Hallelujah! He is Here - 2016 Christmas Musical

Rob Green December 11, 2016 Matthew 1:18-25

Hallelujah! He is Here is a festive Christmas musical celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through powerful Christmas praise and worship songs.

In his message, Pastor Rob Green shares 3 reasons we can praise the Lord because Jesus is here.


One of the things that I love about Christmas is the joy or happiness especially expressed on the faces of little children.  

As a little boy my sister and I had one burning question on Christmas Eve. “How early can we wake up dad?” The earlier the better. Once we had our answer and while we lobbied as much as we could without making it later the task was then to figure out how we could spend Christmas Eve night so it would go as quickly as possible.

  • We would build forts.
  • We would play little handheld electronic games. Some of them are in the retro section of Meijer and Walmart.
  • We would bring various toys into our room so that we have a full night’s worth of entertainment.
  • We would try to make ourselves tired so we could go to sleep.
  • We would make an agreement that if either one of us accidently fell asleep that the other one would wake us up 5 minutes before we could get dad.

There was joy and excitement over a group of presents that we could open the next morning.  

  • We would imagine receiving a gift on our list … maybe it was an Atari 2600. Maybe it was a new bike. Maybe it was a stereo system.
  • We were so excited about what might be under the tree.

As we grew older we stopped focusing so much on what time and started sleeping. Our gifts were more known at that point.

  • But there was something fun, exciting, and enjoyable about the new things that we could enjoy.

After I became a dad I have enjoyed watching my own children carry on some of those same traditions.

  • To see a little 5 year old peek his head out his door hoping to catch a glimpse of presents without being seen by his parents was just plan sweet.
    • Publically a word of correction came next, but privately joy in the heart watching a little child look forward to something with so much joy and excitement.
  • They were just as excited about what was under the tree as I was when I was little.

The joy and excitement found on a little child’s face was sweet. There are wonderful memories of those days.

But friends, think about what the joy and excitement was about.

  • A series of gifts
    • Most of the gifts I received as a little boy are gone … thrown away years ago. My Atari 2600 has long since found its way to the dump along with most of the other gifts. They had a value for sure, but the duration of that value was anywhere between 10 minutes and a year.
    • Only a select few gifts had a shelf life longer than that.

That has been true as a parent as well. Were the gifts valuable? Sure, at the time, but now many are long gone.

But what is the gift that the choir has been singing about?

  • It is the gift of Jesus. He is here. He lives and reigns forever.
  • The last two weeks we saw how Psalm 2 proved that he is King of the Universe and Psalm 72 demonstrated how he is reigning even today.

With the time I have remaining I would like us to consider 3 reasons we can praise the Lord (that is what Hallelujah means) that Jesus is here.

I. Because Jesus came to save his people from their sins

Matthew 1:18-25

Matthew shows that the birth of Jesus is unique. He was conceived very differently than all other human babies. There was no physical union between Mary and Joseph. This is the long awaited Messiah from called.

He is called Jesus (v. 21) because “he will save his people from their sins.” In fact, his name means “Yahweh saves.” Yahweh was the name for God in the OT that emphasized the fact that he always keeps his promises.

The message of Christmas was a message of salvation from the very beginning.

  • Every time you pray “In Jesus’ name” you remind yourself that Yahweh saves.
  • Every time you sing a song or listen to a song with Jesus’ name in it – you remind yourself that Yahweh saves.
  • Every time you pick up and read your NT and see the name Jesus – you remind yourself that Yahweh saves.
  • Praise the Lord

One thing about this gift that is unlike any other gift. It is not a gift you can give yourself.

I remember Pastor Viars mentioning a double joy gift. It is the gift that you buy for yourself.

  • You have the joy of giving it and the joy of receiving it.
  • For many Christmas gifts, you can do just that. You don’t need someone to buy that for you because either you can get it yourself or you don’t need it.

But you cannot get the gift of salvation except through Jesus.

  • You cannot earn salvation … no amount of good cancels out the sin separates us from God … there are no heavenly scales where good (as someone defines it) and bad are placed in order to see which one wins.
  • You cannot buy salvation … no amount of riches make that possible.
  • You do not deserve it … salvation is not an inherent right simply because you are a human

Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in on one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.

No other name includes ourselves.

  • When we think about the reality that Jesus is here, it should immediately remind us that salvation is here as well because Jesus brought it.

So that raises a very important question … How does one receive this amazing gift? Is it that Jesus came and so everyone received salvation?

Romans 10:9-10 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

There is a decision point. A person can be in church from the first day they are born, but that does not make them a Christian. They have to make that decision.

  • They have to confess with their mouth. Jesus as Lord.
    • Some people want to add Jesus to whatever else they have going. But Jesus is not interested in competition. When we confess we confess he is king, he is master, he is Lord.
  • They have to believe in their heart. (Explain belief … we are not trusting in Abraham Lincoln or George Washington for anything today)

Friends, if you do not know Christ as your personal savior then I encourage you to trust him today. If you want to speak further, then please

If you do, then I hope the message that he is here and with him salvation is here results in praise to the Lord in your hearts. The presence of salvation encourages us to praise the Lord.

As followers of Christ we should never get over or take for granted what the Lord has done for us.

We can praise the Lord …

II. Because Jesus came to be with his people

Matthew 1:23 Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which translated means, God with us.

Matthew 28:19-20 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. God therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

Jesus was given another name. It was the name Immanuel which means “God with us.” The miraculous birth of Jesus not only indicated that salvation was here but also that God wanted to dwell with his people.

After Jesus died on the cross he rose on the third day. In his final message to the disciples he said,

In the OT God’s presence was localized on the ark of the covenant which was kept in the holy of holies inside the temple.

  • Thus, the temple was a visible symbol that God’s presence was both localized (in one place) and mediated. You could not just walk in.
  • Only people from the nation of Israel were allowed in the courts and only the priests in the holy place and only the high priest once a year in the holy of holies.

But now, things are different. One of the things that I love about these two gifts (salvation and presence) is that they do not break, get old, or wear out … like so many of the Christmas gifts that I was excited about.

  • The things that kept me up at night with excitement are no longer in my house. They broke, wore out, or were replaced with the next new thing years ago.
    • I know someone who still owns an Atari 2600. It was all the rage in 80s. But kids today look at it and think … you got excited about that? You stayed up all night in excitement over the possibility of having that? Seriously!
    • Yes, seriously. Kind of crazy now.
  • In fact, I cannot even remember many of the gifts I received as a boy.

But the gift of God’s salvation is with us forever. The gift of his presence never wears out, gets old, or is exchanged for a better model.

The presence of Christ with us makes a difference in our everyday life.

  • It changes the way we think about blessing … from the hand of a very gracious God.
  • It changes the way we think about hardship … that I can lean into the Lord and find comfort and grace for help in my time of need.
  • It changes the way we think about uncertainty ... it gives us courage to live out all that God has given us to do.
  • It changes the way we respond when people criticize us … we do not have to defend ourselves and demonstrate that it is really the other person who is wrong. We know that God is our defender.

That is a gift that gives us reason to rejoice.

The third reason to Praise the Lord that Jesus is here is …

III. Because Jesus came to give his people a new purpose

Matthew 28:19-20 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. God therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

The Christian life can be described using a lot of different phrases. They are not exclusive of one another, but rather they overlap and yet each gives a slightly different emphasis.

  • Glorify God … the choir was singing about that this morning. Which is essentially explaining the goodness of God.
  • Please God … not much different although it emphasizes the fact that God is pleased when his people follow him.
  • Declare his praises for brining you out of darkness and into his marvelous light

Here the text emphasizes to go and make disciples.

When it comes right down to it … our mission is pretty simple … Make as many disciples as possible. Start in your home and work your way out.

I want to thank you for serving in LN this weekend.

  • I know that many of you have been involved in making disciples. Thank you.

I want to thank you for helping with CFE.

  • Yesterday was distribution day. Hundreds of children were given gifts by all of you. Many of you served those families so graciously by hosting them, helping them shop for bonus gifts, and for wrapping presents.
  • We are asking that God would use those things to produce disciples.

One way to evaluate your year is to ask the question How much disciple making have you done? How much effort have you put into disciple making?

Maybe it is a point for next year.

Praise the Lord that he has given me a clear directive. Now my responsibility is to fulfill that directive.

Conclusion

The message of Christmas is that Jesus is here. He came to save us from our sin. He came to save us from the power and penalty of sin.

I am asking you in the quietness of this moment not to let this moment get away. Don’t let it simply be another moment. Use it.

The gospel is so clear.

  • You are a sinner. You have done things and thought things that have not pleased God. God says that those things are worthy of eternal punishment … the wages of sin is death.
  • Jesus came to save sinners. He came to seek the lost, to provide healing to the sick. Jesus has come to be our salvation.
  • You must repent and believe.

As the choir/musicians come back to sing the final number … you can make that decision today and I hope you will.

If you do you will have reason to praise the Lord not only for salvation but because you will never be alone and you will always have a meaningful purpose.

  • Believing friend …. Opportunity for encouragement
    • There are so many reasons to praise the Lord. I hope the busyness of Christmas will not crowd out the wonderful reality of his salvation, his presence, and his purpose.
  • Christian but far from the Lord … now is the time to recommit and make changes.
    • Do not allow the hardness of your heart to blind you.
    • Do not allow another message to slip by. Now is the time for repentance.
    • God promises that if we confess our sin he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Hallelujah, he is here.

Rob Green

B.S. - Engineering Physics, Ohio State University
M.Div. - Baptist Bible Seminary
Ph.D. - New Testament, Baptist Bible Seminary

Pastor Rob Green and his wife, Stephanie, joined the Faith staff in August, 2005.  Rob’s responsibilities include oversight of the Faith Biblical Counseling Ministry and teaching New Testament at the Faith Bible Seminary. He serves on the council board of the Biblical Counseling Coalition and as a fellow at the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors.

Read Rob Green's Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Green to Faith Church.