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Celebration of the Incarnation

Anchored In Truth / Jeff Noblit
The Truth Network Radio
December 22, 2019 12:00 am

Celebration of the Incarnation

Anchored In Truth / Jeff Noblit

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Would like your Bibles this morning and go to the gospel of John. John chapter 1 to set the context Luke chapter 1 I'll just read this verse is 3335 and then leap to one through seven, and hold you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus and he will be great and will be called the son of the most high in the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will have no in Mary said to the angel, how can this be, since I am a virgin. The angel answered and said to her, the Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the most high will overshadow you and for that reason, the holy child should be called the son of God. Luke 2127. In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth.

This was the first census taken by Karen yes was governor of Syria and everyone was on its way to register for the senses, each in his own city.

Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, 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, and while they were there the day's work completed for her to give birth and she gave birth to her firstborn son and she recommend cloths and laid him in a manger or a feed trough because there was no room for them in the end it seems almost inconceivable to me that over three decades ago I was in a labor and delivery room at the old ECM hospital. My wife was having the baby I was, of course, but I was in the room and I wrote the first version of this sermon while we were awaiting the delivery of our firstborn child, Katie Lee, so this is the latest version of and when God gave it to me. I knew it was a message I wanted to repeat often not because of my message but because of the truth there within. So today I'll bring you the latest version of a celebration of the incarnation. John chapter 1 verse one and verse 14. In the beginning was the word and the Word was with God and the word was God 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.

It's no mystery to you that Christmas is being smothered out. Christmas is being smothered under lots of garments the garb of mythologizing has always been around that I is not so prominent on television today but when I was a little boy.

There were all kinds of Christmas programs and they would add things to the Nativity.

There was always Joseph and Marion baby Jesus within that have talking animals, sometimes around the manger scene there and sometimes they would have snow everywhere at all. Both of those tilt holy and biblical. Sometimes I have a little drummer boy that would come up and play his drum for Jesus. It was a sweet sentiment just wouldn't biblical so when they got through with adding to the biblical story.

It made the Christmas story. Not much more than a myth.

And that's always been around, and then there's the smothering of Christmas under secularism under secularism. There's no Nativity use additional Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. They'll say the word Christmas and will say the word Merry Christmas, but has nothing to do with the biblical truth about Christmas just off of the top of my head tuned to illustrations.

First of all the Hallmark movies using the Hallmark movies. I'm not saying it's Cinda wants the Hallmark movies.

Okay, at least they're decent and clean, but there's nothing about the truth of Christmas and with my grandchildren down I watch the new frozen Christmas show movie. Whatever broadcast and the same thing it was that use the word Christmas, but it had nothing to do with biblical Christmas.

I'm in at the end of these it's all about family and friends and parties and good deeds and good times and warm feelings. This must-see generic happy stuff that's not the biblical message of Christmas. So when you watch those enjoy that something is clean and decent, but tell your kids tell the family but that's not the Christmas message. I mean, a Hindu are Buddhist on Islamist could enjoy those things. Then there's the smothering of commercialism, industry experts say that this year $1 trillion will be spent on Christmas $1 trillion. Christmas is a great tool for corporate profits there there. Fourthly, there's the out and out repudiation of Christmas.

Those who just want to erase it off the calendar for her Christmas gift and for her Christmas gift to me in my Christmas gift to her.

I took Pam to New York a week so go and we went to a couple of the classic shows a Christmas Carol and other things and we noticed the whole time we were there. Every body was disciplined to say happy holidays. Happy holidays. It was obvious for many of them it was forced and discipline to do it. Why, because in those kind of settings on those kinda metropolitan Colleton places others.

The repudiation of Christmas we got a push and what we might possibly offend somebody if we would use the word so there's the repudiation of things so Christmas is being smothered out. Cannot tell you the.

The little corny illustration that I've used for years as you get older you get fond of your old illustrations little boy was in Sunday school and his teacher had him to draw a picture of Christmas so he came home and showed his dad's and we draw group pictures today for Christmas when he drew a jet airliner.

He said Sunil why the jet airliner, he said, would that that's the flight to Egypt.

Is it okay I see that but who's the guy out front.

He said that's Pontius the pilot. He said all these that's the velocity that must be Joseph and Mary. Then there's baby Jesus was the great big fat guy behind baby Jesus. All that's around John virgin thank you for laughing. Appreciate that advertising well we can excuse that with kids.

But here's my point.

Brothers and sisters, are you listening with all of Christian truth. We have to be intentional and repetitive to regather and reclaim the truth of Christmas. It can certainly get lost if we do not Christmas.

That is the truth about Christmas is continually under attack but think about it for a moment think about the simple biblical yet profound message that is crisp is actually not hard to grasp. Think about it. God became man born of a virgin, that he might save his people from their sins.

What's hard about that God became man, born of the virgin he might come into this world and save his people from their sins. I mean this message is the hope of all hopes.

Think about it. If God comes to save us is that not the height of ALL, that's the message of Christmas. He could have come justly so to condemn us know came put on human flesh was born of the virgin to save us.

Not so I asked the question to you this morning. Why would anyone have an issue with that message.

Well, I think I know why maverick I'm sure I know why it's the glory issue because behind the story behind the work of God becoming man to becoming our Savior is God's ultimate grand purpose and that is to bring himself glory and through this most magnanimous of all events God becoming flesh he could calls me and I stay grasp what he's doing to deem him and him alone worthy of all honor and praise, worship and glory. So it's the glory issue that is the problem. Satan does not want God to get the glory.

Satan wants the glory under himself.

I left out a part of the loot narrative of the Christmas story while ago, when I read from Luke on purpose.

I left out the glory part listen to Luke 218 through 60 in the same region.

There was some shepherds thing out in their fields and keeping watch over their flock by night and an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them and the glory, there is the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terribly frightened. Can you imagine lowly shepherds on a dark quiet hillside in remote rural Bethlehem and brilliant holy angel appears the glory of God is everywhere. Verse 10 but the angel said to them, do not be afraid, for behold I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people that got it included this Gentiles not just use it for all.

But today in the city of David is been born for you a Savior is Christ the Lord.

And this we assign for you. You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger and suddenly added to that original angelic appearance and suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying here's the glory again verse 14 glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased will leave their army when Jesus born the unfolding of God's great wisdom of God's great purposes of God's great power and beauty to do such a thing is to put on human flesh to save his people from their sins. Such a wonder that such an awesomeness. Such a magnitude.

Such a glory to God, so much so that when the Angels announce it on that quiet hillside to the shepherds being callous can't help but break forth a great glorious praise of God. What he was accomplishing. But in contrast, the one great ploy of Satan and all of those under its dominion and influence is to undermine the glory of God to deter to diminish the glory of God.

So they attacked Christmas well they attacked the truth about Christmas that let you have your Christmas holiday. If you forget the truth of it. That's the spiritual force of the attack behind Christmas that we come to our primary text.

John 11 and very interesting as John's writing inspired by the Holy Spirit. He views Jesus as the word in the beginning was the word and the Word was with God, he says in the word was God. What is he mean by that what he calls Jesus.

The word, because Jesus is the true manifestation of God to us. For example, our word is the maddest infestation of our self to others.

Summonses tell me about yourself, you give them the words now sometimes our words are not accurate to our true manifestation. Our true reality are manifestation we give the words isn't accurate. But that's not true.

Jesus. Jesus is the true word. He was the accurate word he was the true manifestation of God to man so this Christmas season.

As we celebrate the incarnation, we must worship him according to true three key thoughts that we keep in our minds and our hearts.

Three key traits that we must treasure and wonder over to worship him properly.

Number one, I from our text we worship him that the baby lying in Bethlehem speed trough was the pre-existing one the pre-existing one. John simply says in John 11 in the beginning was the word certainly didn't say the beginning.

The word was created in the beginning, the word came for know he was there he was the word you say Jesus was there when creation began when time began he was there when it all started in Genesis 11. The Bible says in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The Hebrew word for God. There's the word Elohim. It's a plural word and among other things, I'm convinced, with most scholars, the word Elohim is used there for God because it's a plurality for God the father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit in Genesis 126 the Bible says in God speaking led us to make man in our image closely as well a plural pronoun teach God the father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit who was present these the pre-existing one he didn't begin when he was born in Bethlehem manger and to his enemies that said he was just another profit even a false prophet, Lisa God, you know understands of the John 858 four. Abraham was, I am. I was already there. You esteem Abraham I'm greater than Abraham in the pre-existing one in John chapter 5 to his critics again.

They were talking to him about how they were master scholars of the Old Testament.

Jesus that you know there's something you search those Old Testament Scriptures because you think that in them to find eternal life but Jesus said it is these that testify of me. I was always in existence before I came in my final incarnate nature and walked the earth, and no discussing things with you. For example, in Genesis chapter 32 the Bible tells us that Jacob Amman unconverted wrestled wrestled with a man all night long and Jacob wrestles with this man all night long and finally the man he's resting with not to skip out adjoining.

He lived with that limp the rest of his life was interesting was when daylight came, Ava Jacob brother said looks comprehensive with them at all night long can I see the face of God. I can't be coincidence is the man who actually Jacob who is also God that was Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, the Bible tells us in Joshua chapter 5 that Joshua is the next day contemplating his conquest of Jericho. And certainly he's out there thinking about the battle plan. He's full of anxiety he's praising to the Lord and the Bible says all the sudden out there on that dark hillside contemplating the battle of the next day somebody warrior stood before Joshua and the Bible says that he had his sword drawn and when Joshua saw this mighty one with his sword drawn.this is where you are you perhaps argue for them. He said listen on the captain of the Lords host for neither. Here's what the captain of the Lord's house was saying he suggested you understand something I didn't come to take sides.

I came to take over.

The Bible says he was commanded Joshua that was commanded to bow down on his face because he was standing on holy ground and give reverence and worship to the one standing before him. The Angels were never allowed and would never allow anyone to worship them and show them that, reverence for The Lord told storm drought standing before Joshua that he was to bow down before in worship that was Jesus Christ a pre-Christmas incarnation of Jesus Christ and then what about Daniel chapter 3, Shadrach me shack and Abednego the three Jewish captives would not worship the false idols of Nebuchadnezzar's religion and to punish them they would be thrown in the fiery furnace. The Bible tells us that Nebuchadnezzar had the furnace heated up many many times hotter than they'd ever heated it up.

I made bion said brightly second Abednego and they went up to throw them into the fiery furnace in the Bible says even the soldiers who threw them in their died from the intensity Shadrach me second. Abednego I thrown into the furnace in a moment or two later, King Nebuchadnezzar looks into tie didn't wait for all three men into the fiery furnace and suggesting it was three-minute peace and what I see for. I see four men walking around in the fiery furnace teaching one of them's very unique ones very different in a pagan kings understand sending this is all he could say he said one of them is like a son of the God's is the fourth man in the fiery furnace walking around in there with the brilliance in a glory different from the others. That was Jesus Christ a pre-Christmas incarnation of Jesus Christ and by the way they got Shadrach and me. Second, Abednego out the didn't smell like smoke and the only thing that burned up with the bonds that held them Jesus is always existed. If we worship properly Christmas we worship that the baby lying in Bethlehem speed trough was the pre-existing one. II we worship also that the baby lying in Bethlehem speed trough was the pre-our brother.

The prestigious one the prestigious one look at it there in verse one in the beginning was the word pre-existing and the Word was with God, prestige with God. He said no one else can claim that no one else dwelt in the unity and the oneness and the fellowship with God the father that Jesus Christ has always known this speaks of his prestige.

This speaks of Jesus as being distinct from all others know others can claim to have been with God from before the beginning began. Jesus is one of great grand and unmatchable distinction from all eternity past there's been a oneness and unity between God the father and God the son, which is incomparable to any other, and incomprehensible to the human mind alleged just a few years ago, Prince William of Great Britain second in line to the British throne, the Duke of Cambridge.

He met a lady a young lady of middle-class stature. Kate Middleton, but upon Prince William's marriage to her.

She's no longer Kate Middleton. She's Catherine Duchess of Cambridge.

What's the difference Association. She's the only one in the British Empire, and although our I can say I am the prince's wife. I am now the Duchess of Cambridge, so it is with Jesus Christ. He's the only one who is the son of the holy father, he's the only one I got to the father.

There is a prestige to him.

Matter fact, he not only was with God, then came to earth and the Bible says he rose from the grave and now he's again with God. Peace now with God a second time. If you will. I know he's there with God as a faithful high priest in a conquering king. Let's remind ourselves that not only did he not just begin it Bethlehem's major his incarnation did not the end that the tomb either. Hebrews tells us he ascended into glory into the father's presence after he made atonement for our sins. No one else is ever done that.

Also, the man Jesus right now ever lives at the right hand of the Majesty on high to make intercession for us in his high priestly prayer before he went to the cross, Jesus said something about unique special oneness he has with God the father in John 17.

Five he said. Father, glorify me together with yourself to listen with the glory which I had with you before the world was father remember how it was us together before the world even came into existence. I'm coming back to you and I look forward to that intimacy again. John 1711 Jesus said, I no longer in the world and yet they themselves are in the world and I come to you. Holy father keep them in your name. That's all the disciples the name which you have given me, that they may be one even as we are one added the last one because implied. He's a father I pray that all those who believe only will begin to grasp and one day enjoy the oneness you and I have known forever. John 1724 father, I desire that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am, so that they may see my glory which you have given me for you love me before the foundation of the world. Father remember the love we shared before the foundation of father.

I look forward to going back to heaven and you and I will have that again in the beginning was the word pre-existing one, and the Word was with God the prestigious one. Thirdly, John says in the word was God worship properly Christmas we grasp, though never fully we glory we treasure we hold that the baby lying in Bethel hands. The trough was God was God. You see, in the beginning Jesus wasn't just there with God in the beginning Jesus was there as God theologians use this little phrase I've used it many times, that Jesus wasn't just like God he wasn't just closer to God than all other creatures that he indeed was God of very God, God of very God, the God man. He was 100% God just like God the father is 100% God none the ancient world.

They often had what they called Bimini God's they had these idols. These gods they worshiped and they would say these gods are greater than men but they're not quite like the one true God.

That's not what Jesus is.

He's not a demigod. He is God put on human flesh. The modern Colts make the same mistake mess. While there called.

Matter fact, the Roman church makes this mistake. We went into St. Peter's and New York City. My, what a fantastic we could sell that building we could pay off our loan. What a building, but while we were there we saw the veneration of Mary equal to the veneration of Jesus Christ is a pulling down of Jesus, from where he belongs me and heads of households when you hear a preacher when you sit under preaching. When you follow a leader, make sure he preaches the loneliness of Jesus. He is a prestigious one. He is the pre-existing one, and in this point, he is the preeminent one in Colossians 115.

He's the image of the invisible God. In Hebrews 13. He's called the radiance of God's glory in Colossians 119 all the fullness of God dwells in him and Colossians 29 all the fullness of deity dwells in him and Colossians 116. He is the creator of all things in Colossians 118 that on all things he might have the preeminent and in Hebrews 18 God the father calls Jesus, God, now there are those who try to ask eloquent in philosophy. I never allow the notion what how can God become man I'd still be God. Good answer for you. He takes God to do that only God could do that put on human flesh lose none of his deity. He's born of a virgin. The Bible says this speaks of holiness.

The Magi came bringing gifts about two years after his birth. Why did they came with these priceless gifts because a holy one was born in his birth the angels cry holy, holy, holy, or glory glory glory auction say why because a holy one God came among us.

We worship properly Christmas we worship the baby lying in Bethlehem speed trough as the pre-existing one. We worship that the baby in Bethlehem speed trough is the prestigious one. We worship that the baby and Bethlehem speed trough is the preeminent couple of things though for practical application. At this point for us. Let's make sure every Christmas in worship we reaffirm number one the manner of our lives.

Think about it.

Whatever else God becoming human flesh.

In this way it speaks of his humility. Humility and we should review route renew rather the humility of our lives became veiled of his glory didn't come in a palace or a castle or in regal splendor.

It didn't come as a great king or a mighty ruler but a baby born of a poor family of all things for his bed of the trough. This speaks of his humble selfless life.

Let's renew the matter of our lives.

Concerning humility. Secondly, he came holy, the Word became flesh.

She didn't cease to be the word. He brought holiness into the world that Christmas time we should renew our commitment to live holy lives before God for this and sisters listen to me you're not like everybody else. You didn't just get your ticket staff to have another rest of it's okay though, the sometimes when your children are not fit in at school because were not like everybody else can I tell you something is going to soon be that will have to be radically unlocked because the world's going to hell fast. You're not like everybody else in the office or at the factory or in the neighborhood were different. So let's renew the manner of our lives in humility and in holiness. Secondly, let's renew the mission of our lives. In verse 14 of John one. The Bible says and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Certainly humility in holiness and in that and we saw his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the father hears the phrase full of grace and truth. He came born of the virgin fall of grace and truth that it could've justly said this, he came full of judgment and wrath.

That wasn't his mission. He came looking for sinners and he found a bunch of I'm looking at a bunch of right now, only nobody out. Everyone of you. All sinners he is to Jesus came looking for sinners, but he came full of grace unmerited favor for sinners and truth that he would achieve the purpose of making them right with God fulfilling all the standards of holy justice by going to the cross, grace and truth. Let's remind ourselves throughout Jesus adult life.

He never said there's never recorded in the New Testament text that he said remember me Jesus born in Bethlehem.

We always says in the Lord's supper in other ways. Remember my death not my birth.

Remember I came to die in Paul's preaching. Paul never said I preach Christ born a virgin in Bethlehem of course he preached deputy said that's not the main point that's important and essential pieces. I preach Christ and him crucified. Why because he was born to die to rise again.

He came on a mission for souls, so never separate Bethlehem from Easter never separate Bethlehem from Calvary never separate the incarnation from the resurrection and the crucifixion, but as he came on a quest for souls so we if we properly celebrate Christmas and worshiping Christmas should renew our commitment to be winners of souls who could you just share a word about Jesus. I got to share about our gospel presentation to young lady just recently and she seems so open to the gospel pulling the one of the fast food places this last week I just got throw out a word about Christ and make sure you're committed to cry and it seemed to have an impact on the lady so who surround you that you can lease throw out a word about Jesus not in the demeaning are our confrontational tone, but a humble and sweet statement about Christ. Let's renew the manner of our lives in humility and holiness, and let's renew the mission of our lives to be like Jesus to be full of grace and truth. A quest for soul.

You remember the illustration there was a wealthy family in Boston some years ago that he was christening their little bitty newborn baby and they did that in their religion as soon after the birth as possible. The baby was brought to the priest and there's a christening ceremony and they always have a big party to celebrate afterward.

Unfortunately through the years. Many of these parties became drinking parties more or less as the guest arrived at the home.

It was a very cold day. I begin to throw their heavy overcoats on the bedroom. The front bedroom in the house carelessly. The first person through the coding.

There did not realize that that newborn baby had been put to rest in the middle of the bed and one cloak after another cloak after another cloak after another quote, one on top of that little baby and when the mom went back to check he had smothered today. Well that's what our world would love to do with the message of Jesus. Just keep throwing the garments of commercialism and the garments of mythologizing in the garments of this repudiation to smother him out. That's not for us for us. We want to celebrate the incarnation. We want to honor and worship according to truth. We hold that the baby lying in Bethlehem speed trough is indeed the pre-existing one the baby lying in Bethlehem speed trough is the prestigious one the baby lying in Bethlehem speed trough is the preeminent one. Indeed, the baby lying in Bethlehem speed trough was God

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