Virgil Grant: Well, good morning, everyone. Hope that you’re doing well. We’re going to be preparing our hearts for the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, over the next three weeks, by us looking at a story from the New Testament, from Matthew Chapter Two. And in this story, we find that there’s some wise men that bring some gifts to Jesus shortly after he was born.
Now, before we jump into the text, let me just kind of give you the historical context of what’s taking place. Well, Jesus is born in Bethlehem. He’s born during the reign of King Herod. Shortly after his birth, there are some wise men who comes after to Jesus seeking after him, and they bring him some gifts. Now, let me ask you a question. How many wise men were there? Now, if you look at your grandmother’s nativity scene that’s on the mantel or wherever they may be, out on the kitchen table. How many wise men were are there? There what? There’s always three. Now, why are there always three? It’s because they brought how many gifts? Three gifts. And but the truth and the reality is no one knows how many wise men came seeking after Jesus. They could have had 30 or 40 of them.
But here’s what we find out about them, is that we know from history that they’re highly educated, they’re very wealthy, and they are seeking after the savior of the world. Now, look what Matthew Chapter Two, how it describes the wise men coming after Jesus. “When they,” talking about the wise men, “Saw the star, they were filled with joy. They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worship him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts,” of what? Read it with me, “Gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”.
Now, what kind of gifts are these gifts? Now, when our kids were born, Rose and I, what we received, we didn’t receive any of this. Did you receive any of this? I didn’t. I mean, we got diapers. We got onesies, and we got the all-important, what? Snot sucker, right? I mean, that was like an important tool to get that snot out of their nose, correct? I mean, this was like an important tool. But notice what they got, is they got gold. Jesus got gold, frankincense, and got myrrh. Now, here’s what scholars will tell you, that these are all very valuable gifts. Scholars will also tell you there was very practical gifts, and they were also very spiritual implications in nature. Because what you see is that these three gifts represents three different rows of Jesus. They kind of foreshadow the roles that Jesus would come to be known for in the days ahead.
Let me give you an example. In a couple of weeks, we’re going to talk about gold. Gold represents the kingship of Jesus. Next week, we’re going to talk about myrrh. And that really talks about him being the lamb of God or the suffering servant. And we’ll talk about that next week.
But this weekend, we’re going to talk about frankincense. And frankincense is a very expensive oil that you could purchase back in that day and age. And I’ve talked to many of the sensual oil advisers, and they tell me that, you know, frankincense has multiple uses. It is kind of like a Swiss army knife. You can use it in a lot of different ways. It’s good for healing sickness, for healing wounds. Actually, I read on the bottle, and here’s what I read on the bottle. And you tell me what this means, okay? I have no clue. But this is what it says. It says Frankincense oil possesses a antiseptic, astringent, diuretic, digestive, sedative, and involuntary therapeutic properties. I have no clue what it means, do you? I mean, that’s what it says. But I do know that it was very expensive and it was very practical in a lot of different ways.
The most important thing for you to understand is that the High Priest would use the oil of frankincense when he would offer up the sacrifice in the Holy of Holies. And when he offered up the sacrifice and he would poured on the sacrifice, and the smoke would begin to bellow up, and it would then go up to Heaven. And it was symbolic of the prayers of God’s people rising to the heavens. And thus, the frankincense scholars believes foreshadow the thing that Jesus is our High Priest. Now, some of you are probably, like, a little confused at this moment, and you go in that Jesus is your High Priest. What is all of that about?
Well, what I want to do as we kick off this Advent season this weekend. I just want to talk to you a little bit about Jesus being our High Priest. Now, who is our High Priest?
Virgil Grant: Who’s your High Priest?
Virgil Grant: I’m going to ask you that throughout. Now, what does this have to do with Christmas? Well, I’m going to do a little deep teaching today. And I just want to know, are you ready for some deep thoughts about Jesus being our High Priest? Are you ready for it? If you are so ready.
Virgil Grant: Good. I love that. Now, now, let’s dove into this. Jesus, our High Priest. Now, the High Priest had one primary role. And the primary role of a High Priest was to represent the people to God.
Now we break down this function, this row, into two different functions. And the two functions of the High Priest was number one is that priests made sacrifices for the forgiveness of sins. In other words, is that he was the one who took the sacrifice into the Holy of Holies to represent the covering and the forgiveness of sin.
The second thing that the priest did is that he prayed prayers on behalf of the people to God. And so the priest represented the people to God. And so it was broken down into two different functions. And what I want to do today, I want to talk about these two functions of the High Priest. And who is your High Priest?
Virgil Grant: Right. And what did Jesus do? He served as a sacrifice, and he also intercedes for us. So I want to start with the sacrifices that the High Priest would make on behalf of the people. Now you know that ever since the beginning of time, when Adam and Eve was in the garden and Eve sinned first, then something happened. What was introduced into the world? The thing that was introduced into the world was what? Was sin. Now, folks, we don’t like to call sin, sin. We like to call sin by a lot of different names. We like to just downplay sin, and we don’t really call it sin. Well, you say, hey, if it feels good to you, you just go ahead and do it. I’m not going to participate in that. But whatever feels good to me, I’m going to do.
But folks, we have to understand something, that when the very beginning of time, when Eve’s sin and then Adam’s sin, that something happened, there was something. Two waging oppositions was waging war together, and it was the holiness of God versus the sinfulness of mankind. There’s these two opposing things that was going on, and you have to understand that ever since the beginning of time, these two forces have been working against each other and the holiness of God and the sinfulness of mankind.
Now, folks, listen to me. We have to understand the holiness of God because if we don’t understand the holiness of God, guess what we will do? We will always have a casual approach to sin. We will always downplay sin. And this is the reason we have to understand the holiness of God.
Now, what is the holiness of God? What is God? Well, God is transcendently separate. Our God is perfect in every single way. He is flawless. He is pure. There is no fault. There’s no rome. There is no stain in him. He is perfect. Listen to me. We need to understand that holiness isn’t one of the attributes of God. Holiness is the perfection of all of his attributes. His power is holy. His grace is holy. His mercy is holy. His glory is holy. Everything about God is holy.
And it’s the exact opposite of you and I because you and I are, what? We are sinners. We’ve all fallen short of the glory of God. We’ve all made mistakes, we’ve all blown it. The person who’s at your workplace is also a sinner. That little precious baby that you have, or child that you think is perfect, they have blown it. The Bible tells us that each and every one of us we have fallen short of God’s glory, and we’ve all sinned, and we’ve all made mistakes. And this is the reason why God hates sin because sin is the opposite of whom God is, because who is God?
God is holy, my friends. And sin separates us from God. Sin destroys the fellowship that we have got. Sin destroys and breaks us into pieces. And this is the reason why God hates sin is that sin breaks us. Therefore, sin breaks the heart of God. And so there’s got to be something that takes place between the holiness of God and the sinfulness of mankind. And how do you reconcile these two things? How do these two things coexist? Well, the Old Testament gives us a foreshadow of what was to come.
Now, folks, listen to me. In the Old Testament, the holiness of God and the sinfulness of mankind had to coexist. But how did they coexist? What was the methodology? Well, in the Old Testament, there’s this thing that is called the Day of Atonement. And the Day of Atonement is when the High Priest would enter into the Holy of Holies one time a year. Now, what was the Day of Atonement all about? The Day of Atonement is all about your sins from the previous year, covered over and forgiven. In other words, when the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies, and God accepted that sacrifice, then God was saying that all of your sins from the previous year are forgiven. Now you can continue to live in freedom for another year. And so the Day of Atonement was central to the life of a Jew. It was a sacred moment. It was a holy moment.
Now, what does the Bible say about this? Look with me at Leviticus chapter 16:1-3. Now, remember, we’re going to a deep dive about Jesus being our what?
Church: High Priest!
Virgil Grant: Jesus being what?
Church: High Priest!
Virgil Grant: Yeah, High Priest. Now, so, but this is the foreshadow of what was to come. We have to understand the Old Testament to understand the New Testament. “The Lord spoke to Moses after the death of Aaron’s two sons, who died after they entered the Lord presence” or enter the Holy of Holies “and burned the wrong kind of fire before him. While the Lord said to Moses, ‘Warn your brother, Aaron,” because Aaron is the High Priest at this particular point, “‘not to enter'” the Holy of Holies, “‘the Most Holy Place behind the inner curtain whenever he chooses. If he does, he will die. For The Ark’s-cover the place of atonement.'” This is the reason why it’s called the Day of Atonement. There’s a place there that the High Priest would sprinkle the blood representing their sins, being covered. “‘It’s there.'” And God says,”‘and I myself am present in the cloud above the Atonement cover. When Aaron enters the sanctuary area, he must follow these instructions fully. He must bring a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering.'”.
Now, folks, the Day of Atonement, you have to understand, was a very significant moment each year in the life of the nation of Israel, and everything centered around the actions of the High Priest. And I want to show you what a High Priest would look like in that day in time because he was going into the Holy of Holies. He was going in representing you, representing me, before God himself. He was asking for forgiveness of your sins and forgiveness of the sins of the community. Now you’ll notice that there’s some things about the High Priest that’s very important. The vestment that we call it the garb in the South. But this is the vestment that the High Priest would put on. But we call it the garb, right? But this is like the High Priest, you know, this is his apparel. Whenever you went into the Holy of Holies, and there’s some details that was very important.
And one of the things that you heard as Gentry walked out was there was some bells that was attached to the bottom of this garment. And why were there bells on the bottom of the garment? Because remember, the High Priest is going into the Holy of Holies. He’s just instructed Moses and Aaron that if you go in there unapproved, that you will be struck down dead Aaron’s two sons. And so if the people on the outside of the curtain, if they heard bells inside, they knew that the High Priest was what? Was still alive. If they didn’t hear any bells, then know, “uh oh, he’s died.” Now, who’s going to go in after him? And no one would go in after him. So what they would do is, before the High Priests went into the Holy of Holies, what would they do? They would tie a rope around his ankle. And if they didn’t hear any bells, then they would go, “Okay, he must have died.” And they would pull him out, right? And but fortunately, we have no account of any High Priests dying in the Holy of Holies, so it’s a good thing.
Now, the other thing that you’ll notice is that there’s 12 different stones on the vestment here. And what do you think those 12 stones represent? You might want to take a guess. The 12 tribes of Israel. But more importantly, notice this, is that he’s carrying, the High Priest is carrying the sins of the nation of Israel and the 12 tribes with him into the Holy of Holies, into The Ark, because he’s going to ask for forgiveness for the sins of himself and of the community when he goes into the Holy of Holies.
Now, everything revolved around the actions of the High Priests. Now it’s very important for the High Priest to have his life in order. You understand this, right? I mean, he’s going in. He’s representing you. He’s representing your nation. He’s representing your community and your tribe. He’s representing your family. And so it’s important that the High Priest would have his act together. Now, I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want my High Priest, the night before, throwing back a couple cold brews and going. Tomorrow’s going to be a long, stressful day. I better have a couple tonight, right? Are we clear on this? Everything revolved around the High Priest.
Now, let’s continue to read Leviticus Chapter 16:4-6. Well, notice what the High Priest must do. “He must put on his linen tunic and the living undergarments worn next to his body. He was tie the linen sash around his waist and put the linen turban on his head. These are sacred garments, so he must bathe himself in water before he puts them on. Arron Must take from the community of Israel two male goats for his sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. Arron will present his own bull as a sin offering,” notice what it says, is not only does he have to bathe, not only does it put on the right clothing, the right garments. But notice what else he does before he will even represent you or represent our community or nation. The first thing that the High Priest had to do was to purify himself and to purify his family. Making himself in his family’s right before he would represent us, before God. And so the activities on the Day of Atonement started with the High Priest, first of all, having his own sin and the sins of his family covered first. It’s very, very important that you understand that everything started with the High Priest. And as the High Priest entered into the Holy of Holies. This is your chance. This is my chance to be made pure before God for another year. And this moment when the High Priest enters into the Holy of Holies is a very intense and sacred moment.
Now let’s look at Leviticus, chapter 16:7-9, and notice what he must do. He must “then take the two male goats and present them to the Lord at the entrance of the Tabernacle. He is to cast sacred lots.” Now, why is he doing sacred lords? He’s choosing. He’s making a choice. Notice what he’s doing. He’s throwing lots “to determine which goat will be reserve as an offering to the Lord and which goat will carry the sins of the people to the wilderness of Azazel. Aaron will then present as a sin offering the goat chosen by lot for the Lord.” Now you have to understand that what’s taking place here. There’s two goats, one’s going to be chosen to be sacrifice. Because why? Your sins has to be covered. The other goat is going to live, and he is going to be the one who’s going to remove your sin away.
Now, look with me, verse number ten. “The other goat, the scapegoat chosen by lot to be sent away, will be kept alive.” So the goat that’s not sacrificed. The goat whose blood is not sprinkled over the atonement, or The Ark, is going to live. And what is he going to do as he’s alive, knows what he’s going to be doing? He’s going to be sent away “into the wilderness, and the people will be purified and made right with the Lord.” Now, folks, this is where we would probably need a live goat because if we had a live goat, I could show you the actions of the High Priest.
And I think we have a live goat. And here it comes. Holy cow. Look at this. Unbelievable. It just showed up. Now, this was the goat. And don’t let that thing butt me, okay? It knows it doesn’t like me. Don’t smile. So now look what would happen if verses 22-23. So you got to move over next to Gentry. Not next to me. Move on, okay? When Arron—gosh, it smells. Good Lord. Didn’t you give it a bath? Now notice what it says “When Aaron has finished purifying the most holy place,” now notice he’s purified the holy place, because why? He’s already killed the one goat. He’s already taking the blood of the one goat and sprinkled it over The Ark. He’s purified the most holy place in the tabernacle and the altar. He’s already done that. He’s already had the sins of the community and other nation covered. And then, he must present the live goat. “And he will lay both of his hands on the goat’s head and confess over it all of the wickedness, rebellion, and sins of the people of Israel.” Did you notice that? Not only was you covered the sins of the people, but now he’s going to lay his hands on the head of the goat, and he’s going to confess over it all of the wickedness, the rebellion, and sins of the people of Israel. “In this way, he would transfer the people’s sins to the head of the goat. Then a man specially chosen for the task would drive the goat out into the wilderness. And as the goat goes into the wilderness, it will carry all of the people sins upon itself into desolated land.”.
Now, folks here’s the deal. The High Priest would reach down on the head of the goat, and he would lay his hands on the head of the goat. Now, there’s a lot of debate and a lot of discussion about what would take place when the High Priest would lay his hands on the head of the goat. Now they would go, well, what would he say? Would he say anything? And there’s a lot of debate and discussion. Would he say a prayer, and if he say said a prayer, how long would the prayer would be?
And then after that, you know, the only thing they know for sure is that when the High Priest put his hands on the head of the goat, and that all of the sins of Israel was placed on that goat, and the person who’s in charge of this goat was a Gentile and not a Jew. Now, why was it a Gentile? Well, a Gentile wouldn’t want to be handling a loaded goat like this. Right? Because it was what? It carried all the sins of the nation upon it. Then the Gentile would take that goat way out into the wilderness, turn it loose, and they would drive it away as far as they could, signifying the removal of the sins of the people of God.
Now, folks, the nation of Israel actually believe that God would remove their sins. Listen to me. They believe that God would remove their sins. Can you imagine that they believe something like this? You mean they actually believe that when the goat left, their sins left with it? And folks, this is at the heart of what it means to live a life for God. The redeemed life is where your sins are taken away.
And folks, you understand that the goat didn’t remove the sins of the nation of Israel. Is that the goat is only a picture of the fact that God has removed their sins. It’s symbolism, it’s symbolic that when the High Priest placed his hands on the head of the goat, it was only symbolic that God, what is just a picture of what God did in their hearts. And here’s the thing that you need to understand, is that this was a temporary covering under the Old Testament. This was something that happened every single year. But guess what, my friends, you and I, we don’t live under the old covenant. We live under what? The New Covenant? And can I tell you something? There is a High Priest that is greater than Aaron or any other High Priest. And guess what? His name is, my friends, his name is Jesus.
And look at how the New Testament describes the High Priest named Jesus. It’s in Hebrews 10:10-12, and that’s what it says “For God’s will,” What is God’s will for us? It gives us an in-depth description of what God’s will is for us, but it also gives us an in-depth description of who our High Priest is today “For God’s will was for us to be made holy.” Whose Holy? God. And what does God’s want for our lives? He wants us to be holy. And by the sacrifice of the lamb. The sacrifice of the goat, is that what it says? No. It says “by the sacrifice of the body” of what? Somebody said it. “Of Jesus Christ” and who’s Jesus Christ? He’s our High Priest. Because why is he our High Priest? Because his body “once and for all time. Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar, day after day. Offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away your sins. But our High Priest,” And what is his name? It’s Jesus. “But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, and good for all time.” And then, after he offered his sacrifice once and for all, in the Holy of Holies, which was his own body, then he was able to set down the place of honor at God’s right hand.
And friends, Jesus Christ is our High Priest. He’s taking away our sins once and for all. We never have to have another priest to enter into the Holy of Holies for us because, why? Jesus Christ did it once and for all. He became the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf. Isn’t that wonderful? Isn’t it a beautiful picture of Jesus being our High Priest? Would you give it up for Gendry, and the goat, and brad? Yeah. Thank you, man. Thank you. Appreciate it.
Now, Jesus is our sacrifice. But can I tell you something else? Jesus also intercedes for us. You have to understand that Jesus is not only our sacrifice, but Jesus is the person who intercedes for us. I want you to look at this next verse from Hebrews Chapter Four. “So then, since we have such a great High Priest,” and who’s your High Priest?
Virgil Grant: “Who has entered into heaven, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe.” Do not forget this principle. Do not forget that Jesus had sacrificed his own life to cover your sins. But you have to do something. We we’ll talk about in a moment. But notice what it says. “This High Priest of ours,” this priest that is called Jesus. He understands what, my friends? What does it say? He understands what? Our what? What does it say? I can’t hear you. What does he understand? He “understands our weaknesses. For he faced all of the same testings that we do, yet he did not sin.” Folks, Jesus, our High Priest, not only made the ultimate sacrifice, but he ultimately intercedes for you and I. In other words, he prays on our behalf. You have to understand that he relates to our trials. He sympathizes with our pain. If you’re struggling physically if you’ve had someone who has received some bad medical reports. Jesus Christ is your healer. If you’re going—whatever you’re going through at this moment, he understands what you’re going through because why? He is our High Priest. If you’re tired and exhausted, you’re overwhelmed, and you don’t feel like you can hold it all together, and you’re completely weak and broken. I want you to understand something. Your High Priest named Jesus understands everything that you’re struggling with at this complete moment. He understands your weaknesses. And he can make your weaknesses perfect because of his strength.
If you’re struggling financially and you feel like the weight of the world is on top of you. And you have so many expenses. You have so few resources. I want you to understand that he is your provider. He is your High Priest. If you have a loved one who is far away from God and you’re worried about where they’re going to spend eternity, I just want you to know something, that Jesus, your High Priest, is praying for that loved one right now on your behalf, and on the behalf of Heaven. If you’re here today and you’re dealing with crazy family members, can I just tell you, it’s a spiritual principle. Everybody has a crazy family member. Just understand that Jesus, your High Priest, understands everything about your family. If you’re hurting emotionally, perhaps you need to understand that your High Priest, Jesus, is asking you to cast all of your cares upon Him. And if you are here today and you’ve never had your sins forgiven, if you’ve never asked Jesus to come into your heart, if you’ve never received a new fresh start, if you’ve never had your name written in the Book of Heaven. The great thing about our High Priest named Jesus, he is ready and willing to extend what? Grace to you, because what did Jesus do as our High Priest? Is that He’s satisfied the holiness of God, and He took care of the sinfulness of mankind. That’s what Jesus, our High Priest, is all about.
And some of you may be here this morning. And you may ask, “Pastor, I’ve heard you talk about being born again. I’ve heard you talk about getting saved and having my name written in the Book of Heaven. But I don’t believe that God can save me. I don’t believe God is still in the business of doing that.” Well, this morning, we have a testimony, and Sam Morgan this morning, is going to come and share about how God saved him back this past October. So would you welcome Sam to the stage this morning, and let’s give it up for Sam as he shares with us.
Sam Morgan: Well, good morning, everybody. I’m Sam Morgan, this January will be my second year attending Eastside Community Church. And our worship leader, Olivia, sent me an invite to come here and play drums in the worship team for the Evening Youth Services. And I think at the time, I was just trying to get any kind of gig that I could get.
I will be honest with you all my relationship with God. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. It hasn’t been very good in the past. My parents took me and my brother to Church when we were younger, but I feel like, over time, we kind of grew away from that. And for a long time, I really didn’t know what to think about Christ. I was uncertain about a lot of things in my life. I felt like I had little direction. I felt like that I could take on my life on my own. Which I quickly found out was very hard to do. I went to college for four years, but I ended up not graduating. Mainly due to a falling out, really within myself, because I felt like, especially after that moment, I lost my conviction. I felt like that I lost really the little direction that I had.
But it was at that moment that God entered my life. Of course, I didn’t know it at the time, but when Olivia invited me to come play here, that was God knocking on my heart. After I dropped out, I got a job, I started providing for myself and my roommate, and I started playing more here at the church. I met more of the great people that go here, the great people that are on the worship teams. And overall, I was feeling better about myself. And then, of course, eventually, I was invited to go to Man Camp, which I used to be in the Boy Scouts, but I hadn’t been camping like ten years. I kind of had some—I was a little intimidated when I was first asked to come do it, but they helped soothe my doubts. And it was on that weekend that God showed me what he can do. How he moves, how he’s changed in this world for good, and for me, I couldn’t ignore it any longer.
And since I’ve made that confession, I feel like my life has turned completely around. I mean, I feel inspired. I feel that sense of conviction again. I feel motivated to make a difference in my community and my world. And it’s all through him.
He gave me the gift of salvation, and I feel like I can never given up things for that. So today, if you have any doubt in Christ, just know simply the fact that you’re here. You know, somebody may have invited you to come. You know, a family member may have invited you. Whatever it may be. That’s God knocking on your heart, and he has a gift for you. So if you’re here today and you have any doubts, I went to the same thing. Well, I’m not sure what’s going to happen if I give my life to Christ. I don’t know what’s going to happen. You know, whatever doubts you may have, they don’t matter. Today is the best day to accept that gift. It’s not tomorrow. It’s not next week. It’s not next month. It’s not wherever it may be in the future. It’s today. Thank you.
Virgil Grant: And Sam’s right. Today is your day of salvation. And some of you may be asking, well, what does that even look like? And there’s a verse from John 3:3, and it’s from the lips of Jesus. Jesus says, “I am telling you the truth: no one can see the Kingdom of God” unless they’re, first of all, “born again.” What happened to Sam back in October at Man Camp weekend is that he was born again. He received Christ as His Lord and Savior. And the most important question that you’ll ever have to answer is this, have you been born again? Have I been born again? And you’re the only person that can answer that question. No one else can answer that question for you, and no one can ever take it away from you. People can question you, but only you know, deep down, if you’ve ever been born again or not.
And if you haven’t been born again, and you’re here, and you go, Well, Pastor, how can I be born again? Well, there’s three things that you need to do in order to start the journey because, as Sam said, it’s a journey, it’s a process. And the first thing you have to do is to admit that you’re a sinner, to admit that you’ve messed up, to admit that you are broken, to admit that you’ve fallen short, to admit that you’re jacked up on the inside. And whatever is wrong with you, you cannot fix it. You know why you cannot fix it? Is because it’s a sin issue, and not one single person can fix your problem for you. Not your parents, not your grandparents, not your priest, not your pastor, not your life group leader. You can’t take a program. You can’t take a pill. There’s nothing that you can do here on Earth that can fix what’s wrong with you. Because it’s a disease that is called sin.
And you go, well, if nobody can fix it, then what’s the solution? Well, this is where the letter B comes into play, is that we believe that God sent his son, Jesus, as our High Priest, right? Our High Priest, who became the sacrifice once and for all for your sins and my sins. And then Jesus not only did that, but he became the person who intercedes for us. Who’s praying for you today, for you to accept him and to be born again. We believe that Jesus did for us what we could not do for our selves. He lived the life that we cannot live. And he died the death that we should have died. He did it all. He was our substitute. He took our place.
And the letter C means that we have to confess. All of this was to confess that we’re sinner. Confess that we cannot save ourselves. Confess that we’ve fallen short. Confess and believe that Jesus has died for our sins. And He’s taking care of our sin as you. We have to confess Jesus as Lord and Savior.
As so, there is more. Let me just ask you about your head. And maybe you’re here today, and you’re ready to receive, to be born again. Ready to receive Jesus into your heart. And if you’re ready to do that this morning, I just want to include you in the prayer of being born again. This was basically the same prayer that Sam prayed. It’s a prayer that I prayed when I was nine. It’s a prayer that many of you have prayed. But there’s probably a couple in the room, maybe more, who’s never made this decision, who’s never stepped across the line. And today is your day to be born again, to have your sins taken care of once and forever.
And what I want to do in a moment, I’m going to pray the prayer of being born again. But I want to make sure that I include you in the prayer. And here’s what I’m going to ask you to do for me just in a second. In a second, I just want you to just raise your hand really, really high if you want to be included in that prayer. And I’m going to go around the room and is going to count the hands, and then we’re going to pray the prayer together. And so this morning, if you’re here and you’ve come to the realization that God brought you here, that God’s knocking on your heart’s door, that He’s ready to save you. He’s ready to give you a brand-new start. And if you recognize that this morning and ready to receive Jesus as your Lord and savior, just raise your hand really, really high, and just keep him up. I’m just going to go around the room and count them. I see one, thank you. Two, thank you. Anyone else? I see Two hands, thank you. Anyone else? Two people this morning. Here’s what I am going to ask you do to. I’m going to ask everyone just to look at the screen with me. And I just want everyone to read this out loud with me. It says:
Virgil and Church: Dear Lord Jesus, I believe you’re the son of God. I believe that on the cross, you took my sin, my shame, my guilt, and you died for it. You face hell for me so I wouldn’t have to go. You rose from the dead to give me a place in Heaven, a purpose on earth, and a relationship with your father. Today, Lord Jesus turned from us. Sin to be born again. God is my Father. Jesus is my Savior. The Holy Spirit is my helper. In Heaven is now my home. In Jesus name, Amen.
Virgil Grant: Let’s welcome these two people into the kingdom of God. Amen. The best Christmas gift ever that the two of you have just received is being born again, having your sins completely wiped away. And friends, aren’t you glad today we get to celebrate with these two individuals? And not only are we celebrating as a community of faith, but we’re celebrating with a cloud of witnesses this morning because the scripture says that there’s a cloud of witnesses watching us this morning, and there’s angels in Heaven that’s rejoicing with what’s going on in this place today. And we’re going to worship and rejoice with them. So let’s give it up one more time for these two individuals.