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Sermon Outline: The Genealogy in Matthew and the Advent of Love

December 15, 2015

Introduction to Matthew 1

During Christmas, it is important to reflect on one of the greatest gifts God gives us: his love.

What is love? Biblical love is agape. It is covenantal, self-sacrificial and others-oriented. It’s shown in Christ and displayed through this genealogy in Matthew.

Often, we take no interest in the genealogies in Scripture. But in Christ, they are our family tree.

Context of Matthew 1

The Promise-Making Love of God (1:1-6)

The Old Testament begins with how the world was made. The New Testament begins with who made it. Verse one of Matthew is the historical record (genealogy/genesis) and shows that Jesus has legal standing/authority to be Messiah. Matthew frames the birth of Christ through the promises of the Son of David and the son of Abraham.

Four loving promises that shape the Christmas story

1. Loving promise of a family

Application: Do we live and love like we are the family of God?

2. Loving promise of a victory

Application: We have victory in Christ, so we can stand against the temptation to sin.

3. Loving promise of a people

Application: Christmas is the most spiritually receptive time of the year and should warrant us actively sharing the gospel.

4. Loving promise of a kingdom

Application: Our lives are training grounds to rule with the Lord for eternity. We need to live out that truth in our everyday choices.

The promise-making love of God is the foundation of Christmas. All of the Father’s promises are a “Yes!” in Christ (2 Cor. 1:20-22).

The Promise-Breaking Love of Man (1:7-11)

Just like there are bad bulbs on a string of Christmas tree lights, there are bad bulbs in the family tree of God. We often seek the things of this world, not the things above. We respond to God, our promise maker, by being promise breakers, failing to keep his commands (1 John 5:3).

Three loves that pull us away from the love of God

1. Love of forbidden goods

Application: How should this reshape the way we approach shopping this Christmas?

2. Love of forbidden power

Application: If you got everything on your Christmas list, whose world would it change?

3. Love of forbidden gods

Application: Christ restores all those who trust in Him into the promised land—fellowship with God and eternal life.

The Promising Keeping Love of Christ (1:12-17)

The promise-making love of God is rejected by the promise-breaking love of man. But the promise keeping love of Christ overcomes our sin and restores us to God. Romans 5:8 tells us, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

3 ways this passage shows the promise keeping love of Christ

1. The anticipation of Christ

Application: When we are waiting on God, do we respond with despair or anticipation?

2. The birth of Christ  

3. The love of Christ

The promise maker becomes the promise breaker so that he might become the promise keeper.

Application: At Christmas, God’s love came down to us so that our love might go out and share the love of Christ with others.

Phillip Bethancourt

Phillip Bethancourt is Executive Vice President of the ERLC. He leads the ERLC team to develop innovative strategies to equip churches to address the key moral and ethical issues of the day. He completed an MDiv and PhD in Systematic Theology at Southern after attending Texas A&M University. Phillip and his wife, Cami, … Read More