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The Birth of Jesus

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
October 3, 2021 12:01 am

The Birth of Jesus

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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October 3, 2021 12:01 am

In the fullness of time, in the village of Bethlehem, a child was born for a specific mission: to save His people from their sins. Continuing his series in the gospel of Luke, today R.C. Sproul leads us through one of the most magnificent passages in Scripture, the birth narrative of Jesus.

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Today on the Lord's. The addition of Renewing Your Mind the birth of Jesus. Don't be afraid because there is born to us shepherds. Do you despise shepherds my son is given unto you this day is born in the city of David a so tear safe good news is just royalty isn't just for the wealthy and the privilege. The good news of the Messiah is good news to people welcome to Renewing Your Mind of the Sunday we went there, still weeks away from Christmas, but it seems like anytime is a good time to study the incarnation today. Dr. RC's bull delivers a sermon from the Gospel of Luke and we have the privilege of joining the shepherds and witnessing the heavens open as the choir of angels sing's glory to God. The first thing we say about look narrative is found in the opening words. He begins his account by saying and it came to pass, and then he goes on to speak of the activity of the Emperor of the Roman Empire and not quite ready as the governor of Syria. Real people in real places in real history. This story does not begin with the words once upon a time because this is no fairytale. This is sober history announcing the entrance into this world of our Savior and so Luke sets his narrative squarely in the context of real history and it came to pass the sentence in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered this story in this narrative friends is about three king one of those things sits on the throne as the ruler and Emperor of the greatest power on the face of the earth in Rome, the second king sits not on a throne but is wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in the manger. This little thing is the king of tanks.

He rules over the King in Rome and that's about the eternal King, the Lord God omnipotent who reigns from the moment of his work of creation till the moment of his fulfillment of his cosmos. He is the great King who reigns over all thing and so the story proximately speaks of an earthly decree that is issued and executed by the Emperor in Rome, but that Emperor in Rome issues this decree that all return to their home cities to be registered for the census in order to be taxed by Imperial Rome. This decree is done in obedience to a decree that took place much earlier, even in the eternity one God decree that his son would come into this world to do his work of redemption for his people and that he be born at a specific time in the fullness of time at a specific place in the village of Bethlehem for a specific mission to save his people from their sins, Caesar Augustus celebrated the memory of his great uncle Julius took it upon himself to build a temple in his honor.

Acknowledging the deity of Julius Caesar.

What a foolish mistake that was the only deity within the confines of the Roman empire again was to be found in the manger in Bethlehem, but in obedience to the decree of Caesar Augustus Joseph left his home of Nazareth in Galilee. And he went up into Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem.

He did this because he was a descendent of the line of David and he brought his wife with him. This also had been decreed from all eternity with the babe be born in Bethlehem as Micah had announced centuries before that, thou, Bethlehem, a frittata, though, they'll be small among the princes of Judah, yet out of will come the one whom God has anointed so it was days were fulfilled for her to be delivered. She brought forth her firstborn son wrapped him in swaddling cloths laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the end the entrance of Jesus into this world is against the backdrop of humiliation, humiliation in his entrance into the world's humiliation in his exit from the world. However, at that very moment when the babe is wrapped in the cloth of humiliation, the father, God is not satisfied that the circumstances of the birth of his son be only in terms of humiliation, but must also be accompanied with exultation that that shame must be balanced with glory not in the manger, but in the K stable where they were, but on the outskirts of the village out in the fields were the lowest evaluated people of the land.

The shepherds were keeping their flocks at night. And so out there on the plains where the sheep were being watched.

That night it was quiet. It really was a silent night and then suddenly an angel from heaven appeared to whatever shepherds were awake at the moment the angel of the Lord stood before the and the angel was accompanied with the glory of God the glory of the Lord shone around them. Every time I read that in the Bible throughout the Old Testament any time there is a theophany and outward visible manifestation of the invisible God. Almost every time we see that accompanied by the presence of the Shekinah. The Shekinah was the blazing roof. All judgment line glory of God himself that when that glory was visible on this planet. People in their eyes from it.

They were overwhelmed by it. They were driven to their knees in front of it because there was nothing in nature that could compare to the Shekinah glory of God. There, the shepherds tending their flocks taking their naps suddenly are interrupted by the angel of the Lord who is Bay in the Shekinah glory right before their eyes, and those who were asleep before the angel appeared did not stay asleep. We can be certain of that that they were roused immediately from their slumbers to take part in this sound and light show that filled the plane move gives us this notation when the Shekinah glory appeared that the shepherds were greatly afraid I like the old King James. They were sore afraid because it's one thing to be afraid, but it's quite another to be sore afraid.

When you are sore afraid. Beloved, you are afraid you are afraid like you've never been afraid in your whole life, who wouldn't be trembling in fear at the manifestation of the glory of God.

At that moment the angel speaks the negative prohibition that is the most frequently uttered negative prohibition in the New Testament that comes from on high, fear not, don't be afraid. And it seemed almost in the New Testament record of the life of Jesus that every time he came into the presence of his disciples he had set up saying peace be with you or hello or good morning or good afternoon they were at the site company for because nothing is more common for fallen creatures than the be terrified in the presence of God.

Every time I hear this negative prohibition. Don't be afraid I can't help but think of my days of teaching philosophy and in teaching 19th century philosophy having had the unenviable task of teaching the work and writings of Frederick Nietzsche. The exit stencil made a list who said that there is no meaning to life. Everything is an exercise in futility. All there is. At the end of the day is best mixed nothingness and at the same time how Nietzsche and his biological heroism called four of the Superman movie dimension to demonstrate what he called dialectical courage.

He said the Superman is the man who built his house on the slope of Vesuvius. He sends his ship in the uncharted sea's fees afraid of nothing to justify challenges this meaningless world in which he lives and he lives his life in the spirit of what Nietzsche called dialectical courage dialectical courage. What in the world is dialectical courage. What Nietzsche meant by that was this dialectical courage is contradict three courage its ear.

Rational courage, and he would say life is meaningless. Be courageous. Even though your courage is equally meaningless. That is, he could give no sound reason for inviting anyone to be courageous anyone to be fearless not so the New Testament Jesus says to his followers, be of good cheer. Life is meaningless. Now, be of good cheer have dialectical joy. No, he gave a reason for that command, be of good cheer. Jesus said, for I have overcome the war long before he said those words, the Angels give a reason. Here, the angel said don't be afraid, why not because I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people.

Don't be afraid because there is born to you to us us shepherds means that there is born to you unto you the transport unto you, despise shepherds, a son is given unto you this day is born in the city of David a soak tear safe here. Don't be afraid because this is the birthday of the one who will save you. This is the day your Savior is born. Not only is he Savior but he's Christ the Lord in the shepherds understood the meaning. The word Christ with the New Testament translation of the Old Testament word for Messiah today. Your Savior is born today the Messiah is born today, your Lord is born in Bethlehem and this will be the sign he must go and look see the sign because the sonnets significant to find a baby wrapped in cheap cloth, from within the manger. No sooner had the angel said that, then instantly, there was beside this single messenger from heaven. This angel perhaps even Gabriel again. He is surrounded by the entire heavenly host, there was with the angel a multitude of that Army of angels that inhabit heaven and surround the presence of our eternal God, and now it's not Zacharias loosing it's not Mary who's singing it's the Angels who bring a course from heaven single dunks glory Augustus's to God in the highest and on earth peace and goodwill toward men. This was the first singing of the glory in excess cease data so it was Luke tells us when the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began to speak one another to see that.

Did you hear that here the heavens opened and that require of angels singing the Gloria, what are we doing standing here, let's go right now let us now go even unto Bethlehem. Let's see that sign that the angel has just announced so they came with haste, they found Mary and they found Joseph, the beloved, they were coming to see Mary. They were coming to pay homage to Joseph. They were coming to see the baby was lying in the manger and once they had seen him. They made widely known the saying that was told them concerning this child widely known. They told every single person they knew that in just try to live a good life. After that, and have people come up to them and say what changed you from us and blistered soul into a valorous thing. They didn't just do evangelism by example.

They open their mouths, they told everyone what they heard and what they saw and everyone who heard it marveled at the things that were told them by the shepherds, you know you wonder how long they marveled.

You wonder how long the excitement lasted the duration of their zeal and happiness from their experience which add to be a converting experiment. Maybe every Christmas.

They made mention of it. Not Mary. Mary kept these things. Everything that she saw everything that she heard she kept it and pondered its in her heart. They days later when she took the child the temple for circumcision. She pondered that when the boy was 12 and confounded the doctors in the temple. She pondered that every night that she talked her son in the bed. She pondered these things and pondered them and pondered them let the day she stood at the foot of the cross watched him die. She pondered that until Sunday morning. A and he arose not in humility, not ensuring not in disgrace but in glory and triumph in exultation in the shepherds left doing two things praising God and glorifying him everything they heard and everything they had seen.

That's the law of the Christian to give glory and honor the minion power and pray we join the angel saying words to use the land, who was slain to receive the fullness of the glory of God.

That's Christmas even though it is a Christmas day, we, along with millions of believers around the world can celebrate the coming of the Messiah were glad you joined us for Renewing Your Mind as we honor the name of Jesus and give him glory and honor. We just heard a sermon by Dr. RC Sproul from the gospel of Luke and when you contact us today with a donation of any amount we would like to send you a digital download of his commentary on this gospel in nearly 600 pages. RC covers every verse of Luke's history of Jesus life and let me say from personal experience and deductibles commentaries are easy to read and a great help in your personal Bible study, particularly if you're a Sunday school teacher, or leading a small group.

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