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December 13, 2021 7:00 am
Beloved, when you read the so-called Christmas story you are seeing the point of human history you are seeing the focal point of the predetermined predestined plan of God and what you read. The makings of the prophecies is fulfilled in the birth of Christ as we entered the Christmas season. We should remember that the birth of Christ was not some isolated event. Rather, it was the culmination of God's eternal plan formulated before the foundation of the earth, and on this edition of the truth. Pulpit pastor Don Greenblatt help you better appreciate the full meaning of Christmas as he begins the series.
The most blessed birth high on bill right and today you will hear part one of a message titled a foretold birth on what we could be covering both today and in the days to come will bill it said time of year where we consider Christmas in its biblical context and to do that you have to look not just at the events of the manger. Look at the prophecy that led up to the birth of Christ and look to the future what the fulfillment of his life and ministry will bring force. I'm so excited to explore these things and I'm glad that you're with us today, my friend. I trust you will stay with us with an open Bible on the truthful.
Thanks John and Frank. Let's join our teacher now in the truthful, the life of Christ, worked out, according to a predetermined plan of God. It was what he predestined to happen, it pleased God to establish a plan and then by his sovereign power working even through the wickedness of men who did not know they were carrying out his purposes to accomplish what he determined in eternity past. He worked it out in time so that his purposes would be fulfilled in eternity future. This is the greatness of the gospel. This is the greatness of Christ. This is the greatness of what we read about.
As we see this plan unfold in the history that Luke records for us and so God ordained the life of Christ before the beginning of time and in the course of history.
God did something else God before the coming of Christ through his servants the prophets predicted the coming of Christ centuries before it came to help you see the making of the prophecies of Christ and the meaning that those prophecies and the meaning that the life of Christ would have for you today. You see it's an ever present battle for any minister of the gospel to help people through the preaching of the word of God to lift them out of the commercialism of the day to lift you out even of your own inclinations, maybe to sentimentality so that you would so that you would appreciate the grandeur and the glory of what we remember when we remember the birth of Christ, the making of the prophecies. First of all, if you're taking notes as you read the Old Testament you realize that God gave several predictive snapshots of the coming Messiah of Christ, who was to come. And I'm not going to take you to any text that you haven't seen before, but just to remember that as we read Luke chapter 2 as we did earlier we are reading something that the prophets pointed to over centuries before it happened so that when we read this narrative in Luke chapter 2 that there would be this sense of awe yes this is what they this is what God said was going to happen. This is what God said was going to come and now finally it has arrived after centuries and even millennia of prophecies. Now it is here and you start to realize the magnitude of the moment that's in front of you as you read Luke chapter 2 go all the way back to Genesis chapter 3 Genesis chapter 3 and will just go through these rather quickly just to refresh our memories really things that we have considered in the past. In Genesis chapter 3 we realize that the prophecies of the coming of Christ started at the fall of Adam that almost from the very beginning when Adam fell, having succumbed to the temptation that Satan brought to him and to Eve and God is pronouncing judgment even in the judgment is embedded, a hope of a coming deliver. Look at Genesis chapter 3, beginning in verse 14.
As God pronounces judgment on the serpent, through whom Satan tempted man in verse 14, the Lord God said to the serpent because you have done this accursed are you more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field on your belly you will go, and dust you will eat all the days of your life and I will put enmity between you and the woman in between your seed and her seed, he shall bruise you on the head and you shall bruise him on the heel all there would be a time when Satan struck a temporary blow, as it were, on the heel of Christ when when Christ was crucified, but the greater reality was is that Christ would come and crush Satan that he would reverse the consequences of what Satan had done in instigating the fall of man.
The time would come down the road when Christ instigated the prominent and eternal fall of Satan.
So even from the beginning God was pointing to a coming deliver. And when we read Luke chapter 2 we see this deliver being bill brought to earth in human flesh in Romans chapter 16 verse 20. This promise is repeated when it says that God will soon crush Satan under your feet. And so even as were mindful of the of the fall of man and the chaos that Satan wrought through the temptation we realized the Christ has come to destroy the works of the devil as other Scriptures tell us and so we realize that from the beginning, God was implanting prophecies in his word that would point to Christ, you move forward in redemptive history and you turn to the book of Isaiah.
If you would in Isaiah chapter 7 Isaiah chapter 7, approximately 700 years before the time of Christ. You read the familiar prophecy that the Lord was going to send a child who would be born of a virgin, Isaiah chapter 7 verse 14 where it says therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a virgin will be with child, and bear a son, and she will call his name Emmanuelle turn over with that in mind, Matthew chapter 1. Keeping your finger in Isaiah Matthew chapter 1. You see 700 years later, in the birth of Christ, the fulfillment of the certain word of God once again you see the fact that this is all proceeding on a divine timetable. According to a divine plan that was certain in its fulfillment and and we realize that we are watching the sovereignty of God carry out the plan of God in a way that is perfectly in accord with the time of God. Matthew chapter 1 verse 22 says all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuelle, which translated means, God with us. And so Scripture makes a point of helping us understand this birth of Christ and its context in its prophetic context, giving the narrative that says these are the facts as they occurred in the first century, but always pointing you to realize that this is the fulfillment of prophecies that were made centuries earlier showing that the word of God was certain in its fulfillment that there was an underlying hidden unseen plan of God that was unfolding as Mary gave birth and place that infant 10 manger and so we realize these things and we step back from the commercialism we step back from our own sentimentality. We step back from our sense of just loving the lights and sounds in the in the. The music of Christmas, which is all fine as far as it goes, but we step back and we realize that there is something infinitely greater at stake and what we remember at this time a year. We remember that we are watching the unfolding of the plan of God take place as we read the narratives of the birth of Christ. What does that do to you what, we'll talk about that more later on, but there should just be such a sense of majesty and the magnitude and the greatness and the grandeur of what were reading in such a way, beloved in such a way that it would humble your heart that you would realize that this focus on self that we all fall into would dissipate would bow down that you would really reject your preoccupation with this life and let your preoccupation come with the coming of Christ that your priorities, your affections, your desires in life would be changed by this because it is so much greater than any of our individual lives is so much more strategic. It is so much more cynicism so surpassing beyond the things we think about on a day-to-day basis. Go back to Isaiah and turn to chapter 9 if you would Isaiah chapter 9 again as we consider the making of these prophecies as we remember the Old Testament prophecies that were that had taken place long before Christ was born in Isaiah chapter 9 verse six it says a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us in the government will rest on his shoulders and his name will be called wonderful Counselor, mighty God, eternal Father, Prince of peace. There will be no end to the increase of his government or of peace on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this the great names of God being applied to this coming Christ being applied to this coming child who would be given to us and and they that the purpose of his mission so much could be said the purpose of his mission in part to be the Prince of peace. The one and the only one who could bring peace to the nations in his coming. Still future to us his millennial reign on earth. The one and the only one who can bring peace to the darkened and sinful heart of man who can bring peace with God to a sinner who is in rebellion to him, the one and the only one who can bring an end to the war of the human heart against God with his death with his resurrection with his gracious reconciliation of peace to those who believe in him the Prince of peace, who will bring peace to the nations, and who brings peace with God to his people, the majesty of it all. The greatness of it all. The eternal wonder of it all. This is more than a story about the birth of a baby. The birth of the baby is a reflection of the great eternal plan of God being worked out in human history in time and space and only that perspective can rightly frame our minds as we contemplate what we read one final prophecy to consider in the book of Micah in the middle of the so-called minor prophets. The shorter profit you might say in Micah chapter 5 verse two Micah chapter 5 verse two it says. As for you, Bethlehem for a thaw too little to be among the clans of Judah from you. One will go forth for me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity. Do you see it yet again as the place of the birth of the Messiah as predicted 700 years before it occurs that that rooted in that even in that familiar prophecy. It says that his goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity. This is rooted in the predetermined predestined plan of God. This is not an accident of history. This is not one birth among many.
This is unique to the occurrence that is necessary for the fulfillment of God's wise and eternal plan which he established within the councils of the Trinity before the world was created and so we have this sense the prophecies were made and now do this if you would put yourself in the sandals of a first century Jew who starts to read about these prophecies being fulfilled. Realize that you're in this the sandals, as it were of a Jew thinking about it from someone who's been conditioned by the Old Testament to expect a coming deliver to expect the Messiah to be born, and that there were these great markers that were in place prophetically so that he would be identified long before he came that that he would be born of a virgin, that he would be born of the line of David that he would be born in the city of Bethlehem and first centuries your people for centuries. Your ancestors your grandfather your great-grandfather your great great great great grandfather looked and read these prophecies and with a longing of heart anticipated what was to come. Not quite knowing exactly how it would all play out, but having the sense that there is one to come. And that is the spiritual inheritance that you receive from being a Jew and then someone brings to you the gospel of Luke and you start to read and you start to see things to tell you that these prophecies have been fulfilled in your lifetime. Look at Luke chapter 1 verse 26 and notice how the simplicity of the New Testament narrative is packed with prophetic significance that you would mess if you only read these passages in isolation. That's the whole point of what we tried to do here in Luke chapter 1 verse 26, which I read earlier now in the six month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendents of David and the virgin's name was Mary.
Your that first century Jew and you read that and it leaps off the page. This is filled with prophetic significance.
A child is being born to a virgin who is from the descendents of David and all of a sudden all of the aspirations of your people.
All of the prophetic significance of centuries gone by being late for for you in a new revelation from God contained in the gospel of Luke and you keep reading and you go to Luke chapter 2 verses four and five and your stunned to read the Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was with child see as we read that simple, familiar narrative. It is though a bright spotlight is being shown to say all of the light of prior prophetic significance is being brought to bear upon this birth, Luke's narrative sums up the fulfillment of the prophecies. Beloved, when you read the so-called Christmas story you are seeing the point of human history may still more you're seeing the focal point of the predetermined predestined plan of God and what you read.
The makings of the prophecies is fulfilled in the birth of Christ. Now here's what I want to do. Being a little picturesque in the things that I say today.
I normally don't do that now what I want you to do is I want you to take off, as it were the first century sandals of being a Jew, and now to the kind of FlashForward, as it were, but your own shoes back on and say what does this mean to me here in the 21st century.
What does this mean for you specifically, not just that Christ was born. Not just that but the Christ was born in the outworking of the predetermined plan of God that Christ was born in the outworking of a prophetic unfolding scheme through the progress of revelation now culminated. Now that you are able to read here in the 21st century in your humble life in this humble place in which we live and in this humble place in which we meet for number two. Here the meaning of the prophecies we looked at the makings of the prophecies, the meaning of the prophecies answering this question directly applicable to each one of you. What does this birth, which was foretold.
What does this foretold birth mean for you today. What should you take away from this, what should frame your life, what should frame your thinking what should frame your disposition going into even the coming week as people celebrate and remember things in completely different ways.
Even within the room. We respect that that's fine but were not talking about a modern celebration were saying.
How is it that you should think and respond to the fulfilled prophecies of the birth of Christ.
When I give you five things, by way of application really, but five things that shape your affections that shape your thinking.
The frame your approach to life that frame the way that you look forward to eternity. What does this foretold birth mean for you today. Point number one remember the cross when you remember the manger. Remember the cross when you remember the manger what were going to do for this section is willing to turn to first Peter and just spend our time in first Peter to kind of bring the application and it will be obvious to you why. In fact, let me let me frame it this way. First Peter chapter 1 is where you need to turn your attention to first Peter chapter 1, when I put my point about remembering the cross on hold briefly and read a passage at all come back to again.
In just a few moments, but remembering that this that this birth was prophesied beforehand. Look at what Scripture says in first Peter chapter 1 verse 10 as to this salvation, what salvation go back up to verse three Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, that salvation. The salvation that brought you new life that brought you forgiveness of sin through the death and resurrection of Christ. That new life for which you bless the name of God. That new life which gives you a living hope the fullness of salvation that salvation is what were talking about.
As we look at verse 10. Look at it with me as to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. There for a moment. Here's what I want you to see to kind of frame. These five points of application Scripture makes a point of calling your attention to a reality about these profits, the prophets who predicted the coming of Christ over a period of centuries it says contemplate them and and remember something about them that would frame the way that you respond to the overall gift of salvation that is been given to you.
It tells us something about those profits and that's what were going to look at in just a moment, but I want you to see that connection as we enter into these five points will come back to find a confusing way to do it, but it will be clear in the end, what do these prophecies mean for you as you contemplate and remember the birth of Christ. Number one. Remember the cross when you remember the manger.
Remember that you don't read this story in isolation but you contemplate it, and in light of the entire context of the revelation of God and specifically the whole purpose for which Christ came as you remember the manger to immediately make an inseparable connection in your mind for the rest of your life to come, that you remember the cross at the same time that's done green founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati Ohio with part one of a message titled a foretold birth. Part 2 Comes Your Way.
Next time as we continue the series. The most blessed birth. Be sure to join us. Right now though Don's back here in studio with a few closing words will as we close today's broadcast.
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