God with Us (Matt. 1:23)

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(This is the sermon I delivered on our Sunday School Christmas Fellowship last December 18, 2011)

Matthew 1:23 “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

Kids, notice the two persons mentioned in the text. Who are they? First, is God and second is us. Notice again the word “with”. God wants to be near us. God wants to be close to us. I can go to one of you then say “I’m near you” or to one of your friends and say “I’m close to you.”

Kids, who among you have a daddy? Who among you have a daddy working abroad? Do you want to be with him this Christmas? Who among you sleep with your parents? Do you know why they sleep with you? Because they know you and love you. Do you want to sleep with a beggar? A jeepney driver? A complete stranger? Of course not. Why? Because you don’t know them and they don’t know you. Our God is a father and he knows you and loves you. And as a father He wants to be near you.

That’s what God wants. The real meaning of Christmas is God wants to be with us or near us. He doesn’t want an angel, animal or plant to represent Him to you but He wants Himself to be near you. But there is one problem. God can’t be near you because of sin. Suppose I will give you a toothbrush. But first I used it to a dog and brushed it to the dog’s teeth. Then I gave the toothbrush to you. Will you use it? Will you accept it? Of course not. It’s yucky. That’s what sin is. God doesn’t like sin.

Who among you children wants God, please raise your hand. I’m not asking if you want to go to heaven. Satan wants to go to heaven too. Again who wants God, please raise your hand. Remember kids, God is holy. That means he doesn’t sin. He doesn’t want sin near Him. Kids, do you know sin? It is breaking the 10 Commandments. Who among you told a lie? If you told a lie you are a liar. Who among you took money from your parents? That makes you a thief isn’t? Who among you kids disobey your parents? You disobey your parents when you don’t study, when you are lazy. That is sin. You’re a liar, thief and you disobey your parents.

And where do sinners go? Yes, in hell. Imagine you and your mommy went shopping. Then a bad man snatches your mommy’s bag. The police caught the bad man. What do you think the policeman will do to the bad man? Yes, he will put him in jail. What if the policeman let go the bad man? Is that OK? No! That will make the policeman bad also.  What if a policeman caught someone over speeding? Then the man will say to the policeman “Please let me go I’ll be good for now on!” What should the policeman do? The policeman should say “That’s good that you’ll be good for now on but you need to pay the fine to get out of jail.” Again the man pleas” Please let me go, I’m sorry.” The policeman replied “Being sorry is good but you need to pay the fine to get out of jail.” The man answered back” But I don’t have the money to pay the fine.” The policeman said” I’m sorry but you have to go to jail.” Suddenly, a friend of the man came and said” I want to pay the fine my friend can’t pay.” He paid the fine and his friend is free to go. That’s what Jesus died for you and me. He paid our sins in the cross so that we don’t have to go to hell AND God can be near to us.

Jesus broke the barrier between God and man so that God can be near to us. That’s good news isn’t it kids? So we should repent and believe the gospel so that God can be near to you and me. The true meaning of Christmas is that God gave His Son, Jesus Christ, so that our sins can be forgiven and God can be near us forever. Jesus is that gift that God wants to give you. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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