Bethel Baptist Church
Worship Service @ Home
5 December 2021
Service available on Youtube, or as text (below), or for audio see the Podcasts page.
“My husband likes those nativity cards, but I prefer something more Christmassy”
Conversation overheard in a charity shop, author Unknown.
Reading: Rom 2:17-29
Theme: “The Babe was born in Bethlehem so we could all be born-again”
At this point we might ask where is Paul taking us to. So far, he has given us a taste of the gospel,
The power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.Rom 1:16
and in which
The righteousness of God is revealed.Rom 1:17(a)
complementing the requirement that
The righteous will live by faith.Rom 1:17(c)
Such is necessary because
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people.Rom 1:18
A long list of the ungodliness and wickedness of people follows (Rom 1:19-32). Then the tables are turned on the self-righteous moralist finding fault in others (Rom 2:1-16) – they condemn themselves because they do the same things. Next in line are the Jews, confident they are right with God for they are God’s chosen people with the covenant, the law and circumcision. Surely, God’s chosen people must be accepted. However, the apostle, who used to think the same thing, now begs to differ, pointing out that all three, covenant, law and circumcision, are of no value if they disobey the law, which they do. Paul concludes:
What shall we conclude then? … There is no one righteous.Rom 3:9-10
and re-emphasizes it in some of the most important verses in the whole of Scripture, even some of the most important words ever written:
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.Rom. 3:23-24
No matter who the person is, even the most godliest, saintly, respected person who has ever lived, when measured against the glory of God, they fall short. And so do you and I, we all fall short. We are not comparing ourselves to one another but to the glory of God, to Jesus.
So the Babe in Bethlehem, for whom there was no room at the Inn, was born into this world, that He might find room in your heart. He left His home in glory that He might find a home in you and establish the glory of eternal life within. He, and He alone, is the Saviour of the world. There is no other:
You shall call Him Jesus because He will save His people from their sins.Matt. 1:21
Truly, Love came down at Christmas time, love all lovely, love divine, Love came down for us. Let’s give thanks afresh for such love, and receive Him deeper into our hearts, and determine to share this Good-News to all and sundry this Christmas.
Questions for Discussion
- Why, in large part, have we lost the true meaning of Christmas?
- Should we Christians be more proactive in sharing the Christmas Story? What should we do?
- “Jesus is the Saviour of the world”, what about all other religions / people who’ve not heard etc?
Quote of the week
“We turn to God for help when our foundations are shaking, only to learn that it is God who is shaking them.”
Charles C. West
Verse of the week
When they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.Luke 2:17-18
Heavenly Father, thank you that at this time of the year we celebrate the birth of Your Son, Immanuel, God with us. Father God, we pray that the true meaning of Your loving act may be revealed to many people over the next few weeks. We pray that numerous people will venture forth to Churches throughout this nation to worship the Christ-child and that by the power of Your Spirit, You will reveal to them the truth of the gospel, in and through Jesus Christ, Amen.