Decrees and Doxologies – Deric Bartlett

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Sermon Notes

This week, Pastor Deric continues the series “Christmas Visits” with a message titled ‘Decrees and doxologies’ based on Luke 2:1-14.
  1. He came at the perfect time (v. 1-3) 
  2. He came to join his earthly family (v. 4-5) 
  3. He came in humility & obscurity (v. 6-8) 
  4. He came as Saviour & Messiah (v. 9-14)

What pets did you have growing up?

1.Why do you think God permitted Caesar Augustus’ disruptive decree to uproot Joseph and Mary from Nazareth to send them 150 km south to Bethlehem [Luke 2:1-5]? Consider 1 Samuel 16:1-13; 2 Samuel 7:12-13; and Micah 5:2 as well.

2.Why does David’s name appear twice in Luke 2:4 and again in Luke 2:11? What is the significance of this link to Mary’s Baby [cf. Isaiah 9:6-7; Acts 13:22-23; and Romans 1:1-3]?

3.Jesus’ birth recorded in Luke 2:7 is actually related without much drama. The small town of Bethlehem was likely packed by those returning to be registered, leaving Joseph and Mary to fend for themselves. Every detail conveys how mundane and humble the birth was. How does this lowliness impact your awe of Jesus [cf. Isaiah 53:2; 2 Corinthians 8:9; and Philippians 2:5-8]?

4.Why do you think shepherds were the first to hear the good news of the Saviour’s birth [Luke 2:8]? Why does God favour the inclusion of the humble in His plans rather than the great [cf. 1 Samuel 16:11; Psalm 78:70-72; and 1 Corinthians 1:26-29]?

5.What do you learn about the newborn Baby from the angel’s message to the shepherds in Luke 2:10-11? Examine also John 4:39-42; Acts 2:36; and 1 John 4:14.

6.What do you note about the priority of worship from the heavenly host that appeared to the shepherds [Luke 2:13-14]? Consult Psalm 103:20-22; Isaiah 6:1-4; and Revelation 4-5 as well.

7.What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?

“So God throws open the door of this world—and enters as a baby. As the most vulnerable imaginable. Because He wants unimaginable intimacy with you. What religion ever had a god that wanted such intimacy with us that He came with such vulnerability to us? What God ever came so tender we could touch Him? So fragile that we could break Him? So vulnerable that His bare, beating heart could be hurt? Only the One who loves you to death.” (Ann Voskamp)