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December 17, 2021 7:00 am
These the Lord of creation incarnate in human flesh, surely must have a palace waiting for him to greet his right were so glad you've joined us of the truth pulpit with Don Green founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am Bill Wright ever continuing our series. The most blessed birth with part two of a message titled historic birth last time Don gave us the reason we dwell on the historical aspect of the biblical account of Christ's birth, so that we would have a heart of reference for God's word and enduring confidence that Scripture is indeed inspired and true today. Don will offer a couple of practical takeaways to further help you appreciate the season, so have your Bible handy and let's join our teacher now in the truth. Pulpit go back to Luke chapter 2 again here in verse four Lucas set the context through the political events of the day the administrative orders of the day to help us know how it is that Joseph and Mary ended up in Bethlehem for the birth of the Messiah.
Look at verses four and five with me. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David in order to here's the purpose in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was with child. Joseph and Mary were under the authority of the order to report for that senses and look at what God did. Proverbs chapter 21 verse one says that the heart of the king is like water in the hands of the Lord. He directs wherever he wishes and what God did overruling in and superintending the purposes of the heart of the great Roman emperor Caesar Augustus moved and worked in his heart like he did with Cyrus in the Old Testament to issue a decree that would have effect on the people under his authority and Joseph and Mary being under the authority of that reign under the authority of that order had to do something and in compliance with in order that they had nothing to do with made their way to the city of Bethlehem because that's where their family was from heaven, and yet if you were with us on Tuesday and as you remember Micah chapter 5 verse two. In the Old Testament 700 years before the birth of Christ.
The prophet Micah said that the Christ, the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, you realize something really profound that Caesar Augustus had no clue, no concept of the purposes of God when he issued this order for the census to be taken, and yet he was simply a tool at hand and the sovereign God and his census, which seemed like the big political events of the day his senses and the goals that he had for that senses were actually utterly incidental to what was really going on what was really going on was that God was orchestrating events so that his words of the prophets would be fulfilled in the Christ would be born in Bethlehem at exactly the right time.
The census was incidental to a greater goal, the greater goal being the out workings of the purposes of God, you realize that we, you and I as we live under age a transition of leadership in our own country as we live under a number of different leaders with a lot of different laws.
Beloved, don't you understand that as much as we can get sucked into the vortex of political things are going on today. Don't you realize we should always step back and say there are purposes of God being worked out through the things are happening that I can't see or understand that I don't know exactly what's going on but I know that that even the greatest of leaders are merely instruments of God working out his purposes over time.
That gives us another source of stability in our soul. Caesar Augustus orders a census in order to be able to tax people in the future and to run his government.
Good for him got nothing against Caesar Augustus, I'm just saying that Batman and his administration were utterly incidental to the much greater eternal purpose of God in their sandals at the time, Caesar Augustus baby born in Bethlehem. True reality baby in Bethlehem.
We have to view the world through the lens of truth that what they do. They went up to Bethlehem went up from Galilee to Bethlehem now when we say somebody goes up. I often think anyway of going north. You know, because north seems to be up some reason for that. For that point of reference, but here Galilee was is a region north of Jerusalem and yet they were going south in order to get to Bethlehem. Are you calling it to go up well it's just a question of elevation Bethlehem being at a higher elevation than the region of Galilee so that they literally physically went.
It's a it's a geographic elevation reference, not a directional reference that is being made here so they went up and they got to Bethlehem and Mary is with child engaged to Joseph in verse six we read what happens when they got there. Luke tells the story with characteristic understatement. Thinking about the magnitude of what happened what the culmination of centuries of prophecy weren't that the fact that God's redemptive plan is being advanced. It's remarkable that Luke simply tells the story without embellishment visited Luke chapter 2 verse six says while they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth and she gave birth to her firstborn son and she wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the end as a passing matter.
Perhaps those of you that been under the influence of Roman Catholicism over the course of your life. Maybe in younger days notice what it says. Notice it says that that this child that was born with her firstborn son, her firstborn son.
Naturally, meaning that that Mary later had other children. Contrary to the false doctrine that says she was a perpetual virgin.
She had other children.
Mark chapter 6 verse three speaks to this very clearly.
They had brothers and sisters in fact they didn't even believe in and for the longest period of time till they came around after his resurrection, and so even even these passing words under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit give us protection, give us a guard against wrong views that are propagated by men, no matter how rich and wealthy and how long they've been saying these lies Scripture to simply says things in passing to give you all the discernment you need to know so that you're not led into a false worship of false adoration of Mary. Mary was greatly blessed by God to bear the Messiah, yes, but she said and gave praise to God, her Savior, who needs a Savior except somebody who is a center go so we follow the words of Scripture and are protected by foolish myths that others propagate.
She laid him in a manger feeding trough for animals. It's possible that our Lord was born outdoors. Maybe in a cave summit speculated that maybe there was a stable that was attached to a house and that it was an arrangement like that not too long ago I would've thought that sounds weird again with my 21st century presuppositions. But you know what this is totally irrelevant in one sense, but it just shows the way things can be done. You know what my grandfather lived in a house just like that. It's in New Hampshire still standing. They have the house and then there's this long passageway connected to the barn. Why would they do that. I don't think we do that much around here will the winters are too severe to be able to go out and so they billed these passageways and they connect the barn with the house and it's all under one roof can take care of the animals that way something like that for Lord don't know. We just know that our Lord was born in humble circumstances, that the son of God was born in such humility that his crib was trough for animals that his mother had no place else to take him and his father stepped back and see the perspective from God's viewpoint. See the situation for what it really is in times of war great men will have their viewing stand, and their armies will march by imperfect formation in front of them. All of the circumstance saying something great is going on here and in this man was at the head of this military is somebody of significance in an earthly sense sure doesn't it strike you afresh to step back and to realize that when the one who is great, came to earth, he didn't orchestrate a parade of procession to acknowledge his birth.
He came in simplicity. There was no desire there was no need to impress the masses when Christ came true greatness doesn't need the pomp and circumstance to vindicate and justify itself. Beloved someone greater than Caesar had arrived, but you never know it from the circumstances of the birth. He is Lord of heaven and yet he's born to displaced Jews is the Lord of creation incarnate in human flesh, surely must have a palace waiting for him. He's got a feeding trough to greet his arrival. What can we take from this familiar account.
In addition to things we've already said blood. I want you to anchor something else deeply into your mind with full protect you from a whole another realm of spiritual nonsense. Those who long for pretend to conduct signs and miracles and that is the proof of the work of God beloved look back at the manger and realize first of all, the God often works through ordinary means that the work of God is not often something that is spectacular is if fireworks were going off and laser shows were going off. Sometimes the work of God is done through very ordinary means for people like you and me in the day and age in which we live. In the end the evangelical church where the measure of the church is measured maybe by that the size of which its attendance is measured, or in more extreme examples by the. The seeming great signs.
They can do when they blow on people and they fall over. They pretend to heal everybody that comes in second Lehman maimed some of you wishing that you could have a great healing and you wonder because you been told so many times that if only you trusted God and he would heal you. It must be a lack of faith on your part. You're still in your condition. None of that's true, it's all a lie designed to manipulate you and make you feel guilty and make you reach into your wallet.
See were conditioned to think that God only works is only work when something spectacular or miraculous happens, but that is entirely the wrong way to think God works even through a secular rulers administrative decision to take a census. Nothing spectacular.
No fireworks going off no lasers announcing the order of the census, no fog machines going off to call attention to it, artificially creating an environment that would say all God's work here, but all of fog machine God have mercy on us. God have mercy on this whole degraded thing that's called evangelical church but that's what people do and think.
No, no, God is so great that he can work through ordinary things that people simply overlook work through that rulers decision. Beloved, think about something else and think about this in the midst of your very seemingly ordinary life that no one would write a story about the no one would make a TV show or movie of your just faithfully going through day-to-day life.
Being faithful in your marriage faithful to your parents faithful to your church and no one seems to notice.
Notice this, look at Joseph and Mary trudging as she is heavy with child trudging their way to Bethlehem and obedience to an order that they didn't ask for the discomfort of ancient travel and yet what was cut doing in their in their simple trudging lives.
God was accomplishing a great purpose in order to bring them to Bethlehem so that the Messiah would be born in the right place. You realize right you understand, don't you Christian brother and sister in Christ you understand it, don't you, that God is working out great eternal purposes. Even through your simple trudging life course is if you believe the gospel. Of course he is. Isn't God my friends.
Those of you who are Christians, isn't God preparing you for eternal glory. Isn't God working through life with an ultimate destination that you would be face-to-face with Christ and see the wounds of Christ were that he bore for the salvation of your soul.
Aren't you going aren't you headed toward a a a spectacular display of something still future that belongs to another realm and another world, and it's through your simple trudging life. The God is preparing you for that through simple faithfulness. God works through ordinary means beloved don't hear then is the point don't despise your ordinary life.
Don't despise the difficulties that attend older age. Don't despise the isolation that sometimes faithfulness to Christ calls you to life in Christ was never intended to be a spectacular show of fireworks, 365 year, the greater display of the power and the glory of God is when you're following him without that because that says that there is such inherent worth in Christ that you're devoted to him, even when there doesn't seem to be any earthly attraction to do so when there is no show to put on and yet you sit down and quietly open your Bible and read another passage again. Maybe read it.
A lot of times you say this is God's word and I love and this is how he shapes me and makes me and I want to know him better than he pray offer your thanksgiving to God for the day and trust yourself to his care and you go out and work in a secular job with very few Christians around.
You wonder what's the point know what the point is the point is is that a great eternal God has appointed you for that is working out purposes that far exceed anything that you could ask or think. Maybe when your hands are giving care to the needs of your children care to strangers who come in through the door when your hands are caring for woodworking machines and cars printers and technology you realize beloved that when we look deeply at the way that God brought about the birth of Christ, we see something second going on here. It's not just that God identifies works through. I should say. Ordinary means God works through ordinary means. It's not just that there's something else greatly important for you today greatly important for me. Secondly, is that in this is precious is that Jesus Christ identifies with the lowly.
Jesus Christ identifies with the lowly people just like you, who maybe are just struggling to pay your bills and you just live paycheck to paycheck, hanging by a thread.
It seems because you've heard so many echoes of health, wealth and prosperity, wonder what is wrong with me. Why doesn't God provide why didn't God give me the miracle that others seem to talk about well if he did that and he always did that were people of lowly means be where would people of humility of humble circumstances, like almost everyone of you. Where would we be in the plan of God. Do you see beloved.
The depth of the humility of Christ and his birth. Do you see do you see the eternal son of God who was involved in the intra-Trinitarian councils before the beginning of time and think billable infinite worth, a self existent God coming down like this coming down in the birth to two forgotten shoes and a small, unimportant city so that he might be laid in a manger. You know what this is, in part, this is the Lord Jesus Christ identifying with the lowest of us, those who have no account to have no reputation, who have no connections with people of so-called importance. This is Christ in utter humility, identifying with people like you and me know why this is so sweet and precious in a world that loves fame that loves Hollywood loves power that loves wealth know why this is so precious.
Do you know why this matters. You know why Christ is so so right because as infinitely great as he is. You don't have to be noble and mighty to have access to. He came down and identified with people just like you and me. He identifies with your anonymity. He identifies with your poverty, he identifies with your isolation.
Are you low today feeling the weight of your sin.
Maybe just discouraged by the humdrum boring nature of life. Do you realize that in the most precious person in the universe, the Lord Jesus Christ.
You have someone who not only has been there but shares in it with you that though you may not be able to put your finger on the money and the methods of this world to make your circumstances change that in Christ you have something far transcendent to all of that, even if your circumstances never change. If you have Christ you have all if you have Christ you have everything that you need. Let this world pass away must have Christ habitable. Yes, beloved Christ lowered himself not to save an elite disable all sorts of men just like you. God certifies the truth of these things to you a fresh certifies them through the Scripture certifies them through the testimony of the Holy Spirit you have it on the highest authority. The Savior has come for you. Who is Christ the Lord.
Those of you who know him, rejoice afresh, even in your simple trudging grief filled lives. Christ came for you. Those of you who've never been born again. Christ offers himself to you right now right today is a world goes about its madness. Just like Caesar and Herod were going about their madness and building their stuff and misted all.
Right now, today, piercing through the fog of all of the stuff of life my hands a friend Christ speaks to your heart says in John 524 truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me has internal life does not come into judgment, but is passed out of death and the life. Indeed, God shows himself through history as recorded by real eyewitnesses. We should be inspired to greater worship of our Savior this time of year and every day. Pastor Don Greene will have more of our series, the most blessed birth next time on the truth.
Pulpit don't miss a moment. Right now Don's back here in studio with some closing words hi friend. As we close today. I just want to make something available to you, you know, as you listen to these radio broadcasts they have to fit into a 25 minute format were very grateful for the opportunity. The Lords given us to do just that. But the radio messages are born out of a longer sermon message that contains more information, more background a fuller explanation of the passage and what were able to do on radio so I encourage you to go to our website and find the link that says follow Don's pulpit that'll lead you to a podcast that gives you the full length sermons from every Sunday and every Tuesday from my pulpit. I really think that old minister to you over time to hear the full-length messages we make that available for free and we would love you to join us in that way as well. Thanks Don and Fran to take advantage of what Don just mentioned.
Just visit the truth. Pulpit.com by Bill Wright will see you next time. For more from the truth.