Share This Episode
The Bible Study Hour James Boice Logo

Four Gifts for Christmas

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
December 26, 2021 7:00 am

Four Gifts for Christmas

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 586 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

December 26, 2021 7:00 am

When you think of the first Christmas gifts, you likely think of the wisemen. Their gifts were exotic and expensive, but they pale in comparison to the four gifts found in Jesusthe greatest gifts that could ever be given. Join Dr. James Boice as he describes the amazing gifts given to us at Christmas in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Verdict
John Munro
Summit Life
J.D. Greear
The Truth Pulpit
Don Green
Insight for Living
Chuck Swindoll
Cross Reference Radio
Pastor Rick Gaston
Connect with Skip Heitzig
Skip Heitzig

The wise men brought their gifts of frankincense golden murder. They were rare gifts of great value and Mary and Joseph were likely all by their worth of extravagance, but these weren't the only gifts given that first Christmas and welcome to Bible study on the radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically, while gifts of great value were given to the Christ child guy gave mankind for gifts of much greater value. They were gifts offered in the person of Jesus Christ.

Gifts that would meet the needs of a fallen race. Join Dr. Boyce as he unwraps the inestimable value of the greatest gifts ever given from Isaiah 9 verse six like to talk tonight about four gifts of Christmas and acknowledge that if it were not for the text is printed in the calendar and in view of the Scripture reading tonight.

It would probably be thinking about the wise man, and since there were three gifts on the wise Bratton gold, frankincense and Margate probably expect me to be talking about the other wise man far as I know, according to that story didn't bring anything, but presumably there would be a gift of his gift, together with the other three would make for I saw that I'm thinking about I'm thinking instead about that great text in the ninth chapter of Isaiah, which we read this morning, and in which the Lord Jesus Christ's coming in his future ministry is spelled out in prophetic terms. It's interesting because it's a birth announcement and yet strikingly different from any other announcement and that an announcement before the birth of the child. I don't know if you pay attention to birth announcements.

I'm sure you do today you get all kinds of announcements are done in a variety of ways and sometimes they come quite late but never in my life I received a birth announcement before the child was born. When people know what they're going to hang out.

Whether it's a boy or girl you always get the announcement afterward.

Here's an announcement of the birth of God's son, Jesus Christ, and were told about it in advance significant in terms of his nature is person because that six verse speaks of a child being born in the sun being given actually anticipates Christ dual nature say he wasn't born as a sonnet was already silent was the eternal son of God, second person of the Godhead, but he was born as a child.

So there you have eternal son of God becoming man verse, although it doesn't teach that open late in so many words certainly does anticipated we would have to say that the language of the text of the Holy Spirit inspired Isaiah in the recording of it was certainly preserved divinely to indicate price to nature's I'm interested in particularly, however, are those terms that occur in the second half of the verse is there in the passage which describes who he is. We also have terms that describe his gifts to us first is wonderful, counselor, and that speaks of wisdom because that's what the counselor provides his name shall be called wonderful Counselor, and that is indeed what he is.

We have a great need in this area because we all lack wisdom, and even before that, we all lack knowledge of all the important things possible. Of course, to receive a good education and learn a great deal about a great many things and so become, in the opinion of this world quite learned men and women and yet to lack knowledge of the important things in the light wisdom which goes a step even beyond that of the educated people of the world who can answer a simple question like who am I to spend a great deal of time trying to find answers that question. Who am I why am I here is very purpose to my life and is there anything greater or beyond myself. Is there a God is there destiny. The history is there something that I am made to fit into apart from revelation that God provides is no answer to a question like that. So Jesus Christ refined the beginning of wisdom in the impartation of such knowledge in Christ that we find who God is. He said he was seen me has seen the father you want to know what God is like God is like. Jesus the Christ we find who we are. We are sinful men and women. We are not like him. He is the holy one. We are not holy and yet, in spite of that we are valuable in God's sight and loved by him so valuable in his site that is in Jesus Christ his son to die for us is in Christ, that we find those answers. Do I have a purpose in life we find the answer in Jesus Christ because he speaks to us and he says, follow me, and he tells us what is going to do with us.

He's going to make us pictures of mayonnaise going to send this out in the world with this gospel so that through our witness, not by revelation or a word from an angel, but through our witness other people are going to hear about himself.

So we have a great task in what we say how we live what we do in life are important and I think this phrase wonderful counselor goes even beyond that. Because it's possible you know to have a great deal of knowledge and yet not know what to do with it.

Here, the Lord Jesus Christ has a special ministry since what he gave the disciples in their day. He was teaching them gas and they were learning a great deal from him what he was really doing was imparting wisdom divine wisdom spiritual wisdom when he was about to be taken out of the world.

He turned to them and said I'm being taken but I'm going to leave someone behind with you. He will come to you when I am gone and his name is Paraclete toss its translated comforter in our Bible or advocate, which is a very, very close translation of what the Greek word means advocate one to be with us to explain. On the one hand, God the father wants so we might begin to understand and enter into spiritual thing. On the other hand, as we pray, take our requests and interpret them properly before the throne of his grace say when Jesus came to be wonderful, counselor, and then by the resurrection and ascension returned to heaven he did not leave us without wisdom rather provides that wisdom we need. James talks about it. He says do any of you lack wisdom, and the others have any wisdom at all. At that point. Indeed we did a week lack of a great deal that is as well any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, to upgrade is not given to all men liberally or generously, and it will be given him goes on that same chapter to say every good gift comes from God. Value wisdom you asked God for he will give it to you on the comes of Jesus Christ second great gift that is mentioned here suggested by the name was given to Jesus's power because Jesus is here called the mighty God Almighty God powerful God, wherein the power today. It's not that difficult concept because people are very very conscious of it.

Conscious of whether we haven't whether we don't even say you see at some level or another. Everybody has to have a sense of power which we would put another term simply means being in control of our lives. The tragedy at this point to say is that in a branch more than any other age is been conscious of power.

We are conscious actually of the opposite of being power class that is having an inability actually to change events here Jesus Christ really speaks a word to us that in giving Jesus Christ to us.

God really doesn't give a great gift. He is the mighty God is mighty God. Jesus Christ is on our side of Raleigh demonstrated that by his death. Why would he die for us that he didn't care for us. Why would he go to all that trouble all that suffering. If he didn't intend to rescue us from our sin and cause us to be in reality what we become.

By his death, namely Sons of the marvelous thing we may feel that we lack power, but you know in the early days of the church.

The disciples certainly didn't feel that way, the Lord said to them in one version of the great commission, you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria and under the uttermost parts of the world and they said amen. That's what God says in the Holy Spirit did, and we are receiving power.

I will be his witnesses will then we will go be his witnesses and with that message and that assurance they literally went out and transform the world feel sometimes in your life. I know I do that what we do doesn't make a difference.

All it's not just political but it does make a difference, or in our business doesn't make a difference. We go out somebody else can come enter politically, it doesn't negatively feel that as Christians we say look here.

We've been living trying to bear witness were trying to do the right thing really when you look at it doesn't make any difference in the world.

Early Christians didn't feel that they knew it made a difference because I suppose more than we do. They had a sense of what the world was without Jesus Christ, they knew what a grim place. This is when we get familiar with these things and we get bogged down all the worries of our lives would lose the big picture. We understand we failed understand we fail to appreciate know the Jesus Christ is to know the truth rather than falsehood entering the newness of life with him is to have life rather than death. That's what were talking about wraps up Christmas diamonds as well as any other time.

We need to recapture what it is to have mighty God is our God actually be able to make a difference in the power of the Holy Spirit you believe that you do. You won't hesitate to speak about the Lord you want say well they'll laugh at me think about it because God will bless your witness will make a difference. Other people's lives as well as bring them to faith. The third of these four terms as everlasting father.

I suppose are different ways to talk about that one thing, it speaks of is the deity of Christ, mighty God does that too.

But it certainly striking his God is prophesying the coming of the son is one to be the Savior that he gives them the title, everlasting father, we make the distinction ourselves between God the father and God the son, but here is God the father calling the son, everlasting father, it's a way of saying everything that I am, my son is, of course, that's just good theology, but we don't often use those words speaks of the deity of Jesus Christ. And I think when were approaching it in terms of God's gifts to us through Jesus Christ.

What this term really talks about is our becoming a member of God's family speaks of grace belonging part from the work of Christ of the gift of God in Christ, we do not belong spiritually.

We are outside.

We are alienated from God and through the work of Jesus Christ dying paying the penalty for our sins and the work of the Holy Spirit coming to quicken us and bring us to faith. We who were outside or now brought the year-end made a member of the family all there are great privileges and that is the privilege of prayer. First of all, because now we can come to God, not as aliens but as sons and daughters encourage, and the pride knowing that God our father knows all about us and loves us and cares more is and encourages us to come and furthermore promises to answer our prayers and the grantor requests. Fortunately, all our foolish requests. Holy Spirit interprets the Mimosa writing so we don't make foolish mistakes, but we, when we pray, believing in his name on says that is what he will do, we will answer our requests. We have every opportunity of encouragement, you discouraged, and you say father. I'm so discouraged. It's just so difficult.

I have been working away at this thing and I just seem to be getting nowhere and asked for encouragement and God of encouragement gives it you defeated your say I've lost this battle. I don't think I can get up and get going again. God, who is a God of resurrection slip shop to new life say I have a difficult task. I don't know that I have the strength to do it. There was this strong, mighty God answers that request all that is involved with belonging to God's family.

I think particularly of the word that the Lord Jesus Christ used to teach that to his disciples, he had been praying in their company. Great deal. And as he prayed. They listened I noticed one thing he always said when he referred to God was a God was his father used a particular Greek word for the work we know it made an impression on them because that is one of the few words in the Greek New Testament that is preserved for us in Aramaic say everything else Jesus said was just naturally translated in the Greek so we have a Greek New Testament or than the Greek words are translated into English.

That's all we have our English Bibles, but Jesus use this word Alba and it was so striking, so unusual that it remained in their mind when they came to record his words instead of just putting that into a Greek equivalent preservative in the New Testament is Alba maintaining the Aramaic word because I have a means father. You say you know you in that day referred to God as father all strolled into the Old Testament in a few passages maybe six or seven passages God is called the father of Israel. Nobody referred to God as father, least of all, my father, I would've been presumptuous at in the minds of Christ. Contemporary was somehow to take just a fool with God in God and not day coming closer and closer as God seemed to be moving further and further away and when they came to talk about God and you know they wouldn't even pronounce the name of God, Jehovah, because it seemed to be improper even to pronounce his name.

That's why we don't know how to pronounce the word Jehovah all at once I get the different versions of it all and they Old Testament text where that word occurs. They didn't put in the bow points. The Hebrew text is composed of constant and send in the early days, or in the bowels of all people just understood how you pronounce that and then later the Middle Ages as a rage put in the little bow points to help us understand it, but when it came time to do that when they put in the bow points I didn't put in the bow points for the words Jehovah because nobody was supposed to say Jehovah. However, it was you were to say it instead they put in the bow points for the word out and I would just means Lord and it was a little visual clue that when you are reading the text of the Old Testament became the word Jehovah is a job he is in Ada my instead is all indication of how people thought about God.

How remote God seemed to be from the people in that day you Jesus when he came when he began to pray just said that by father in heaven. They said to him, no, or to just pray and he said to them, here's the way you do what you say our father who art in heaven. See the world had no sense of this at all. But Jesus who knew God in an intimate way as his father turned to his disciples and said you can pray to them that way to how because in Christ we are brought into that great family and we have all of the privileges that son ship whenever him says father like he tends and spares as well. Our feeble frame. He knows and indeed he does.

He knows our feeble frame and intends for us and cares for us.

It is a great, great gift letter sent last wonderful Counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of peace. Peace. I suppose all the things of men and women like today pieces. The most striking.

We live in a very very restless. A shot if you would ask people what is it that you most want, although they would express it in a lot of different ways. If you would probe it beneath the surface. What most men and women want more than anything else is to be a piece and were not at peace were not at peace with God. That's the basic problem St. Augustine understood it well. He set our hearts are restless and the reason the restless is that they're not rest with the hearts are restless until they rest in the is what Augustine said hearts are not addressed with God were not at peace with God. Actually, apart from the work of Christ and faith in him were at war with God were fighting God with all our strength on our minds will I will because basically what we want to be as God in our own lives. We want to rule our own destinies. We do not want the will of God to prevail for us what Jesus Christ did by his death is make peace with God.

We were at war with God. But Jesus bridge the gap he made peace with those were God's enemies. Now, having obtained peace with God. There is that other great blessing.

Peace of God which God imparts all the will, in Christ, and will ask him for it. All right about it in Philippians and always writing about prayer. Verity says let your requests be made known to God and explains how God delights to answer our prayers and grant us peace. I don't know if that Christmas time, you feel a lack of peace I feel a little less today that in the days leading up to Christmas. Certainly we have much in our lives. It makes us restless but wonderful to have peace in Jesus Christ is God's great gift. I'm impressed as I give these things and how well they correspond of the great needs of the human heart. Suppose even apart from the biblical revelation we do an analysis of men and women that we'd say now one of the great needs you feel we're a lot about felt needs today, not just a superficial needs but but the deep needs. What are the needs that we would say we have minds we have a need to know, understand, we have wills sense of our own identity. We want to achieve something one our lives to make a difference. We are individuals, but we sense it were not meant to be a law only want to belong somewhere.

That's why we seek relationships Avon were disappointed in relationships we seek another relationship. We don't want to be isolated and we are conscious of wrongdoing.

We need to be forgiven. We need somebody to deal with our guilt is not right. If you analyze human experiences that something like that that we really need all as I look at these. This speaks to each one of those needs to know the truth. Jesus Christ is for us a wonderful counselor to achieve something worthwhile. He is the mighty God who achieves that in us and through us we achieved through his power.

We have a need to belong to someone. He is our everlasting father were brought into his family.

We need to be forgiven and be at peace Jesus Christ as the Prince of peace.

He is made peace by his death for gifts at Christmas and they are the greatest gifts anybody can never have played our all in Jesus for us if we will have them prior father to bless the study to our hearts, and above all blessed want is communicated here in these four great names for Jesus Christ we have the need. You have the answers yet in our falling we resist the answers because we want to go on and somehow try and solve the thing for ourselves, we would pray for those who are conscious of these needs that you administer them tonight date in the days ahead in a special way for those who feel uncertain about things we asked that the Council, the wonderful Lord might be upon them and with them, that they might know the truth. Those who sense that they should be achieving something that I should matter and wonder if it does message you give them a sense of your power and presence. Those who feel alone or isolated or alienated. Pray that you would give them a sense of what it means to be a member of your family peace with you, and in fellowship with one another. Those were troubled by sin and by guilt they find in Jesus Christ, that one was made everlasting peace with you, and who now imparts peace to us the most personal way of other buses each and those in many other ways as you have done and indeed continue to do in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior. Listening to the Bible study gallery featuring the teaching of Dr. James Boyce. We are all role models to the people with whom we come in contact for better or worse.

We can't be perfect, but we can live a life that reflects the life of Christ and share in the love that he showed others this Christmas find out more in our free CD offer entitled Christmas contrasts. By the late Dr. Donald Gray Barnhouse. This free offer is our way of saying Merry Christmas call us at 1-800-488-1888 and will be pleased to send you a copy of Christmas contrasts that number again is 1-800-488-1888 as 2021 draws to a close, we'd like for you to prayerfully consider a special year-end gift to the Bible study our your tax-deductible donation will help us continue broadcasting. Dr. Boyce's in-depth Bible teaching on this station sharing the gospel and preparing believers in your community to think and act biblically. Perhaps you'll make a resolution to be a monthly supporter. Click through the green donate button at the Bible study. Our daughter work and thank you think and act biblically is Dr. Boyce's daily devotional that corresponds with the message you just heard on the Bible study our read and subscribe to think and act biblically at the Bible study.

Our daughter work by Mark Daniels you don't worry has become one of the most widespread and debilitating illness of our time. It's been labeled fear in search of the cause and worries effects on Christians mirrors its effects on the world. Is there a cure. Join Dr. James Boyce as he presents worry from God's perspective and offers and handed to the age-old malady of anxiety meds next time on Bible study you to think and act biblically

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime