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What Child is This? - Who is He?, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
December 20, 2021 5:00 am

What Child is This? - Who is He?, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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December 20, 2021 5:00 am

If Jesus had a business card what would it say on it? Who would it say He is? Nice guy? Teacher? Healer? God? Who is this Jesus we celebrate - and is it possible, that especially at Christmastime, the idea we have in our minds about who Jesus is, is somehow mistaken? Chip gives a very clear explanation of who this Jesus really is.

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If Jesus had a business card, what would it say on it?

Who would it say he is? Nice guy? Teacher? Healer?

Miracle worker? King? God? Religious leader? Who is this Jesus we celebrate at Christmas? And is it possible that we're not celebrating the real Jesus this Christmas time?

Find out today. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Living on the Edge features the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram on this daily discipleship program.

I'm Dave Gurley. And Chip's currently in a series, What Child is This? Now in this program he paints a picture of Jesus that does more than just tell us who he is. His picture reveals why Jesus is like no other man who ever lived.

Chip's covering a lot of ground today. So let's get going and join him now for his message, Who Is He? from the book of Colossians chapter 1. In those days, Caesar Augustus issued a decree and a census that should be taken of the entire Roman world. And everyone went to his hometown to register. So Joseph went up to the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea to Bethlehem to the town of David because he belonged to the house in the line of David. He went there to register with Mary who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.

She wrapped him in cloth, placed him in a manger because there was no room in the end. Children all over America will dress up in bath robes and tell this story on little wooden stages in tiny and small churches. Some churches will bring in animals and have live nativity scenes and literally I've been through them, have thousands of cars.

And in the Midwest, they will shiver in the cold as they pretend to be married with live animals. And currently there is conflict on council members among cities and places where they're still trying to figure out whether it's legal to have that nativity scene on government property. All those things happen when you hear this story about the little baby in the manger. And the reason is because it raises a big question. And there's a lot of different opinions about who is that baby in the manger.

Here's the conflict. Some would say he's a mythical character, others a historical figure. Is he a created being or is he the creator himself? Was he born of just human parents or was he born of a virgin?

Is Jesus, he would grow up to be a great teacher or is he the author of truth? Was he subordinate to God? Did God create Jesus and he's quote the son of God but sort of like a junior partner in the universe? Or is he equal with God? Is he a divine ideal as New Agers would treat the Christ in all of us? Or is he one who bodily rose from the dead? Is he a great religious teacher and leader or is he the Lord of all? In that day there was a lot of conflict about who this itinerant preacher was and who this baby was.

And today there's still a lot of conflict. And so the Apostle Paul would write to a group that was a young church in Colossae and he wants to explain very, very clearly who exactly was the baby in the manger that grew up to be the rabbi named Jesus who we sit now 2,000 plus years and realize the entire history of the world was transformed when that little baby grew up. So here's what we're going to do.

We're going to take our second look at Christmas but we're going to look at Christmas from heaven's perspective. We said we want three questions that demand the answer. The first one is why did he come?

The second question is who is he? Colossians chapter 1 beginning at verse 15 and follow along. He says of this baby, prior to even coming to the earth, he writes, he is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. Speaking of Jesus, for by him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities, all things were created by him and for him. As far as time goes, he was before all things and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He's the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead so that in everything he might have supremacy. For God was pleased to have all the fullness dwell in him and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood shed on the cross.

Now we talked last week about when the apostle Paul filled with the Holy Spirit directed by God to speak truth, he seems to have a unique ability to have a lot of commas and a lot of run on sentences, which at times make it a little difficult to figure out what in the world are you really saying? And I like to suggest that there's maybe four questions that we ask of anyone to discover who they really are. I had a meeting in Atlanta, so I had to fly there just quickly and then come back just to there a couple nights. And on the way out, went out of SFO and sat next to a guy named Frank. And I realized that, you know, he was very open, very friendly. We just kind of hit it off.

And I realized I asked him four basic questions. I mean, I didn't know him, so I asked him, so where are you from? And pretty soon, Frank, you know, because he had a little bit of an accent and he said, well, I'm from Switzerland.

I actually grew up there and went to University of Zurich and then talked about he works for a company here, but it's German based. And then, you know, I just said, so like, well, like, what do you do? He goes, well, I'm a chemist.

I said, really? I said, well, like, where did you do your training? And he talked about where he got his PhD. And then I said, well, well, kind of in your company, what kind of role do you have?

What exactly do you do? He goes, well, I'm in the research department and I have to fly and I make these presentations. And, you know, we were both doing a little bit of work. And he had, remember in chemistry, all those funny little things with all the little charts that look like octagons with all the little letters.

He had those all over a sheet of paper. And I was looking and I go, wow, that's like a whole nother language, isn't it? He goes, yeah, it really is. And then finally, you know, we really got talking.

I did work and he did work. And then pretty soon I said, so, you know, you're going to stick around America? Because he lived in France and other places and talked a little about his life and his company and talked a little bit about his girlfriend and they've been together about 15 years. And I said, so what's your future plans? And he said, you know, I'm not really sure, but we've been together 15 years. I'm thinking like maybe we should get married.

I said, that sounds like a good plan. And here's my only point. When you want to find out someone's identity, we unconsciously just ask some very basic questions. And I think it's interesting when you study very carefully Colossians chapter 1 verses 15 through 20, the apostle Paul answers those four questions and tells us exactly who Jesus is. So the first question, I mean, if Jesus, Jesus, so where are you from? This Colossians church, I mean, all these people, these false teachers came in and they're saying this and they're saying that. So, so where is Jesus from?

And the apostle Paul says, let me tell you where he's from. He's the image of the invisible God. He's the firstborn over creation. The word image here means we get our word icon. That's exact word in Greek. Hebrews chapter 1 verse 3 says, the son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being.

It's making the invisible visible. If you would take a piece of clay, soft clay or even Play-Doh and then if you take a coin or something that had a lot of impressions on it and if you pushed it very hard into the Play-Doh or the clay and then you carefully lift it off, what you have in the Play-Doh or the clay is the exact image of the reality of the substance. And he's saying that's what Jesus is. He's not just a representative or a reflection.

He's the exact representation of God himself. Second, then he says he's the firstborn. Notice it's over all creation and don't let the word firstborn.

There's a couple of different Greek words and it gets a little bit technical. I won't go into it but the firstborn here has the I do not with time but with rank and honor. It's like when Solomon talked, David talked about his son Solomon. He called Solomon his firstborn. Well, Solomon wasn't his firstborn son. Solomon was the highest in rank and order of all of his sons because he was going to be the king. And so he's called the firstborn. He's the highest. He's the first.

He's the preeminent. And so we learn the truth is that Jesus is the physical revelation of the invisible God. So where did you come from? From all time and eternity Jesus in the beginning was the word John says and the word was with God and the word was God. All things came into being through him and nothing came into being that wasn't created by him. And then if you skip down to verse 14 of John chapter 1, he says and the word was made flesh and literally it's he tabernacled or dwelt among us and we beheld him as the only begotten from the father full of truth and grace. And then it says Jesus or the word explained him, the father, full of truth and grace.

And I just love this picture. You want to know where he came from, who he is? Jesus made the invisible God visible. In fact, Jesus by his own lips would say, if you've seen me, you've seen, remember, the father. That's what he said to his disciples.

Co-equal, co-existent, co-glorious and worshiped. And so the response is this. We can know God personally. It's interesting, I sat on the plane there and we just got talking and he asked about my life because he asked where are you from and so what do you do and you know, we got talking for a while and then I don't know why I just said talking about my past and I said, you know, I just, the whole God thing, I was a big turn off. I had a really bad church experience and you're supposed to follow all these rules and I didn't like most of the rules and the people didn't live the life and it was just like, you know, forget it and then I told him about, you know, I went to this camp and I really love basketball and I only went to the camp because of basketball and I'd never read the Bible and this like older very uncool guy got up and he would read a paragraph and explain it and then for the first time in my life it made sense and no one preached at me but then I got around these guys and they lived it out and I could tell they loved one another and I said, you know, I believed intellectually in God, I had no idea, I grew up in America, I'm telling Frank, I had no idea you could actually know him and I remember turning to him and we were talking about, you know, coming, so I said like there's like a big rock star, you can know about him or listen to his music or the President of the United States, you can know about him but that's different than shaking someone's hand, looking him in the eye and having a relationship with them and I said what happened to me was that I learned that I could know about God but I could actually know him personally and that kind of started a pretty interesting conversation with Frank and before I got off the plane I just had this little little nudge from God because this guy was just, I mean, it was like God had prepared him and we were supposed to sit next to each other and then he was kind of asking me so like well how do you know him personally and how does it work and we put everything up and, you know, we're descending and like you I have those little flutters inside like, you know, I don't want to be pushy, I don't want to be preachy and the Spirit's going look, what would the guy have to do, help me? I said okay, so I took the little, you know, Sky Magazine and I flipped through it and I looked for a page where there was some open space and I ripped that out and I put that in, I took the open space and I folded it in half because I could write on it and then I just drew a little picture and a picture of one side with God on it and the one side with man on it and this chasm called sin and I drew a little bridge on the cross and I just explained the gospel and he turned to me and goes now that is a very interesting way to understand how to have a relationship with God, I've never seen that before and, you know, here's, you know what, do you realize how many people, do you realize how many people have no idea that the whole point of the baby in the manger was God wanted you to know that he came and took on human flesh and would grow up and here was the point that you could know him personally, that your relatives could know him personally, that God would talk to you and speak to you and direct you and care about you and love you and those Colossian Christians were being taught a lot of wild things like that could never happen, there's all these steps you have to go through and worship of angels and there's all kind of days you have to follow and food you can eat and things you can't do and the apostle Paul says no, no, no, this Jesus, that baby in the manger, he's the exact image and representation of the invisible God, he's the firstborn and highest in rank before there was anything or anyone and he wants you to know that he loves you, God loves you so much, he sent the second person of the Trinity to live this life so that if you want to know how God thinks, how he acts, how he feels about poor people, look at Jesus, how he responds to people that are really repentant when they blow it, how did he respond to the woman at the well, how does he respond to arrogant religious people who think they've got it together, look at Jesus with the Pharisees, you want to know what God is like, just look at how Jesus speaks and talks and responds, just read the gospels. Second question when you want to get to know someone isn't simply kind of where you're from but what do you do and Jesus had a very interesting job description, it says by him all things were created, in your nose just circle the word all and just sort of let that sink in, not some, not partial, I mean by Jesus, I mean what do you do, I mean like if we were doing like an interview, excuse me sir I'm a reporter, could you tell me what you do, I create everything, well could you expand on everything for us sir, I mean like well, how about this, like things that are in heaven or things that are on earth, things that you can see or things you can't see, well what do you mean by that, well you can't see bacteria, you can't see DNA, I created that, you can't see galaxies that are billions and billions and billions of light years away, well I've got news for you, I created that too, I created everything, in fact if you go into the invisible world of angelic world of demonic world, thrones, dominions, powers or authorities, they were being taught about all these angels and he goes I'm over all of that, you don't get to me through anything or anyone, I'm all powerful, I created all of that, in fact I existed before all things, in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God, all things were created by him and through him and you might just jot down Romans 11 verse 36 because he'll go on to say all things were created by him, all things were created through him and then he'll say they're created for him, see you know what God's agenda is for us as a church and literally for every Christian all around the world, when we think about the baby in the manger, when we go to a little program and the kids have the bath robes on, when we see a live nativity scene, when we read the paper and hear about this government or that government and all the stuff that keeps coming back to the manger and the little baby and who is he, God wants this year to something to click and move you out of the cute story or isn't it nice or I love that music or let's hear it together, away in a manger, no, it's a great song but he wants you to know that he made all that there is, that the eternal God of the universe was before all things and the Jesus that we worship didn't exist first by coming into a baby but he eternally existed as co-equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit and he chose to leave the glory of heaven and all the angels being in very nature of God and he would take on human flesh so he could be fully God and fully man and live a perfect life to reveal what the Father's like and expresses love for us. And so notice, he's before all things and not only that, he holds all things together. I mean, I think I heard recently that, I'm not exactly sure but the earth is going around the sun at like 65, 66,000 miles an hour.

It's spinning like crazy. We've got all these molecules, we've got all these bodies, we've got all these gravitational pull, some invisible quote glue is holding everything together by the word of his power and the scripture says it's Jesus. The truth is Jesus is the creator and sustainer of everything but talk about someone worthy of worship. Jesus is the creator and the sustainer of everything. Our response, we can trust him completely, fully about everything.

I mean, now let's just do the math on this. If Jesus at this moment has created all that there is, he's that powerful, that all knowing, that all wise and each moment of every day simply by his word and the nature of being God, he holds all things together. You think he's powerful enough to hold your life together? Can he hold your life together when the report on the biopsy is cancer? Could that Jesus hold your life together when you got the deepest struggle in your marriage you've ever had? Maybe infidelity comes in and someone makes a big mistake. Could he hold it together when you have a rebellious child? I mean, could he hold it together when you lose your job or lose your house? Could he hold it together when the whole, your future is uncertain and am I going to get into school?

Am I ever going to get married? And what about this? And what about this? Will we ever be able to have children? I mean, could he, I mean, do you think he has the power to hold it together or do you just worship a nice little ideal, a way in a manger? Or Jesus, you know, isn't he sweet? It's not the Jesus of the Bible, the Jesus of the Bible is the creator and the sustainer of the universe.

And what he asks of everyone when he walked upon the earth and what his word asks of everyone after he's gone is he has one agenda for your life and it's in a question, will you trust me, period. Chip's going to be back with his application, but just a quick reminder, this message is from Chip's 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. Listen again or share any of these messages with a friend. The Chip Ingram app is the way to go. Everything's there, including Chip's message notes.

For more information about Chip's series, What Child Is This?, give us a call at 888-333-6003 or visit us online at livingontheedge.org. Let me just take a minute before I come back and share some final thoughts of today's broadcast. It's been a very difficult year, and God has been much at work, but there's much to do. My heart really goes out to people that are suffering and hurting and being deeply challenged, and I just wanted to pause to say thank you. We have had tremendous support.

You have been so generous to Living on the Edge this year. It has allowed us to meet needs, to take steps of faith, to love people in the midst of their pain like never before. We've seen more response in every area than any time in our history, and that's happened for a handful of reasons.

Number one, I think we've asked God to help us to be sensitive to hear what His Spirit is saying. Number two, you have prayed for us, and number three, you have given generously so we could respond in real time. I just want to thank those of you that have already given. I want to thank those of you that have been longtime partners, and I want to give a special thanks to those of you that this December you've given for the very first time. Many of you don't think a little gift makes a difference, but let me tell you, when thousands and thousands of people give a little, it adds up to a lot. On behalf of the whole team, thank you for your generosity. For those of you that are sort of in that, oh yeah, I've meant to, I'm going to, I will do it later, let me just encourage you to take that good intention and follow up, follow through. Every gift's going to be doubled up to midnight, December 31st, and we are so grateful and so honored to partner with you.

We sure are. Well, we've got a few more days left in this year's match, so thanks for that reminder. When you give to Living on the Edge, you become part of a great team of Christians who are committed to sharing the truth of God's Word on every platform He makes available. Now, if you'd like to become a ministry partner, every gift that's postmarked by December 31st will be doubled dollar for dollar, fifty, five hundred, five thousand, every gift we receive will go twice as far. To send a donation, just go to livingontheedge.org, tap donate on the app, or give us a call at 888-333-6003.

That's 888-333-6003. Thanks for doing whatever the Lord leads you to do. As we close today's program, I have one singular thought to leave you with, but it's a big one. Who are you trusting with your life and your future? If Jesus is the creator of the universe and the sustainer of the universe, is He in charge of your life? Or perhaps another way to look at it is, how is it going running life your way?

How's that working for you? If Jesus is who He said He is, He wants to take the reigns of your life, your future, your relationships, your schooling if you're in it, and He wants you to come and say, Lord, lead me. I surrender. I want to go all in.

I want to follow you. The greatest Christmas gift you could ever give to yourself is to say to Him, my allegiance, my heart, my future is Yours. And then let me encourage you, find some people that can help you get there. God bless you.

Have a great Christmas season. Just before we close, I want you to know that as a staff, we ask the Lord to help you take whatever your next faith step is. Now, if there's a way we can be helpful, we'd love to do that. Maybe give us a call at 888-333-6003, or connect with us at livingontheedge.org. And while you're there, you'll find resources on all kinds of topics, many of them absolutely free. Well, I hope you'll join us again next time when Ship continues his series, What Child Is This? Until then, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-07 13:27:29 / 2023-07-07 13:37:47 / 10

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