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Great Joy - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.
The Truth Network Radio
December 18, 2022 12:00 am

Great Joy - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.

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December 18, 2022 12:00 am

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” (Luke 2:10).

Wisdom for the Heart
Dr. Stephen Davey
Wisdom for the Heart
Dr. Stephen Davey

The Baptist Bible Hour now comes to you under the direction of Elder Lacerre Bradley, Jr. O for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise! The worries of my God and King, the triumphs of his grace! This is Lacerre Bradley, Jr. inviting you to stay tuned for another message of God's sovereign grace. While shepherds watched their floods by night, All seated on the ground, The angel of the Lord came down, And glory shone around. Fear not, said he, for mighty dread had seized their troubled mind, That tidings of great joy I bring to you and all mankind. O glory be to God on high, And to the earth be peace! Good will, henceforth from then to then, Begin and never cease.

While shepherds watched by night. I want to thank each of you who have written us in recent days letting us know that you hear this broadcast. It is important that we hear from our listeners on a regular basis so we can continue on your local station. I want to thank all of you who have helped to support the program throughout this year. As we look toward the end of the year, traditionally many of our listeners have made a special year-end contribution which has been a tremendous help to us. So if you can do that, we will be very grateful. Our mailing address is the Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217.

We look forward to hearing from you this week. Turn with me to the second chapter of the book of Luke. I began reading in verse one. And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria. And all went to be taxed, everyone into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee out of the city of Nazareth into Judea under the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be taxed with Mary, his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And they were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you, ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts, praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen as it was told unto them. We note particularly verse 14, Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Glory to God in the highest. First let's consider the angels. In this day, you find there's some focus put on angels. There are books written about angels, songs about angels. You find a good many figurines of angels in various stores.

But I find that much of it is mystical. It doesn't necessarily represent angels as they are presented in scripture. But when you read what the Bible has to say about angels, you're made to appreciate them. You're made to love them. It's a wonderful thing to see the place that they occupy in God's service.

The work that they undertake, the task that they are continually about. We see here that they delight in praising God. That in itself ought to endear them to us. That we rejoice with them as they delight in praising God. Now the angels were present with God before the creation of the world. And it indeed must have been an amazing thing to them when they observed that God spoke and brought something into existence out of nothing. When he said, let there be light, and there was light. When God created man, breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and it became a living soul. You find in the book of Job chapter 38, verse 4 says as the Lord poses various questions to his servant Job who is in a time of struggle. Where was thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?

Declare if thou hast understanding. Verse 7, when the morning stars sang together and the sons of God shouted for joy. At the very creation of the earth, the angels marveled and broke forth into song and praised God for what he had created. The angels then continually find delight in singing praises to the God of glory.

God is glorified in creation. The psalmist tells us that the heavens declare his handiwork. You look into the heavens at noonday and see the brightness of the sun.

Sometimes there are unusual displays of it. I walked out of the building here the other evening and I saw this light shining on some of the houses to the back of us. I thought, that's strange because it was cloudy. I kept looking, where is this light coming from?

Every direction I turned I could see nothing but clouds. Finally when I looked way beyond into the distant western sky there was just one little ray of light at first but somehow it was being focused on these buildings behind us and just creating a beautiful glow. And then the clouds moved a little more and there was the sun in its fullness. That marvelous heavenly body that God created and put in its place. I couldn't help but just say, oh God how great thou art. Just some display of the beauty of his creation.

Yes, God's greatness and power and glory is seen in creation. And so at the very time of creation the angelic host of heaven burst into song and sang praises to God. They continued to sing his praises as they stand in his presence in heaven.

In the book of Isaiah chapter 6 we read of that vision that the prophet received when he saw the Lord high and lifted up, seated upon the throne and his train filled the temple and the seraphim sang, holy, holy, holy. We love to sing that hymn, holy, holy, holy. But what would it sound like to hear the seraphims, the perfect creatures of heaven sing, holy, holy, holy in the presence of Almighty God. Now in our texts they sing at the Savior's birth.

Oh it was marvelous no doubt to hear them sing at creation. But now something more spectacular than creation itself has occurred. Because God has become a man. God has come to this earth. So in the second chapter of Luke in the tenth verse, the angel said unto them, speaking to the shepherds, Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day of the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord.

And then our text, glory to God in the highest on earth, peace, good will toward men. It's really impossible for us to fathom what it meant for God to become a man. The very one that created the earth itself to literally become a baby, depending upon his mother to care for him and nourish him. See this was not a matter of Jesus as a baby just pretending to be human. He literally became a human being. He grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.

He had to learn to be a carpenter in Joseph's carpenter shop. He grew in understanding as he developed into manhood. We like to think about his deity and indeed we should. He was God.

But somehow it seems more difficult for us to fathom his humanity. That he was a man, literally a man, yet a perfect man, not contaminated by sin. No wonder the angels sang so beautifully at the time of his birth.

This was marvelous, this was spectacular. This was something that they could not have conceived themselves, they could not have imagined it. But this time has come that God sent forth his son. We read in the book of Hebrews chapter 1 verse 6, and again when he bringeth in the firstborn into the world he saith, and let all the angels of God worship him. God the Father said, let all the angels worship him.

And indeed they did. Then in the book of Revelation chapter 7 we get another picture of the angels praising, and this time they're praising the Lamb, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, the Lamb that was slain at Calvary's cross. In verse 9 of Revelation 7, After this I beheld and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindred, and people, and tongues, who stood before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes and palms in their hand, and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God, which sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb! And all the angels stood round about the throne and above the elders, and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshiped God. Saying, Amen, blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might be unto God forever and ever. Amen.

What a song! In the presence of the Lamb, the Lamb of God, they sing salvation to our God. Blessing, glory, wisdom, thanksgiving, honor, power, might, all unto our God forever and ever. They delight in praising God. They delight in the workings of God's grace.

For in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 15, verse 10, we read that there is rejoicing in heaven in the presence of the angels when a sinner repents. You say, why should these heavenly creatures take note of it? The question would well be asked, if a sinner, one who is a rebel against God, should hear on this earth, confess, I'm a sinner, and turn from his sin, and repent, why should the angels of heaven so rejoice? But is it not a beautiful thought that the workings of God's grace is of such tremendous importance?

Even that is such a remarkable thing that there is attention paid to it in heaven. And then the angels delight to do the will of God and to perform those special ministries that God has assigned to them. Psalm 34, verse 7, the angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him and delivereth them. The angel of the Lord. We don't have a lot of details about how God uses the angels in camping around his people and protecting them and sustaining them, but here nevertheless is a declaration of it. The angel of the Lord is around them that fear him.

We have an example of it in the book of Daniel, chapter 6, verse 22, when Daniel was cast into the den of lions and it was expected that he would be immediately devoured. And the king who had regretted signing this decree because he liked Daniel, went home and spent a terribly restless night, wondering whether indeed this young man might be spared. And he goes out the next morning and looks in and asks the question, Oh Daniel, Daniel, Daniel said the Lord sent his angel to close the mouths of these ravenous beasts at a pleasant night. The angel of the Lord was there. These angels then being assigned to such duties delight to do what God has bidden them to do.

Delight to minister to his people. They are submissive creatures, submissive to the will of God, immediately carrying out those things that are commanded of them. Psalm 91, verse 11, it says, For he shall give his angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways.

They shall bear thee up in their hands lest thou dash thy foot against the stone. Now God has promised to be with his people. He has promised never to leave us nor forsake us, that we might boldly say the Lord is our Helper. But here is some explicit language to tell us what God is doing on a continuous daily basis to support us, watch over us, that his angels are given charge over us to bear our feet up. I'm sure we're never aware of how many times God may have sent an angel to intervene on our behalf.

How many times we've been near danger. How many times there were things lurking in the darkness that would have harmed us in a variety of ways and God sent his angel to bear up our feet and has sustained us and blessed us by his providence to come to this good hour when we can be in his house to worship him. And then in Hebrews chapter 1, this time the 14th verse, speaking of angels he says, Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? These angels ministering, ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those that are the heirs of salvation. So when you think of it, when you think that these angels were there in the morning of time, there at the creation, and could not hold back when they saw the marvelous thing that God had created and God said, It is good! And the angels sang. And the angels sang at his birth. And the angels are sent as ministering spirits to bear us up.

Now, having considered the angels, let's consider the message. Glory to God in the highest. God is the highest.

He is above all. In the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke, we read in the 32nd verse, And he shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest, and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David. He shall be called the Son of the Highest. Verse 35, And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee.

Therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. The power of the Highest shall overshadow thee. So when we're looking at this song, Glory to God in the highest, we recognize that God himself is the highest. He is above all. And he dwells in the high places. Oh, so many times you will hear people today use God's name carelessly, fail to speak of him with the highest respect and honor that is due his name, challenge the validity of his word, say that they will not believe that which he has declared to be so.

Ah, but think of it. He who is the highest dwells in the highest place. Isaiah chapter 57 says, verse 15, For thus saith the high and lofty one that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is holy, I dwell in the high and holy place with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

He is the highest. He dwells in the high and lofty place. And yet is it not a comfort to us to know that he dwells with that one who is of a humble spirit. He dwells with that one who is contrite and of a humble spirit. He looks upon them with favor.

He is the high and lofty one. His glory was seen in the tabernacle. The tabernacle was a unique structure. Boards overlaid with gold and set in sockets of silver. The structure was covered with badger skin on the outside.

There was nothing appealing or attractive about it. But on the inside, what a unique place. Here was the mercy seat atop the Ark of the Covenant. Here was that great veil between the holy place and the holy of holies. God's presence was so much manifest, so much there, that if the great high priest should enter the holy of holies, without the proper garment, without the proper sacrifice, if he went at the wrong time, he'd be struck dead.

See, it was vital that God be honored and respected and that he be recognized that his presence filled the house. Exodus chapter 40 verse 34 said that the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And then the glory of the Lord was also displayed in great power at the dedication of the temple. Let's look at 2 Chronicles chapter 7.

2 Chronicles chapter 7 verse 1. Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offerings and the sacrifice and the glory of the Lord filled the house. And the priest could not enter into the house of the Lord because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord's house. And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down and the glory of the Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement and worshiped and praised the Lord saying, for he is good, for his mercy endureth forever. The glory of the Lord filled the house. The priest could not even enter it but the glory of the Lord was there. Glory to God in the highest.

So, he is the highest. He dwells in the high place. His glory was seen in the tabernacle. His glory was seen in the temple. But now when Jesus Christ comes, his glory is seen upon this earth in a foreign fashion never seen before. God was here in the person of his son Jesus Christ and notice the language that's used in the Gospel of John chapter 1 verse 14. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory and the glory as of the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth. Jesus Christ is the Word.

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God. He is the expression of all that God is. He is the living Word.

The Word was made flesh, became a man, dwelt among us. We beheld his glory and the glory as of the only begotten of the Father and what does it say concerning him? He's full of grace and truth. Is that not an encouraging thing to know that Jesus Christ, though he was the perfect man, the sinless man, the God-man, that he's full of grace?

Is that not what we need when we see ourselves as fallen sinners? When we see ourselves as coming short of the glory of God, we need grace and Jesus Christ is full of grace so there's an abundance of grace as we look to him. Glory to God in the highest. We will glorify the King of Kings We will glorify the Lamb We will glorify the Lord of Lords Who is the great I AM What a wonderful song was sung by the angels when they came on that glorious event at the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, singing glory to God in the highest. Yes, that ought to be our song of praise even today, giving glory to God because of the gift of his Son Jesus Christ. Apart from him, apart from his sacrificial death at Calvary, all of us will be lost and ruined forever. But in Jesus Christ, we have righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.

He is the salvation of his people. If you would like to get this message on CD, you can write for information. We look forward to hearing from you this week. Until next week at the same time, may the Lord richly bless you all. He is Lord of Heaven Lord of Earth He is Lord of all The Baptist Bible Hour has come to you under the direction of Elder LeSayer Bradley Jr., pastor of the Cincinnati Primitive Baptist Church. Address all mail to the Baptist Bible Hour, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. That's the Baptist Bible Hour, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. All praise to him we give. We glorify thy name. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-18 02:10:48 / 2022-12-18 02:19:39 / 9

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