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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Christmas Eve, December 24, 2001

"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).

Columnist David Limbaugh has written an article titled, “Further Assaults on Christianity.”  He reports several new attacks on Christmas by the enemies of Christianity:


        A Frederick County school employee was prohibited from passing out Christmas cards at school because “it may not be a legally protected right on a public school campus.”
         A Pennsylvania fourth grader was stopped from giving Christmas cards to classmates.
        Two Minnesota middle-schoolers got in trouble for wearing red and green scarves in a Christmas skit and for saying “Merry Christmas” to the audience at the end.  (You heard me right – they got disciplined for this!). 
        Two Massachusetts high school students were forbidden from creating cards saying “Merry Christmas” or depicting a Nativity scene. 
        An Oregon high school superintendent required removal of Christian but not secular decorations from students’ lockers. 
        A Georgia school board, after being threatened with a suit by the ACLU, deleted the word “Christmas” from the school calendar (, December 20, 2001).


David Limbaugh, the brother of Rush Limbaugh, in this column, said, “Notice that all of these involve public repression of voluntary student action.  You can dress them up in noble-sounding civil rights language or the enlightened [words] of multiculturalism and pluralism, but the bottom line remains: Expressions of Christianity are becoming increasingly taboo in polite American society today.

We are in a dark time when even a Baptist minister, Rev. Ron Sims, comes out against saying "Merry Christmas" and has to be corrected by the Catholic League of New York City. These are indeed strange days of apostasy - when the Catholic League has more common sense than a so-called Baptist minister, who is probably a liberal, and is certainly a confused Baptist, not true to the faith presented in the Bible.

King County Executive Rev. Ron Sims sent a memo to employees telling them to say "Happy Holidays" or "Holiday Greetings." But he banned the traditional greeting, "Merry Christmas."

Not long ago everyone said "Merry Christmas" and no one thought anything about it. Now it was against policy for a civil service employee to use this cheerful greeting in Seattle, Washington's King County.

Pastor Maynard Sargent of the Salvation Army was upset about the "politically correct" change forced on county employees by Rev. Sims, the head of King County. The Salvation Army pastor "longs for those days when you said what was on your mind and in your heart [as a Christian]" (; December 11, 2001).

"The Catholic League in New York was none too happy when it heard of [Rev.] Sims' memo. The League sent out its own memo criticizing the King County mandate" (ibid).

"On December 10, the Catholic League issued a news release criticizing a November 14 memo by [Rev.] Ron Sims, the King County Executive in Washington State, that warned county employees not to say 'Merry Christmas.' Sims has now reversed himself, saying that it is okay to say 'Merry Christmas' and 'Happy Hanukkah.' However, Sims, and his chief of staff, Tim Ceis, are now saying that the 'intent' of the initial memo was never to ban these words" [?]. (Actually, they "waffled" under pressure from the Catholic League).

Catholic League president William Donohue commented as follows:

We are delighted that freedom of speech has been restored to the employees of King County, Washington. The county executive, Ron Sims, wants us to believe that it was his "intent" all along to allow freedom of speech. But the Baptist minister is being disingenuous. What he explicitly said was that "any holiday recognition or celebration should be religion-neutral." He then cited as examples, "Happy Holidays" and "Holiday Greetings." In his latest memo he now says, "I believe its intent [the initial memo] was to ask all of you to remember to be culturally sensitive..."

Whenever someone says of his own words, "I believe its intent was," it's a sure bet he's engaged in spin control. Sims knows exactly what he meant and what he meant was to censor the speech of county employees. But he got nailed and had to back off. So now he's sympathetically interpreting his own memo thinking he's fooled us. That is why he unleashed his attack dog, Tim Ceis, to say that the Catholic League's response to the gag rule was "absurd." What's absurd is that he actually thinks someone will believe him.

We can't help commenting on the noticeable absence of the ACLU in this fracas. That's because the champions of free speech are too busy trying to ban kids from singing "Silent Night" in the schools. (

These are evil days of apostasy and compromise with a secular, Christ-hating society, led by the ACLU, and secular traitors like "Rev." Sims trying to take away our constitutional freedom of speech and freedom of religious expression. Although I disagree with the Catholicism of the League, I am thankful to God that they had the guts to stand against this evil, and keep the right to say "Merry Christmas" for all Americans! Thank God for their effort on behalf of all Christian Americans!

"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins"

(Matthew 1:21).

Our text tells us several things about the birth of Jesus Christ.

I. First, Jesus was born of a virgin.

Verse twenty-three tells us:

"Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us" (Matthew 1:23).

The birth of Jesus was not like any other human birth because He was born of a virgin, a young girl who had never had relations with a man. In Luke's Gospel we read:

"And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35).

It is extremely important to uphold and contend, and even fight for the right for the virgin birth of Christ to be proclaimed. Why is it so important? Because sin was passed down on the whole human race, according to Romans 5:12. Only a virgin-born Son of God would be untainted by original sin, because His father was not a man, but God, Himself. Thus, through the virgin birth, Jesus was not tainted by the sin-polluted strain coming down to the rest of us from the sinner Adam.

"And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit…The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven" (I Corinthians 15:45,47).

The first Adam brought sin into the human race, and death by sin. The last Adam, Jesus Christ, came to bring us life, because He was not tainted in His Blood by the sin of Adam - because He was born of a virgin through the Holy Spirit of God.

This made Jesus the Sinless Son of God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.

"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins"

(Matthew 1:21).

II. Second, the text tells us the purpose of Jesus' birth.

"He shall save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).

The very name of Jesus means "Jehovah saves." Jehovah is the name of God. God saves us through Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

The purpose of Jesus' birth was to save those who believe in Him from their sins.

That is why Jesus went to the Cross. He died a horrible death on the Cross for a purpose, "to save his people [those who believe in Him] from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).

Our thrice Holy God could not overlook your sin. He could not simply excuse your sin. He had to punish your sin by His own nature, as a Holy, sin-hating God. The Bible says:

"Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood" (Romans 3:24-25).

Jesus was the "propitiation." The Greek word is "hilasterion." It means "sacrifice." The wrath and anger of a holy, righteous God was poured out on Jesus on the Cross. Christ became our sacrifice for sins when God punished Him for our sins - in our place. Instead of you being punished in Hell for your sins, Jesus was punished by God in your place on the Cross - if you have faith in His Blood - and believe on Jesus, Himself. When you fully trust Jesus, the Son of God, His death on the Cross pays the penalty for every sin you ever commit.

"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins"

(Matthew 1:21).

III. Third, the text tells us that you must be saved by Jesus,
if you want to become one of His people.

Coming to church is good. I'm glad you do it. We say, "Why be lonely? Come home - to church!" It's wonderful that you have listened to us and have come home to church. But there is more to it than that.

You have, so to speak, come into the outer court of the Old Testament Tabernacle, when you come to church. But it isn't enough to save you if you just come into the outer court, which is like coming into the local church. You must go deeper to be saved by Jesus. You must go deep into the Tabernacle, into a place called "The Holy of Holies." That is where Jesus is - in the Holy of Holies, deep in the Tabernacle up in Heaven. You must not stay outside, in the outer court of the local church. You must go all the way in to the Holy of Holies, where Jesus is, to be cleansed by His Blood and justified by Him. You must go into the Holy of Holies in Heaven - and come directly to Jesus - to be saved.

"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus" (Hebrews 10:19).

You must come into the Holy of Holies in Heaven and come to Jesus Christ, who is there to save you by His Blood and righteousness. Jesus said, "Come unto me" (Matthew 11:28). Leave this sinful world behind, and come up to Heaven, and go into the Holy of Holies where Jesus is. Throw yourself on Jesus and He will save you from sin. Come to Jesus, and He will wash your sins away with His Blood. Come to Jesus, and He will impute His righteousness to you. Come to Jesus and you will be saved.

"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins"

(Matthew 1:21).

Beginning on Friday, January 4, we will have evangelistic meetings with Dr. John S. Waldrip preaching the gospel in our church. Begin to pray that God will convert you in these meetings. Begin right now to pray that God will draw you into the Holy of Holies in Heaven. Pray that God will draw you to Jesus for cleansing from sin and justification by putting on the Lord Jesus Christ. Pray for yourself, and others, that each of you who is lost will come to Jesus and be saved in those meetings with Dr. Waldrip.

You must be awakened by God for your conversion to come to you from God in those meetings. Pray hard for God to awaken you, and convert you, and save you from your sins - by drawing you up to Heaven and bringing you to Jesus Christ. Oh, I pray that you will come to Christ and be saved when Dr. Waldrip comes to preach! Then these words will take on new meaning:

"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins"

(Matthew 1:21).

I am praying for you to get saved! Many others are also praying for you in our church! Merry Christmas!

You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."

Scripture Read Before the Sermon: Matthew 1:18-21.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:

"Jesus, Baby Jesus" by Dr. John R. Rice (1895-1980).



by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).

I.   The text tells us that Jesus was born of a virgin,
Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:35; Romans 5:12;
I Corinthians 15:45,47.

II.  The text tells us the purpose of Jesus' birth, Matthew 1:21;
John 3:16; Romans 3:24-25.

III. The text tells us that you must be saved by Jesus, if you
want to become one of His people, Hebrews 10:19;
Matthew 11:28.