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

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
December 14, 2023 5:00 am

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

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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December 14, 2023 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. The mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians through the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram. And today as we get closer to Christmas, Chip kicks off his series, What Child is This?

The Baby that Changed the World. For the next handful of programs, he's going to take us on a familiar journey through the Christmas story. Along the way, he'll ask and answer three pivotal questions that will give us a new perspective toward the holiday season. But before he gets going, let me encourage you to download and use Chip's message notes while you listen to this series. They contain his outline, scripture references, and meaningful fill-ins to help you remember what you hear.

Get them by going to the broadcast's tab at livingontheedge.org, tap listeners, tap fill-in notes. Okay, let's get started. Turn in your Bible to the book of Colossians chapter one as we join Chip with 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 does 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 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 this 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 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 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 receive 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 49ers 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. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. We'll return you to Chip's message in just a minute but first let me tell you God is doing incredible work through this ministry all around the world and if you'd like to join us consider partnering with us during our year-end match. Every gift we receive until midnight on December 31st will be matched dollar for dollar. Join us today by going to livingontheedge.org or by calling 888-333-6003. We appreciate your generosity.

Well with that here again is Chip. 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'm going 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 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 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 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 girl's 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 is 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's gonna 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 hope's in. What we do is 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 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. This is Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, and you've been listening to part one of Chip's message, Why Did He Come from our series, What Child Is This?

Chip will be back shortly to share some helpful application for us to think about. For most of us, the Christmas story is a pretty familiar one. So in the routine of this festive holiday season, we forget about the incredible significance of December 25th. In this six part series, Chip will remind us of the awe of Jesus coming to earth by asking three profound questions. Why did Jesus come? Who is he and what does he want?

We hope these answers will completely change how you celebrate Christmas this year. For more details about this series, visit livingontheedge.org. Well, Chip's joined me in studio now to share something with all of you.

Thanks, Dave. Before we go on, I really want to talk to you about something that's very near and dear to my heart, and it's very serious. I want to talk to you about the next generation. I want to remind you that it's not just news flashes and personal experiences, but this generation is facing things that most of us have never had to face. They are being deceived about identity, marriage and family, ideologies that are coming from colleges, high schools, and now even in elementary schools. They're being told that you can choose your sex. They're being told that marriage doesn't matter. They're being told that the Bible's not true.

They're being bombarded and persecuted. Some, even before sixth grade, will face much more than you and I have faced in our whole lifetime. So here's the deal. We have to help parents and pastors and grandparents clearly communicate the truth. We need to take a stand. We need to stand in the gap. We need to make a difference.

And God is allowing us to do that at Living on the Edge. And we're reminded that we're not against some group of people. The battle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers and powers and principalities. There is a deception happening. And it's not just in the culture.

It's not just in education. It's happening dramatically in the church. Here's my request. If your heart breaks for the next generation, will you stand with us? Will you pray with us? And then will you give and allow us to continue to train parents and grandparents and pastors and share the truth and do it in a loving way?

The next generation is in a crisis. So I'm asking you to pray about helping us at Living on the Edge reach and disciple the next generation. And by the way, there's never been a better time because as you give now, up through December 31, your gift will be doubled dollar for dollar. We can make a difference, but we have to stand together.

Thanks, Chip. Well, if you want to help us reach this next generation with the power of the gospel, become a financial partner today. And as Chip said right now during our year-end match, every dollar you give will be matched dollar for dollar, bringing greater impact. To send a gift, call us at 888-333-6003 or go to livingontheedge.org. That's 888-333-6003 or livingontheedge.org. App listeners, tap Donate.

Well, with that, here's Chip to share his final application for today's program. So let me ask you, just lean back. 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 going to 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. Great challenge, Chip. Hey, before we go, I want to remind you that the Chip and Graham app is an easy way to share messages or complete series with others. So whenever you're encouraged by what you hear, I hope you'll pass it along to a friend or loved one who'd benefit from it and be sure to tell them how it made a difference in your life. Well, join us next time as Chip continues his series, What Child Is This? Until then, I'm Dave Drewley thanking you for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-14 05:50:45 / 2023-12-14 06:01:19 / 11

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