(RE-LIGHT ALL FOUR CANDLES AND THEN LIGHT THE WHITE CANDLE IN THE CENTER)
Our waiting is over – Christmas Day is here. As we relight the three purple candles and the pink candle, we now celebrate the birth of Christ our Savior and Lord.
- The first purple candle was the Prophecy candle, the candle of hope.
- The second purple candle was the Bethlehem candle: the candle of peace.
- The third candle, which is pink, was the Shepherds candle, the candle of joy.
- The fourth candle, the last purple one, was the Angel candle, the candle of love.
Today we light the white candle; The candle of Christ, and we light it with great joy because God’s Son came into the world to be our Savior, and by faith, we have received Him into our lives. We rejoice in knowing our sins are forgiven, and we are assured of heaven. We also light this candle with great expectation, looking forward to the day when He will come again as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Amen!
- Also read: Micah 5:1-5, Read Luke 2:1-20. Psalm 145
- Suggested Hymn: Joy to the World
A gospel presentation adapted from Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s “Three R’s”: Ruin, Redemption, and Regeneration.
Spurgeon’s “Three R’s” cover the three things a biblical gospel presentation needs to establish: the problem, the solution, and the response. Spurgeon told young students in his pastor’s college that these three doctrines must permeate their evangelism and preaching, and I agree. Spurgeon was a gifted, tireless evangelist whom God used to win untold thousands to Christ, and I urge every reader to read this presentation again and again until they can share it with another person, including their own children.
Three Core Doctrines of Evangelism
Spurgeon called them “three doctrines that must be preached above all else.” Let’s consider Spurgeon’s three R’s.
Ruin (Gen. 3:14-15). This is what man has done. In our post-postmodern culture, we must begin with creation and the fall. Even with all the sources of knowledge and information at our fingertips, biblical illiteracy abounds. Therefore, while the younger generation may not like what is going on in the world, they have no idea why it is the way it is – they are unaware we are living under God’s curse.
In Genesis 3:13-15, God defined the curse for Adam and Eve’s rebellion against Him, and every person is born with that same sinful nature. In Romans 3:23, the Apostle Paul wrote, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Inherently, every person rejects God’s love, defies God’s ways, and violates God’s laws, so that not only are we living under God’s curse, but we are also facing the wrath of God for our rebellion. The term for that rebellion is “sin” – to fall short of God’s glory!
But in the second half of verse 15, God launched His rescue plan to save us from His wrath. God said the “Seed” of the woman (Eve) would eventually crush the head of the “seed” of the serpent (Satan). The serpent would constantly bruise the heel of the woman’s offspring, but this Promised “Seed” would eventually crush the head of the serpent. What began as a faint whisper just outside the garden of Eden became the shout of Jesus’ Christ from the cross when He said, “It is finished.” That rescue mission is the next “R” in Spurgeon’s sermon.
Redemption (Rom. 3:21-26). This is what God has done. This is the good news that trumps the bad news. In these five verses, Paul established the demands of God’s law, the futility of salvation by works, the law’s definition of sin, the righteousness of God that is to be received by faith in Christ, justification by faith through the redemption of Jesus Christ, and his satisfaction of God’s wrath against sin. This paragraph contains the entire matrix of the work of Christ that he accomplished on the cross, work that provided full pardon from the guilt of sin for every sinner who believes. It is perhaps the most glorious paragraph in human history.
Regeneration (John 3:1-8). This is what God must do in sinners to enable them to believe. The Bible is absolutely clear that one’s regeneration must precede their expression of faith. In other words, God changes the sinful human heart, sets it free from bondage to sin, and enables it to believe that Jesus is indeed the way, the truth, and the life.
Regeneration, like the entire work of salvation, is a unilateral work of grace. The reality of regeneration urges us to call sinners to repentance and faith while resting in the work of God, who alone opens blind eyes and unstops deaf ears. It removes the pressure from us and frees us to boldly share the gospel while knowing that the results are in the hands of a sovereign God.
Once we understand the biblical understanding of regeneration, we may call on sinners to repent and be reconciled to God while leaving the results to Him. In effect, we share the gospel with our lips and with our lives and leave the results to the Holy Spirit.
|God delights to display the glory of His grace and the wonders of His love, to and through those the world considers worthless.|