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What Child is This? - Why did He Come?, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
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December 16, 2021 5:00 am

What Child is This? - Why did He Come?, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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December 16, 2021 5:00 am

It’s Christmastime! And we all know that Christmas is about a baby - the baby Jesus. But why did He come? Why did Jesus come to earth as a little baby? Chip considers the Christmas story from a different perspective that just might change the way you choose to celebrate the season this year.

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It's Christmas time, and we all know what Christmas is. It's about a baby, the baby Jesus. But why did he come?

Why did Jesus come to earth as a little baby? Today we'll consider the Christmas story from a different perspective that just might change how you celebrate the season this year. Stay with me. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Living on the Edge is an international discipleship ministry featuring the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram.

I'm Dave Thruwey. And in this program, Chip begins a series he calls, What Child Is This? He's taking us on a journey to discover the Christmas story from a perspective you may not have considered. Just before we get started, let me encourage you to take a second to get Chip's message notes and use them while you listen. Chip's notes will help you remember what you hear and maybe even share what you're learning. To download Chip's notes, just go to the broadcasts tab at

App listeners, tap fill in notes, and you're good to go. Well, we're in the book of Colossians chapter one, so if you have a Bible, open there now, and let's join Chip for his message, Why Did He Come? There is absolutely no getting around it. Christmas is about a baby. And not just any baby, but one little baby that came into the world and that changed everything. He reoriented, he redirected, he literally redefined all of history on earth. The God of the universe intervened on the planet that he made for the people that he loves, and in ways that are just hard to fathom, he decided he would be as vulnerable and as helpless and as humble as a little baby. The Spirit of God in the womb of Mary, fully man, fully God, without confusion. Now, for 2,000 years, we celebrate this event called Christmas, and it goes something like this.

You'll notice on the front of your notes. An angel tells Mary about the baby. Mary couldn't comprehend having the baby, for obvious reasons. Joseph's problem with Mary is the baby.

He knows it's not his, and that story she is telling him makes no sense. An angel tells Joseph, you may not be the dad, but you're to raise the baby. A manger becomes the birthplace for the baby. Angels and shepherds come and worship the baby. Wise men, scholars project probably worth two years and following a star to find the baby. And in a fallen world, when the baby and his rule threatened, Herod tried to kill the baby. Now I've kind of spoken on Christmas a lot of times, and you know, one year you think, let's talk about it through Mary's eyes, and next year, how about through Joseph's eyes, and maybe, I wonder, let's see, the wise men's eyes or the angel's eyes, because you all know the story.

But this year, I'd like to redirect our focus rather from just the story which you know. I'd like us to move to the next level and ask ourselves the profound questions the story raises, like, in a little baby like this, why did he come? In a little baby like this, who is he really?

Some thought he was just a teacher, some thought a prophet. What's the scripture say? What does God say? And finally, what did that baby want when he grew up, became a man, and lived a perfect life? What I want to talk about is Christmas from heaven's perspective, and there's three questions that at least come to my mind that demand an answer.

And question number one is, so why? Okay, God created the world, why did he come? If you turn in your Bible to the book of Colossians, it's a very small book toward the back, and in this little book, written by the Apostle Paul in about AD 61, he's in his first imprisonment, and the town is a little town about 100 miles off the trade route from Ephesus. It's an affluent town.

It has a deposit of minerals. It's near bigger towns called Laodicea or Areopolis, and at the time it was a very key city. The church was planted by someone named Epaphras, and Epaphras has come back to Paul in prison and given a report about this little church, this Gentile church, and it's growing and it's flourishing and it's exciting and it's multicultural because there's Jew and Gentile and on this trade route and they have these minerals and great pasture lands.

In fact, they had such a quality of wool that they would dye it a special color and it became known as Colossian wool. It's multicultural. They had resources. They had a lot of ideas, a lot of backgrounds, a lot of religions, and the Apostle Paul is going to write because a problem arose. This early church, some false teachers came, and these false teachers had an interesting mix. They were Jewish in origin and so they were demanding.

If you read the whole book, they demand that people keep the law, which no one can keep, and all these religious festivals and holidays and external religious activities. But there was also a mixture of Greek philosophy, the beginning of what's called Gnosticism. It's just the Greek word for knowing, gnosis. And Gnostics believed that the spirit is pure but everything material is evil. And so in other words, God couldn't create the earth because the earth in its matter is evil and God is spirit. And so he had these emanations or series or stages of angels to get between him and this evil matter. And heaven forbid, there's no way that God could come in the flesh because if flesh is evil. And so they were telling people they needed to keep all these new rules, that Jesus wasn't God, that God didn't directly create the earth, that you need to worship angels.

And then there was a sense of elitism, this sophistication that the higher knowledge. And so the apostle Paul is going to write to this new church in this multicultural affluent area with all these religions and false teachers and embedded in the first chapter, he's going to tell us why Jesus came as a little baby, why he would grow up and why in fact Jesus left heaven. Notice the introduction is the first couple of verses and it just outlines Paul an apostle of Christ Jesus and then he tells him by the will of God and Timothy our brother. And then he addresses them to the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae, grace and peace to you from God our father. And then he gives us the first reason why Jesus left heaven. Jesus left heaven to give us a hope that will never disappoint.

He left heaven to give you and me and them and all people a hope that would never disappoint. It's embedded in a little prayer of thanksgiving. Follow along verse 3. He says we always thank God the father of our Lord Jesus Christ when we pray for you.

Well here's the reason. Because we've heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all the saints. The faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you've already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is producing fruit and growing just as it's been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God's grace in all its truth. You learned it from Epaphras our dear fellow servant who's a fellow minister of Christ on our behalf who also told us about your love in the spirit. Now the apostle Paul I love him. I love what he has to say. It's inspired by God. But he uses the longest sentences in the world.

Right? And in fact in the New Testament Greek there's the grammar has to be supplied. So he I mean if you if you try and outline his grammar I mean he's just so that for that. And so what I try and do is I rewrite the text. And after I've studied the grammar I've put it for you.

So basically it goes like this. He gives thanks to the father for two reasons their faith in Christ and their love for other believers. And so it's very positive. He's praying. He's thankful.

He's gotten a report from Epaphras. This faith and love literally spring out of it's a very interesting it's tiny little Greek word but it has to do with the idea of agency. It's the idea of something that comes or causes something to happen. And he says this faith that you have this new relationship with Christ and this new love the way you treat one another actually it's rooted or it's sprang up or came to be because of this hope that you have. And then he describes the hope as something that's sure it's laid up for them in heaven.

And he says that you learned about it when you received the gospel of grace. Now when we use the word hope we don't use it the way the Bible uses it. It's not wrong or it's not bad but we use hope like I hope I get married someday. Or I hope I get a better job. Or I hope we can have children one day.

Or you know I hope someday we could own our own home. Or I hope that the forty-niners win. In other words hope is almost a desire of the heart or even wishful thinking.

I hope it doesn't rain. The Bible never uses the word hope that way. In Scripture the word hope is that which is absolutely certain unchangeable definite and true about a future event. And so what he's saying is I've heard about this newfound faith and relationship with the Father through Christ and your love that you have for one another that's growing and increasing and it's rooted in the hope. And then he says this hope can't change and it's protected it's actually stored up for you. It's laid up literally for you in heaven.

Why? Because that's where Christ is. And their hope is because they've heard the gospel. The hope is that Christ is going to return. No matter what you're going through no matter how hard it is or how difficult or what people are teaching I want to remind you that Christ is going to return. And I want to remind you also that before he left he told his disciples then and now I'm going to prepare a place for you.

And if it weren't so I wouldn't say it. Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God believe also in me. And the rooting of the gospel this amazing pronouncement and message was there's a hope that will never disappoint. We're not made just for time it's time but inside of all eternity Christ in heaven will return. Heaven is real.

And you learn that how? By the gospel. Now sometimes the word gospel again some of these words we get sort of used over the centuries and so gospel is like hey well that's the gospel truth or that's southern gospel music or I mean there's all kind of ways we use gospel. The gospel the literal meaning of gospel is literally good news.

It's by the way it's not even an appeal it's a declaration. It's an announcement. A gospel would be even before it was used in scripture if a king had a victory over another country he would send envoys throughout his kingdom and they would give a gospel or a good news or a declaration that group's been defeated our king has won. Good tidings or news. And the apostle Paul says this good news is first of all it's true contrary to these false teachers.

It went all around the world. He says it's consistently bearing fruit in other words lives are changing. Love is growing.

Needs are met. Joy and peace are replacing conflict and bondage and addictions. He says that it came through your brother who shared this message and the message clearly of the gospel that is the very power of God is that God came in the form of a little baby fully man fully God. He grew up and lived an absolutely sinless perfect life. He revealed what the father is like if you've seen me you've seen the father full of truth and grace. And then he taught and then he healed and he fed and he fulfilled 700 Old Testament prophecies and then for no crime that he committed he would hang upon a cross and die and he didn't die for his sins he died as a sacrificial substitute for you for me and to atone or literally the word means to cover or pay for the sins of all people of all time. And then to prove that it was true he would rise from the dead after three days having defeated sin death and Satan and then he would walk around in a resurrected body where you could actually see the holes touch his side 500 eye witnesses for 40 days and then in broad daylight would ascend up to heaven and the good news is the free gift of the forgiveness of sins and a new life and the assurance of heaven is for whosoever would believe and trust in him.

That's the gospel and he says it's rooted in a hope. When I was in China I met a young guy that I really really liked and we had all these leaders and he was 31 years old from Montana his name was Levi and we sat on a bus together and he said so why are you here? I said I don't know. He said well if you don't know I sure don't know I mean here's all these leaders I'm 31 years old and I said well Levi tell me a little bit about your life. He said well you know I got to be involved in a church it was pretty neat and I just thought God wanted to help people in Montana someday someway so when I was 23 I just started a little Bible study. I said well what happened? He says well we have five sites all over Montana and we're kind of like five radio places and it's just taken off it's crazy man. You know he was 31 had his skinny jeans on and everything and he just had this I don't say this about many men he just had this sweet spirit and a little bit later I said you know you know we're gonna have to take the the train later I'd love to get some time with you. He said oh that would be great and so we sit and talk and I said you know tell me a little bit about your life and I don't know why I said this I said what's the biggest challenge that you're facing and he got real quiet. He said last year it was just a few days before Christmas and then he pulled out his phone and he showed me a picture of a little four or five year old girl and he said that's my daughter and she had asthma but was you know medicine and uncontrolled she never had a really terrible episode and last year a few days before Christmas she had this outrageous asthma attack and we called 911 and the EMTs came but before they got there she stopped breathing and I gave her mouth to mouth and I did CPR and I did it and did it and did it and did it and I went to the hospital and my little girl died in my arms and I said well how are you doing he said I am living on the sheer reality of the hope that's laid up for me my little girls in heaven and he said just because you know that whole group we all I've only been there eight years but from 23 to 31 that group they've been our family and we did Christmas Eve together and then we did Christmas and they got around us and they've prayed for us and they've loved us and they've we took some time away but he said what I can tell you is anything and everything can let you down but I live daily and he showed me this picture is Jesus said that he's coming back and Jesus said there's a heaven that it's real and that hope is what I'm hanging my life on and I have some really bad days but I always go back to what lens am I looking at life through is it just now through little time or is it through eternity and I want you to know this that little baby filled with the incarnate God he left heaven so you could have a hope that would never disappoint you because I'll tell you what you put your hope in money it'll disappoint you you put your hope in fame it'll disappoint you you can put your hope in good things like your kids or your marriage and you know what as wonderful as they are they'll disappoint you you can put your hope in you know your skills or your dreams and they'll disappoint you you can put your hope in a church or pastors and they'll disappoint you I mean as sitting before you know you right now kind of just saying I could make the most sincere commitments and I really want to keep them I just don't have the power to I let my own wife down I let my kids down I want to do what's right I find myself not doing what's right all the time can anyone relate to that well if that's true if you put your hope in something or someone other than the savior of the world a day is going to come and I hope it's not as tragic as Levi but you'll just ask yourself where's the hope in life see everyone puts their hope in something and it's not what you say your hopes in what we do is we we open up your schedule and we open up your brain and we see what you think and then we follow the money trail and when we see your time and we open up your brain and we follow the money trail there's a big equal sign those things tell you where your hope is you know I've I really have an easy time memorizing certain things but there's certain things I just have a mental block the words of songs I can never remember I was reviewing a song that we sing every year about this time people have been singing about the hope of this little baby since 1865 by the writer a pastor called Phillips Brooks when he visited Palestine see if this doesn't ring a bell and maybe you'll sing it differently this year Oh little town of Bethlehem how still we see thee lie above the deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by yet in the darkness shineth the everlasting light the hopes and fears of all the years are met in you tonight Jesus left heaven to give you a hope that would never ever disappoint you as you celebrate Christmas this year get that on the forefront of your mind and your heart and your thinking chips going to be back with his application but just a quick reminder this message is from chip series what child is this for most of us the Christmas story is pretty familiar so there's a chance we've forgotten the mystery and awe of Jesus leaving heaven and coming to earth in this three-part series you'll become more aware of the significance of Christmas as chip asks three simple questions why did he come who is he and what does he want the answers may actually lead you to make a few changes in the way you celebrate this year to listen again or share any of these messages with a friend the chip Ingram app is the way to go everything's there including chips message notes for more information about chip series what child is this give us a call at triple 8 3 3 3 6 0 0 3 or visit us online at Living on the Edge dot org well chip as we begin this series you know just the word Christmas makes us think about gifts and giving and a lot of people expect to hear familiar stories about shepherds and the baby and the manger but that's not really what you've done in this series why is that well you know it's not what I've done at all and if you've been a pastor as long as I have I've come up to a number of Christmas seasons and you're right people unconsciously begin to think of Christmas as oh it's gonna be so cute the baby in the manger you know it's a sweet time and children are gonna sing and I wanted to pause and help people understand wait a minute I mean a little baby came but this was an intervention of the god of the universe I mean this was a special ops rescue mission some of you have been in the situation where you've had a loved one or a close friend and they have had some sort of issue with drugs or alcohol and what you realized was their life their world and their impact was not only destroying them but everyone around them and you pulled everyone together and you did an intervention someone had to do something radical not that God was caught off guard from the foundations of the earth he knew the freedom of man would bring about the sinful corrupt world that we have and he chose to send God the son as an intervention but this is so much more than the story about a little baby in a manger and that's why it's so important for us to study Colossians chapter one and what you're gonna learn is what he did and who this baby is and the power that's available this Christmas season for ordinary people like you and me I think this is going to be a series that can reorient your Christmas in a brand new way and he's going to use you in a powerful way to help people that you love know Christmas is more than just about a little baby so join us for the whole series I think you're gonna love it well we certainly do hope you'll be with us for this entire Christmas series and if you think about it maybe give someone a call or send a text and encourage them to listen to better yet with the Chip Ingram app you can just share the entire series for more information about what child is this just visit Living on the Edge dot org or give us a call at triple eight three three three six zero zero three that's triple eight three three three six zero zero three well now here's Chip with his application so let me ask you just lean back it's Christmas time I understand you know shopping is on the mind but where's your hope what are you trusting to keep your life going when life gets hard I want to remind you that the only hope the only hope that you can ever depend on 100% of the time is the Lord Jesus himself there's not a relationship there's not a job there's not wealth there's not success that I guarantee at some point at some time in your life they're gonna let you down God left heaven in the person of Jesus the second person of the Trinity to live a perfect life to be born of a virgin to come at this time when we celebrate this amazing phenomena I think of it the living God in human flesh and he did that not just so we can celebrate a little baby or have a great season or have Christmas parties he did it to tell you there's hope there's life there's freedom the baby that was born 2,000 years ago is the hope of the world but he's your hope for your world this Christmas season I mean starting right now starting today why don't you shift your focus and ask God Lord what would it look like for you to be my hope and how could I give hope to others you might find that'll make the best Christmas ever as we wrap up today's program I want to say thank you to those who make this program possible through your generous giving if you've been blessed by chips teaching and you'd like to bless others in the same way there's never been a better time because thanks to some very generous friends of the ministry when you make a donation during the month of December it'll be matched dollar for dollar if today's your day to join the team just go to Living on the Edge org tap donate on the app or give us a call at triple-eight three three three six zero zero three that's triple-eight three three three six zero zero three on behalf of everyone here thanks in advance for your generosity we'll be with us again next time when chip continues his series what child is this until then this is Dave Drewey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-08 19:04:48 / 2023-07-08 19:14:20 / 10

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