Sunday Gathering – Redemption : The Power of Christmas – Rob White
December 3, 2023

Sunday Gathering – Redemption : The Power of Christmas – Rob White


This week we start our Christmas / Advent celebrations with guest speaker Rob White


Rob White's sermon, "Redemption: The Power of Christmas," focused on the core significance of Christmas beyond its commercial aspects. He discussed the power inherent in the Christmas season, acknowledging both its positive and negative influences. He emphasized the central message of Christmas using biblical references, particularly the verse Matthew 1:21, highlighting Jesus as the Savior who would save people from their sins.

Rob delved into the concept of redemption, explaining it as the action of regaining possession or clearing a debt. He emphasized that Jesus paid the debt of sin on behalf of humanity, allowing individuals to be freed from sin's hold and be reconciled with God. He emphasized that Jesus' birth in Bethlehem marked the beginning of a transformative journey, leading to the ultimate sacrifice on the cross.

Furthermore, Rob explored the ongoing process of salvation beyond forgiveness, discussing how the Holy Spirit continues to work in believers' lives, helping them overcome sin's grip. He highlighted the need for a continuous reliance on Jesus as a Savior, acknowledging the daily struggles against sin and the need for spiritual liberation.

Rob encouraged a deeper understanding of the Savior's role, not just in forgiving sins but also in transforming lives to reflect Jesus' character. He stressed the need for individuals to embrace Jesus as their Savior and invited anyone who had not yet accepted Jesus into their lives to do so.

The sermon ultimately emphasized the significance of Jesus as the Savior, urging individuals to seek continuous salvation and transformation in their daily lives through a personal relationship with Christ.


Thank you, Father.
Hey, man.
Well, thank you very much for the welcome Nick
and all of you, really.
Thank you for putting your hands together
and giving a round of applause.
And I think maybe what we should have done
is actually got in touch with Nick and said,
look, we're struggling on the roads
and let him preach the sermon that he got, you know?
But there we are. He needs a rest.
So I'm thinking we could relax.
When we got here and you said, I've heard something.
I actually said to him, well, we've had a struggle
of a journey. We could just relax now.
But he wasn't up for that.
So there we are. It's fair enough.
OK, there's a blank slide there.
They've got two words to say to you
at this particular moment in time.
And that is Merry Christmas, a Merry Christmas everybody.
Following this, I don't know.
There was a song on there, but it may not work.
I mean, give it a go.
And if not, we'll see.
You're a good man. He got it up there.
Fantastic. We weren't sure it was going to work.
Well, that's a strange song.
I mean, if you actually find it in songs of fellowship,
I think so.
Well, I'm not sure you will.
But why did I play that?
Because there is a power in Christmas.
It's interesting when we start to sing that song.
Everybody, most people, I join in.
Hey, this is good. It's great.
Because there is a power, isn't there?
In the whole Christmas thing.
Unfortunately, sometimes it's a negative power.
Because it's the pull of commercialism.
It's the pull of money.
It's the pull of all sorts of things.
Maybe a pull of eating too much or drinking too much.
You know, some people say the most crazy things
like a Christmas at some time I'm going to go out
and get smatched.
What are ridiculous things to say
as if there's something powerful in it?
But it's the pull. It's the power.
There is a power.
And of course, a lot of the good power
is in giving and receiving.
A lot of the good power is in family.
If family really does get on together
and seeing people we haven't seen for a long time,
there's a power in it.
But the real power of Christmas is in this verse here,
which if you could put this verse up,
please, my friend, that would be absolutely great.
And of course, it's a great,
it's a great long story that would come.
But here is the power, she, that is Mary,
will give birth to a son.
And you are to give him the name Jesus
because he will save his people from their sins.
What is the power of Christmas
that we could ask three questions?
Who, what, and why?
Well, it tells us in Isaiah chapter 7
the Virgin will conceive and bear a son.
And we know that Mary was a virgin.
So immediately we know the who is God
because virgins do not conceive and bear children.
So it has to be a miracle.
A miracle has come from the hand of God.
It's either of you, it's a number one.
When we look talking about Christmas,
we're talking about God, the living God,
number two, the what.
And the what is that they will give birth to a son
who will be called Jesus,
which of course means savior.
And the why?
Because he will save his people from their sins.
You talked about, he prayed about redemption, Nick.
And how redemption to actually hear
this message of redemption again is absolutely fantastic.
So what happened basically at Christmas time?
God came down the staircase of eternity.
And he reaped a door called time.
And unnoticed by a few outcasted heavens
and a few astronomer astrologers from the east
came as a baby, closed the door of time behind him
and dwelt there.
Jesus was his name.
God in an animal's feeding trough.
They wrapped him in swaddling clothes.
God in nappies.
Can you imagine that?
The living God sharing humanity with us.
This is why we, or rather Nick,
I was going to say we're calling this theme.
But I joined in with it.
Is redemption the power of Christmas
if we could move onto the next slide, please?
Redemption the power of Christmas.
And the meaning of redemption, which I'm sure we know,
by looked it up in the dictionary
and do put the next one on please.
And in the dictionary, interesting of it
gives two definitions.
The first one that gives it is the Christian definition
of the fact that Jesus bought us.
They actually put that in the dictionary
that while I looked at it was number one.
But if you like, the meaning across all kinds of fields
is the action of regaining or gaining possession
of something in exchange for payment or clearing a debt.
So in other words, it's gaining or regaining the possession.
You and I are the possession belonging to God.
And actually, we'd been lost.
But Jesus came and paid the debt.
He paid it and cleared it.
I remember an old song.
I don't know if you remember singing it,
but it was just started to sound like he paid a debt.
He did not owe.
I owed a debt I could not pay.
And it was Jesus that came and actually paid that debt
and released us.
Absolutely amazing.
And what was the payment?
Look, for the Son of Man did not come to be served,
but to serve and give his life a ransom for many.
To think about it, you and I would be totally lost.
If God hadn't come and given his life in the shape of Jesus,
which is a ransom, that is the price that's paid
to set us free.
For many, are you one of the many?
Maybe this morning, one or two of you three of you,
maybe more have never experienced what it is
to actually understand that Jesus paid the debt
or paid the price to set you free.
I really hope and pray this morning that he would.
I really do.
Now you might think, well, what is the power of Christmas?
He got a baby.
Here we've got a baby.
But what we need to remember is the baby of Bethlehem
became the Christ of Calvary, the same.
The crude word of the manger
gave way to the crude word of the cross.
So when we actually look at the power of Christmas,
it's not just looking ahead, but realizing
that the work started when Jesus came to be born
and God came as a baby.
Deal or no deal?
How about you?
Or do you actually think what is in your box
is actually more precious than the box
that Jesus wants you to open?
Because I know that the box that Jesus wants you to open
is far better than anything you've got or I've got.
Deal or no deal?
Well, I say, I'm glad I've made it a deal.
Or Jesus made it a deal.
And I was prepared to deal in that way with Jesus
and through Jesus.
But you know, there's one thing I want to say about being saved
from sin.
In fact, there's a few things, but the first actual point
I want to make is that when we talk about being saved
from our sins, we understand that the good news
is that if we come and put our trust in Jesus,
then our sin does not count against us,
because Jesus took that sin on the cross of Calvary.
We know that.
And so in that sense, if we put our trust in Jesus,
we've been saved from our sin.
It says in Romans chapter 8 through Christ Jesus,
the law of the spirit of life set me free
from the law of sin and death.
To think of that, just think of that you and I
just lost in our lostness, lost in all that we were as people,
far away from God.
But when Jesus came and died, then when the Holy Spirit came,
if we put our trust in Jesus, then the wonderful thing
is that the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus
sets me free from the law of sin and death.
Freedom is amazing.
And you know, that freedom, as I say,
bought with a massive great price.
But there is a but here, OK?
Because is that all that there is to it?
Is that really all that there is to it?
Because let me say that when we understand that the law of spirit
of life has set me free from the law of sin and death,
actually, it means more than that,
but it doesn't mean less than that.
I don't give you, let me just say, it means more than that,
but it never means less than that.
That's the good thing.
How does it mean more than that?
Well, I believe there's one problem that often we have as Christians,
and that is that because we know we're forgiven,
then we'll go on living life, well, the best we can.
And if we live with a few sins, well, that's tough,
because Jesus forgives us anyway.
We never think it's tough, but we live as if it is a we get stuck into habits.
And actually, it's as if we think we're going to have known a magic carpet ride,
and we're actually free to go to heaven,
but we've got our little pet sins that we're carrying along with us.
Because when it says he will save his people from their sins,
Jesus is an everlasting eternal, Jesus,
God is an everlasting eternal God,
so he's still saving us.
It's not just that he saves us from our sins,
great, I'm forgiven, I'm going to heaven.
Oh God, for bed, that's just the base of the gospel message.
It's wonderful, but there's more to it than that.
He is saving us from our sins.
He's actually in the process of saving you
and saving me from the sins that we so easily commit.
It's not just a theological thing,
it's a practical everyday thing,
that he is saving you and he's saving me.
And when I looked into the Hebrew,
the Hebrew in the Old Testament, the first part of the Bible,
interesting enough, the word save actually suggests
to give width and breadth to liberate, to set free.
Because a savior is one who releases a person
from confinement and narrowness and limitation.
Now this is what I want, if you like,
for those of us that already love Jesus
and already know Jesus,
and those of us who actually realize
that our sins have been forgiven,
I really want to say this to us,
and I very much say it to myself,
because in John chapter 8 and verse 34,
it says, he who sins, or she who sins,
is a slave of sin.
Now because Jesus has set us free,
we're no longer slaves to sin.
But you and I know that we find ourselves wrapped up in things
that cause us to be cause that becoming habits,
they become ways of life,
they become things that become pet things
that we can do nothing else with or nothing else about.
And do we not know all about that?
Who here knows, don't bother to put your hand up,
don't give the game away,
but who here knows how sin forms habits in us,
and it forms a way of living in us,
and we find things difficult to get hold of.
I really want to pray this morning,
that as we get the message of redemption again,
we know that redemption isn't just sins,
I forget, not if I go,
but a constant work of the Holy Spirit
to free me from the sin that binds me, holds me,
confines me, imprisons me, closes me down,
and doesn't allow the space that God wants in my life.
And you know, patterns and compulsions drive us so much,
we desperately need someone to save us.
We desperately need a savior,
because we need someone to save us from ourselves constantly,
I need someone to save me from myself,
because I know what I'm like.
I know the things that hold me.
I know the things that creep up on me
and take me time and time again,
and hey, folks, I need a savior.
I know I've got a savior,
but don't ever let me look back.
So I've got a savior, that's great, and that's fine.
I need a savior today.
I'll need a savior tomorrow.
I'll need a savior when life is going against me.
I'll need a savior when somebody annoys me.
I'll need a savior when I see that person,
I don't like very much, I love them of course,
because I'm the Christian,
and I'll smile and say, I love you,
but I don't like, I'll need a savior
for the way that I react, I need a savior.
I need a savior to come in
when I'm tempted and give in too quickly.
I need a savior to come in right at that moment
and save me from yielding to that temptation.
Oh, do I need a savior?
Do we need a savior?
What a savior?
And this savior is absolutely amazing.
I remember, I remember, Tony,
I'm sure I've got this a little bit wrong.
You'll know it some of it,
but so forgive me, but the idea was,
a guy's walking along a road,
or walking out the countryside's timer,
and suddenly finds himself fallen down into a pit,
and he cannot get out of the pit,
the sides of the pit, and muddy,
it's too steep and he can't get out.
And a long come somebody,
and that person looks down on the pit,
says, do you want to be rescued?
And the man says, yes.
And the guy says, my name is Muhammad.
And if you will do the right things
and pray the right prayers
and say the right things at the right time
and live a good life,
then by all means,
listen, you probably could get out of the pit.
And the man has no help to him
because he's still stuck there.
And then I remember, if I remember rightly,
I think it's someone comes along
and says his name is Buddha.
And look down and says, look,
if you just meditate,
meditate long and hard,
meditate on good things,
meditate on the right things,
you somehow will get out of this pit
and you will be rescued.
And then he just cannot make it out of the pit.
And then a third person comes along
and says, my name is Jesus.
He says, do you trust me to get you out of this pit?
And the man hesitates, he says, yes.
And instead of preaching him a sermon
and giving him a lot of ideas,
Jesus climbs down into the pit.
Pits put him on his back and lifts him out.
What a savior.
Don't have to do this, that and the other.
But hey, I can rescue you.
I can keep you, I can set you free.
Because you know, when we're confined like this,
when we're confined and our sin just binds us up,
it's like being in prison, isn't it?
It's like being in a prison of sin
that we can't escape from.
And that's where sin takes us.
That takes us away from God,
the things that distance away from God.
And it closes off options
and it takes us over and we need a savior.
And we all long to be saved from that confinement.
But how are we going to get free
from what we are and what we've done
if all we've got is the us that got us there
in the first place?
How on earth can we do it?
We need a savior.
We need a Jesus to come and set us free in a new way.
You know, while I was looking at this,
I want to be very honest with you.
And I suppose every preacher does this.
I hope they do anyway.
Every preacher prepares and thinks,
oh, help, am I living the way I'm going to talk about now?
Am I living my, was it just words?
And I want to say to you that I really had to,
I really had to look at this game, this again.
And I had to say, am I really?
Have I really got a savior?
Am I living with this savior?
Am I allowing him to save me moment by moment?
And even over the last few days,
I found myself in a place where I've said,
shall I give in or shall I look for the savior?
Please hear me.
I, you know, living, living as a Christian isn't easy,
but if I trust, put my trust in Jesus
and allow him to save us, we can walk through everything.
We can find that salvation, we can find that victory
and it's fantastic.
And you know the wonderful thing is,
I don't know if you, I mentioned God in Nappis.
When, when Marin and I had our children,
I actually took my turn in, in changing Nappis.
And they weren't, I know those were sort of around my age.
I really did, well, we had twins,
so I had to look after one of them, you know?
I mean, when they woke at night,
Marin sorted out one, and I sorted out the other.
And there was only one problem
that was feeding them in a particular way,
and I couldn't do that, and there we are.
But you did take my turn in changing Nappis.
And it wasn't, it wasn't the sort of easy, disposable Nappi.
It was actually the kind of Nappi Terries.
Thank you very much, OK Terries.
I thought I was chocolate orange, but no, no.
So it was proper Terry Nappis.
And I really was a wimp, I don't know about whether,
the rest of you probably, you know, just do it,
and that's fine, it doesn't matter about the smell and everything.
But I would, I would take the old Nappi, and I'd have to go,
like that, and that must be changing that Nappis.
And you know, the wonderful thing about Jesus is
that when he saves you,
it doesn't matter how bad you've been.
He doesn't hold his nose and that holds your heart select.
I've saved you, but oh gosh, but I've done it.
Jesus comes down, puts his arms around you,
and is not ashamed to call you his friend.
He says, this person belongs to me,
and it's if the enemy could say, what,
you've taken that rotten person, and Jesus said, yeah,
I love him, and they're great, they're really great.
This is good news, because in terms of grace,
it doesn't matter anymore the life you've lived,
what matters is the life that Christ lived,
and the death that he died for you.
That's what matters.
And when we have that fullness,
we can know our Savior day by day.
And that's just, as a second thing,
the wonderful thing is he makes us more holy.
He makes us more like him.
We become more like him.
We love the things that he loves.
We look at the things that he looks at.
We don't want to do the things that displays him.
Absolutely amazing.
And actually, what we care about,
and how we think, and how we act,
and how we respond, we become more like the Savior
that's saving us day by day.
Have you ever been a long side of person
who is so in love with Jesus that you just know it?
Do you know what I mean?
This isn't against anybody here, at all, please hear me.
But you just get some of those people who think,
well, I'm in the company of someone
who really knows Jesus and you feel humbled,
but you feel delighted as well.
Wouldn't it be great if you and I could actually live lives
that's so radiated the Savior
that other people knew that they were in the company
of Jesus when they were in our company?
That's one thing.
There's another old song I remember,
let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me,
all his wondrous compassion and purity.
Oh, you spirit divine, all my nature refine
until the beauty of Jesus is seen in me.
And then there's two more things
that this life is not the end.
You know, what we long for,
do you remember the guy,
I think it was King Louis, who sang it?
Well, I'm the king of swingers
or the jungle VIP.
Do you remember?
I've reached the top and had to stop.
I want to be a man, mancup.
He saw that as the pinnacle of his life
was being able to become a man.
But for us, the pinnacle of our lives
is when we reach eternity
and when we reach heaven.
And do you know what?
Because of our Savior,
you and I become magnificent.
Far better than I self-idealized fantasies,
we become magnificent people.
But as we put our trust in Jesus,
that magnificence starts now.
So let me ask you,
do you want a Savior?
Is there anything about Jesus
that's not good enough for you?
You see, we live in a day and age, don't we?
Of self-improvement.
Years and years ago,
and I've often tried in my life,
I wanted to build some muscle.
I don't know.
Some of you again will remember this.
Do something called bullworker.
And I try bullworker and you push it.
Do you remember?
No, you still, yeah.
You push it and you pull it.
And then the other thing was a guy
that was a bodybuilder called Charles Atlas.
And I just read that it was a seven-week
Charles Atlas course.
So I got it.
I wrote it away for a man.
And I did all the exercises.
But hardly anything happened.
And I thought, and I've got the wrong idea.
Obviously, what it is that you do the course,
and then he sends the muscles.
So I actually wrote to myself,
completed the course,
could you please send the muscles?
But absolutely nothing came.
Because self-improvement is something
that improves your mind,
improves your speech,
improves your relationship,
and we're all given to self-improvement.
But Jesus is the only one
who can really improve what we are
and what we become.
But do you know this people who feel
that they're too good for Jesus?
Too good.
There was a bunch of people in the Bible
who were like that.
They were called the Pharisees.
They thought they were too good for Jesus.
But if Jesus came to save us from our sins,
pardon me, putting like this,
are you prepared to step down
and be where Jesus is hanging out?
Because he's hanging out with people
who need a savior,
not with people who think they're too good.
And I'm sure you and I,
and our heart trusts this money,
we don't feel that we're too good.
So what are we going to do about it, folks?
And we're going to actually say,
yes, I want this savior.
Because if you don't want a second-rate savior
who might embarrass you,
isn't Jesus great enough to win your heart?
Isn't he good enough to set you free?
I believe he is.
And so I would like to ask you to join me
in prayer.
And that we look to this Lord Jesus
and look to Him to set us free,
not just for eternity.
I think that's where it begins
when we turn our lives over to Him,
but to ask Him to keep saving us day by day
so that we become more and more like Jesus.
So can we pray and maybe we just bow our heads?
And I just wonder if there's anybody here
who has never, never said yes to Jesus.
You've never, never looked for a savior.
Or if you have looked for a savior,
you've looked for self-improvement.
If you've looked because you really don't know,
you just know that you want to get out of the mess
that you're in, or the mess that you've made,
or the habits that take you.
If that's you and you've never done it,
then I'd love to pray for you.
And I'm not going to ask you to put your hand up
or anything like that.
But if you would, if that is you,
would you just raise your head up
and just look me in the eye?
And if you look me in the eye, then I'll know
that you actually want to become that person.
Okay, yeah, thank you.
So Father, I just want to pray right now
that you would set, that you would come to this person
and set them free to be people who will follow you,
a person who will follow you,
and find full and free saving and salvation.
Father, for that, I pray, we pray together
in the wonderful name of Jesus.
And then for the rest of us, folks,
those of us not going to ask you again to make a response
because you know who you are.
And we all need saving and we could all respond.
But I'm really being serious at this moment.
If you know that you get caught in the spiral of sin,
I don't know if you make the odd mistake
and you know you're a sinner, we all know that.
But you get caught in a spiral of sin
and you need to invite this Savior to save you day by day
and to step into your life and set you free.
I'm going to pray for you right now.
And you know who you are.
So please, please pray along with me.
Father, in the name of Jesus,
so many of us here find ourselves caught in a spiral
of doing the things we do not want to do.
And we do them again and again.
And we ask you, come daily and be our Savior.
Father, I invite you again into my life
that you would save me from myself.
Save me from the things that I find myself doing
and set me free to pick on more like you,
more like on glorious Lord Jesus Christ.
And Father, I pray that for everybody here
who is actually praying that prayer
and admitting their own need, come and be a daily moment
by moment, Savior.
Thank you, Father.
We worship you in the mighty name
of the Lord Jesus Christ.
And praise God.
What a Savior.
Thanks, Nick.
Bless you.

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