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remember these were like really floppy
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records you could get at McDonald's I
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thought it was a Happy Meal or what and
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you went home and you played it you
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remember this this promotion you played
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it and if the people on the record sang
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the entire song all the way through
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without messing up you won some prize I
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don't know what it was I just remember
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these records
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and still to this day I could I don't go
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to McDonald's people I want you to know
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this I don't go to McDonald's
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I know the song
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like this memorable stuff
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so so theologians have their day would
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would communicate truths in song because
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it was memorable people will remember it
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they'll retain it they'll they'll sing
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it for Generations we still sing this
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today and what we're actually seeing is
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some really deep theological truths
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about who Jesus is and what Christmas is
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all about
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so what we want to do is just kind of
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let's dig into this let's think
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theologically about the music the songs
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that we sing
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so here's this line Oh Come O Come
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Emmanuel and Ransom captive Israel this
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is an easy one right Emmanuel means god
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with us
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so it's a plea for God to come
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it's a plea for the Savior to arrive why
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and Ransom us from captive Israel like
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help us set us free redeem us
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from our captivity
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like this is kind of the the whole Crux
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of the song It's a plea for God to come
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and to save us from what Captain holds
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us captive
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there's this line O Come Thou Rod of
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Jesse free thine own from Satan's
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tyranny now we read this and we're like
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what in the world
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is this
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is what's this Rod of Jesse all about
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now you could probably guess it's Jesus
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and how do we know that
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it's a Christmas song so it's probably
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about Jesus
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but why do we call Jesus the rod of
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Jesse like what is what is what is this
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all about
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first of all we understand that we
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actually have to go back to the Book of
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Genesis
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in the Book of Genesis if you remember
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Adam and Eve first man first woman they
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they fall they enter into sin shame
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enters into the world and God kind of
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kind of has a meeting with Adam and Eve
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and the serpent says okay guys here's
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the consequences of sin here's here's
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what's here's what's going to happen and
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this is when he's talking to the serpent
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he says now we'll put enmity between you
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and the woman
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and between your Offspring and hers
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he will crush your head
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and you will strike his heel now I think
15:46
understand what we're talking about here
15:49
who
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The Offspring
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the woman's offspring
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will crush the head of the serpent
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well it's being communicated here very
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early on this is in Genesis chapter 3
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friends in Genesis 3 God is saying hey
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guess what you may have won the battle
16:06
but I'm going to win the war
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at some point there will be an offspring
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of the woman and he will crush your head
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like I will win this war
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already in Genesis 3 we see a sign that
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God has said no I will have victory in
16:24
the end
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and this continues to play out it isn't
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just stop right here it continues on as
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we we look into Abraham's life
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Abraham gets the promise from God that
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that through his descendants is going to
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be this savior that will come this
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descendant of the woman
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we get into second Samuel we realize
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that that Noah actually the Savior not
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only will come through the descendants
16:49
of Abraham but actually comes to the
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lion of David so we're getting even more
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specific
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and then David as his son Solomon and
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you know they make some bad decisions
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they don't they don't follow God as well
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as they should and and send it into
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their lives and and eventually like they
17:06
get thrown into captivity
17:08
and the people of God are asking
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themselves a question like is the
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promise of God still there
17:15
do we still have this this promise of
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God that there's going to be a savior
17:19
coming so they're beginning to wonder
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and ask this question enter the prophet
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Isaiah
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and Isaiah says a shoot will come up
17:26
from the stump of Jesse
17:28
from his roots a branch will bear fruit
17:30
the spirit of the Lord will rest on him
17:33
now who is Jesse Jesse is David's dad
17:38
so so what Isaiah is pointing to is is
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you have this family tree if you will
17:43
that seems dead
17:45
because David made some mistakes Solomon
17:48
made some mistakes and the people of God
17:50
just turned out to not be great people
17:51
of God and things don't look good
17:55
so out of the stump of Jesse so this
17:58
this family tree that seems to be dead
18:01
will come a shoot
18:03
from his roots a branch will bear fruit
18:05
in the spirit of the Lord will rest on
18:08
him we go on a few verses later
18:11
in that day the root of Jesse will stand
18:13
as a banner for the peoples
18:15
the Nations will rally to him in his
18:18
resting place will be glorious notice
18:20
Nations is plural
18:22
it's really important I think Paul picks
18:24
up on this later on in Romans 15. he
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says and again Isaiah says so he's
18:28
pointing back to the prophet the root of
18:30
Jesse will spring up one who will arise
18:33
to rule over the what the nations in him
18:38
the Gentiles will hope so we begin to
18:40
see a picture that this coming Messiah
18:43
isn't just for the Jewish people it's
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not just for the people of God this is
18:47
for all people it's for all nations and
18:49
all gentiles
18:51
we begin to see this picture that the
18:53
rod of Jesse the one that comes out this
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is this is the one that the Bible talked
18:58
about in Genesis 3. it's The Offspring
19:00
of the woman
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it's the descendant of Abraham
19:05
it's the one from the Lion of David who
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would come and
19:09
and would set the people free
19:12
why because Humanity needs a rescuer
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you and I
19:19
we need a rescuer
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because we are entrapped by our sins
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we're entrapped in the snares of
19:28
Temptation call it spiritual tyranny
19:30
call it whatever you want but at the end
19:32
of the day you and I are just like the
19:34
people of Israel after David and Solomon
19:37
made all their mistakes you wonder you
19:39
just wonder if you'll ever be redeemed
19:43
and the only thing that's going to work
19:45
the only thing that's going to make it
19:46
happen is if if you have a king over all
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Kings
19:50
that comes and makes it happen
19:52
this is what the song is telling us the
19:54
song is telling us that it's the the rod
19:56
of Jesse
19:58
the rod of Jesse is going to free us
20:00
from Satan's tyranny that's going to
20:02
break us free the rod of Jesse the one
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from the Lion of David the one from the
20:07
descendants of Abraham the one who is a
20:09
descendant of the first woman is going
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to crush the Serpent's head and set us
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free
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this is what we've been longing for
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it's what the people of God have been
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waiting for us to be to be set free
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and this is why in the lyrics of the
20:28
song we also have this idea that we are
20:30
to rejoice
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Rejoice Rejoice Emmanuel God With Us and
20:36
Ransom captive Israel
20:39
like this is what we celebrate we
20:40
celebrate the arrival of Jesus God with
20:43
us because he sets us free from
20:45
captivity the sins in our lives the
20:48
things that hold us down the things that
20:50
tempt you every single day of your life
20:53
the things that make you wonder
20:56
if you're ever worthy of the love of
20:58
Jesus
21:00
Jesus our King Our Savior the rod of
21:03
Jesse is come
21:04
to overcome the penalty of sin in your
21:07
life
21:10
why
21:15
the reason the Son of God appeared was
21:17
to destroy the devil's work
21:20
in your life
21:24
the reason the Son of God came was to
21:26
destroy the work of the devil in your
21:29
life
21:31
the Temptation he has on you
21:34
the sin he convinces you to lean into
21:38
he came to destroy that work
21:42
the other day I saw this
21:44
online people talk about this picture of
21:47
uh Jesus and Satan presumably uh arm
21:50
wrestling first thing I noticed is he's
21:54
yoked man
21:55
got some guns
21:59
but as I looked at this picture I
22:01
thought this is
22:02
this is such a theologically inaccurate
22:05
picture
22:07
because here's what here's what you have
22:09
to know
22:10
Jesus and Satan are not some sort of
22:12
cosmic arm wrestling match
22:15
they are not equals
22:17
Satan is not at the same level as Jesus
22:19
why because the war is over
22:23
it is done
22:25
this doesn't happen Jesus doesn't take a
22:29
scene at Satan and give him that that
22:30
audience
22:32
Jesus is claimed Victory is there evil
22:35
in the world absolutely
22:37
evil things happen in this world
22:40
and one day
22:42
Jesus will return and when he does every
22:45
tear will be wiped away the Bible tells
22:47
us
22:48
and all the evil will be wiped from the
22:50
face of this Earth
22:52
but now right now as we await as we sit
22:56
between his his first coming and his
22:58
birth and his his second coming we we
23:01
find ourselves living in this space
23:03
where the victory of the war has been
23:06
won in your heart
23:09
it's been one within you
23:12
is there evil in the world absolutely
23:14
there is
23:15
does it have to control you not anymore
23:20
because he won
23:23
he won the war
23:26
he won the battle
23:28
you have been set free
23:30
we Rejoice because the Savior has come
23:33
he's come to redeem you and to set you
23:35
free
23:37
you are no longer captive to sin
23:40
you are no longer controlled by it you
23:43
know no longer live under the authority
23:45
of the devil in your life you are set
23:47
free you are redeemed you are restored
23:51
right now
23:54
in the next verse John says no one who
23:57
is born of God will continue to sin
23:59
because God's seed remains in them they
24:01
cannot go on sinning because they have
24:03
been born of God we begin to see this
24:05
transition takes place
24:07
that when we place our hope and our
24:09
faith in Jesus we become children of the
24:11
Living God
24:12
we become born of God and what does that
24:15
mean it means we become more like him
24:19
I find myself apologizing to my wife
24:22
almost on a daily basis
24:24
because anytime any sort of negative
24:28
character trait comes out of my kids I
24:30
realize it's because of me
24:32
like the stubbornness
24:34
the inability to listen to an answer to
24:37
a question that I literally just asked
24:39
my wife like it all comes for me so I
24:42
find like when they do those things I
24:43
look I was like oh babe I'm really sorry
24:45
that's that's like that's me that's my
24:46
personality coming out and then why
24:48
because our kids look like us
24:51
not just physically but they actually
24:53
begin to to act like us they they do
24:56
things like us
24:58
like when we become a child of God we
25:00
begin to look more like him
25:04
by the power of the Holy Spirit we begin
25:06
to look more like Jesus which means what
25:08
means we are not slaves to sin anymore
25:13
we're enslaved only to him
25:16
go back to the very beginning of this
25:18
chapter he says see what great love
25:22
the father is lavished on us that we
25:24
should be called children of God and
25:26
that is what we are the reason the world
25:28
does not know us is that it did not know
25:31
him see what great love the father has
25:34
lavished
25:36
you want to understand what the Advent
25:37
of love is all about
25:40
it's all about the fact that when you
25:42
were broken and lost in your sin
25:44
when you were an enemy of God
25:48
he died for you
25:51
so that he could win the war for you
25:56
friends that's that's love
25:59
that's the kind of love you're only
26:01
going to get from God
26:04
it's the kind of love that
26:07
was the kind of love I don't want you to
26:08
pass up
26:11
like this Advent as we as we March our
26:13
way toward Christmas like like let's not
26:15
forget about
26:17
the magnitude of God's love for you
26:21
that while you were still a sinner
26:24
as the Bible says condemned to death
26:26
because of your sin
26:27
Jesus came
26:31
and he ransomed to you from captivity
26:35
he gave up his life
26:37
so that you wouldn't have to lose yours
26:39
it says dear friends
26:42
now we are children of God
26:45
and what we will be has not yet been
26:46
made known but we know that when Christ
26:49
appears we shall be like him for we
26:51
shall see him as he is all who have this
26:55
hope in him purify themselves just as he
26:59
is
27:01
pure
27:03
friends we put our hope and our faith in
27:05
Jesus
27:06
not only do we receive this love this
27:08
this sacrificial love in our life but we
27:10
become more like him and we purify
27:13
ourselves just as he is pure
27:19
here's the thing about God's love the
27:21
Advent of his love isn't just something
27:22
we receive it's not just somebody saying
27:24
I love you it's like oh that's great
27:25
awesome thanks
27:28
this love is a sacrificial action in
27:30
your life
27:32
like he's given up his life he's won the
27:34
war for you
27:36
it's the kind of love that changes you
27:39
it transforms you it
27:41
just makes you it makes you a different
27:43
person because you become more like him
27:45
because you've received
27:47
his love she pray with me
27:51
Lord God we are so very thankful for uh
27:55
for the love that you that you show us
28:01
God it's so easy for us to just kind of
28:03
go through life and forget about the
28:05
magnitude of it all about how how big of
28:07
a deal this really was
28:10
because God we didn't
28:12
we didn't deserve any of it
28:17
but you still came
28:20
foreign
28:27
Lord I pray right now for any of
28:30
for anyone who has not received and
28:32
experienced that love Lord
28:34
they feel it today
28:38
just by the power of your Holy Spirit
28:39
can they just feel
28:42
enveloped by your love
28:47
to understand the power
28:51
and the sacrifice
28:55
and Lord to receive the freedom
28:59
freedom from
29:02
from the sins of so often grab us
29:06
that you have set us free from
29:10
because you've won our war
29:14
it's in Christ's name we pray
29:16
amen

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