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What Child is This? - Why did He Come?, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
December 17, 2021 5:00 am

What Child is This? - Why did He Come?, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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December 17, 2021 5:00 am

There are manger scenes all around town right now - at churches, in front of homes, in stores, and public places. Each one has a little baby Jesus carefully placed in it. Have you thought about why Jesus left the glory of heaven and all He enjoyed there, to come and be with us here - beginning as a 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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I don't know about you, but my schedule is filling up like crazy with Christmas activities and then that looming pressure of buying presents. Here's what I want to ask you. When's the last time you asked, so why did this Jesus come?

And why as a baby? If you really want to get focused on Christmas, set your mind and heart in the right direction, stay with me. That's today. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Chip's our Bible teacher on this international discipleship program and I'm Dave Druey.

In this program, Chip continues his series, What Child Is This? by asking a question. If God really did visit the planet, why did he come? Now this may be a message you'll want to share with a friend. So after the teaching, I'll give you an easy way to pass it on.

If your Bible's handy, open it down to Colossians chapter one and let's join Chip for part two of his message, Why Did He Come? I remember my oldest son was being mentored by a guy. This was years ago and he was talking about this amazing time with this guy and how it's helping him. He was newly married at the time and making such a difference.

And then he shares a story, this guy that was mentoring him and helping him, who every morning this guy got up and made coffee and brought it to his wife in bed. And my son's telling me this and I'm thinking at the time, I've been married, you know, like 28 years. How many times have I done that?

I mean, like I heard that and I thought, are you kidding me? And then I thought, well, why not? And then I thought, I think I'll try it. On a fairly regular basis, I started doing that.

And you know what it is? You know the delight it is to see someone's eyes open up and just realize you pleased them. That's what it means to walk in a manner worthy. It's not about this rule or that rule.

Of course, we keep the rules out of love and obedience, but it's pleasing him and that's our motivation. But notice then it's how we relate to people, bearing fruit in every good work. You know, our series on doing good. That's it.

That's our exact word. It says that the way you walk in a manner that's worthy, you're good to people. You're kind to people. You're generous to people.

You put them first. You love them and you do it in real actions. He says, that's how you walk worthy. And then in your relationship to God, increasing in the experiential knowledge of God.

He says, when you walk worthy, it's not like, okay, thank you for forgiving me. I'm doing my own thing. You become the kind of person that says, you know, I'm not just trying to figure out, should I read a chapter a day to keep the devil away? I want to know you.

I want to talk to you. You know, when a verse speaks to you, you're writing a little card and you memorize it and you begin to pray in the car and you look for opportunities and pretty soon you're interacting with God and you're growing in the real intimate experiential knowledge and he gives you these little thoughts and little promptings and at times it convicts you. But that's how you walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. And as you do that, you realize that it's based on not your strength but supernatural power strengthened with all power according to His glorious might. Underline, if you will, strengthened in the word power. Same root word. He's really trying to make a point. We get our word dynamite.

The Greek word is dunamis. You can hear it. He says, there's a supernatural power of the Holy Spirit that's taken up residence in you and walking worthy, pleasing Him these good works. They don't flow out of you trying to be a good person.

They flow out of you abiding in Christ and seeing others through the lens of Jesus and saying, God, I want you to live your life through me. And His Spirit empowers and strengthens and then by His glorious might, His exceeding majesty. And then he says, this produces something because the real test of walking worthy isn't when things are going well. The real test of walking worthy and pleasing God is when it's really, really hard.

And so he uses two words. One is endurance and the other is patience. And the adjective behind is with great endurance and great patience. Great endurance, hupo meno, being under, pressure. It means putting up with impossible situations, circumstances, difficulties, health issues, economies going upside down, unfairly being fired.

Just situations, you know, the brother-in-law, the sister-in-law, the parent who abused, I mean, difficult situations. God gives you grace by His power as you're walking with Him. And one day at a time you just, you endure. You persevere. And two things happen. One, people can't understand how you do it. And the other is you in the midst of that pressure cooker become more and more like Christ.

You become more gentle, more sensitive, more understanding. And it's not just impossible situations but impossible people. The word patience is different from the word endurance. It's, we learned this earlier, macro, broad, thumos. Remember, you know, in 1 Corinthians 13 where you absorb the blow and give a hug? This is that word where you absorb the blow.

Your reactions, impossible people, difficult people, people that you want to punch them, they make you so mad. And you ask God for the grace and the strength to love them in a way Jesus loves them through you. And so what you have here is, these are graphic pictures and Jesus would say to you and me, this is why I left heaven. I left heaven to give you a hope that would never disappoint. And I left heaven to show you something. I wanted to show you exactly what the Father's perfect individual plan is for you.

Because when you live this life that's pleasing to Him, it's amazing what happens in you. It's amazing what happens around you. We did what was called our first prime movers group.

And it's kind of a Bible study for some executives and some people that have kind of done well in life that are asking what do I do with the rest of my life? And it was the very first one. It was an experiment.

I literally did it in the basement of my house in Atlanta. And there was a young guy there named Michael. And everyone else was older and kind of had grown some companies or run some companies or built some companies or sold some companies. And they had time, affluence and influence.

And they really wanted to be used for God. And so we spent 24 hours talking about what that would look like. And a number of them went on for six months and met and talked about how could that happen. And this guy at the time was like late 30s.

He found, did some sort of thing with a medical device and it went public. And he ended up being part of the team and got a bunch of money from it. And he was like this driven, overextended, you know, up early, up late, two small kids. And as we went through the time, his marriage was completely out of whack. His kids were being neglected. He wasn't getting much sleep.

He was this type A driven, I mean, over the top. And so we had this time where, you know, we're sharing because each guy had to share sort of what was going to happen. And it wasn't like someone's leading the group actually sort of helps one another. Well, most guys that are really high capacity have never been in a group with other very, very high capacity people. And so number one, no one's intimidated.

Everyone's got lots of zeros or letters or, you know, whatever makes you super-duper. And so it became this really safe place. And he starts talking and making all these excuses. And these older guys, I still remember, literally, I mean, these grown men, some of them were crying in my basement.

And they're looking at him and saying, Michael, 10 million, 20 million, it won't mean squat if you lose your marriage. It cost me mine. I was an idiot. I was sounding just like you right now. And I mean, they were just, I mean, I just stepped back.

I thought, I'm not going to mess with this one. I'll let these guys talk, you know. And Michael went on a journey. For the next six months with the group, he started getting his marriage little by little and a couple steps forward, a few backward, make some progress. And then what often happens when you're the guy that takes something public and, you know, you're the guy that has the invention, whatever it was, and they, you know, it goes public and they hire a board and then someone else gets to run it and then they let you know they don't need you anymore. Well, that happened to Michael.

And so he was given, you know, a year or two of severance and I think a pretty good sum of money to leave. And he said, I spent that whole year getting reacquainted with my wife and what's God's holy ambition, what's his perfect plan for me and what does he want me to do? And he and I were talking on the phone Thursday and just something came up that got us on the phone. I said, well, how are you doing? He said, Chip, I just have to tell you, it's probably mid-forties now, this is the sweetest season of my life. And I said, why? He said, I have peace like I've never experienced.

My wife and I are at a place that we've never been. It's rich, it's good. And I said, how did that coffee thing go? Because he kind of shifted his gears and he had this idea that, you know, all the free trade coffee and all how that goes and these farmers that are kind of getting ripped off. And so he created this thing and went around the world and so he created this brand. And he said, well, we sunk most of our money into that that I got from the last deal and we got down to almost nothing, but we did it together as a couple. We felt like it was really God's will.

And he said last week, and I can't tell you who it is, but last week, one of the major chains, fast food chains, he said this summer we will supply coffee for all of their chains all across America and on every cup it'll have our logo and it'll have a little website where people can go and help out these guys. And he said, you know, whether that happened or not was immaterial. He said, I would never want to go back to the way I was living. You know what Michael learned? God revealed his perfect plan for Michael and it wasn't about money and it wasn't about impressing and it wasn't about getting ahead. It was about being a man who walks worthy of God. And when you do that as described here and you endure as we all will great difficulty in circumstances and people, then you experience. You get to experience what we sing every Christmas. Joy to the world, the Lord has come, let earth receive her King. Let every heart prepare him room and heaven and nature sing and heaven and nature sing and heaven and nature sing.

Joy to the world, let the earth receive her. You know what this passage says? That little baby grew up fully man, fully God. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess. He's the King of Kings.

He's the Lord of Lords. And when he is the Lord now of your life, when you live in a way that the knowledge of his will and what that means and he is the King of your life, heaven sings and earth sings and circumstances align. It doesn't mean it's easy, but it means there's peace, means there's joy.

It means all that anxiety and all that stuff and all those hopes and all those people and all that frenzy that we live with dissipates. That's why he came. Reason number three is Jesus left heaven to rescue us from the power of darkness.

I put the passage right in your notes. He joyously gives thanks to God the Father. Paul's still praying. He says, I want you to know God's will.

Why? I want you to know God's will because of this hope that can never disappoint. And now I'm joyously giving thanks to the Father. And then he talks about what the Father has done through the Son who qualified us to share in the inheritance of saints in the kingdom of light, who rescued us from the dominion of darkness, who bought us and brought us into the kingdom of his beloved Son in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

I just want to make the point he rescues us from this domain or power of darkness. And I just want to remind you that you live in a very, very dark world. You live in a day where there is corruption and greed and evil and darkness and it's corporate and it's embedded in business and in government and in churches. It's embedded in families. It's embedded in individuals.

And it's dark. And what's scary in the words, it's so timely of Nelson Mandela. Someone asked him, how could you come out of prison and do what you did and forgive and bring about reconciliation? He said, everything I did I learned in 20 years by myself.

You should read his book. He said it was in 20 years all by myself in that cell that what I understood was all the evil in the world also resided in my heart. It was in my heart. And all the evil and all the tragedy and all the anger and all the bitterness and all the things I would do back to other people that they've done to us is in my heart. And if we were in power, we probably would have done the same thing. And I realized what needed to happen was I needed to change.

And no one can bring about change until they change. And I want you to know that he came to rescue not just the world but you from the evil in your heart. What you're capable of and what I'm capable of given the right circumstances in the right way at the right time. Underline the word qualified, put a circle around rescued, put a circle around dominion, put a box around brought us, and another box around redemption.

Did I go too fast? Yes. Okay. Underline qualified, underline inheritance, circle around rescued, circle around dominion, a box around brought us, and then a box around redemption. So how did he rescue us?

This is so exciting. He qualified you. This word means he made you fit. In other words, the evil in your heart, the sin, the debt that you have before God, what Christ did on the cross and the resurrection, he qualified you. He made you competent.

He made you fit by what he did on the cross. It's a picture of your account has been approved. You know when you like go for a loan?

You know you want to buy a house or something and you submit all your stuff and they look at you and they go, oh yeah, you're approved? Well, when you try and submit a loan to heaven, no one is approved on their merit, but Jesus says because of what I've done, you're approved. And what did he qualify you for? He named you as an heir. You're in his will. You're an heir in the saints of light. The moment you turn from the kingdom of darkness, he rescued you out of darkness if you put your faith in him, places you in the kingdom of light, and now he says you're an heir. Everything that is true of Jesus becomes true of you.

His reigning, his power, his blessing, his forgiveness, his place, his heaven, his purpose. He says you're an heir. You're in my will.

He died. The will is open. It's called a testament.

We call it the new will or the new testament. And all the promises there are whosoever would believe and trust in him. Third, he defeated sin, death, and Satan through the cross and resurrection. That's how he did it.

That's how he rescued you. There's an enemy. Evil is real. Sin is real.

Death is real. Energized by the enemy, Satan. And he says that little phrase you put a box, he brought us, literally the word is transferred. He brought us out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. That little word brought us.

You could write the word transferred in your notes. In the ancient world, this Greek word was used of someone who would conquer a people and he would transfer them from this city, this colony, over to this other city. And the Spirit of God takes that and says that's what happens to every single person because of what Christ did in your place. If you by faith have believed the declaration of the gospel, that reality is true. And the result is you are redeemed. He defeated sin, death, and Satan. And number four, he purchased you out of the slave market of sin and released you from your sins. That word redeemed comes right out of the ancient world.

If you were downtown in an ancient city, on any given day there would be a small platform and there would be slaves in chains, sometimes families, sometimes individuals, and you could walk in and say I'll give you $50 for that one or $20 for that one and you would buy them out of slavery to be your slave. And the word used for buying a slave out of there is the word redemption. And then so you don't miss it, he goes the forgiveness of your sins, literally the release, the sending away of your sins that God holds you accountable for because he's holy. And he says as far as the east is from the west, so far God has removed your sins from you if you're in Christ. And that's the declaration of the gospel, that's why he came. He came to give you a hope that would never disappoint. He came to reveal God's perfect plan for your life.

And he came to rescue you. Literally it's a picture of, if you've ever seen the documentaries about the little girls that are rescued out of prostitution like in Thailand, I have a friend who runs a ministry that does that. And he says we'll go in there and we'll find out what all the laws are and you know most of them aren't ever kept and we'll work with the legal people there, and then we'll set up a sting operation, and then we'll go in and we will rescue 10, 11, 12 year old little girls that are locked in rooms, some of them hang themselves. And he says we rescue them. We deliver them out of that.

But once we do that, what we realize, that's just the beginning. Then we have homes for them. And they need to know they're valuable because they've been hurt, they've been abused, and they need to be loved. And we teach them they have value. And we teach them a skill.

And we give them a new life. That's what God has done for you. It's what he's done for me. So the question, why did he come? The answer, he came because he loves you and wants you to have a personal, intimate relationship with him forever.

That's why he came. That's why we celebrate the baby. Oh come all you faithful, joyful and triumphant.

I never saw that before. You're triumphant. You're delivered from darkness and the domain and the power of death and sin and Satan.

So come and behold him, you're king. Well as we wrap up the Christmas story, you know, you can tell it through a lot of different eyes. But it seems like there's a couple big responses. When some shepherds hear about this baby, they leave everything. They're the low people in the totem pole.

They're the social, you know, like as low as it gets vocationally. And they leave the sheep and they come and see. And they worship and they're the first to go share. Or if you're a wise man, they're sort of the upper crust. It's got a lot of resources. They realign their life and their time to go on a journey, whatever it takes so they can see and find and worship this new king and they do it.

And then there's the end keeper. And you know it's just another day. It's just a young couple.

It's a census. I wish I had room but I don't. She looks real pregnant but you know a lot of people get pregnant. God bless you too. There's no room in the end and so the creator of the world is born in a manger. And every year when I read this story, I realize I'm either a shepherd, a wise man or an end keeper. And the question I have for you, is there room in the end of your heart not just for that baby but for the risen Christ who has a hope that won't disappoint, who has a plan that he wants you to follow and wants to rescue you if you've never been rescued out of darkness.

Or my experience is there's a lot of us that even after we come to know Jesus, we get trapped in darkness. Before we go on today, let me ask you a very important question. I'd like you to quiet your mind and quiet your soul and begin to think very carefully and clearly with me. Have you been redeemed? Not are you religious?

Not even do you go to church? Not are you spiritual? Have you been redeemed? Have you received the purchase price given for you that that baby that grew up, that lived a perfect life, that died upon the cross has paid for your sin to redeem you, to buy you back to relationship with the Father? Have you received that gift? Or are you still in darkness?

It is so easy. I spent the first 18 years of my life being semi-religious, even going to church up until 16 or 17 and having no idea that the God of the universe wanted a personal relationship with me, but I needed to be born again. I needed to trust him personally and ask him to come into my life.

Have you done that? And if not, do it right now, right where you're at. God can even hear your thoughts. Cry out in your heart, Lord Jesus, forgive me, save me. I believe today, come into my life. For many of you who have had seasons like I've had in my life where, yes, I'm redeemed, the answer was yes, but are you walking in the light or are you walking in darkness? This Christmas season, turn from the darkness. Get up with people that walk with God. Get back into God's Word. Find a church that teaches the Bible. Find one or two friends that you know are the kind of Christians that you want to be and say to the Lord Jesus, you redeemed me.

Now I want to walk in a way that's pleasing to you. Make the decision today and tell one person what you've done and your new journey will begin. If you prayed with Chip, I hope you'll take a minute and call us at 888-333-6003. We'd love to hear your story and get a free resource in your hands that'll help you understand what it means to become a Christian and then give you a couple of next steps. That resource is also available if you go to the New Believers tab on our website, livingontheedge.org, or tap Special Offers on the Chip Ingram app.

And one more thing about the app, it's a great way to share any of these messages you think are especially helpful. As we close today's program, I want to remind you, because we've seen this happen, that nearly a million people will hear what we've just said. And hundreds, if not thousands of people, because it's the Gospel, it's not me, it's the Word of God, will turn from darkness to light and spend eternity in heaven. Countless others will make a major decision in their life to come out of darkness to walk into the light.

And families and marriages and workplaces and communities and churches will never be the same. And this happens because faithful prayer partners and faithful financial partners give to Living on the Edge so that this broadcast is on this station at this time. Thank you very, very much. And if you have not given to Living on the Edge and you're receiving benefit, can I encourage you as we close today's program, will you help us continue to help others? Thank you in advance for all that God leads you to do.

If you'd like to partner with Living on the Edge, we'd love to have you join us. Whether it's in prayer or sending a gift, you can begin making a difference in the lives of other people today. And through the month of December, any gift you send will be matched dollar for dollar. Thanks to the generosity of a small group of financial partners, whatever we receive between now and December 31st will be doubled. To send a gift, call us at 888-333-6003. That's 888-333-6003. Or if you prefer to give online, just go to livingontheedge.org and click the donate button there on the homepage. App listeners, tap donate and let me thank you in advance for your generous support. Well, next time Chip continues his series, What Child Is This?, so be sure to join us then. For Chip and the entire team here, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-08 10:04:20 / 2023-07-08 10:14:42 / 10

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