The Christ of Christmas. That is who we will focus on today, right here on the Christian RealView Radio Program, where the mission is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.
I'm David Wheaton, the host. Listeners for your prayer, your encouragement, and your support. You can connect with us by visiting our website, thechristianrealview.org, by calling our toll-free number, 1-888-646-2233, or by writing to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. Christmas is upon us, and while it's easy to get distracted by all that competes for our attention, whether current events and politics, work and school, sports and recreation, travel and material things, even family and church, there is really only one most important issue, and that is the person of Jesus Christ and what He has done for mankind. Jesus said, He who believes in the Son has eternal life, but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on Him. That's John 3.36.
That couldn't be more clear. Where you spend eternity hinges on whether you place your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior and your Lord. Christmas is the time when Christians remember and celebrate God sending His Son into our world. Born of a virgin woman, mighty and holy in word and deed, and loving and sacrificial and offering His perfect life to satisfy God's wrath and justice for our sin. Today will be a meditative program to think about not Christmas generally, but the Christ of Christmas specifically.
We will read God's Word, listen to some music, even do a Christmas quiz, all to appreciate and worship the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ, for none of us would have any hope without His one solitary life. He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another small village where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was 30.
Then for three years, he was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held political office. He never had a family or owned a house. He didn't go to college.
He never lived in a big city or traveled, except in his infancy, more than 200 miles from his birthplace. He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness, and he had no credentials but himself. While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away.
One of them denied him. Another betrayed him. He was turned over to his enemies to endure the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves, and while he was dying, his executioners gambled for his garments, the only property he owned on earth.
When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend. 20 centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure in the history of the human race. Together have not affected the lives of men and women upon the earth as much as this one solitary life. That was one solitary life by the John 10-10 project, and just to quote the last portion of that, 20 centuries have come and gone, and today Jesus is the central figure of the human race. Psalm 2 says, In other words, let us do it our way and not God's way. Now therefore, O kings, show discernment, take warning, O judges of the earth, worship the Lord with reverence, and rejoice with trembling. Verse 12, Christ appears right in the beginning of the Bible. Right in the Old Testament in the third chapter is the first reference to the coming of a Savior after Adam and Eve had sinned and God confronted them.
God pronounced judgment or consequence for what they had done. And in Genesis chapter 3, starting in verse 14, this is a reference that there would be a Redeemer coming someday who would be the seed of a woman. Not the seed of a man, because through the man comes the sinful nature, but the seed of a woman, a virgin woman, Mary, that this Redeemer would be born.
And he, Jesus, would deal a fatal blow to Satan's head in the crucifixion that Satan arranged would merely be a bruise to Jesus' heel. Other prophecies in the Old Testament are just as clear and just as amazing about this coming Son of God. Centuries before Christ actually came, the prophet Isaiah said, And then going two chapters forward in Isaiah chapter 9, For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us, and the government will rest on his shoulders.
And his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. How could such prophecies be made and come true hundreds of years before Christ was born? The minutest details are expressed in these prophecies from Isaiah.
And then in Micah chapter 5, As for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah. From you, one, Jesus, will go forth for me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity. This is an eternal God who's coming.
Therefore he will give them up until the time when she who is in labor has born a child. Then the remainder of his brethren will return to the sons of Israel, and he will arise and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God, and they will remain, because at that time he will be great. To the ends of the earth this one will be our peace. Israel was yearning for the coming of their Messiah. And the song O Come, O Come Emmanuel expresses that.
This from a website called Rambling Everon. O Come, O Come Emmanuel was originally written in Latin, and many believe it dates back to the 12th century. The English translation of the song contains several variations, and some versions include up to eight different verses. It is easy to notice all the names and descriptions of Jesus presented in the song. Emmanuel, Dayspring, Wisdom from on High, Desire of Nations. These are all tremendous names and titles that describe the Messiah.
Each verse highlights one of them. What is traditionally viewed as the first verse highlights the name Emmanuel, which means God with us. In scripture the name first occurs in Isaiah 7 verse 14.
We just read that. This passage is quoted in the New Testament in Matthew 1 22 in specific reference to the infant Jesus who was God. Another verse highlights the name Dayspring, which indicates how the light of heaven has delivered us from spiritual darkness.
This was a name proclaimed by Zechariah in Luke 1 78 under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The writer of the song also described Jesus as the desire of nations, a reference to Haggai 2 verse 7. This is another prophecy of Jesus in which God foretold that great glory would one day once again fill the temple because he has finally come in his glory.
We are freed from living lives of isolation and discord. Just listen to these beautiful words. O come, O come, Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appears. O come, thou Dayspring, come and cheer our spirits by thine advent here. Dispense the gloomy clouds of night and death's dark shadows put to flight. O come, our wisdom from on high who ordered all things mightily.
To us the path of knowledge show and teach us in her ways to go. O come, desire of nations bind in one the hearts of all mankind. O bid our sad divisions cease and be yourself our king of peace. O come, O rod of Jesse, stem from every foe, deliver them that trust your mighty power to save. Bring them in victory through the grave. O come, O key of David, come and open wide our heavenly home.
Make safe the way that leads on high and close the path to misery. Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel. What a beautiful song about the coming of God with us, Emmanuel.
We will take a short break and when we return we will focus more on the Christ of Christmas. I'm David Wheaton and you are listening to the Christian Worldview Radio Program. The original stalwart souls who created a colony in the howling New England winter, just so they can worship according to the dictates of conscience, had far more influence on world history than they could have ever imagined. You see the seeds of liberty, both religious liberty and civil liberty, the idea of self-government and rule from within, all these are within that body of pilgrims. The proceeding is from The Pilgrims, a 57-minute documentary of the inspiring story and faith of these Christians who greatly impacted our nation. You can order the DVD for a donation of any amount to the Christian Worldview. Go to thechristianworldview.org or call 1-888-646-2233 or write to Box 401 Excelsior, Minnesota 55331.
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I'm David Wheaton. Be sure to visit our website thechristianworldview.org where you can subscribe to our free weekly email and annual print letter, order resources for adults and children, and support the ministry. We are focusing today on the Christ of Christmas. So how well do you know the story of Christ's birth? Here are a few questions that I found online.
There are several places you can go to get quiz questions on Christmas. These particular questions are from a website called What Christians Want to Know. And the first one is, how many centuries before the birth of Jesus did the prophet Isaiah foretell that the Son of God will be born to a virgin? If your answer is seven centuries, you would be correct.
Next question. The Bible says that Jesus was born in December. True or false? Well, I think most of us know that's false. The Bible does not state the exact date of Jesus' birth.
Next question. Christmas wasn't celebrated for over 300 years after Jesus died. True or false?
Well, that's actually true. The first Christmas was celebrated on December 25th in 336 A.D. Okay, another quiz question. Who told Mary and Joseph to go to Bethlehem?
Hmm. Well, it was actually someone who didn't tell them directly in person, but it was Caesar Augustus. He ordered the people to go back to the city of their forefathers. And Joseph's family was from Bethlehem. That's in Luke chapter 2.
Next one. Which Old Testament prophet had the most to say about the birth of Christ? Well, that would be Isaiah. He had much to say about the birth of the Savior.
If you've ever heard the oratorio by George Handel called the Messiah, you have heard many direct quotes from the book of Isaiah concerning the birth of Christ. Okay, so here's a little more difficult one. In the accounts announcing the birth of Christ, both in Matthew 1 and Luke chapters 1 and 2, how many times did an angel or angels appear in the accounts announcing the birth of Christ?
If your answer was three, you'd be correct. There were three angelic announcements for the birth of Christ and one for the birth of John the Baptist. For Christ, an angel appeared before Mary and Joseph individually, and a multitude of angels spoke to the shepherds.
Okay, here's another one. The shepherds and the wise men went to see Jesus. Which group followed a star and which group went to find the baby because an angel told them where to look? Well, the answer is the shepherds followed the instructions of the angels. You can find that in Luke chapter 2, while the wise men followed the star to find the place where Jesus was. And when the shepherds went looking for Jesus, what was the sign they were to look for? Well, quote, a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger. And what's a manger?
A manger is a feeding trough for animals. Here's a good question. How old was Jesus when the wise men found him? Answer, it is certain that Jesus was somewhere between a month old and a couple of years old.
So under two years old, but more than a month. The wise men saw his star at his birth and began following it. If the journey was 500 miles from Persia, which is in modern day Iraq, then it would have taken at least a month. By the time they arrived, Jesus and his family had moved into a house. Later in the story, Herod ordered all the children aged two years and younger to be killed. Therefore, Jesus was at least one month old and not yet two years old.
Here's another question. What animals does the Bible say were present at the birth of Christ? Answer, in the New Testament accounts of Christ's birth, there is no mention of any animals. However, Isaiah 1 3 could be a prophecy talking about at least a donkey seeing the crib of his master. If a bunch of shepherds were there, however, one would assume sheep would have been present.
But there is no definite list of animals mentioned in the Bible. Here's for extra credit. What is the name of the person who was told he would not die until he saw the Savior? And that would be Simeon when they brought him to Jerusalem in Luke chapter 2.
Final quiz question is this. Two of the four gospels do not mention the birth of Christ. Which two don't mention the birth of Christ? That would be the Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of John that do not tell the account of the birth of Christ. You have to go into Matthew or Luke to read about it.
We're going to do that coming up. But before we do, let's hear one of the most doctrinally sound favorite Christmas carols of all, Hark the Herald Angels Sing. Glory to the newborn king, peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled, joyful all ye nations rise, join the triumph of the skies, with angelic hosts proclaim, Christ is born in Bethlehem. Christ by highest heaven adored, Christ the everlasting Lord, late in time behold him come, offspring of a virgin's womb, veiled in flesh the Godhead see, hail the incarnate deity, pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel, hail the heaven born prince of peace, hail the son of righteousness, light and life to all he brings, risen with healing in his wings, mild he lays his glory by, born that man no more may die, born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth, hark the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn king. Hark the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn king. Hark the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn king. Hark the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn king. Christ by highest heaven adored, Christ the everlasting Lord, late in time behold him come, offspring of a virgin's womb, veiled in flesh the Godhead see, hail the incarnate deity, pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel, hark the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn king. Hail the heaven born prince of peace, hail the son of righteousness, light and life to all he brings, risen with healing in his wings, mild he lays his glory by, born that man no more may die, born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth, hark the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn king.
That rendition of hark the herald angels sing was from Silver Screen Records. Matthew chapter 1 says this, Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. Now 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 Immanuel. That's from Isaiah, which translated means God with us. And Joseph awoke from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a son, and he called his name Jesus. And who was this Jesus that came into the world?
Listen to what John chapter 1 says about Jesus. In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
All things came into being through him, and apart from him nothing came into being that has come into being. In him, talking about Jesus Christ, was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There came a man sent from God whose name was John, John the Baptist. He came as a witness to testify about the light, Christ, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, John the Baptist was not the light, but he came to testify about the light, which is Christ. There was the true light, which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He, Christ, was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world did not know him.
He came to his own, and those who were his own, the Jews, did not receive him. But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in his name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. Verse 14, John chapter 1, And the word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John testified about him, and cried out, saying, This was he of whom I said, He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for he existed before me. For of his, Christ's fullness, we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses, grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.
No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, Christ, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has explained him. We have general revelation from God in creation. We have internal revelation from God with our conscience. We have special revelation from God in his word, the Bible.
And fourthly, a personal revelation from God in the Son of God coming to live amongst us. This is what Handel's Messiah, perhaps the greatest piece of music ever written, is all about. This from Haven today, the lyrics were not written by Handel himself, but are simply scripture texts arranged by Handel's friend Charles Jennings. After he finished arranging the text of scripture, he took it to his friend, the great composer, George Handel. In 18 months, the lyrics sat on Handel's shelf gathering dust until one day he took it down, dusted it off, and in three intense weeks, shut up in his flat on Brook Street, composed the oratorio that made the words come alive.
He barely ate or slept. He was completely engulfed in the creation of this music, and he wasn't alone. When he got to the Hallelujah Chorus, his assistant found him in tears saying, I think I did see heaven open and the very face of God. This from Handel's Messiah that quotes Isaiah 9-6. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, unto us a son is given, Oh unto us a child is born. Unto us a son is given. Unto us a son is given. Oh unto us a child is born. Unto us a child is born.
Unto us a son is given. And the love of men shall be upon his own. And the love of men shall be upon his own.
And the love of men shall be upon his own. And this age shall be fallen, one by one, unto God. The mighty Father, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Oh unto us a child is born. Unto us a child is born. Unto us a son is given. Unto us a child is born. Unto us a son is given. And the love of men shall be upon his own.
And the love of men shall be upon his own. And this age shall be fallen, one by one, unto God. The mighty Father, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Oh unto us a son is born. Unto us a son is born. And unto us a child is born. And unto us a son is given. Unto us a son is given. And the love of men shall be upon his own. And the love of men shall be upon his own. And the love of men shall be upon his own. When his name shall they call him, one on the whole Come start Not like in God The everlasting Father and King He is one to us, a child is born unto us, a child is born unto us, a son is born unto us, a son is born unto us, a son is born And the government, the government shall be upon us all And the government, the government shall be upon us all And his name shall be called one on the whole Come support The mighty God The everlasting Father The Prince of Peace The everlasting Father The Prince of Peace More coming up As we focus on the Christ of Christmas, you are listening to the Christian Real View Radio Program.
I'm David Wheaton. What is the Christian Real View Radio Program really about? Fundamentally, it's about impacting people, families, churches with the life and eternity changing truth of God's word. We know the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only message that saves us from God's wrath, by God's grace, for God's glory.
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Transcripts and short takes are also available. Our focus today is on the Christ of Christmas, and we've covered a lot of ground. We've talked about the prophecies of the coming of Jesus Christ, the account of His birth in Matthew and Luke, and who this child became as a man.
But at some point, we have to get to another critical question. What relevance does Jesus Christ have for you and for me? Paul Washer is going to answer that question. He is the founder of HeartCry Missionary Society. They support indigenous missionaries around the world, and he's also a very well-known preacher as well. Here's what he had to say about who Christ is and what we must do to be saved. What is Christianity? Well, I guess the answer's found in the name, Christianity. It has to do with the person of Christ. Now, what is Christ?
Well, it's an English version of a Greek term that represents actually a Hebrew idea, a Hebrew promise, and that is the promise of a Messiah, of an anointed one, a deliverer. The Bible begins in the book of Genesis with God creating man and this world, and it was good. But then, maybe beyond our comprehension but nonetheless true, we understand that sin entered into this world, rebellion against God, which led to a separation between a righteous and loving God and a sinful and oftentimes hateful man. And this division between God and man led to also the great division between man and man, so that the world you see around you today is the result of the fall of man. It is the result of sin. It doesn't matter if you create some sort of political utopia.
It doesn't matter if materialism abounds in everyone's home. We are never going to escape the reality of our sin and our separation from God. Now, the great question of Christianity, the great question of the Scriptures, the Bible, is this. If God is holy and can have nothing to do with sin, if God is righteous and must always come against sin, then how could we ever be reconciled to God? The Bible teaches in Romans 3.23, For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Now, you can argue with my terminology, but you can't argue with the truth of it. We see evil in this world. If you don't believe what I'm saying, simply turn on the news or read your newspaper or study something of human history and you will see that it is a history of humans doing horrible things to humans, of sin abounding, of ruin, of nations being lifted up and nations being destroyed, of peoples being oppressed, of violence occurring for no apparent reason. It's the result of sin. How can sinful man be reconciled to a just God whose justice demands that they be punished? The answer is found in the person of Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches us that God is a Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, and that to bring about the salvation of man, God would do something miraculous, outstanding, unspeakable, incomprehensible. He would show us His love, and He would do so by doing this. In His righteousness, He condemns our evil, but in His love, God becomes a man.
In the person of Jesus of Nazareth, a historical person, God intervening into human history. And this Jesus of Nazareth lived the perfect life that you and I could never live, could never live, have never lived. And then He goes to a cross. Now most of you know about the Roman cross. You've probably seen movies about it, about how Jesus was nailed there and a crown of thorns was placed on His head and all of this was done for our sin. But what's impossible to show, even in the best of movies, is that it took more than the physical death of Christ to pay for our sins. On the cross, our sins were laid upon Him, and then all the punishment of a holy and righteous God fell upon the head of God the Son. He suffered it to its fullness, and then right before He died, He cried out, It is finished, which means paid in full. We owed a debt to God because of our sin, and that debt was suffering eternal punishment. But on the cross, God Himself, He took our place, bore our sin, and suffered the wrath of God that we deserve. He extinguished it.
He put it away. And on the third day, He rose again from the dead. Then He ascended up into heaven, and this Jesus, the Son of God, sat down at the right hand of God. And now the Bible teaches that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, that no man comes to the Father except through Him, that there is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. You see, the Christian is the only person, the true Christian, who can say that they're going to heaven without being self-righteous.
Why? In other religions, how do you get to heaven? You get to heaven by being good, by earning it. In Christianity, you're not reconciled to God through your own virtue or merit, but you're reconciled to God through the virtue and merit of His Son. If I died right now, I have great assurance of being reconciled, being accepted to God.
Why? Because 2,000 years ago, the Son of God died in the place of this sinner and paid my debt. I do not trust in myself, my good works, my church, my religious duties.
It is Christ alone. And you say, well, you don't understand, I've sinned so much. We've all sinned so much. But His death is more powerful than any sin we could have committed. His death is sufficient to pay for all your sins. You say, well, what must I do to be saved?
The Bible says you don't have to do some heroic feat like climbing up to heaven or descending down into hell. But believe, trust in Jesus Christ. Abandon all hope in your good works.
Abandon all hope in your religiosity. And trust in the person and work of Christ on your behalf. For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. That's the promise of God to the greatest of sinners.
And that really is the message of Christmas, that God sent His Son as a child, as a baby, that would grow up and live a perfect life and then offer Himself on the cross because He loves you so much that He is willing to pay the penalty that you deserve for your sin. If you have never done, as Paul Washer just said there, repented of your sin, turned from it, had a change of mind about it, confessed it to God, agreed with Him that your sin is offensive and alienates you from God, and not only repented of your sin but then placed your faith in the person of Christ, that He's the Son of God, in the work of Christ, what He did for you on the cross, that that actually paid and satisfied God's justice and wrath over your sin. And that you put your faith in Jesus Christ to cover your sin, to atone for your sin, and that you believe, God, that He will not only forgive you but He will credit you with Christ's perfect righteousness. Romans 10 says, If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. There is no more important issue in this life than being reconciled or made right with God. Make this Christmas you are born again, as Jesus said.
You must be born again. One final song, a Christmas favorite, O Holy Night, sung by Phil Webb. O Holy Night, the stars are brightly shining. It is the night of the dear Savior's birth. Long lay the world in sin and error binding till He appeared and the soul felt its worth. A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices, O night divine, O night when Christ was born, O night, O holy night, O night divine, O night divine. Led by the light of faith serenely beaming with glowing hearts at His cradle we stand. Led by the light of a star brightly gleaming, here came the wise men from out a distant land. The King of kings lay in lowly manger in all our trials going to be our friend. He knows our need.
He guided us from danger. Behold your King before Him lowly band. Behold your King before Him lowly band. Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices, O night divine, O night when Christ was born, O night divine, O night, O night divine, O night divine, O holy night, O night divine, O night divine. Christ is the Lord, O praise His name forever, His power and glory evermore proclaim. Thank you for joining us today on The Christian Worldview. We hope today's program put your focus on the Christ of Christmas.
In just a moment, there will be information on how you can hear a replay of today's program, how you can order transcripts and resources and support this nonprofit radio ministry. Let's remember, Jesus Christ and His word are the same yesterday and today and forever. May you and your loved ones have a Christ-centered Christmas.
Until next time, think biblically, live accordingly, and stand firm. The mission of The Christian Worldview is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. We hope today's broadcast encouraged you toward that end. To hear a replay of today's program, order a transcript, or find out what must I do to be saved, go to thechristianworldview.org or call toll-free at 1-888-646-2233. The Christian Worldview is a listener-supported nonprofit radio ministry furnished by The Overcomer Foundation. To make a donation, become a Christian Worldview partner, order resources, subscribe to our free newsletter, or contact us, visit thechristianworldview.org, call 1-888-646-2233, or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. That's Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. Thanks for listening to The Christian Worldview.
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