March 21, 2021

The Preparation of the Christ

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We got a great start to this new series that will take us to and include messages on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and the Sunday following. We’re looking deeply into The Crises of the Christ…the critical events in the life of Jesus that are God’s necessary work and humanity’s only hope. This Sunday we will examine “The Preparation of the Christ,” and see from various passages of Scripture that, as a Christian, I must prepare for my own life and mission, just as Christ did. We’ll look at the incarnation, the scant details about his growing up years, his baptism, and the temptation in the wilderness which all preceded his earthly ministry. Each of those speaks into our lives and says something about our identity and purpose in this world. Given that our world has been turned upside down in the past year, this is a timely message for everyone to hear. Jesus intervened in the world for our sake. We should listen to him.

Sermon Notes

The Crises of the Christ
God's necessary work; humanity's only hope

March 21, 2021
The Preparation of the Christ
Todd Dugard

There is a common, worldly kind of Christianity in this day, which many have, and think they have enough—a cheap Christianity which offends nobody, and requires no sacrifice—which costs nothing, and is worth nothing.
J.C. Ryle

As a Christian, I must prepare for my own life and mission, as Christ did.

As Christ was incarnate, so I must put on Christ
Matthew 1:18-21
John 1:14a
Philippians 2:6-7
1 Timothy 3:16a
Galatians 3:27

He came as a normal man to normal men. He knows what it is to be thirsty, hungry, despised, rejected, scorned, shamed, embarrassed, abandoned, misunderstood, falsely accused, suffocated, tortured, and killed. He knows what it is to be lonely. His friends abandoned him when he needed them most.
Dane Ortlund, Gentle and Lowly

As Christ grew in wisdom and maturity, so I must be growing
Luke 2:39-52
Hebrews 5:8-9
Hebrews 6:1

As Christ was baptized, so I must be baptized and find my identity in him
Matthew 3:13-17

As Christ resisted temptation, so I must choose holiness
Matthew 4:1-11
Hebrews 4:15
John 8:46
Romans 6:11-12
James 4:7–8
1 Peter 1:15

We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means.
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Jesus’ sinlessness means that he knows temptation better than we ourselves do. C. S. Lewis made this point by speaking of a man walking against the wind. Once the wind of temptation gets strong enough, the man lays down, giving in and thus not knowing what it would've been like ten minutes later. Jesus never lay down; he endured all our temptations and testings without ever giving in. He therefore knows the strength of temptation better than any of us. Only he truly knows the cost.
Dane Ortlund, Gentle and Lowly