Pastor James J. Barker

Text: LUKE 2:1-20


  1. We hear much about Christmas shopping and Christmas decorating, etc. but we do not hear much about the Christmas Gospel.
  2. Some of you may be wondering, “I know about Christmas shopping and Christmas presents and Christmas carols and Christmas vacation, etc.  But what is the Christmas Gospel?”
  3. The word “Gospel” means “good news” or “good tidings” (Luke 2:10).
  4. The Christmas Gospel is also found in the book of Matthew.  The angel of the Lord said unto Joseph, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).  That is the Christmas Gospel.
  5. The apostle Paul said, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (I Timothy 1:15).
  6. That is the Christmas Gospel.
  7. This morning, I would like for us to consider the Christmas Gospel.



  1. “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy” (2:10).  This angel came down from heaven where there is nothing but joy.  And he came down to earth to proclaim this gospel of joy.
  2. I hope there are none gathered here today that are satisfied with the shallow pleasures and amusements of this world. Especially after an angel came from heaven to declare something much, much better – “good tidings of great joy” (2:10).
  3. Some people think that if you get saved you stop having fun.  That’s not true.  The Christian life is a life of joy – “joy unspeakable and full of glory” (I Peter 1:8).
  4. One of my favorite Christmas songs is “How Great Our Joy.”

While by the sheep we watched at night,
Glad tidings brought an angel bright.
How great our joy! Great our joy!
Joy, joy, joy! Joy, joy, joy!
Praise we the Lord in heaven on high!
Praise we the Lord in heaven on high! 
(German carol translated into English by Theodore Baker)

  1. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones” (Pro. 17:22).  A visitor came here one Sunday evening and after the service he told me he did not like it when preachers told jokes.  I told him then that in that case he probably wouldn’t like my preaching.  There is nothing wrong with being happy in church.  And there’s nothing spiritual about walking around looking miserable!
  2. It takes 72 muscles to frown, but only 14 muscles to smile!  Smiling sounds like a better deal to me!
  3. Those of us that are walking with the Lord appreciate a good, hearty laugh.  God knows this weary world needs more joy!
  4. William Williams was an English pastor who was a close friend of Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  In describing Spurgeon’s delightful sense of humor, Pastor Williams said, “What a bubbling fountain of humor Mr. Spurgeon had!  I laughed more, I verily believe, when in his company than during all the rest of my life besides.  He had the most fascinating gift of laughter…and he had also the greatest ability for making all who heard him laugh with him.  When someone blamed him for saying humorous things in his sermons, he said, ‘If he only knew how many of them I keep back’” (Personal Remembrances of Charles Haddon Spurgeon).
  5. Last Sunday evening, after our preaching and baptism service, Pastor Sager entertained Bro. Dave, my wife, and me with some funny jokes.  I thank God for friends who can tell good clean jokes.
  6. Haydn, the famous Austrian composer, was once asked why his church music was so cheerful.  He replied, “When I think upon God, my heart is so full of joy that the notes dance and leap, as it were, from my pen, and since God has given me a cheerful heart it will be pardoned me that I serve Him with a cheerful spirit.”
  7. John Wesley was traveling from England to Georgia to try and convert the Indians but he himself was still unconverted.  But on that ship he met a bunch of joyful and happy Moravians, and it made a lasting impression upon him.  Soon John Wesley was gloriously saved.
  8. Sinners feel they need worldly parties and lots of alcohol to have a good time during the Christmas holidays.  But those of us who know the Lord do not need any of that.
  9. And we do not want any of that.  And we can have the joy of Christmas all year long.
  10. It does not matter WHAT day or month of the year Christ was born.  What is important is that HE WAS BORN.  And what is even more important is THAT HE DIED FOR OUR SINS AND HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD.  That’s the Christmas Gospel.



  1. The angel told the shepherds, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” (2:10).
  2. Years ago, when Harold Camping started teaching that the church age was over, they stopped allowing me to preach on WFME. One of our members called up WFME and asked the manager why they stopped broadcasting my sermons.
  4. The manager said, “Pastor Barker believes Christ died for the sins of the whole world.”  Yes, that is true – I do believe that because that is what the Bible teaches (John 3:16).
  5. The angel said unto them, “Which shall be to all people” (2:10).  Not just to the Jews, but to all people.
  6. Not just to the elect, but to all people.
  7. Not just to rich or poor or black or white but to ALL PEOPLE.  “For God so loved the world…”
  8. The Gospel is suited to every age and condition of the human race.  It is what the strong Romans needed.  It is what the philosophical Greeks needed.  It is what the religious Hebrews needed.  It is what the superstitious pagans needed.  And it is what proud and self-sufficient Americans desperately need!
  9. And it is what Europe needs.  It is what Africa needs.  It is what Asia needs.  It is what South America needs.  It is what Australia needs.  It is what Antarctica needs.  
  11. During Christmas season the whole world seems to celebrate to one extent or another.  Even Hindus and Muslims and other non-Christians put up Christmas trees.   Even atheists bring their kids to see Santa Claus.
  12. While the whole world is observing Christmas, let us make sure they understand the true meaning of Christmas – the Christmas Gospel, that Christ died for their sins.



  1. “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).  What a beautiful Scripture!
  2. In Isaiah 45:21, the LORD says, “There is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none else.” 
  3. Jesus is our Saviour.  In fact, His name means “Saviour” (Matt. 1:20, 21).  Is He your Saviour?
  4. He is “Christ (Messiah) the Lord” (Luke 2:11).  Our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ must begin with the blood of the cross.
  5. The great purpose of the incarnation was the substitutionary death of Christ (cf. I John 3:5).
  6. That is why John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
  7. Christ died to save us from the guilt of sin, and the penalty of sin (hell). Praise God, He also died to save us from the power of sin.  He saves us and He keeps us.  Our hold upon Him might be weak and feeble, but thank God His hold upon us is strong and mighty to save.
  8. Not only are we saved from the penalty of sin, and the power of sin, but some day we will be saved from the very presence of sin.  Up yonder in heaven we will be surrounded by the heavenly host singing praises to our wonderful Saviour (Luke 2:13, 14). In heaven, every day will be like Christmas but far more glorious.



  1. “And on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14b).  There is precious little peace in this wicked, sin-loving world.  Think about it: the very ground where the shepherds stood is now stained with blood, as suicide-bombers and other devilish terrorists blow themselves up along with their numerous victims.
  2. Yes, we can understand the sad words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow when he said:
    And in despair I bowed my head: “There is no peace on earth,” I said.  “For hate is strong, and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men.”
  3. Now let us for the moment forget about all the poets, and pundits, and presidents, and politicians, and preachers – and just go to the Bible.  And according to the Bible there can be no peace till the Prince of Peace returns to earth (cf. Isaiah 9:6, 7; Rev. 19:11-21).
  4. With that in mind, let us refer once again to the poet, who goes on to say:
    Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, With peace on earth, good will to men.
  5. The Christmas Gospel is a message of peace – “And on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14), but there can be no peace without the Prince of Peace.  Sinners must first make peace with Christ (cf. Romans 5:1, 6-11).
  6. AC Dixon was pastoring the Immanuel Baptist Tabernacle in Baltimore, Maryland when his firstborn child died, his nine-year-old son Howard.
  7. The first Christmas morning after Howard’s death was very difficult for Pastor and Mrs. Dixon.   Everyone was very quiet and all felt very sad.
  8. Finally, one of the young children broke the silence, “This is Howard’s first Christmas in heaven!”
  9. Another child then added, “I should think it is Christmas every day in heaven.”  The Christmas Gospel brought great peace and comfort.



Beloved, Christmas time is a great time to get the Gospel out.  The next time someone mentions Christmas, ask him if he has ever heard the “Christmas Gospel”?

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