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The Christmas Journey Begins with a Problem by Pastor Paul Becker

If you start to read a book or watch a movie, do you start in the middle? You won't fully understand the story's characters or plot if you do. So it is with the Bible. The story of Jesus' birth is the middle of the story. To fully understand Jesus' birth, you need to know its "why" by starting at the beginning of the story in Genesis.

In Genesis, we learn that the birth of Jesus is tied to the problem of sin. We see this in Genesis 3 and Genesis 6. In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Their choice stands as a judgment against God's sovereign rule. As a result of their disobedience, sin and death entered the world. In Genesis 6, we learn that sin increased to the point that "the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and he was deeply grieved." (Gen 6:6). He decreed judgment for sin by declaring that he would cause a flood to cover the earth. It is important for us to acknowledge that our sins grieve God.

Sin grieves God because his integrity requires him to be just by following his decrees. Yet, in his mercy, God offered a way for salvation from the flood. He found favor in a man named Noah, a descendant of Adam and Eve's son, Seth. God instructed Noah to build a giant ark. And when the rains began, Noah, his family, and two of every creature found salvation in the ark.

Noah's ark is a "type or shadow" of Jesus that declares the gospel's good news! By faith, Noah and his family were saved from God's judgment against sin. We enter a union with Christ by faith, which saves us from God's judgment against sin.

The Christmas Story begins with our problem of sin and offers us salvation from it:

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace (Eph 1:7)

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1)

He also raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:6)

The Christmas story continues with a promise of God declared by a prophet named Isaiah. See you Sunday!

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