Posted by Pastor John

The Birth of Christ

 

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face.  Now I know in part, but then I know just as I am known.  1 Corinthians 13:12

The more we are filled with Christ love, the better we know him.  Yet our knowledge of God here is like seeing ourselves in a poor mirror.  The ancient mirrors were made of polished metal; hence not so clear as those of present day usage.  Perhaps this gave rise to the imagery of our text.  Yet, the thought is not so much vagueness as it is incompleteness, we see things dimly, but when Christ returns, we will see God in all his glory and know him directly just as we are known by him.

Let us look at the prophetic indications of the incarnation; (exp. Incarnation means the actions of God in becoming wholly human in the person of Jesus).

For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder.  And his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Isa. 9:6

This verse of Scripture foretells the birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ and his many titles.

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah.  though you are little among the thousands ofJudah.  Yet out of you shall come forth to me the one to be ruler inIsrael.  Whose goings forth are from of old from everlasting.  Micah 5:2

These two passages of Scripture from Isaiah and Micah had been prophesied to occur some 700 years before they occurred.

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.  Matthew 1:21

“He will save his people from their sins.”  And here are the words of Charles Spurgeon on this text:  “is sin subdued in you?  If your life in unholy your heart is unchanged you are an unsaved person.  If the Saviour has not sanctified you, renewed you, given you a hatred of sin and a love of holiness, he has done nothing in you of a saving character.  The grace which does not make a man better than others is a worthless counterfeit.  Christ saves his people, not in their sins, but from them, without holiness no man shall see the Lord…”  We are not saved by grace to live in disgrace.

Concerning the contemporaneous events with the incarnation:

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host praising God and saying:  “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:13-14

It is a striking fact that the advent of Jesus Christ to our world should be preluded and  accompanied by the ministry of Angels, for it has been said that the angels of heaven take a deep interest in the history of mankind.  “…which things the angels desire to look into” 1 Peter 1:12

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And behold an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.  Luke 2:9

The angels appeared not to the great men of the world, kings and religious leaders but to the lowly shepherds tending their flocks and they were afraid at the sight of an angel at the unusual light and glory about them.  They had never before seen such a personage, and they were awed at the majesty of God of which this multitude of angels were symbols, and conscious also like the poor publican in the Scriptures of their own sinfulness and frailty thus the shepherds stared in fear and awe at this heavenly array of angels.

Now after Jesus was born inBethlehemof Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold wise men from the east came toJerusalemsaying, “Where is he who has been born King of the Jews?  For we have come to worship him.”  Matthew 2:1-2

The Magi were members of a learned religious class from the region now calledIran.  The importance of their place in the story is that, Jesus is worth of royal honor from all humanity, Gentiles as well as Jews are included in God’s redemptive plan;

“For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon him.”  Romans 10:12

But when the Comforter comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit if Truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify of me John 15:26…..Because of Christ incarnation the Holy Spirit came after Christ ascended to the heavens.   The Holy Spirit came to be the Christian’s comforter and divine companion.

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Romans 5:1 exp. Justification means that all that we need to be made right with God has been achieved in the death and resurrection of Jesus and the believer receives it by faith.

This justification brings peace with God, grace for present living, hope for the future, victory in tribulation and assurance brought by God’s love put in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.  Because of God’s great justifying love we can rejoice that our hope of eternal reward will be fulfilled.

The Christian has been given a definite hope, “The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to his saints.  To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27

Christ living in us is our assurance of future glory and eternal life.  Only his indwelling and our continual communion with him can dispel any doubt about obtaining heaven.  To have Christ is to have eternal life.

But if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you.  He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.  Romans 8:11

The results of the Incarnation, “and crying out with a loud voice saying, Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb…Revelation 7:9

Salvation comes from God Christ, delivering us from sin in this life and from condemnation in the day of judgment.  Again the next day, John stood with two of his disciples.  And looking at Jesus as he walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God. Who takes away the sin of the world.”

Let us be glad and rejoice and give him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his wife has made herself ready.  And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.  Rev. 19:7-8

The church redeemed of the Lord made ready by her faithfulness at Christ return united forever by grace with her Lord Jesus Christ.

Yes blessed are those who will sit with Christ celebration with his church in victory at the marriage supper of the Lamb!

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by Angels, Preached among Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory,  1 Timothy 3:16

How an ocean of deity could flow into a little eddy of humanity and still be God, is according to Paul,…without controversy, a great mystery.  (s.f. logsdon)

Have a very Merry Christmas, Pastor John