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          Americans have become a fearful insecure nation. We have lost faith in ourselves. Since 9/11 we have accepted the Islamic Jihaddi gift of fear. The lessons the awful tragedy taught us is that life goes on in spite of injustice. Presently, we are less afraid of acts of terrorism and more afraid of not having enough of the stuff of life. This fear can be overcome by looking to Christ as our provider as well as our Savior.

          We live much of our lives doing mundane, ordinary things and we are unprepared for God’s divine appointments. He shows up, and it’s easy to be startled and overcome. This sermon explores four of the "Birth of Christ narratives" from the perspective of fear.  Some of the individuals are so overcome by fear that the angelic messengers actually comfort them by saying, “Fear not. . .” 


December 7, 2008, Sheepfold Ministries

Pastor Phil Roland




 “Fear has become since 911 a part of American life. The lessons that tragedy taught us that life goes on in spite of injustice. People continue to live in fear of want or lack. We are learning to look to God as our provider. Didn’t He give us His son?" Pastor Phil


"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.” Isaiah 43:1,2


There are Four Fear Not’s we are considering this morning:

I.   THE ‘FEAR NOT’ OF SALVATION  - Luke 2:10,11

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

            A. Mankind has been seeking a Savior

            B. His Incarnation was amazing – Luke 2:18

“And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them

   by the shepherds.”

                        1. The Shepherds were both fearful and amazed –

2.  THU-MAD-ZO - “To be amazed, astonished, left speechless”

                                3. Occurs Sixteen times in NT – Always about Jesus

4. Jesus always left people amazed -  Matt. 15:30,31

                        ”Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame,

                        blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at

Jesus' feet, and He healed them. So the multitude marveled when

they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame

walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.”   

                        5. He broke natural law - Mark 6:50,51

                      “But immediately He talked with them and said to them, "Be of good

cheer! It is I; do not be afraid." Then He went up into the boat to

them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled.”

            C. His Incarnation is Amazing -

                        1. He has encountered us

                        2. We must encounter Him

            D. He has Come to Save Us from our Sins – Acts 4:11,12

      "This is the 'stone which was rejected by you builders, which has

         become the chief cornerstone.' "Nor is there salvation in any other, for

         there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we

         must be saved."


“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.” “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.” V.35

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” V. 37

  • A.     Why was Mary Fearful?

1. Because she was a virgin – Deut 22:20,21

  "But if the thing is true, and evidences of virginity are not found for the

    young woman, "then they shall bring out the young woman to the

    door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her to

    death with stones, because she has done a disgraceful thing in Israel,

    to play the harlot in her father's house. So you shall put away the evil

                from among you.”

                   2. Because she faced a painful, humiliating death

                   3. Because she faced the scorn of her villagers

                   4. Because no one would believe her

       B. What is your Fear? 1 John 4:18

          ”There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear

             involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

                   1. Health and Mortality Issues?

                   2. Getting your needs met?

                   3. Loss of Control?

                   4. Family and Relationship Problems?

            C. Mary’s Love for God Overcame her Fear

                   1. Mary Loved

                   2. Mary Obeyed

                   3. Mary had Faith

                   4. Mary trusted God for the Final Outcomes in her Life – V. 37

                        “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”


“Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.

But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.”

            A. Zacharias was Mary’s Aunt Elizabeth’s Husband

                 1. He was a Levite High Priest in Jerusalem

                 2. Zacharias and Elizabeth had prayed for a Son

                 3. Now they were well past child-bearing years

            B. God heard their prayers, but didn’t answer them

                 1. Why? It wasn’t time yet for the miracle to occur

                 2. John, their long-anticipated son, was to precede Jesus

            C. Have you ever struggled over unanswered prayer?

                 1. Waited for an anticipated promise?

                 2. Felt God Didn’t hear you

                 3. Grew to fear God didn’t care?


“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.

19  Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.

20  But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

21  "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins."

22  So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:

23  "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us."

24  Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife,

25  and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.

          A. Joseph Obeyed the Word of the Lord

                1. The Angel’s Message was Irrational

                2. He had Faith in God’s Word

                3. Cannot please God without Faith - Hebrews 11:6

                    “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to

          God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who

                      diligently seek Him.”

          4. Cannot Please God without Obedience – 1 Samuel 15:22

                     “But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and

           sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is

           better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.”

B. Joseph was a man of Faith and Obedience

     1. He had faith God had spoken through the Angelic Dream

     2. He obeyed God by Marrying a Woman carrying another’s child

C. Irrational?  Illogical?  Sounds like God, doesn’t it?



Mary Had the Little Lamb

Mary had the little Lamb, who lived before His birth;
Self-existent Son of God, from Heaven He came to Earth.
Micah 5:2

Mary had the little Lamb; see Him in yonder stall —
Virgin-born Son of God, to save man from the Fall.
Isaiah 7:14

Mary had the little Lamb, obedient Son of God;
Everywhere the Father led, His feet were sure to trod.
John 6:38

Mary had the little Lamb, crucified on the tree
The rejected Son of God, He died to set men free.
1 Peter 1:18

Mary had the little Lamb—men placed Him in the grave,
Thinking they were done with Him; to death He was no slave!
Matthew 28:6

Mary had the little Lamb, ascended now is He;
All work on Earth is ended, our Advocate to be.
Hebrews 4:14-16

Mary had the little Lamb—mystery to behold!
From the Lamb of Calvary, a Lion will unfold.
Revelation 5: 5,6

When the Day Star comes again, of this be very sure:
It won’t be Lamb-like silence, but with the Lion’s roar.
Psalm 2:12
Revelation 19:11-16

Marv and Marbeth Rosenthal