Sunday, December 12

For the Third Sunday of Advent

This is another of the really old carols (this one 14th century) translated into English for us by John Neale.
Good Christian Men Rejoice
Good Christian men, rejoice
With heart and soul, and voice;
Give ye heed to what we say:
News! News! Jesus Christ is born today;
Ox and ass before Him bow;
And He is in the manger now.
Christ is born today!
Christ is born today!

Good Christian men, rejoice,
With heart and soul and voice;
Now ye hear of endless bliss:
Joy! Joy! Jesus Christ was born for this!
He has opened the heavenly door,
And man is blest forevermore.
Christ was born for this!
Christ was born for this!

Good Christian men, rejoice,
With heart and soul and voice;
Now ye need not fear the grave:
Peace! Peace! Jesus Christ was born to save!
Calls you one and calls you all,
To gain His everlasting hall.
Christ was born to save!
Christ was born to save!
---Heinrich Suso
Listen (I wanted something "old" sounding, so it's a harpsichord version.)

Today's featured sermon was preached by John Piper on December 15, 1985, and is titled Why We Need a Savior. The text for this sermon is Ephesians 2:1-3:
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins--in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience--among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. (ESV)
Piper says there are three reasons why we needed a Savior laid out for us in these three verses.
We need a Savior according to verse 1 because we are dead in sin. We need a Savior according to verse 2 because we are captive to an alien power. And we need a Savior according to verse 3 because we are children of wrath.

If it helps your memory, we could say there are three "S's": we were sick unto death with sin; we were sabotaged by Satan; and we were sentenced to hell. Therefore we were in desperate need of a great Savior.
He goes on to explain exactly what each of these things mean for us, and how Christ is the one who deliver us from all these things.
Turn to him and be saved--from the sickness of sin, the captivity of Satan and the sentence of hell. He alone is the way the truth and the life. There is no other name given among men by which you can be saved.
Read the whole sermon here.
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