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December 23, 2019 10:17 am
Believe in the supernatural to believe in miracles as our subject this morning reminds us that life includes the spiritual and the eternal you believe that when I think of the virgin birth and the virgin birth reminds us that with God nothing is impossible. Thank you for the message of Christmas is that the eternal God comes into time and space in the person of his son Jesus. That means that the supernatural God the eternal God is at work.
He is alive and have to ask you this past year have you been aware of God working in your life as you look back. In other situations that you can say yes God is at work, not just out there, but also in my life. After all, we can learn this morning that he is our Lord Jesus is Emmanuelle God with us or could be that in your busy life. Perhaps your difficult life over this past year that you have been in effect, practically shutout of the spiritual shutout of the supernatural masking of this Christmas to open your eyes to open your ears open your heart to the living eternal God. Let stand and read our Scripture is found in Matthew chapter 1 verses 18 through 25 couple weeks ago we began our study in Matthew and that here we come to chapter 1 note read with me now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way when his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was fine to be with child from the Holy Spirit and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame resolved to divorce her quietly but as he considered these things will hold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream say Joseph son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet bold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuelle, which means God is with us. When Joseph awoke from his sleep. He did as the angel of the Lord commanded him.
He took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son, and he called his name Jesus. And please be seated. Were going to make three people Joseph, Mary, and then the Lord Jesus first Joseph related by doing verses 16 through 21 and is the wonderful that at the birth of Jesus. Joseph acts with honor here.
Joseph and Mary living in the northern Israel in Galilee in this village of Nazareth and Joseph is engaged to marry both are probably in their teens with a Joseph likely to be a little older and in that culture. The engagement was legally ratified and that was regarded as a binding marriage contract is not just a case where Joseph makes Mary and Cesar Gillick. What I got married.
That was the situation it was a binding legal contract, albeit in the betrothal. That's the word used in verse 18 when his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, the couple did not live together, and if the engagement contract was broken for any reason. It was referred to as a divorce and that only for extreme circumstances.
So there's betrothal. This engagement was to all intents and purposes like a marriage covenant with this important distinction that the couple did not live together. Certainly, the relationship between Mary and Joseph would not have been physically consummated during the engagement, so can you imagine your Joseph can imagine Joseph's pain, his distress, his humiliation and his devastation but he discovers that his fiancée Mary that he thought was a pure holy honorable person to discover that she is pregnant.
He knows he's not the father is not been intimate with Mary.
He's not the father and therefore some other man must've had intercourse with his fiancée but notice verse 19, Matthew says that her husband Joseph was at just man.
Joseph is a manner of honor. He is a man of integrity. Interesting thing way he never saves one word that is recorded in Scripture. Matthew is giving the account of Jesus word from Joseph sports bike that Luke is going to give it from Mary's perspective and Joseph who no doubt loved his fiancée deeply.
I would've known that she was a holy woman, hence his dilemma. Hence his confusion has devastation when he discovers that this woman who he thought was a godly young woman was in fact pregnant knowing that something quite remarkable designate rather than exploiting the situation rather than trying to defend his own character or maligning Mary verse 19 says he was on willing to put her to shame. You made a very important resolution of the end of verse 19 he resolved to divorce her quietly and is Joseph know that his thinking through all of the implications of this when I was a gardener my was he going to say to his family. Was he going to say to the people of Nazareth when they say was happened we had we noticed that that Mary is his pregnant was going on here. Scripture says, verse 20 as he considered these things bold and the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and these told something remarkable something with which must've blown his mind that that which is conceived in Mary verse 20 is from the Holy Spirit and is then told the name of this little baby this little baby boy is to be called Jesus.
Verse 21 for he will save his people from their sins. We love that word Jesus told me that his earthly name by the way, Jesus that points to his greatest work that is salvation. And so, as the little boy is born a Jew season is given this name Jesus Savior. So every time Joseph and Mary signed his name are cited his name or called after him. They were saying Savior Savior. That's what it means. Jesus comes to be the Savior. I remember when I was about seven years old.
In Scotland we have what we called the rising of the his origin of the what is called in this country trick-or-treat demising coming from the word disguising children would disguise themselves and then go running, the doors, but you didn't just get candy or fruit just for appealing on the door. This was Scotland get to work for it and so were expected to do something to tell a joke at the saying or dance or recite a point and remembers a little boy, seven years old. I signed this will cider some of you don't think I can sing I say I have the door a song the chorus I had learned in Sunday school. Some of you might know it.
He did not come to judge the world. He did not come to blame.
He did not only come to seek it was to save. He came and when we call him Savior, and when we call him Savior, and when we call him Savior. We call him by his name. That's where the angel is saying to Joseph, you're going to give him no more intrusive. I understand you're not the father that which is conceived in hundreds of the Holy Spirit. We are going to call his name Jesus Savior, for he will save his people from their sins. And this young man Joseph must be must've been overwhelmed by this man divinely chosen a just man a good man, a man of integrity, a man who obeys implicitly every time the angel tells him something to do. He obeys instantly as Joseph and I Mary verse 22. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet is Isaiah magic in the quote from what we know is Isaiah 7 verse 14 bold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which means God with us. When Joseph awoke from sleep. He did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, they took his wife, and you have not until she had given birth to a son, and he called his name, understand that Jesus is born of the virgin and of the virgin birth of Jesus is the fulfillment of this Old Testament prophecy as Matthew very carefully the rates 700 years 750 years before the coming of the Messiah. This prophecy is made that assignment is going to be given by the Lord and God's prophecies are always fulfilled. That's why we can depend on the promises of God that what God says he always does, but how can a virgin be with child, how can a woman have a baby apart from the seed of man there many mysteries in the Christian faith under this sign points to one of virgin will conceive and bear a son, not an ordinary son, a son who's going to be given this incredible name Emmanuelle God is with us to Matthew wants us to understand something which we must understand that the birth of Jesus was supernatural wicked verse 18 says that would betroth Mary and Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit verse 20 Joseph son of David volunteered to take Mary as your life for that which is conceived in her is from the holy spirit.
This little body bike to be born is no ordinary by something out of this world, something extraordinary, something supernatural is going to happen. Of virgin Mary is going to be with child is going to bear a child. You believe this, you believe that this is true historically true. I do the virgin birth was a special and unique act of the Holy Spirit who achieves by a fresh creative act.
The beginning of the human life of the eternal son of God is amazing, isn't it, that Jesus is born of a human mother, but had no human father know Joseph is not the father of Jesus in the natural sense, the conception of our Lord Jesus Christ is unique.
Our Lord Jesus Christ enters this world in a unique way in a way which no one else is rendered. He comes in through a door marked no entrance verse 23 behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, that our Lord Jesus enters this world as no one else has ever entered says that important. It's absolutely vital because if you know your Bible you know human nature. You know that every human being is born a sinner because of Adam's sin. Romans five verse 12 for as by one man sin entered into this world, and death by sin, and so death has passed upon all men, for all have sinned all of sinned and come short of the glory of God.
So how could it be, then, that a sinless man be born of a sinful woman I Mary was greatly honored, but she was not. Sin lasts in the wonderful Magnificat in the link to this universe to God as my Savior know this is the answer because of the unique birth of Jesus, the virgin shall conceive. He enters the world guiltless of the sin of Adam.
That's wise very very important we understand that Jesus was born of a virgin and that Joseph is excluded as a father couple weeks ago when we thought of the genealogy was again to verse 16 of chapter 1, as Matthew H.
The genealogy of the Lord Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born who is called Christ motors are careful.
Matthew is in writing Jacob the father of Joseph, the man were talking about the husband of Mary. Cassie was the husband of Mary, all of whom feminine Pro, nine of whom that is of Mary Jesus was born was called Christ, so Mary is the human mother of Jesus, but Joseph is excluded as the father, the great apostle Paul writes about the resurrection. First Corinthians 15 makes a tremendous statement.
He says the first man is from the earthly was the first man Adam went addendum come from is made from the dust of the earth. The first man is of the parsley. The second man was the second man Lord Jesus Christ policies all of humanity day under these two men Adam and Christ. The first man Adam is on the yard earthly God made him from the dust of the earth. The second man is the lauric from heaven. The second man is the lark from heaven. In Jesus Christ than Paul's argument in first Corinthians 15 is that the cause of Christ because he is the second man that is a new beginning for all of us. He is the second man, Jesus is born of Mary, so that is truly man, but is born of God the Holy Spirit so that his humanity is truly you are Lord Jesus directly connects with the human race, but he doesn't share in the sin of the human race as he's conceived in the virgin by the Holy Spirit so important. This is why we believe strongly in the virgin birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, so Gabriel as he appeared to Mary in Luke chapter 1 and she said he knew heaven. How can this be okay. I am a child of mama virgin Gabriel.
The angel says that the Holy Spirit will come upon you the part of the Almighty will overshadow you therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called son of God is not wonderful. The virgin birth. Therefore, reminds us, and we need to be reminded of this that our salvation comes from heaven. The message of Christmas. In fact, the message of the Christian gospel is that you can save yourself as Abu was writing he was praying about the mass. Our world is what the answer United Nations, NATO monarch of the superpowered no every single person in this world without exception, is a flawed human being and you cannot make it to heaven on your own.
This is why the gospel is good. It's good Christmas reminds us that God has provided for your eternal salvation and that it is not a matter of you trying to reach God. It is God who comes to us from heaven itself. Human solutions human creativity human ingenuity human wisdom will not do it these things laughter ourselves will never solve our problem of sin of guilt of the spirit of emptiness of hopelessness about eternal destiny know we need divine help. We need a miracle in our lives.
We need God with us. Emmanuelle God is with us. So that's why we strongly believe, contrary to so much of the self-help movement around us that salvation is a super natural act of God is what began to ask of you ever experience the miracle of life you conscious of the work of God in your life. So in the Bible. Salvation is sometimes referred to as the new birth a big born again or born from above.
Christmas reminds us of God's grace in action that we are saved by God's grace by God coming into our lives, not something that we achieve by ourselves.
Not something that we can boast about, but something which is given to us as a reward for what we do know it is totally of God you must be born from above, you must experience personally the life of God in your soul.
That's why we emphasize the importance of a personal living relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
To this new life in the virgin birth is reminding us of this. This new life comes from God. Joseph, Mary and I Jesus you know you know Christ is versus what I do remind us that Jesus is truly God for given name Emmanuelle was reinterpreted main slot God with us. The name Jesus speaks of his greatest work, salvation, Savior, the name Emmanuelle emphasizes his essence.
He is going. So when we refer to Jesus as Emmanuelle. We are reminded of the preexistence of Jesus Christ. Matthew when he tells the Christmas story refers to Mary and Joseph and the wise man look when he tells us the Christmas story tells us of Mary and Joseph and the shepherds with John when he begins his gospel. He begins right at the beginning in verse one of chapter 1 in sales in the beginning was the word Jesus Christ the Lord us in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the word was God. He is saying and all of Scripture is saying that this one the Lord Jesus Christ is the son of God and also God the son he is God. What happens at Christmas that for God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that the Lord Jesus comes from heaven to earth, but he existed before Bethlehem was in the John three.
Most of us are familiar with. John 316. Maybe listen to verse 13, the Lord is speaking to Nicodemus and says there's no one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, son of mine went to the Lord Jesus come from the descendent from heaven. Listen again to his words in John six as he talks about the bread of life.
John six verse 38, but I have come down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. Verse 15 this is the bride that comes Darren from heaven. Verse 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven.
Verse 58 this is the bread that came Darren from heaven to get that is God's. What are we celebrating a Christmas the Lord of glory. Becoming a man on earth soberly think of this, Jesus is truly God Emmanuelle God with us and reminds us that the existence of Jesus Christ did not begin at Bethlehem there is no beginning to the being of Jesus Christ, God the son. That's an amazing thought, isn't it the eternal son of the eternal father the sands from heaven coming to our coming to Bethlehem here is Emmanuelle that is Mary and Joseph and the shoppers in the wisemen look on that little boy Jesus there looking at dogs. He is come from heaven to earth. Here is Emmanuelle God, not just in heaven but now with us. So John writes the word became flesh and dwelt among us, one, one translation says the Lord became flesh and came into our neighborhoods. He came to be with us that little baby lying in a manger, then, is none other than the eternal God is truly God. Yes, but the virgin birth also reminds us that he's truly man that he is the God man Emmanuelle God, yes. But now with us. Charles Wesley writes in one of these corals God contracted to us plan incomprehensibly made man who is Jesus, who is Emmanuelle he's truly and fully God, but is also truly and fully man and when he became man. He didn't cease to be God by becoming what he had never been before. That is a man on earth. He didn't cease to be what it always been the eternal God word becomes flesh. Paul puts it this way in first Timothy 316.
Great is the mystery of godliness. God manifested in the flesh. We believe that little baby gruesome little boy into his teens into full adulthood is perfect. God and perfect man, the first man is of the art. Actually, the second man is the Lord from heaven. Adam had a beginning, but you know verse and was never born was seen course he wasn't. He was made was created from the dust of their blasted item of the bellybutton probably not is never in his mother's womb. We didn't have a mother. He was created from the very dark dust of the art Adam. He had a beginning, but no birth, the Lord Jesus had the birth but he had no beginning in the eternal God, beginning know the one that is this the Jesus enters this world in a seemingly impossible way in a unique way through a door marked no entrance born of the virgin and our Lord Jesus Christ is going to leave the world's energy in a unique way in a door through a door marked no exit. How does he leave the world, rises from the dead demonstrated both at his birth and his resurrection that this is no ordinary man.
This is the Lord from heaven, there is none like him, nor will there ever be anyone like him. Jesus, what a man he would share our need of salvation. Each one of us needs to be saved, because we all have sinned. If Jesus would only God he would have no point of contact with us but who is Jesus is the perfect God man born of a woman and therefore truly human born of God and therefore truly sinless when our Lord Jesus dies on the cross he doesn't share in our guild as sinners, but he bears out guilt as a Savior.
When we come home laser trust. We do in humble repentance to the cross and kneel at the feet of Jesus and repent of our sins are Lord doesn't kneel with us in repentance. No, he lifts us up as forgiven sinners entering the world like no one else, leaving the world like no one else.
So I ask you, as I began to believe this. Do you believe in the supernatural.
See if this is true, you must respond to foolish it would be. Then, when God has provided a way of salvation, a perfect way the Lord from heaven coming into human history, some 2000 years ago. In this unique way in this mind blowing way, but he comes to seek and to save lost people like you and me after ask you why wouldn't you receive Christ as your Savior, not just looking at cries from afar, but receiving him into your life as your personal savior is a John yes I need I need a miracle in my life of your escorts. Do you notice when Jesus personally. Emmanuelle, can you really say is my Savior.
Can you really say that Jesus is with me in many that requires faith that requires a response from you and me, not just to observe the story of Christmas, not just to even admire Jesus from a distance, but as he says, resign, all you faithful great word of the Christian gospel is not going work out your salvation. It's come to me for salvation to come to Christ and receive rest for your soul and joy and the forgiveness of sins. Why because he's the unique Christ the only one who came from heaven descended to heaven let us sinless life paid the price for your sins on the cross rose again, and returning to heaven. That's why we say he's the only way the only truth, and the only life therefore trusted and all of your efforts and all of human efforts trying to get right with God by yourself trying to look within for the answers. If enlightenment is within your trying to do certain things is if we can please God by our actions rather than realizing there is nothing at all I can do other than to confess my sin and to ask for mercy and forgiveness that is miraculous. That is a supernatural act when God himself comes to us invades us and indwells us and so we are born again. Yes, you need Emmanuelle you need a bridge to God CS Lewis writes his dialogue between Lucy and Aslan Aslan the lion you read the stories Aslan is the line is a picture of Jesus Christ. And here is the quote over Aslan Aslan the lion, the picture of Christ, said Lucy we tell us how to get into your country from our world. I can you tell us how to get from after heaven, I shall be telling you all the time said Aslan, but I will not tell you how long or short, the way will be only that lies across the great river but do not fear that for I am the great bridge builder as our Savior is a great bridge builder. The perfect one truly God's truly mine. We sometimes sing all the love that Drew salvation's plan or the grace that brought it down to man or the mighty golf that God did spine 12 that in our Savior the love of God comes to us and that the cross God's plans that shoes go between sinful people like you and me. His holy perfection because of his perfect humanity and his perfect deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, then, is the unique is the only bridge builder. The only mediator between God and man here is amazing. Love here is grace here is salvation here is forgiveness of sins all fun in Jesus Christ asked if you never done it to receive Christ if you're not already a follower of Christ. Surely as you think of all of the wonder of salvation God's magnificent plan that the wisdom of God and the power of God revealed in his plan of salvation that she draws to worship Christ bore to follow him will closely be more obedient to him. So this Christmas. I'm asking you to invite God to perform a miracle in your life you can do it to exclude yourself. So you're too far away and say you've messed up too much God can do a miracle in your life if you humble yourself to cry out to the Savior. Jesus Savior Emmanuelle were going or singing the minutes. One of the old Carl send it.
It's finishes. I think with the stands.
I will will be signs and send them please and that read this and can we do it as a prayer to each of you to read this were going to read it slowly with sensitivity with meaning and make this a prayer and then we will sing it together. Let's read it together all holy Child of Bethlehem, the send to us.
We pray Their Sin and Entering Be Born in Us Today We Hear the Christmas Angels the Great Glad Tidings Tell Will Come to Us Buying with Us Our Lord Emmanuelle Was Pray Together You Make Your Response in Your Heart. Father Is Read These Words. As We Meditate on Them Are Amazed Fresh Grace and Your Wisdom Are Your Love. We Adore Our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. There Is None like Him, nor Will There Ever Be Anyone like Him Not to.
He Invites Us to Come to Him to Come and Be Changed to Come Talk Your Sins Forgiven the Common Boers the Streets in Worship and Adoration and We Do That Now. We Thank You That You Are Not a Remote. God but You Are Emmanuelle God with Us. May That Be a Reality in Every Life and Every Heart Here This Morning, We Ask This Precious Time a Man