Monday, December 4, 2023

Christmas - Chapter Four (Sermon)

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by Michael C. Garrett

Here we are in chapter four of the real story of Christmas. Now, if you haven’t read or listened to the previous chapters, we strongly suggest that you do so. You can find the original series of sermons at You can also find the series of articles at Or, if you would rather listen to the series of audio articles please log onto our Soundcloud Radio channel COJCOM and do so. We’ll be sure to leave a link below for you. We guarantee that it will be biblically accurate. And, it will most likely lighten your mind to issues that you’ve never thought about. You’ve never heard before. That will certainly happen to you a whole lot of times.

But, we’ve been going through the Book of Matthew chapter 1 which gives a part of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. And, then we were in the Book of Luke. We’re still in chapter 1 of the Book of Luke. We have a lot of things to talk about.

A Very Special Family

We were talking about – in the last chapter – where the angel Gabriel said to Mary, in verse 31 – “’ And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.’” Which literally means Savior. And, it goes on to say, “’ He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.’”

And we were talking about the concept that – when our Lord Jesus showed up about two thousand and eighteen years ago as a human child, and to grow up to be a most magnificent young man, and then to die a most horrible death – He didn’t inherit the throne of His ancestor David. But, He will. It’s yet to
happen. And that is basically talking about a future event where our Lord Jesus Christ returns to this Earth, along with God the Father and all the holy angels of the LORD God, and the resurrected saints of God, and establish a kingdom. And then our Lord Jesus will literally sit on the throne of His great ancestor David.

Verse 33 – “’ And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.’”

Now, in the last chapter, we were in Malachi chapter 4 which was talking about what is yet to happen. It hasn’t happened yet. A lot of people think it’s history. It’s not history – it’s prophecy for the future. And probably not too far away from now. Again, we don’t know – five years, fifteen years, fifty years. But we know this – it’s a whole lot closer than when I first heard the living truth of God and I began to understand these Scriptures.

Verse 34 – we’re now picking up new territory. “Then Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, …” How can I be pregnant, “ … ‘since I do not know a man?’” In other words, she had not been with a man sexually. It does take two to tango. It takes two to make a baby. And Mary is saying, ‘I’ve never had sex with a man. How can I be pregnant!?’

And then, verse 35 – “And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.’”

A few chapters ago we went back to the Book of Philippians. And we found a verse or two that talked about our Lord Jesus Christ – when He became a human. Again, our Lord Jesus Christ is the main Character we know as God in the Old Testament. He is the Creator God. He is the being that created human beings. And, He’s been an eternal spirit being, longer than our minds can comprehend. We can not explain the long history of the LORD God – the family of God. But, I can’t tell you how my television set works, either. There are things that our minds simply can’t comprehend. I guess we’re just going to have to go on faith. But we do know this – there is a God. And He is all-powerful. And if He chooses to – and the human being has the right attitude and approach – He will answer prayers. He will perform miracles. We have seen them. And I personally have seen them since I was about eighteen years of age. We have no doubt that God exists. We just can’t explain how He can be forever. But hopefully someday – if we’re allowed to be a part of the kingdom of God – we will have a better understanding of how all this took place.

Now, a verse back in the Book of Philippians literally means – if you get the proper translation – that our Lord Jesus Christ, the God of the Old Testament, allowed Himself to be emptied - or changed from a divine being down to a tiny human sperm cell.

Now, the very first time I mentioned this concept before a crowd of people, I thought some of the older people were going to lose their false teeth. In fact, they were so shocked they ran back to the leader of that group, saying, ‘You won’t believe what Garrett said!’ And after that leader thought about it – he said, ‘You know, Michael is right. That is how it happened.’ And this is what we’re reading about here. ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you. In effect will insert this tiny human sperm into your tiny human egg, and that little baby forming within you will be called the Son of God.’

What a most fantastic event!

We have no problem appreciating what people think of as the so-called Christmas Story. Because we think it’s wonderful that our Lord Jesus Christ became a human being! We think it’s wonderful that He led a perfect life. And, we think it’s unbelievably fortunate for all of us that He did qualify to become our Savior. And so we are thrilled with this story!

But understand – our Lord Jesus Christ wasn’t born on or anywhere near December 25th. And that is a part of the story they truly get wrong. But like we have said – isn’t this irony – He most likely was conceived on what we call December 25th! What an irony! Now, we spoke about this earlier.

Verse 36 – “Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative [a cousin] …”

You know, a lot of people sort of find that shocking. That these biblical personalities were not just in isolation, but indeed they were part of families, and extended families. And here Elizabeth and Mary – remember that Elizabeth at this time is carrying John the Baptist. And now here Mary, her cousin, will end up carrying in her womb the Savior of all mankind. This is a very special family – when you think about it!

Continuing – “ … ‘your relative has conceived a son in her old age; …’”

The implication being that it was well past normal childbearing years.

“ … ‘and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.’”

Now, notice verse 37 – a very powerful verse. In fact, even before I put pen to paper, my eye glanced upon this verse. And I went and located several more Scriptures that say something very similar.

Now, we’ve always said that when you read in God’s living word a statement from the LORD God – inspired by the LORD God – and then you read it again and again, you should know that it’s a very important concept. The LORD God does not want you to miss the fantastic meaning of what you’re reading! He sort of continues to pound it in. He wants you to understand – this is IMPORTANT. Understand this point.

“’ For with God nothing will be impossible.’”

Those are reassuring words to us. The LORD God comes through. In the end, the LORD God is like the military offensive maneuver known as the cavalry charge, like at the Battle of Waterloo during the Napoleonic Wars. Or, like in some of those old American western movies when the United States Cavalry came charging in on horseback with a soldier blowing his bugle call. The cavalry comes in to save the day. The LORD God will indeed play the part of the cavalry. The LORD God is capable of saving you – even at the last moment.

Now, real quickly, let’s go back and look at some other Scriptures that I found before putting pen to paper.

With God All Things Are Possible!

Matthew chapter 19.

Verse 26 – and we won’t set up the whole story flow of what happened in this particular verse, but we’re just gonna zero in on the conclusion. Our Lord Jesus heard a comment from the previous verse, and He answered unto them and said, “’ With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’”

And the question in the previous verse is, “Who can be saved?” Because our Lord Jesus had just said, “’ It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’”

For all of you who have always wished that you would win the state lottery and become an instant multi-millionaire – this might be a verse worth thinking about.

Certainly, people who have everything tend not to be hungry for the living Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God. But when you’re lower down on the economic scale, you start to learn that you need God Almighty and Jesus Christ in everything you do. And that is something that has been reinforced upon us throughout our lives – speaking of the Church of Jesus Christ.

So, as the question was, “Who can be saved?” If rich people can’t make it into the kingdom – who can be saved? That was the question. And then our Lord Jesus answered, “’ With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’”

And again, if you think you can just dress in an expensive suit, carry an Italian leather Salvatore Ferragamo briefcase, with your oversized Bible, and go to church every week – and just be “perfect” – if you have diluted yourself and think you can do that (which you probably can’t; and yes, we have met people that actually think this – tragically) you are a fool and you will fail.

However, with the help of God Almighty and our Lord Jesus Christ – living within you through Their Spirit – remaking you as it were from the inside out. Beginning with your mind and how you think. The LORD God can make you perfect through Their Spirit. Through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

No, you cannot make yourself righteous before the LORD God. You can’t do it. “’ But with God all things [thankfully and blessedly] are possible.’”

A powerful concept!

There’s another Scripture. John chapter 15.

Again, all of these Scriptures convey a similar idea.

Someday I’ll do a series of sermons on John – chapters 13 through 17. Because this section of the Book of John, which is near the end of our Lord Jesus’ human life is just filled with spiritual gems. Now, it begins here in chapter 15 –

“’ I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.’”

Verse 2 – “’ Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; …’”

What our Lord Jesus is saying – if at some point in your life God Almighty and our Lord Jesus Christ have called you, and have opened the door to understanding the living truth of God, and after walking down that path for a while, your heart hardens (we spoke of this in the sermon “A Root of Bitterness”). If you haven’t done so yet, please go and watch that sermon. Because in it we speak about how a person can commit spiritual suicide. And lose out on a gift that God Almighty was placing before you – eternal life. That, if you don’t bear forth the fruit of God’s Spirit – things such as love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – if your life doesn’t change from the bad to the godly, He says, “’ Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away.’” And then He says, “’ and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.’”

Now friends, if you are reading or listening to this series of articles, I don’t want to shock you too much, in all likelihood the LORD God is indeed inviting you to learn the living truth of God. And to become one who inherits eternal life as a gift from the LORD God.

That’s powerful.

This is why our sermons and these articles are so spectacularly IMPORTANT!

So, our Lord Jesus will work with you. And sometimes He will show you something about yourself that isn’t very pleasant. I personally have had moments in which I lost control of my emotions over something. And then a little later I say to God – ‘Yeah, that doesn’t look real good, does it? I wasn’t shining at that moment. Yes, Lord Jesus, You’ve shown me something about myself, please help me to overcome it. Place more of Your Spirit within me. Make me more aware, and help me overcome the issue.’ Whatever it might be.

Verse 3 – “’ You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.’”

If God Almighty and our Lord Jesus Christ are allowing you to understand the living words of the Bible, you’re on the pathway to becoming clean and whole in the sight of God.

Often you hear the word sanctification. You become sanctified – to be made whole and holy in the eyes of God.

Verse 4 – “’ Abide in Me, and I in you. …’”

Again, the living truth of God’s word is – that if you submit to God Almighty and our Lord Jesus Christ, and to follow the formula (the pathway) to salvation, a part of God Almighty and our Lord Jesus Christ will literally reside with you in your mind. That phrase, ‘I in you’ – later in the spring there is a holy day mentioned in your Bible multiple times called the Days of Unleavened Bread. And, we know that this sounds odd. The reason it sounds odd is that you’ve never heard of it – because the so-called ministerial leadership of whatever church you have gone to for most of your life doesn’t know enough to talk about it! But, watching our sermons, reading our articles, or even listening to our AI audio articles on our Soundcloud Radio channel, we will help you understand it.

The whole idea of the Days of Unleavened Bread – for seven days you are to eat unleavened bread. Symbolizing Jesus Christ. Because He says, “’ I am the bread of life’” in the Book of John. And by doing that it helps you to learn that you need Jesus Christ as a part of your life EVERY DAY! EVERY NIGHT! EVERY MOMENT!

Notice, as we continue in verse 4 – “ … ‘ As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.’”

That ultimately means – through the Spirit of God.

Now, we’ve met people in our life who – their basic nature is they want to learn about God. They want to be on God’s team. They want God to be their Coach. And yet, they think they can do it all by themselves. And, the LORD God will work with you to help understand some things, but you will NEVER fully begin to comprehend the truth of God unless, or until, the LORD God grants you Their Spirit. And eventually, you go through a process called repentance – meaning, you’ve seen yourself more clearly now than ever before, and deep down inside, you’re pretty lousy. You fall short of the glory of God – by miles. And so you cry out to the LORD God to help you to change. And when you go through this process, and you finally find a true minister of God who is qualified and authorized to baptize you. Then, at the end of this baptism – which symbolizes you being thoroughly cleansed from all past sins – you have the laying on of hands by the minister. And he prays a prayer over you and he asks that you be granted the Spirit of God.

Now, when all this happens, your name is written in the Book of Life.

But, if you think you can fully understand the living truth of God – especially the concepts of the New Covenant. The Old Covenant form of religion was a very physical religion – the washing of pots and pans, and animal sacrifices, and all these do’s and don’ts. That is why the LORD God instituted that form of religion, because They were dealing with people who by in large were not going to be converted, granted the Spirit of God – so They had to make it a physical religion. But, with our Lord Jesus Christ living His life and qualifying to be the Savior of all mankind, He opened up a new form of worship – called the New Covenant. It’s a more glorious way of approaching God Almighty. And at this point – you begin to learn the truth of God at an almost molecular level.

We’ve known people – younger adults – who’ve sort of grown up going to church and hearing many correct things, and yet they will never get around to admitting they need to be baptized. That’s a form of vanity. If you think you can pull this off on your own, you are an extremely vain and arrogant individual. YOU NEED THE LORD GOD’S HELP! You need the help of God’s Spirit.

You need to be baptized.

Verse 5 – “’ I am the vine, you are the branches. …’”

We NEED our Lord Jesus Christ as our Vine as our pathway of nutrition and hydration. Or else, just like a vine not receiving proper nutrition, we will just curl up, dry out, and blow away – eventually.

Continuing in verse 5 – “ … ‘He who abides in Me, and I in him, …’” – through the Spirit of God – “ … ‘bears much fruit; …’”

And here is this phrase again, “ … ‘for without Me you can do nothing.’”

This is a lesson we all need to learn.

This is one of the lessons that is associated with the real Story of Christmas.

Our Lord Jesus Christ was born as a human being to set forth a pathway that we too can inherit eternal life. But without Jesus Christ, you can do nothing!

And we know that there are religions that discount JESUS.

We know a group, sadly, that doesn’t talk about our Lord Jesus Christ very much. In fact, all they want to talk about is Right-Wing politics!

Friends – you will not enter into the kingdom of God obsessing about Right-Wing politics or Left-Wing politics! You better get some of that politics out of you and begin getting some JESUS CHRIST within you! His living words. His knowledge and His Spirit in mind.

“’ Without Me you can do nothing.’”

Turning now to the Book of Luke chapter 18.

This is very similar to what we read earlier. The rich people depend upon themselves. They’re haughty. They’re proud – they tend to be. He says, they really don’t have a chance of making it into the kingdom of God. Now, it’s not impossible. Because a person could have such a humble attitude that the LORD God would look upon them with favor.

Verse 25 – “ … ‘ For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’”

Verse 26 – “And those who heard it said, ‘Who then can be saved?’”

And His answer again, verse 27 – “ … ‘The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.’”

The same theme over and over – as a human being you can't make it into the kingdom of God! Almost sounded like the actor Jack Nicholson here!


Well, you can't make it into the kingdom of God by yourself. Or under your own power.

And there are – there are people who arrogantly believe they can! They fool themselves. They delude themselves.

However, with the LORD God – with the help of God Almighty and our Lord Jesus Christ – all things are possible!

Turning now to the Book of Philippians chapter 4.

This is something VERY IMPORTANT to think about – to be aware of!

The apostle Paul – a very interesting biblical character – I personally think that next to our Lord Jesus, Paul shares with us, and was inspired to write to us, more things that are full of spiritual wisdom, truth, and importance. If you don’t know where to read in your next Bible study, you will never go wrong reading and attempting to understand the writings of the apostle Paul.

He says in verse 10 – “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity.”

You get the feeling the congregation in Philippi sort of wavered. We know congregations that do this. We know of church groups that do this. Sometimes they’re sort of hot and on fire with zeal. And then with time, they become cold and disinterested. Bored. I once knew a teacher who talked about – people who follow Christ and who just sometimes become tired old Christians. They’re not very curious anymore. They don’t study the Bible much anymore. They don’t pray very earnestly. They’re just tired and worn out.

So, you get the feeling the Philippians had done this some from the verse we just read.

Verse 11 – “Not that I speak in regard to need, …”

He’s saying – as where he says, ‘you surely did care’ – he’s speaking about the concept of tithes and offerings.

Now, God’s living word plainly talks about how the LORD God wants you to give a tenth – that’s what the word tithe means – of your income to help support the physical work of God upon this earth. And then there are also suggestions of offerings. And, there are a great many people who don’t want to do this anymore. Some people want to sit in their favorite chair and watch our sermons, or listen to our AI audio articles, but they never put forth an effort to help out with some of the physical expenses. And we know this is true. Our income became so low, that earlier in the fall of 2021, we had to stop hiring the person at the local computer shop to convert the sermons and publish them onto our YouTube channel. The computer shop was a great arrangement for us for a long time. But, the price that the computer shop was charging us was more than the money we had. We had no choice. Now thankfully Don and Leonard have worked together – and magically the sermon goes into the computer down in Florida – and then is published on our website – – and on our YouTube channel.

But, if our sermons and these articles are important to you, you really should chip in and do your fair share. And, some people do. I’m very thankful for them! And I’m sure that the LORD God is very pleased with them.

So there were some there in Philippi that were helping with their tithes and offerings – and he says here in verse 11 – “Not that I speak in regard to need, …”

And then he enters into another idea – a very powerful idea – “ … for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.”

Now, this isn’t easy for human beings. The majority of people always want something more. They will often bring physical things into their life to try and warm up that empty hole inside of them.

Verse 12 – “I know how to be abased [meaning, down low], and I know how to abound [when things are going really well]. Everywhere and in all things I have learned [the implication being – from Jesus Christ] both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”

Now, it’s great to be on top of the game! It really is! It’s great to have everything you need – all the food you need, the new automobile, an expensive home, a lucrative career. It certainly would make anybody feel good!

But friends, there are times in your life when you need to know what it feels like to be abased. To be alone.

Again, without God Almighty and Jesus Christ, we have nothing.

And even though you may not have a plethora of physical things – the new automobile, the luxurious and expensive home – if you have God Almighty and Jesus Christ you are the wealthiest person on the face of the earth! Wealthier than Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, or Warren Buffet.

Verse 13 – again, the same principle. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

This is a verse you ought to read on a regular basis. Once a month. Twice a month. Twice a week. Would it hurt you to read this verse and contemplate upon it – every day? No, I don’t think it would hurt you at all.

There is another Scripture – last one.

The Book of Romans chapter 8.

A truly fantastic part of God’s living word! With the glorious inspiration of God’s Spirit – the apostle Paul certainly outdid himself when he wrote this chapter.

Verse 26 – “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. …”

Our illnesses, our problems. The Spirit of God can help us through our rough times.

“ … For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, …”

Sometimes you can get so low in a well – I’m talking about at the bottom of a deep well – you can’t see the top of the well. You can’t see the sunlight shining in. And that’s a form of depression. It’s real – and it does affect people. And if you say that it’s never affected you – you’re probably fibbing. And if you say, “That could never affect me!” Well, you’re probably fibbing.

Yes, life is full of problems.

The apostle Paul once wrote, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”

Being called to know the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God, and to live a life dedicated to Jesus Christ, sometimes is not peachy keen. It’s sometimes filled with a lot of problems. And, could we tell you stories.

Sometimes we call out to the LORD God, but we’re so overwhelmed we don’t even know what to say. And the apostle Paul says, “but the Spirit [living within us] [Itself] makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

Such pain and heartache we cannot even express it – and yet the Spirit of God living within us can communicate that pain and heartache to God Almighty and Jesus Christ.

Verse 27 – “Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because [It] makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”

That’s our Lord Jesus Christ! Our Advocate as we’re told in other places. Just like a lawyer at our side taking care of us – looking after our needs.

Verse 28 – a most fantastic verse! “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called [the invited ones] according to His purpose.”

You know – it’s not easy to have troubles. We do understand. But we have learned – that the only thing we possess, that is of any importance, is our relationship with Jesus Christ. And God’s living Word, Truth, and Plan. Those are the only things worth anything in the long run. Because if those truly are a part of your life – you, me, or anyone else – will be granted the gift of eternal life. And then all our problems will be far removed.

Verse 29 – “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, …”

You see – we’re supposed to be conformed to the image of the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ. And be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

We’re being given an opportunity at this time and in this age to learn the truth of God. Other people who exist are probably going to have to wait for a future moment in time when their life is re-established. When, after living their life and going to “sleep” – God’s living word says they will be brought back to life. Ezekiel 37 paints this beautiful picture of that concept.

But we – here and now – have a chance to be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

Verse 30 – “Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He [will] also [glorify].”

He will glorify in the kingdom of God!

Verse 31 – another extremely important verse of God’s living word! “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

What a great concept!

You might have a boss that is troubling you. You might have a mate that is making life difficult. You might have family members who are too much to bear. And yet – if God be with us, who can be against us?

Again, what a great concept! □

To Be Continued...

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