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December 15, 2021 3:00 am
One of the name given to the anticipated Messiah. The Bible is wonderful, counselor, but what exactly does that mean and why does it matter will hear the answers today on Truth for Life as we continue a series titled a child is born.
Here's Alister bag teaching from the book of Isaiah in chapter 9 verse six.
Remember we said last time God's answer to all of the tyranny and oppression and darkness and so on is to be found in a child that the deliverance which brings joy to the people of God is something vague but it is something that is happened in a moment in time at a definite place in the birth of this child that is prophesied here in Isaiah not only in chapter 9 but also elsewhere.
Two questions. One is what does this mean and the other question is why does this matter. Note will be help by turning back in our Bibles to the Psalms and to Psalm 78 simply because of the adjective wonderful in the original is not a will is not an adjective. It's an abstract is made an adjective in our English version in order to help us and it Psalm 78 the men of African in verse nine, though they were armed with bows, turned back on the day of battle. Why while they didn't keep God's covenant and they refuse to live by his law. Is there a reason why that happened. Apparently verse 11, they forgot what God had done well like what well the wonders he had shown the miracles in the sight of their fathers, and then he goes on to delineate the nature of these wonders, the dividing of the see the water stacked up like a wall made firm the cloud pillar in the fiery pillar on the rocks being split in verse 15 and giving them water is abundant as the seas, they forgot the wonders he had shown.
Remember in the 60s. We had a song who took fish and bread lonely people fed who turned water into wine.
Who made well the sick who made see the blind who torched their with feet divine and the refrain was only Jesus own the cheese by because he is this one counselor know the Jewish mind.
You see, was looking for the fulfillment of all the messianic promise and when Isaiah takes and speaks us from God.
In this way and declares that this child who is to be born son and the government will be upon his shoulders. It would be no surprise to them really to discover that he was described as this wonderful counselor.
This one who defines if you like wonder in himself that already. In chapter 7 being told that the Virgin would be with child and would bring forth a son, and he would be Emmanuelle LB in the name of God.
It's L that is used here and nine as well.
God with those in chapter 7 God for us in chapter 9. In other words, when you take the extent of these prophetic words. You have the same in Chapter 11 when you take the depth and the breadth of these prophetic statements, you realize that it takes the incarnation to fill it out and make sense of it because no one else that lived before the time of Isaiah would be able to fulfill all that was said in this child.
Wonderful Counselor, mighty God, everlasting father, the Prince of peace. Who is this is why the prophets were always looking for Kings were known in some measure by their counselors.
King has no advisors what kind of King has no counselors. This can Isaiah chapter 40 verse 13 who has understood the mind of the Lord are instructed him as his counselor whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him or who taught them the right way, who was in the tort of knowledge or shorten the path of understanding the end of chapter 28. Still in Isaiah. It says of this this one.
He is wonderful in counsel and magnificent in wisdom and the prophecy that opens Chapter 11. You have the exact same thing fulfilled. What about this branch from the stump of Jesse is going to bear fruit, and what will this person be like verse two of 11 tells us the spirit of the Lord will rest on them. The spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the spirit of counsel and of power, the spirit of knowledge of the fear of the Lord and he will delight in the fear of the Lord is as an ordinary child. This is the child with no beginning. This is the predicted child this is the one in whose very essence, wonder, is defined that we can tease it out and we because we don't have time but turn with me just once to look at the chapter 2 Jesus and his parents have gone to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover is 12 years old. Remember the story well don't you look is recorded at Farsi told us that he was doing his gospel talking to eyewitnesses and servants, and after careful investigation. Writing everything down in an orderly way.
And so here we have part of his orderly account.
Mary and Joseph had back. Jesus doesn't go back to gone the way the turnaround they have to look for him and when he didn't find them back to Jerusalem. They came verse 46 and after three days they found them in the temple courts sitting among the teachers listening to them and asking them questions and everyone who Harrington was amazed at his understanding and at his answers and when his parents on they were astonished.
His mother said to him, son, you treated us like this, your father and I've been anxiously searching for you or why were you searching for me Aston you know I had to be in my father's house, but they did not understand what he was saying to them because they didn't know more than she understood at the time of the birth angelic announcement, but Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
This is not theological lumbar folks know where you say what I again I can get this I can get to this I can quantify it, nor can I encapsulated in any way. We should go.
She can't. No one can verify that it defies our attempts at that speaks to the wonder of it because all of these prophetic words are surrounded both by mystery and by the evidences of the supernatural, so that they are not international, but they are super rational and in less you read it, as it were with your Old Testament case unless you read it from the perspective of the Jewish mind.
It is easy to go very quickly wrong because remember the Jew was looking for the consolation and the hope of Israel, they knew that there was one who was the comp who would embody all of these things who would allow it if you like flesh out all of these messianic expectation and there was not an abstraction. Their hope was not an impersonality, but their hope was up person and that's what makes this so dramatic this child is the one who will deal with your distress and with your darkness and with your sin, and with your oppression. Then and now. Without that, how do we explain what's going on with old Simeon in Luke chapter 2 in the temple where when they bring the child Jesus into the temple to do for him after the custom of their culture. Simeon to the child in his arms and said you thing a lot of babies in your arms and you said all kinds of things like Gucci cooing looks like his mom and wall were lovely eyes and that I bet you never took the child in your arms, and said anything that even approaches to what Simeon said Simeon to the child in his arms and said, Lord, Lord God in heaven. Yahweh you can let your servant now depart in peace for my eyes have seen your salvation, a light for the Gentiles in a hole for my people Israel. That's what's happening. That's what's happening unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord who is Messiah Jesus mass.
I was in a gas station and somewhere the other day and as I was pumping gas.
I turn around and saw and had a sign in the window and it said exactly that.
That's why it's in my mind unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord and then underneath it said, and this is what Christmas is all about, and I knocked on the window and said dad day is what Christmas is all about and we dare not devalue the beer I seen God's salvation, you won't get here by intellect you're trying to do this mathematically you can stay out late at night enough it will not happen when we sing a little song open my eyes, Lord, I want to see Jesus were not asking that we can see Jesus in his physical presence least I'm not were recognizing that our eyes are dark and to who Jesus is going to take the third member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, to open our eyes so that we can see Jesus for who he is and when we see Jesus for who he is, then we say Jesus is Lord and Jesus is Savior, but until we do, we may continue to content ourselves with the find that Jesus is a great teacher or Jesus is a wonderful example or Jesus is as a whole host of things.
Why does this matter finish here, why does it matter well because of the darkness what darkness the darkness is outside in the darkness. This insight the people walking in darkness verse to have seen a great light that darkness is emblematic of all the darkness within them. They were looking up. And so, nothing. They were looking down and felt the stress they were sorrowful. They were ignorant they were sinful people walking in darkness is an apt description of life lived without this wonderful counselor and no matter how bright and breezy.
We may appear to be to our friends. The Bible actually describes is by nature is living in the dark living in the dark me quote to you from Ephesians on this I tell you this is Paul writing to them and insistent in the Lord, but you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are listen. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts is not a very nice description of people visit but that's what I must tell you the Bible says this morning that unless the light of Jesus has shown into our darkness, we still live in the dark where actually separated from the life of God and Jesus takes it a step further when he says that not only do people live in the dark, but they like living in the dark, remembering John three says men loved darkness rather than light.
Why, because their deeds are evil. I didn't mention this without making sound and this is sounding like I'm spending my time in unprofitable ways I can assure you I'm not and you can check in everywhere you like.
But I know I know the difference between buildings that have windows in them and buildings the dawn of windows and I know when the light shine bright on the outside of a building that has no windows and it beckoning me in that it beckoning me into the darkness. Why is it that is so dark in those places where the dens of dirtiness, dark, well people don't want their faces to be seen their moral beings. They know this is wrong.
They know this is evil.
Turn the lights down, turn them up on the outside, turn them down on the inside living in the dark liking it in the dark liberated from the dark. See that's what Jesus came to do on that great day when they were light and all those candelabras in the temple and it was ablaze with all the wonder of the lights. Jesus stands up in the middle of it all and remember what he says in John chapter 8 is recorded for as verse 12.
He says skin Ray. I am the light of the wall. I am the light of the world is he or isn't he. I can tell you he's a created being.
He is not the light of the world.
I can guarantee if is a created being. He cannot be a Savior for only God can save and only a man needs to die differs going have to be the God man and if this man is a created man that he is not God. Therefore he's a fraud. Therefore, he should be rejected. Surely only the devil himself would invent such a corrupt story. He who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life, and he who does not follow me will continue to walk in darkness and will not have the light of life. Have you ever come to this counselor. This wonderful counselor. He knows you personally he diagnoses you properly and he will deliver you from your condition powerfully.
You know you personally diagnose you properly and he's the only one who can deliver you powerfully. I wonder if that on some here this morning like these people, and in the eighth century BC were looking up and finding nothing, looking down and finding nothing, looking around and finding only fearful and the description of their condition is the same then and now there is no dawn in their hearts. That's how he puts it there in the at the end of chapter 8. There is no dawning in their hearts.
You know what I said last Sunday that you should all go out and rent the movie amazing Grace. The story of William Wilberforce and the abolition of slavery you may recall a number of wonderful scenes and there were one of that one other scenes involves Wilberforce with William Pitt the younger was the Prime Minister William Pitt is on his deathbed.
You recall, and Wilberforce goes to visit him and Pitt is lying there and Pitt says to his friend Wilberforce. I am afraid I am so afraid. Should he be yes. Why is he was living in the dark and he was about to go out into outer darkness. Why, because no one ever told him no because in the course of the friendship between Wilberforce and Pitt the younger Wilberforce took his friend the Prime Minister to listen, at least on one occasion, to a well-known Anglican preacher by the name of Richard Cecil and on the day they went together to the equivalent of the Christmas concert. The fellow inviting him Wilberforce and his friend the Prime Minister.
I think you keep an extra seat for him if he gave but anyway and they went together and when they came out.
Wilberforce said that in the preaching he felt as though his soul had been raised up to heaven when you hear the preaching soul was raised up to heaven, turning to his friend. He said how about you that said I am the faintest idea was that men was talking about. I felt my soul lifted up to have the faintest idea what is on was the difference.
Light and darkness, light shining into the soul of Wilberforce Pitt remaining in the darkness of his unbelief, and we began the service this morning with her with a prayer. We all sang it together. Did you mean it all come to my heart Lord Jesus. There is room in my heart for you.
You will misunderstand me when I say this to you. I hope, but I have more than a sneaking suspicion that this service is significantly populated by on converted believers individuals who in their heads have given mental assent to Orthodox truth concerning Jesus in the Bible, but that is all they have done that intellectual assent has never been matched by their willingness to bow down before Jesus and cast themselves upon his mercy and that explains why you remain unchanged, because all that you have done is wrecking things in your head. But the Holy Spirit hasn't come to live in your life and if anyone is in Christ there a new creation the old is gone, the new has come. In other was the light has dawn in their hearts.
My concern for you folks is not simply that you would understand Orthodox Christianity that you would come to your knee to the lordship and the Savior ship of Jesus and today would just be a terrific day to do that. In fact, today is always the day to that is Alister bag with an urgent message for what he referred to as unconverted believers as well as unbelievers listing the Truth for Life. Part three of a message titled wonderful, counselor Alister will be back in just a minute to close with prayer so please keep listening. If Alister's description of living in darkness. Sounds like your experience.
If you'd like to learn more about God's light and the hope it provides want to invite you to watch a couple of short videos on the learn more page on our website. Just visit Truth for Life.org/learn more will today is the last day on the bench in the book. Spurgeon on the power of Scripture. If you've not already requested your copy. Be sure to do so today. Charles Spurgeon once compared the Bible to a lion in the cage he said doesn't need to be defended. Just need to let it out of the cage and it will defend itself in this book of seven of Spurgeon's sermons.
He unpacks the Scripture in all of its power.
Be sure to request your copy of the book.
Spurgeon on the power of Scripture when you make a donation to Truth for Life today. Click the image of the book you see on our app or visit the website Truth for Life.org/donate.
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Well, we are quickly wrapping up 2021.
Looking forward to the coming year. And if you've not already gotten your copy plan to get the new year off to a great start with Alister's newest book the Truth for Life devotional you can use it to spend time in God's Word every single day. This is a beautiful hardcover book. It's available at our cost of just eight dollars shipping is free, no matter how many copies you order you can make your purchase of Truth for Life.org/features now here is Alister to close with prayer father, look upon us, in your mercy, shining the light of your truth into the darkness of our hearts where they are in different rebellions. May your pursuing love break down our resistant wills. Some of us are going to all kinds of counselors for all kinds of things without ever having come to you the wonderful counsel granted the words of our mouth is. The meditation of our hearts may be found acceptable in your sight, and may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God the father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit rest upon and remain with all who believe. Now and forevermore in Bob's peen. Thanks for listing. Join us tomorrow as we find out how the whole Bible not just the New Testament is about Jesus Bible teaching of Alister bag is furnished by truth or lying where the Learning is for Living