Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Lebanon, OR
The Nativity of Our Lord + December 25, 2016
Text: John 1:1-14
Who has the authority to make someone a child of God?
Who is a child of God, a Christian? Who makes that declaration?
Not what family you come from, whether a Christian home or not. This is difficult for Christian parents to accept when their children seem to lose their faith.
Not what our flesh desires. Our sinful nature wants all the benefits of being a child of God with none of the repentance and dying with Christ. Old Adam wants carte blanche to live his own self-defined life and go to heaven when he’s done.
Not the will of man. That is, nobody decides to be a Christian. Nobody can make themselves a believer. “I believe I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him.” Don’t believe it because Luther’s catechism says it. Believe it because God’s Word said it first.
All of you who are gathered here to worship the Incarnate Lord and celebrate Christmas, rejoice! Your being a child of God is God’s handiwork, called by the Gospel, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, sanctified, and kept in this true faith to life everlasting.