The First Christian – Gospel in Life
Sermon

The First Christian

Tim Keller |  December 8, 1991

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Topics:
  • Glorification
  • Christmas and Advent
  • Understanding the Gospel
Duration:
29:36
Scripture:
Luke 1:26-38
SKU:
RS 24-1

Luke 1:26–50

Mary is the first Christian as we see in Luke 1. She is the first to hear and respond to the Christmas message. Her reaction, full of wonder, fear, and truth, helps us understand how we should respond to our faith. The Christmas message, which is the same as the gospel message, needs a serious response from us.

1. Centrality

When Mary says, “My soul glorifies and my spirit exalts,” she shows a deep, life-changing experience that touches her whole self. Her journey of faith, with moments of doubt, confusion, and finally understanding, shows the different ways Christian experiences can happen. The key thing is to be deeply touched and to feel a greater power working inside you, no matter how quickly or slowly you understand.

2. Wonder

Mary’s song shows the heart of Christianity. It’s not about what we do, but about the grace and revelation God gives us. Her joy and amazement show her deep realization that her experience is where the story of salvation and the world meet. If we don’t feel this kind of wonder and joy in our lives, we haven’t yet understood the real message of the gospel.

3. Fear

The fear of God can be divided into two types: fear based on law and fear based on love. The first is about avoiding harm or loss, while the second comes from a deep love and respect, creating a fear of causing disappointment or hurt. True Christians, knowing they’re saved by Jesus’s actions and not their own, feel thankful and want to honor God. This leads them to live passionately and energetically, driven more by the fear of hurting love than the fear of harm.

4. Truth

Jesus Christ displays the perfect mix of love and holiness. Mary’s joy, wonder, and passion for holy living come from her understanding of the gospel truth: God demands righteousness but is also merciful and loving. Jesus fulfilled the law and paid our sin debt. It’s important to accept Christ as Savior, letting God’s love and holiness shape us. This ends with a prayer for energy, wonder, fear of God, and a renewed sense of love.

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February Book Offer

Put Your Hope Not in Lesser gods, But in the One True God

In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.

February Book Offer

Put Your Hope Not in Lesser gods, But in the One True God

In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.