Archive for Advent

12-29-19 Kevin Goins - Celebrating Advent in the Right Direction

“Celebrating Advent in the Right Direction” Luke 2:36-38

For many people Christmas overflows with memories of the past. In fact, the story of the birth of Jesus is an event confined to the past. But the celebration of Advent isn’t limited to the past. It actually looks in two directions at the same time. A woman named Anna shows us why this dual perspective is so beneficial.

I First, when our celebration of Advent focuses on both the first and second comings of Jesus, it sets us free from the _________ myth.
A. There is a problem with Santa: Santa discriminates against __________.
B. Santa may be for children, but the Second Advent of Jesus will impact e________ p__________ who has ever lived on planet earth.

II Second, when our celebration of Advent focuses on both the first and second comings of Jesus, it sets us free from the ‘w__________ is only for ____________” myth (2:37b).
A. Anna made sure she was in the right _________ to be ready for the Messiah, and because she was, she ________ him.
B. If there is a Second Advent that could happen at any moment, then making worship the h__________ of our life makes s_______.

III Third, when our celebration of Advent focuses on both the first and second comings of Jesus, it sets us free from the “Christianity is for s______________” myth (2:37c).
A. Anna didn’t just attend church; she did something: she _______ and _______.
B. Just as Anna had something for which to pray and fast, so do we: we want to see the work Jesus began ________________.

IV Fourth, when our celebration of Advent focuses on both the first and second comings of Jesus, it sets us free from the myth that says the best Christmases are p________ (2:38).
A. If we must look backward to get excited about Christmas, something is _____________.
B. Anna was looking e______________ for the coming of the Messiah and so she was looking ___________, not __________.

V Finally, when our celebration of Advent focuses on both the first and second comings of Jesus, it sets us free from the “Christmas comes but o_______ a y________” myth (2:38b).

12-22-19 Kevin Goins - Making Simeon’s Story Our Story

Posted in sermon, First Alliance Church Atlanta, Christianity, Dr. Kevin Goins, Advent, Bible, Christmas by facatl on December 23rd, 2019

“Making Simeon’s Story Our Story” Luke 2:25-35

One of the people who saw the baby Jesus, but whose participation in the Christmas story is often overlooked, is Simeon. Simeon can teach us a lot about how to make the Christmas story our story, but be warned: much of what he teaches us is shocking. For example:

I First, Simeon teaches us that to make the Christmas story our story we need the ___________ __________ (2:25-27a).
A. First, without the Holy Spirit no one has the s__________ v__________ necessary to see Jesus.
B. Second, Luke tells us it was the Holy Spirit that enabled ___________ to make the Christmas story his story.
C. Third, not only does the Bible and the life of Simeon tell us we need the Holy Spirit to make the Christmas story our story, so also does Charles Dicken’s A C____________ C_____________.

II Second, Simeon teaches us that to make the Christmas story our story, we must be prepared for ____________ (2:27-29).
A. When Simeon saw the baby Mary and Joseph brought to the
temple, he knew two things: God ________ his promise and he could now _______ in peace.
B. When the Christmas story becomes our story it transforms, not just our present, but the _______ moment of our life.

III Third, Simeon teaches us that to make the Christmas story our story, we must be concerned about more than just _________ ____________.
A. When Simeon sees Jesus, his vision is _____________.
B. We can’t make the Christmas story our story until we realize that we have a ______________ mission to tell all about the Christ of Christmas.

IV Fourth, Simeon teaches us that to make the Christmas story our story, we must be willing to be the cause of ______________ (2:33-35).
A. Simeon paid attention to the Old Testament prophets – he knew not everyone would accept the _______________.
B. In Romans 9 Paul says many in Israel stumbled over Jesus because they believed they could achieve their own personal righteousness by keeping the________.

12-15-19 Kevin Goins - Making the Christmas Story My Story with testimonies

Posted in sermon, First Alliance Church Atlanta, Christianity, Dr. Kevin Goins, Advent, Bible, Christmas by facatl on December 17th, 2019

12-08-19 Kevin Goins - Making Mary’s Story My Story

Posted in sermon, First Alliance Church Atlanta, Christianity, Dr. Kevin Goins, Advent, Bible, Christmas by facatl on December 11th, 2019

“Making Mary’s Story Our Story”   Luke 1:26-2:7

Of all the characters who played a part in the birth of the Savior, there is none who seems as unapproachable as Mary. Women have a hard time relating to a woman who gave birth knowing there was no human father she could blame for her pain. Men feel some sympathy for Joseph but we have no idea how to comprehend Mary. And then we Protestants feel estranged from Mary because the Roman Catholic Church has almost deified her. But all this misses the point. Next to Jesus there is no one so pivotal to the Christmas story as Mary, and if we want to know how to make the Christmas story our story, we dare not overlook her.

I First, Mary teaches us that no matter how ___________ it may be, it is ____________ to live out the Christmas story in our daily lives (1:26-37).

A. Why did the Savior have to be ______ as well as _________? Because no human being has a __________ for the problem of sin.

B. Why was it necessary for the Savior to be a _________ _________ at all? Because justice can only be done when wrongdoing is ____________ and God could not take our punishment.

II Second, Mary teaches us that just because it is _____________ to live out the Christmas story does not mean it will be ____________ (1:38).

A. When Mary and Joseph answered God’s call, people didn’t a_________ them – they ____________ at them.

B. God doesn’t call us to live a b________ or m__________ life. He calls us to an e___________ life on the cutting edge of his Kingdom.

III Third, Mary teaches us that living out the Christmas story will have an impact ______ _______________ ourselves (1:46-55).

IV Fourth, Mary teaches us that living out the Christmas story is not something we are expected to do ____________ (2:1-5).

A. Mary was impregnated by the Holy Spirit so her child would be the God-man. Why, then is __________ necessary?

B. God wanted his plan to save the world to be carried out, not by a single i_________________, but by a f___________.

V Fifth, Mary teaches us that living out the Christmas story is not going to __________________ the world (2:6-7).

12-01-19 - Kevin Goins - Making the Shepherd’s Story Our Story

Posted in sermon, First Alliance Church Atlanta, Christianity, Dr. Kevin Goins, Advent, Christmas by facatl on December 3rd, 2019

“Making the Shepherd’s Story Our Story”   Luke 2:8-18

Sometimes when we recall the Christmas story we feel detached, as if we are on the outside looking in. This year we want the story of the birth of the Savior to be our story. We intend to do this by entering the story of those who were literally part of that first Christmas. Today we want to make the shepherd’s story our story. How do we do that?

I First, for the shepherd’s story to be our story, we need to see how much the shepherd’s story __________ our story (2:8).
A. From the beginning of the Bible the calling to be a shepherd was highly r______________ and shepherds were looked on in a p__________ way.
B. But by Jesus’ day things had changed – shepherds were looked on with s_____________ and d____________.

II Second, for the shepherd’s story to be our story, we need to know that we can never be ________ ______________ to please God (2:9-11, 13).
A. The irreligious shepherds got a special announcement about the birth of the Savior, but the good religious folks got ___________.
B. The most radical fact about the Christmas story is this: If you are not a _____________, Christmas has nothing to offer you.

III Third, for the shepherd’s story to be our story, we must be willing to ______ where the truth can be ____________ (2:12-15).
A. Because there are genuine Christians sprinkled throughout the U.S., most people know something about Jesus being the _____________.
B. If you want to know about the Savior, who he is and how he can change your life, you must look for him in the _____________ ___________ of _________.

IV Finally, for the shepherd’s story to be our story, we must not only ___________ what they believed, we must _________ as they lived.
A. After the shepherds found the Savior they were still shepherds, but they were not __________ shepherds.
B. Now, they are also doing the work of _____________.

12-23-18 Kevin Goins - Angels We Have Heard on High

Posted in sermon, First Alliance Church Atlanta, Dr. Kevin Goins, Advent, Christmas by facatl on December 28th, 2018

“Angels We Have Heard on High” Luke 1:26-38

Most of the characters of Christmas give something to the Christ child at his birth. The angels give their “Glorias,” which is what our carol today highlights, the shepherds give their worship, and the wise men give gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Mary, however, is one of the few who gave gifts, not to the baby, but to God the Father. What did Mary give God for Christmas?

I The first thing Mary gave to God was her____________ (126-27).
A. In that day engagement was very different – it was not p__________ for marriage, it was p________ of marriage.
B. Gabriel tells Mary that God wants her to give birth to a child who will ____ be the offspring of her husband Joseph.
C. At this point, Mary had no reason to believe she would not be ___________ by Joseph.

II The second thing Mary gave to God was her ________ (1:28-35).
A. It’s frightening enough for a young girl to think of having a baby, but this birth would be u________ any other birth e______.
B. The Old Testament said that no one can see God and l_______ – So, how could Mary give birth to the ______ of God and live?

III The third thing Mary gave to God was her t__________ (1:36-38).

IV What are you willing to give God for Christmas?
A. Maybe we need to give God our ____________.
B. Maybe we need to give God our ____________.
C. Maybe we need to give God our ____________.

12-16-18 Kevin Goins - Angels From the Realms of Glory

Posted in sermon, First Alliance Church Atlanta, Christianity, Dr. Kevin Goins, Advent, Christmas by facatl on December 19th, 2018

12-09-2018 Kevin Goins - Go Tell It On The Mountain

Posted in sermon, First Alliance Church Atlanta, Dr. Kevin Goins, Advent, Bible, Christmas by facatl on December 11th, 2018

“Go, Tell It on the Mountain” Luke 2:8-20

Go, Tell It on the Mountain is one of the spirituals which African slaves in the United States sang to celebrate the birth of Jesus. If people enslaved on plantations found the desire to lift up their voices and enthusiastically proclaim the birth of the Savior, it should be even easier for us to do so. But it is not easy. What can we learn from the shepherd’s story which will encourage us to proclaim the good news of the birth of the Savior?

I First, the Shepherds teach us that it helps if you don’t have a degree in ________ or ___________ (2:8-9).
Why would God choose to reveal the birth of his Son first to
Shepherds instead of the priests and religious leaders?
1. The Savior who was born was n____ a__ a_____ what the
religious leaders were looking for.
2. God wants people to trust _____, not all the religious e_________ they have, not all the religious a__________ they carry out.
B. People who can talk about Jesus in their own w______, without religious w______ - they have a real advantage.

II Second, the shepherds teach us that if you want to talk to people about Jesus, it helps to be t___________ (2:9-14).
A. The message of the angels is like the ministry of the Holy Spirit:
1. The angels c_______ the Shepherds.
2. The angels bring g______ n______ to the Shepherds.
3. The angels specifically tell the Shepherds about the birth of a Savior who is “______ the ______.”
B. The ministry of the angels to the Shepherds is a p_________ of the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

III Third, the Shepherds teach us that if you want to talk to people about Jesus it helps to spend time with the h______ f_______(2:15-16).

IV Finally, the Shepherds teach us that if you want to talk to people about Jesus, it helps to be a g___________ (2:17-20).

 

12-24-17 Kevin Goins The Forgotten Characters of Christmas part 3

Posted in sermon, First Alliance Church Atlanta, Christianity, Dr. Kevin Goins, Advent, Christmas by facatl on December 27th, 2017

Not “Ho, Ho, Ho,” but “Bah, Bah, Bah!”

We have been focusing our attention this Advent on the forgotten characters of Christmas.  Today we turn our attention to another forgotten group: the animals of Christmas.   

I        Some believe the animals are not Christmas characters, for several reasons:

  1. First, animals are not Christmas characters because they are not i____________.
  2. Second, some believe the animals are not Christmas characters because they are not h___________.
  3. Third, some say the animals are not Christmas characters because associating them with the Messiah is d_____________ to God.

II But if animals were a part of the Christmas story, what does their involvement teach us about Christmas?

  1. First, the animals teach us that Christmas is a c___________ event.
  2. If you think God doesn’t really care about animals, you have m___________ your Bible.
  3. God not only saved _______ and his family with the _____, he also saved all the animals of the earth.
  4. When God delivered the c_______ of I________ in the Exodus, he also delivered their animals.
  5. God’s command to remember the S_________, not only was to protect the people, but also to give animals a day of rest.
  6. When the Prophet Isaiah writes about what the coming of the Messiah will mean, he does not limit it only to what it will mean for _________.
  7. Revelation ____:___ says that Messiah’s ultimate salvation will impact all creation.
  8. The animals in the Christmas story are not _________. The birth of the Messiah is good news for them, because it is good news for _______ _________.
  9. Second, the animals teach us that Christmas is for those who are h___________ enough to receive the good news.
  10. There is nothing p_______ or e_________ about the way animals live.
  11. Why are there people who are offended at the humble circumstances into which Jesus was born? They understand that if Jesus lived in a humble s________, then he might call them into a humble l________ as well.
  12. But there is an upside: the animals who surrounded Jesus at his birth tell us that you cannot come to Jesus with your p_____.  But they also tell us that there is ___ ____ on earth who is not i_______ to come.
  13. Last, the animals teach us that the Savior born in Bethlehem
    deserves the worship of ______.

III The transformation the Messiah came to this earth to bring has not yet reached its fulfillment, but it is e_____ n____ at work.

 

12-10-17 Kevin Goins The Forgotten Characters of Christmas, part 2

Posted in sermon, First Alliance Church Atlanta, Christianity, Dr. Kevin Goins, Advent, Christmas by facatl on December 12th, 2017

“The Forgotten Characters of Christmas” (Pt 2)  Matthew 2:16-18

Everyone connects the Christmas holiday with happy times.  We have parties, dinners, family get-togethers, gift-giving, special foods, all of which are intended to fill people with joy.  One thing we do not associate with Christmas is mourning.  We do our best to exclude mourning from the celebration of Christmas because mourning and Christmas are like oil and water; they do not mix.  But one of the forgotten characters of Christmas will not allow us to do this.  In fact, they bring mourning front and center right into the very heart of Christmas.  But, why is there mourning at Christmas?  

I There is mourning at Christmas because there is s__________ and h________ all year long.

  1. One who clearly demonstrated selfishness and hatred was _____.
  2. ___________ of ___________ also ruled with selfishness and hatred because he feared the g________ of I_______.
  3. We may brag about how civilized we have become, but the killing of children is even m______ c_________ today.

II Second, there is mourning at Christmas because, where there is great j_____, there is always the potential for great s___________.

  1. Rachel is a powerful reminder of how m_________ and m___________, which has the potential to bring great joy, can also bring great sorrow.
  2. Rachel is the mother who weeps, not just for her own sorrow, but for the sorrow of all her c___________, g___________, and g______-g___________ throughout the coming generations.

III Third, there is mourning at Christmas because the d________ d____________ comes before the b_________ l________.

IV Finally, why does Matthew r_______ the happiness of the Christmas story by telling us about this terrible m________?

  1. Because r______ l_____ is filled with many things which cause mourning.
  2. And the Rachels of the world will write us off as hopelessly n_______ and o_____ of t_______ if we pretend that angel choirs and adoring shepherds are all that Christmas is about.

 


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