Let’s Give Thanks
to Our Lord Jesus
Who Came to Save Us
< Matthew 1:18-25 >
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed
to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.Then
Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example,
was minded to put her away secretly.But while he thought about these things,
behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son
of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is
conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.And she will bring forth a Son, and you
shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.’ So
all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through
the prophet, saying:‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son,
and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’
Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded
him and took to him his wife,and did not know her till she had brought forth
her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.”
We greet Christmas. It seems like it is going
to be a silent night and a holy night this year. The city has become quiet and
still. It is hard to see Christmas lights or decorations on the street as we
face economic downturn. This must be a reflection of the bad economy these days.
This reminds us of how we should keep our faith as we have another Christmas
this year. Let’s look at the passage.
Verse 21 says, “And she will bring forth a
Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their
sins.” Our Lord was born into this world through a virgin and was called
Jesus. The name Jesus means that it is the One who will save his people from
We, who have already met Jesus, are joyful as
we greet Christmas. However, Christmas means nothing unless we understand the
meaning of this day. If we do not greet Christmas in the Lord, what would this
Christmas mean to you? If we greet the Christmas in the Lord, we can see that
the love of the Lord for you is abundant. Christmas signifies that God, the
King of kings, who made the universe sent His only Son to this world to save
His people from their sins. When we are in Him, Christmas is the most joyful
and thankful day.
This is why we designate a day as Christmas to
thank God. Of course, this cannot be the exact date that was described in the
Bible. Some people are arguing that this is the day of worship for the sun god.
However, we should not diminish the meaning of Christmas. Some people believe
that we have a wrong date as the day that Jesus was born. Regardless of when
the exact date was, we should celebrate Christmas to remember why He came to
this world. As we celebrate Christmas, we should think deeply in the Lord about
His love and the salvation we have received from Him. In Christ, we need to
celebrate the Lord’s coming and thank Him by believing that He saved us from
all our sins. For us to be able to truly celebrate Christmas, we need to understand
the true meaning of Christmas.
We are giving Sunday worship service. It’s 11:12
a.m. There was 11:12 a.m. yesterday and there will be 11:12 a.m. tomorrow. This
means that the world will go on until our Lord comes back. This world will exist
until God ends it. However, if we do not understand the true meaning of Christmas
in the Lord, what does this special worship service have anything to do with
us? December 25th, 11:12 a.m. means nothing more than another hour
that passes by in a year. As we approach the end of the year, we should re-examine
our faith in the Lord. I mean, we need to remember the love Jesus has given
us, and the salvation we have received. Everything in this world, even the life
itself, and the time that passes has no meaning without Jesus.
On the other hand, Christmas has so much meaning
when we greet it in the Lord. We were saved from all our sins because He came
to save us. If He had not come to save us, we surely would have been destined
for destruction, but Jesus was baptized and crucified because of us. He came
to this world through the Virgin Mary to save His people from their sins. Therefore,
as Christians, Christmas is a truly holy day.
Therefore, the birth of our Lord has something
to do with us when we see it in the Lord, who created and controls the entire
universe and oversees the beginning and the end. Therefore, we need to see the
work of His true love, and the water and the Spirit. This world exists because
God created the universe. God said He would destroy this world as He has done
once before. We can see that the end is near. Just as we can feel and understand
“Oh, this is the work of God!” as we watch in the Lord the cycle of seasons
of spring, summer, fall and winter, we can also feel that He is creating a new
world as He saves us from all our sins.
He showed His Creation, so that we know that this
universe is going around because the Capable One has the control over this universe.
Humans believe when they see it for themselves with their human eyes. When we
are in God, we can understand clearly how He works. However, when we watch the
four seasons in the Lord, we can see God’s providence most clearly. If we look
at our lives in God, we can also see our lives clearly. When we look at it in
the Lord, common people live 70 or 80 years of miserable life until they die.
We were destined to live in misery and die in misery. We can see that our Lord
came to this world, was baptized, crucified, and rose from the dead to save
us, who were destined for destruction because of our sins, all at once. In Christ,
we were saved from all our sins by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and
taken out of the destruction and curse. Therefore, we must look at all things
through the eyes of faith in Christ.
Some people doubt that Mary, being a virgin, could
really have a child. As a matter of fact, even some pastors doubt that Jesus
was born through the Virgin Mary. As they preach and pretend to celebrate His
incarnation, in reality, they do not believe that Jesus was miraculously conceived
and born by the Virgin Mary. Such people show their stupidity like this. When
we do not see the works of God through the eyes of faith in the Lord, we can
believe none of them. The passage tells us that Jesus was born after being conceived
by the Holy Spirit, and before He was born God said to name the baby Jesus.
All this was done to fulfill what had been said.
Over 700 years before Jesus was born, God prophesied
through the prophet Isaiah that “the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son,
and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). This was a prophecy that
God would come to this world in a human body to save humans. When we look at
it in the Lord, We can see that this is the work of God to deliver people from
their sins. This is so that we can see and believe that God created the people
and He had saved us from our sins.
This is, however, impossible to believe if we
only see it with human eyes and try to understand by human logic. As a result,
some people say that not only God enjoys His creation of humans, but also the
suffering of humans by eating from the good and evil tree. As a result, sometimes,
some people say this: God enjoys His creation of humans. And He also thinks
it is very funny to watch humans suffer from eating from the tree of the knowledge
of good and evil. But, fellow Christians, the fact that the earth and all the
other planets go around in their designated orbit, that there is the Milky Way,
that this earth has the perfect conditions for human life, that there is day
and night, and all the mysterious works and miracles of life with the precision
that modern science cannot comprehend tell us that there is God of goodness.
When the Lord came to this world, He was
conceived by the Holy Spirit, was born, and became “Immanuel” to fulfill His
covenant. In other words, He set His Providence of salvation before the creation
of the universe, and promised it to us humans and fulfilled it as it is. Just
the fact that He came through a virgin alone is a blessing to us and we thank
God for it.
When we put our trust in Jesus, we should not
have doubtful attitude. When we doubt, everything looks doubtful. That is because,
when we are blinded by our sins and we become doubtful and our faith is incomplete,
we cannot see the absolutely good works of God to the full extent. But, when
we trust God completely, our eyes are open by the Holy Spirit, and we are able
to accept Jesus to be saved from our Sins. We, who believe in the righteousness
of God, were saved from our sins by believing in Jesus Christ because, because
we actually look at His works in the righteousness of the Lord. We benefited
because we looked at it in the righteousness of the Lord. But those who do not
believe in the righteousness of God cannot greet Christmas with any meaning.
Jesus came to this world as Immanuel to be with
us. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and was born as the baby Jesus. And
He took the sin of all humans by getting baptized at the age of 30, was crucified
carrying all the sins of the world, rose again from death and became the Immanuel
God, who is to come again. And it is our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy
Spirit, was born as the baby Jesus and grew up to take on our sins by being
baptized, and saved us by the blood of the Cross, who resides and works in our
hearts now as the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit, who dwells in our hearts
of faith that believes the righteousness of God, gives us the grace of salvation,
peace, and blessings, and lets us believe the fact that Jesus has become our
Regardless, December 25th is a day
that we remember the birth of our Lord Jesus to celebrate and give thanks to
God. We thank God for being able to celebrate this day. If there were no Christmas
on December 25th, the earth would be a gloomy place. The mankind
would have to live in despair without Jesus. There would be nothing joyful.
Mankind receives a new hope by one fact that the Savior of mankind, the Savior
of the sinners, the Savior of the people heading for destruction came to this
world. Regardless how miserable it was in the past, we have hope for the future
in the Lord.
What hope would we have in this world if Jesus
had not come? What have the so-called “sages” and the “holy men” in this world
such as Socrates, Sakyamuni, and Confucius done for us? They gave us nothing
more than moral teachings. Who in this world does not want to lead a good life?
They could not give us the salvation from our sins, the Judgment, and destruction.
Jesus is the only One who has saved you and me
from all our sins: He came to this world to blot out all our sins by His baptism
and crucifixion. Only those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit,
that is the righteousness of God get saved from their sins. Those who do not
believe in the righteousness of God cannot be born again. From that point of
view, we receive the true remission of sin by believing that the Lord is the
King of all kings, and by the faith that believes He came to this world, and
was baptized and died on the cross and resurrected from death and became our
Savior. We have new life and became God’s people who can enter Heaven because
the Lord has come to this world to save us.
It is the history of mankind that leads to self-destruction
when we gnaw and swallow each other. Until now, we only have had the history
of gnawing, biting, and killing each other. The sin of killing each other was
transferred to our Lord at Jordan as the greatest man in the history of mankind
was baptizing him, and we are saved from our sin at once as He was crucified
for our sins. But Jesus came to this world, and took on all the sins of the
sinners that gnawed and killed each other by getting baptized at the Jordan
River by the greatest man in human history, and saved us from all the sins of
the world at once by giving Himself and dying on the Cross. We must believe
this truth at once. This is how the Lord gives us the hope of salvation.
We should not renounce our faith that believes
and trusts Jesus Christ out of our personal lives or the entire human history.
There could be no history of mankind without Jesus Christ. There could be no
true family value without Jesus in this world. There could be no true faith
or true salvation without Jesus. You could say, “That is what you say since
you are a preacher.” However, that is not so. I would like to give an example.
I just said that there could be no history of mankind without Jesus. Let us
examine whether this claim is true or not.
Great Britain, in the past, had conquered many
countries, and hence the phrase goes “the Sun never sets on the British Empire”
There were no days in Great Britain that the sun sets. As the sun was setting
in one country that was a British colony, the sun was rising in another British
colony. Therefore, the sun never set on the British Empire. This is how powerful
Great Britain was in the world and they conquered the world with the power.
There were many puritans in Great Britain at that time. These puritans who believed
in Jesus as their Lord and Savior escaped Great Britain and went to America.
They could not live in the country that was persecuting them for their faith.
As the puritans left Great Britain, the reputation that the sun never sets also
faded away. The prosperity and the power they had in the world died out and
the only reputation they have left today is the country of gentlemen.
The puritans who went over to America spread their
gospel, whether it was right or not, to the rest of the world. As this happens,
America rose up as the new power in the world. Do you not think it is mysterious?
The Americans spread the gospel to Korea. Now, Korea’s economy rose up, and
we are now called “the dragon in Asia.” The symbol dragon, of course, is not
a spiritually good symbol. However, to the unbelievers, a dragon is a strong
figure that they would even serve it as their god. This is why the economic
development of Korea is phrased as “dragon of Asia” or “the tiger of Asia.”
When we look at the world history, we can see
that the countries that serve Jesus and spread the gospel somehow had economic
revival. When the country drifts away from Jesus, and persecutes the believers,
their economy dies down too. The prosperity of a country almost depends on the
spread of the gospel from that country.
As we can see, Jesus is the center of the world
history. Jesus is the most blessed Lord and Savior in the history of mankind.
This world cannot be blessed without Jesus. Jesus is still alive and rules over
the universe and the lives of you and me, and gives us the peace in our hearts.
We must look up to Him, worship Him and thank Him in His abundant grace. As
we live our lives in this world, we must look at everything in the Lord, and
live with the faith in the Lord. In the Lord, I say. In this world, we need
to look at the incidents of human history and even the changes of economic status
through the lens of faith. We can see everything correctly only when we see
things through the lens of Jesus Christ. This is also the only way to be saved
from our sins.
Who is Jesus Christ to us? He is the King of kings.
We should be thankful just by the fact that the King has come to this world
to save His people. Your King has come to save you from your sins. Do you thank
Him who came in the same flesh of a lowly human as you?
Someone might say, “What is there to thank? On
a day like this, it would be nice to eat some rice cake soup, have a drink,
and hang out. If someone would invite me to a drink and pay for it, then maybe
I would thank him…what is there to thank?” This is because the person looks
at it with human eyes. Dear fellow Christians, the true joy is not in trivial
matters, but rather, in the knowledge that the Lord came as the King and saved
you from your sins that we are thankful. The King came and has saved us. And
that is what we should be grateful for. We should be thankful just by the fact
that the King of kings came to save us, and just by the fact that He saved us.
With human eyes, we may be thankful if someone gave us enough monetary material
that will pay back all of our life’s worth of debt, but in fact, what we should
really be thankful for is that the King of kings came to save us, who were destined
to go to hell. Dear fellow Christians, is this so or not? -It is exactly
We are thankful when we truly look at ourselves
in the Lord. I preach the gospel by looking at everything in the Lord, and believing
the blessings of the Lord and with thanks. Because I see everything in the Lord,
I am thankful and content even though I do not have anything. When I look at
it in the Lord, that the Lord came to save me is what makes me content. If we
do not look at it in the Lord, but look at it outside the Lord with our human
eyes, nothing makes us content. We have to look at the salvation that the Lord
has given us and be thankful in the Lord. We have to look at everything in the
Lord. We need to interact with others with our faith, examine the history with
our faith; everything should be faced with our faith. We have to see other people
in the Lord, we have to see the world history in the Lord, and we have to see
everything in the Lord. When we face the world with our faith, we have true
peace and blessings in our hearts. When we do that, there is truly life, peace,
and blessings in the Lord. This is why we are thankful.
Anytime we see in the Lord, we can be faithful
to the command “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything, give thanks.”
When we do not see it in the Lord, we cannot but “weep always, weep without
ceasing, in everything, weep.” You and I must see everything in the Lord. As
we greet this Christmas, we need to be thankful that the King of kings came
to save you and saved you, and that He saved me, and that He wiped out all the
sins of mankind. We need to greet this Christmas with that kind of faith and
Dear fellow Christians, should we be thankful
for this or not? We are thankful. Is this a fairy tale or the truth? It is the
truth. The Scripture says, “So all this was done that it might be fulfilled
which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: ‘Behold, the virgin
shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel’”
Can an unmarried woman bear a child on this earth?
Well, unmarried woman can have a child in advance before her wedding. Many women
have children out of wedlock. This is evidenced when we visit orphanage. Many
children are abandoned at the orphanage by their unmarried mothers. Families
in foreign countries adopt some of the children out of wedlock. Of course, there
are cases where unmarried women have a child. However, that is different from
a virgin giving birth to a child since it is possible for an unmarried woman
to know a man.
There is no virgin on earth who has not had any
relationship with a man that gave birth to a child. You might say, “Couldn’t
there be if she has artificial insemination?” A woman is a man with womb, in
other words, the womb-man, so she is called woman. Woman, who has a womb, gives
birth to a child. But a man is inevitably needed for a woman to give birth to
a baby, because only man has the seeds of babies for her womb. Mary also was
a woman who had a womb. However, there was no man. Mary conceived a child solely
by the Holy Spirit. This was prophesized over 700 years before the birth of
Jesus, “Behold, the virgin should be with child, and bear a Son and they
shall call his name Immanuel.” The angel Gabriel appeared to deliver the
message from God that Mary will be pregnant with Jesus.
The angel said, “Blessed woman, the grace of God
will be with you. You will bear a great Man.” Then, Mary asked, “I do not know
any man. How could I have a child?”
“Your cousin, Elizabeth is with a child as well
in her old age.” The fact that Zachariah’s wife, Elizabeth was with a child
in her old age, or the fact that a virgin conceived a child are done by the
fulfillment of the prophecy through God’s special Providence.
Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the
Lord! Let it be to me according to your word,” and accepted the message that
the angel brought, and the baby grew in her womb. This is Jesus Christ. Because
this is no lie, but the truth, we are thankful and those who believe this are
blessed. We, who are in Christ, cannot thank God enough for giving us His only
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However, for those who do not believe
in this truth, Christmas is nothing more than a day for Christmas
tithing to meet the church budget. Several hundreds of thousands
of dollars could be budgeted through “the special offerings for
Christmas” under the pretense of Christmas. Many people turn in
their names as someone who gave the special offering, but God is
not happy with that. We should be thankful that our worship is not
a gathering of pretense, but of truth to celebrate the birth of
Jesus and to thank God.
We thank the Lord for coming to save us from the
destruction and sin and saving us from all our sins. Of the year we spend, Christmas
is the day that we commemorate to receive the most blessed news within the gospel
of the water and the Spirit. We should be thankful by truly believing in the
Gospel of the water and the Spirit with our hearts and the salvation in the
Lord. We should also believe and judge everything with the faith and eyes that
see in the Lord and follow with the faith in the next year as well.
Are you all thankful to God? Our Lord has given
us truly amazing grace. How the Lord is with us, we are so thankful that we
cannot even begin to thank Him. We give glory to our God.