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The Announcement of Jesus' Birth, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
December 23, 2020 3:00 am

The Announcement of Jesus' Birth, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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December 23, 2020 3:00 am

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The good news of great joy is for all the people and the good news is that has been born for you that is individualizing this universal good news Savior, the angel proclaims the good news of great joy which is more you save everybody matters most.

This time of year.

The profound transforming biblical truth of Christmas the title. John's current study, the promise of Christmas job before we get to the lesson.

We often stress that grace to you is not a church and is not a substitute for the church. We want to come alongside local churches and support them and strengthen them and one of the ways that infect the main way we do that is by teaching the word of God in providing spiritual nourishment for people so talk a little bit about what a privilege and responsibility it is to use radio to teach God's word and how would you describe our commitment to those men and women who listen and learn and grow along with us as we study God's word. Well you know we we first of all, have a commitment to the Lord to be faithful to proclaim his truth. That's where our first commitment lies. We serve the Lord and we serve him by being faithful to proclaim his truth as part of the great commission when it's an incredible thing to think about the fact that we are living in a time when we have a radio so that we can take his truth and it doesn't is not limited to one person talking to another person or one person talking to a crowded, literally blankets the world.

We do this virtually 24 hours a day every day.

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You are the people who make this ministry what it is across the world. The transforming teaching of the word of God has to have a messenger. Paul said that did me in. Romans 10 how they hear without a preacher, and so it knew the Lord has to have his people, his messengers and wear a messenger to you and of course then you're a messenger through us because you support this ministry we been overwhelmed by your support in 2020.

You've made it possible for us to do what we've done literally, indescribable millions of sermons listen to all around the world this past year and I think were looking at the greatest year in 2021 grateful for your support and as you probably know about 1/4 of our annual budget is made up by gifted coming in the last few weeks of the year so this is an important time for us if you can do anything to help us we will be deeply grateful and so will the folks who were benefited by it.

That's right, and friend.

If you'd like to help us reach people who hunger for biblical truth. People in your community and beyond.

You can make a I'll give full detail on how to reach us after today's lesson. But now, here again is John MacArthur to continue his study titled the promise of Christmas in the second chapter of Luke. Of course, the first seven verses describe for us the birth of Jesus Christ born to the virgin Mary, we remember the circumstances born in a little village of Bethlehem no place for them in the end, so that basically they were having to lay the child in a feed trough in a stable and that the birth of Jesus Christ as we remember was anonymous. At first nobody really knew anything about this child. As far as people around were concerned it was just another young couple and another baby born no one at first really understood what was going on. Didn't take long, however, because we come to the text of Luke 28 on the very same day that the Lord Jesus Christ was born. We read in the same region. There were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night and an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terribly frightened and the angel said to them, do not be afraid, for behold I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you.

You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger and suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased.

The beautiful Christmas Carol asked the question what child is this who laid to rest on Mary's lap is sleeping and of course that is the real question who is the baby in Bethlehem born at first so anonymously to anonymous a Joseph and Mary as far as any public knowledge was concerned. Who is this child who whose birth establish the world's calendars.

Who is this child more widely known than any other child ever born.

Who is this child whose life and work of impacted more souls than all other influential people in history combined. Who is this child who determines the eternal destiny of every human who has ever or will ever be born. Who is this child the angel says a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

There is no question there's no need for clarification as to who is this child because the angel tells us in very explicit terms. First, the child is Savior.

We've already looked at that. That's the great great affirmation of the angel that causes verse 10 to say I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people and what is the good news.

It produces universal joy.

A Savior has been born.

A Savior has been born and somebody at this point might ask the question, a Savior to save us from what is certainly a fair question. Well, the word Savior implies that we need to be saved from something saved as a synonym for rescued.

It's a synonym for delivered and it implies that there some kind of threatening condition.

There some kind of dangerous condition some kind of the desperate condition some kind of deadly condition from which we need to be rescued, but that still begs the question two. From what we need to be rescued from what we need to be delivered and saved today when when you hear people present the gospel very often you get the idea that we need to be rescued from from our our un-fulfillment that there's something in life that just isn't complete that that there are some great level of disappointment with which we live that our marriage hasn't really worked out the way we hope that the wood know all the euphoria all the hearts and flowers.

All the bells and whistles that were going off. And we thought that this was going to be one. You know permanent state of romantic blessing. It would all work out and it just didn't go that way and you know I even our family situation with the precious little ones came in the world is turned out to be a disaster.

You know the kids are not turned out the way we would want them. They bring us heartache and grief, etc., etc. our careers don't necessarily follow the path that we perhaps dream they should we we wind up working for years at a job.

We really don't like particularly working for people we can't stand and the people around us. We like the least get promoted over us in life just doesn't seem to be as fulfilling as we would wish it wasn't a didn't seem to work out that we get the cannot back at the house. We would like were not able to go the places we look at the travel brochures and you know and we we really want to go to Switzerland and we end up with a three day trip to Tijuana. You know it's it's it's really not. Life just doesn't deliver. You know that's kind of it and so you get the idea that Jesus will come and deliver you from your unfulfilled life. Jesus will fix your marriage and Jesus will not chew up a few latches on the career ladder you know he'll deliver you from this at the start of the unfulfilled life. This sort of purposelessness this this kind of frustration or disappointment or even despair. This kind of hopelessness that your never really going to get it's not can ever come to pass all the dreams that you dream for so long, have really turned into nightmares. And that's the way it's going to wind Jesus will come along and fix you Jesus is the one who rescues you from being unfulfilled.

Secondly, that the gospel takes a tone that the Jesus will rescue you from debilitating habits. Things accounted you can't get control of the Jesus is going to cause you to be able to get control of your life is the alcoholic would say in Alcoholics Anonymous. You know I never was able to get control of his alcohol until he came to recognize there was a quote unquote higher power somehow somehow there's a hook up there and if you can latch onto that hookah can lift you up out of the out of the. The pain of your passion that that you look at your life and not only are you unfulfillment you find yourself literally overpowered by lusts and desires and passions your out-of-control whether it's in the case of alcohol or whether it's in the case of drugs or or medication or whether it's just a some kind of other habit.

For some people it might be something like like smoking that leads to cancer and you still can't quit.

It might be that you have other preoccupation with pornography you get on the Internet and sooner or later you go to that stuff because you can't resist it in your you're really tired of these debilitating things you may be at sexual sin, homosexuality, or heterosexual sin where you know the price of that can be death in the and sexually transmitted disease etc. etc. and and you just can't get control of you kinky control of your temper and consequently your rate ruining your relationship with your wife, your routing relationship with your kids.

And Jesus is not come along and fix that Jesus will deliver you from drives and desires that the destroy life. Your life and the lives of those around you and and their people who would look at the gospel and they would see it as that Jesus will fill up the empty holes in your life and Jesus will give you victory over those things tend to destroy your life and there's a sense in which the gospel secondarily does make an application to those things because when you come to Christ and you are genuinely saved and you are genuinely converted and become a new creature and you belong to God and the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your heart and you have a new reason to live in the hope of eternal life and the promise of heaven. It does have a dramatic effect on lack of fulfillment in life and you do receive the power of the Holy Spirit over the debilitating habits and passions that your sinful nature generates.

This is true but those are not the primary issues and salvation. There is another issue that is primary in singular and there's a reason for that. Not everybody in the world is unfulfilled. In fact, I think unfulfillment very often goes with our Western culture. There are people in the world and third world countries. You don't have any expectations so they don't experience any unfulfillment not unfulfilled because there isn't anything out there anyway. And not everybody in the world is a is discontent with their condition in life and there a lot of people, even in a materialistic environment like ours and very happy to perpetuate permanently the conditions are presently in their living life to the max. As far as they're concerned they've got all the wine women and song money that they could possibly want. They've got it all the really very content of their others were very content with their lifestyle. They were there retired and got the ultimate fishing spot and that's it for them. Not everybody is unfulfilled. There are people who exceed their dreams and ambitions.

So that is not a universal problem if we have a Savior who came to save the world and is the Savior of the world, and it can't be dealing with just unfulfillment that can't be the main issue not everybody is unfulfilled.

In fact, there are large segments of the population of the world that don't have any expectation for anything because there isn't anything in there in a materialistic world to fulfill them and so they don't experience the artificial unfulfillment that so many people do in our Western culture, and on the other hand, not everybody is driven to to a point of danger and disaster by their passions, not everybody is to the same degree dominated by those things are people who have a certain measure of self-control is not the universal problems.

The universal problem from which the Lord sent a Savior to deliver us is not the problem of purposelessness or unfulfilled living is not the problem of passion or last or unbreakable habits. It's the problem of sin and guilt. That's the issue is to rescue us from the consequence of our sin. That is to say everybody falls into that category. I don't care whether you're a person living in 1/3 world country with no expectations of anything are and whether you're a person who isn't particularly consumed by lust and evil desire, you have a certain measure of self-control. You live life on a certain moral even keel you still have the same problem you have broken the law of God, and you are on your way to eternal hell and you need to be rescued from sin and the presentation of the gospel folks.

That's where we need to go with the gospel. That's the issue of the gospel. The fact of the matter is it when you're rescued from sin and its power and its penalty and one day from its presence. You may never still realize your career dreams or your marital dreams are your vacation dreams are your economic dreams. You may never get total dominates over the drives and passions of your life but you will get some measure of triumph because when your purpose is eternal. Those things that don't come through true in life don't matter as much. And when you realize you have complete forgiveness and you do have the power the Holy Spirit to give you victory over your passions. There's a measure of joy in victory and that those things will be dealt with but that's not the main issue church need to get back to remembering that God sent his son into the world to save his people from their what sins that's the issue, and a proper presentation of the gospel is talk about that that is precisely what is bound up in the announcement of the angel that the one who was born today is lying there in a feed trough in Bethlehem one day old is a Savior and as the angel told Joseph who will save his people from their sins. That's why must name him Jesus, the real destroyer is sin and the guilt for sin is a real guilt, not a psychological artificial guilt, not a self-imposed guilt but God imposed guilt. The dams to eternal hell.

It is from that the people need to be saved, rescued and delivered, and that is precisely what we must understand in understanding the gospel so this is good news. The good news of great joy is for all the people and the good news is that has been born for you that is individualizing this universal good news Savior. And so in the first few verses. Verses 8 to 10.

We talked about the proclamation of the good news and we talked about the pervasiveness of the good news, the angel proclaims the good news of great joy which is in his pervasiveness for all the people and for you that is to say it's for everybody and anybody that leads us to the person of the good news. The third point proclamation pervasiveness the person of the good news, and this certainly is the message of verse 11. Who is this child who is this child already we have noted that he is the Savior who saves his people from their sins. But beyond that, this one who was born that same day today. The day the very day of the birth of Messiah.

The day is the same day as the angelic announcement to the shepherds that came that evening. That same day. One was born in the city of Bethlehem which is city of David. Actually the village of Bethlehem, the Savior, who was identified in here is the identification, who is Christ the Lord. His earthly name is not given Jesus that is given in Matthew 121 it's not given here but Savior is the equivalent it's the synonym and so we understand that but his title is given here not as earthly name but his title is title is Christ the Lord Christ the Lord.

That is to be understood that he is both Christ and Lord. He is both Kristof and Hock curiosity is both Christ and the Lord. This is an exalted title, by the way for a baby in such humble circumstances would be a little hard to convince anybody who was located in that Travelers rest stop stable area when the two teenagers Joseph and Mary were taking care of that little baby that was lying in the feed trough would be very hard to convince anybody there. Looking into the face of that baby, but this was the Christ, the promised Messiah, the anointed one, and the Lord that would be.

We say will didn't have a gold halo around them in a little skilled spikes all the way around his head. No, he didn't have that there wasn't any hat on his head.

There wasn't any halo in his head. He was a baby, just like any other baby. There would've been no visible distinctive marks of his sovereignty of his deity of his Messiah ship but and by the way when the shepherds were told to go and see the child.

They were simply told in verse 12 there will be a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger is not going to have any other distinguishing mark than that he is lying in a feed trough which is very distinguished there would be any other baby placed in such an unspeakable environment after birth, but this baby so this baby in terms of what anybody would assume wouldn't be anything remarkable anybody remarkable. But in fact he is identified as Christ the Lord is talk about the word Christ. That's an exalted title back in Daniel chapter 9 verses 25 and 26 is a prophecy concerning the coming Messiah and there he is called Messiah twice. 925 and 926 that is the Hebrew word for anointed in the Greek Old Testament that is Kristof simply means the anointed one, God's anointed one now in the Old Testament time and in ancient times and in some places even in modern times when someone was anointed by the ultimate authority that was signifying that they were being placed into some very high office. Some given some very, very high title.

First of all, the Messiah is anointed because he is God's king.

He is in the line of David. We've already learned that when Gabriel came to Mary and said you don't have a baby. She was told that the baby would be the son of the most high. That is the son of God but the son of David also and he would sit on David's throne and he would establish a kingdom. And then he would reign forever and ever. He is the ultimate king.

He is the eternal King.

He is the King of kings and kings were anointed was a way to symbolize that they were identified as set apart elevated above and distinguished and this indicates Christ been called Kristof or Jesus been called Kristof that he is the anointed God's king. Later on in his life and with Pilate confronted him he said are you a king. He said you said it, my kingdom is not of this world, at least not yet. There will be a day when he reigns over the kingdom on this world for thousand years. According to Revelation chapter 20 then he will reign.

Of course, forever and ever as King of Kings and Lord of lords, but he was a king Matthew all the way through his gospel portrays Jesus as a king clear through the gospel of Matthew.

That is the theme of Matthew's emphasis, but there was more to it than that. Priests were anointed, and particularly the high priest was anointed and the one who comes this Messiah, the one who is the anointed one will not only be anointed because he is the king but he will be in order because he is the great high priest. There is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. Paul said in his letter to Timothy and this is the anointed high priest.

The final high priest, the glorious high priest, the great intercessor between God and sinners. The one who can truly take sinners into the presence of a holy God, the one who alone can give them access the one who by his death literally severed the veil that separated man from God. He is therefore the great priest the great high priest takes us into the presence of God. He also is the great prophet and prophets were anointed as well because they were God's spokesman God never had such a spokesman as Jesus God. At sundry times and in divers manner and time passed he was once a spoke, according to the prophets, but in these last days he spoken unto us by his son and his son, of course, is the greatest of all prophets the greatest preacher that ever lived.

The one who spoken out of his mouth came only the truth of God.

So it's as easy anointed one. It it can sum up all of that first of all, I think it primarily. It means that he is the one to fulfill Davidic premise to be the anointed king who would establish the great promised kingdom that last forever, a kingdom for Israel and the kingdom from Israel over the whole world and the kingdom that would last forever, and the new heavens and the new earth but also it implies also that he is the great high priest and the great prophet of God so you know him in that way. What was happening there. The little child in the feed trough was the greatest king the world will ever know the greatest priest the world ever know the greatest profit.

The world will ever know all summed up in one person. He was the king of all kings. He was at that very time in his birth.

The priest who alone could give access to God and the prophet who spoke for God and only for God that was this child.

It's amazing to think about that do understand that you had a real baby there that the condescension of the second member of the Trinity was so great that he submitted himself to the conditions of being an infant. What is that mean well. Later on when he was commented upon in Luke's Gospel. Luke says about him that he grew in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man. There was actual growth that is normal to human beings. He actually started out as a baby and was a toddler and grew to being an adult. This is the wondrous condescension all the while, even from the beginning he was the anointed king and priest and prophet and then he is called Lord and Lord could be just a term of honor used in a human sense in the sense of a benefactor in the sense of a patron in the sense of someone who is revered and highly esteemed been given some exalted position in England today you hear about Lord so-and-so and lady so-and-so that's been pretty traditional in Western society through the years. Lord is a term referring to someone in a place of leadership in a place of of authority.

In fact, in the first Peter three. We find that it was even true in a Jewish environment in a New Testament environment because it says that Sarah called Abraham her husband, Lord, and Peter affirms that that is a right designation that, in fact, the woman should recognize her husband is one who has authority over her so it can be used in a human sense to speak of a legitimate authority, but in this usage, it's way beyond that.

When it says this is the Savior, who is Christ the Lord. You'll notice and it'll be true. Every time it's used in the Bible to speak of Jesus Christ or of God to L you're not seeing it here as some human designation you're seeing this as a divine designation to say that this child is Lord listen very carefully is to say that this child is God Lord is intended to imply in the Greek all that is implied by the Hebrew word. Yahweh, the tetra grandma time. The Hebrew name for God to say that Jesus is Lord is to say that Jesus is God first and foremost, and let me say this is clearly and simply as I can and you need to remember this the most fundamental and basic confession of Christianity is this Jesus is Lord. That is the most fundamental and basic confession of the Christian faith. Without that you don't have Christianity there so many people out there who really don't get it there Christian people who when they hear people talk about Grayson talk about faith and we love Jesus and Jesus is our Savior and he died for us. They don't understand the subtleties of what's going on those cults.

Obviously, masquerading as Christian are not Christian they are satanic counterfeits because no matter what they affirm. They deny that Jesus is Lord and that again I say is the most fundamental and basic confession of the Christian faith. If you want to be saved. Romans 10 nine says you must confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord that is unequivocal. This is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us. John's current study from Luke chapter 2 is titled the promise of Christmas know as John said before the lesson, it's friends like you who help keep John's verse by verse Bible teaching on the year in your neighborhood and around the world to partner with us financially in these crucial last weeks of the year. Contact us today. You can mail your donation to grace to you. Box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412 or you can express your support and just a reminder that gifts to grace to you by check are tax deductible for 2020 if postmarked by December 31 and credit card donations made online need to be received by 11:59 PM on December 31. Our mailing address again.

Box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412 in our website TTY.thank you for helping us start 2021 on a strong financial footing and keep in mind that starting tomorrow. Our staff will be enjoying the Christmas break with their families, but you can still take advantage of all of the free resources available at our website tools to help you understand and apply biblical truth to your life that includes daily devotionals apps and John's entire sermon archive 3500 messages free to download that web address one more time. now for John MacArthur. I'm Phil Johnson reminding you to watch grace to you television Sundays on DirecTV channel 378 or check your local listings for channel and times then join us tomorrow Christmas Eve for another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on wasting

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