Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Jesus Lord Of All: Born A King: Matthew 2

 Jesus Lord Of All: Born A King: Matthew 2

The Sunday before Christmas

Twas the Sunday before Christmas and all through the town.
Church members were stirring from their beds with a frown.
"Look at the clock. We over slept!" yelled Dad.
"Now be quiet" said Mom, "On Sunday don't get mad."
Waking each child with a frantic deep,
The kids rolled over then went back to sleep.
Finally, they all stumble down stairs to the table.
Mom says, "Get your own breakfast.  I know you're able."
Grumping and griping they search for the oatmeal.
Glaring at one another with looks that could kill.
"You've got to go faster.  We're late.” Dad screams.
But he looks like Santa his face covered in shaving cream.
"Honey, he cries.  I can’t find any clean underwear.
He hollers down the hall in a voice filled with fear.
"I can only wash what you put in the hamper"
Already the worship mood was taking a damper.
"Mom, where's my shoes, Mom where’s my clothes."
Mom wonders why no one but her knows where things go.
Finally, they pile into the car to depart.
"Wait, calls little Mary, "my Bible I forgot.
While they wait little Johnny starts to rant
"I gotta go to the potty or I'll wet my pants."
Dad slowly bangs his head on the wheel.
Mom says, "If you open a cut it will take weeks to heal."
Finally, they are flying down the road like a rocket.
Then Johnny discovers an old gummy worm in his pocket.
He quietly places it all sticky on his sister's collar.
And innocently waits for the inevitable holler.
"You little moron, did you put this in my hair?"
"Children, be quiet!  We're almost there!"
Finally at the church, they safely arrived.
Another Christmas Sunday morning somehow survived.

Our message today if from Matthew 2 and it centers on the wise men, who searched for the one born King of the Jews. Here is the question I want us to consider, what made them wise? Certainly they were wise from the world's point of view but what made them wise enough to be called wise in God's word. I think the answer is because they sought and found Jesus Christ.  This it the greatest wisdom of all the ages to find the one who is eternal life, true joy, forgiveness of sin, and peace with God.  And as I read the story I wondered  "Are we still wise enough to seeking Jesus?"

Seeing the Star - Matthew 2:1-3

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

Wise men because they searched for the Savior

What did the Bible mean when it called them wise men? This is a Persian word, μάγος magos; and it refers to a Magian, i.e. Oriental scientist; by implication, a magician: — sorcerer, wise man.

They tell us why they were searching, so far away from their home? Vs. 2 Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
They had seen a star, a astrological event and they knew it meant something. It could have been a comet. The Chinese recorded what they called a broom star at this same time. The Aztecs recored what we would say was a Nova. Others saw a conflux of several planest coming together. The bible just says a star and I’m good with that.

So they say this comet, or nova or alignment and they knew this was not normal, so they went to their records and found the prophecy of one of their greatest magi in the past the Hebrew captive, Daniel. And they read the prophecy of the coming Messiah, the King of the Jews. It’s right there in Daniel 9.

Daniel 9:24-25 Seventy weeks (Seventy Sevens, that is 70x7 =490) are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: (49 years +82 years. Wall finished in 49 years, messiah comes in 483 years from the time of the decree to rebuild the wall.)
Daniel who had been a wise man from the east, from Babylon, foretold the birth of the Messiah at a specified time very probably fulfilled at the Triumphal Entry.

The Magi will always be know as wise for one reason, they searched and found Jesus Christ.
You know the wisest thing any of us can ever do?

Something that would rank you right up there with the magi? If you would search for and find Christ. You might say, "Well, if I saw a star, or had a great prophecy to track down, I would do that!

The truth is that we are surrounded with evidence, surrounded with unfailing provable prophecy, surrounded by undeniable proof and yet most will never take the time to search. These wise men road hundreds of miles because they knew the world had changed when they saw that sign. Our world will change if we just open God’s word and read the Gospel and then begin to search for the Messiah.

Silent Night in World War I

In the midst of  the horrors of World War I, there occurred a unique truce when for a few hours, enemies behaved like brothers.

Christmas Eve in 1914 was all quiet on France's Western Front, from the English Channel to the Swiss Alps. Trenches came within 50 miles of Paris. The war was only five months old, and approximately 800,000 men had been wounded or killed. Every soldier wondered whether or not Christmas Day would bring another round of fighting and killing. But something happened: British soldiers raised "Merry Christmas" signs above the trenches, and soon carols were heard from German and British trenches alike. Christmas dawned with unarmed soldiers leaving their trenches, though officers of both sides tried unsuccessfully to stop their troops from meeting the enemy in the middle of no-man's land for songs and conversation. Exchanging small gifts, they passed Christmas Day peacefully along miles of the front. At one spot, the British played soccer with the Germans, who won 3-2.

In some places, the spontaneous truce continued the next day as neither side was willing to fire the first shot. Finally, the war resumed when fresh troops arrived, and the high command of both armies ordered that further "informal understanding" with the enemy would be punishable as treason.

What would have happened if the generals and the national leaders had really sought Christ that Day? What will happen if you and I, no matter the obstacles, really will search for Christ in our battles, conflicts and destruction. Jesus came and changed the world, I know He can change us.

Searching the Scriptures  - Matthew 2:4-6
And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.  

Wise men because they turned to God's Word.
You know what also made the magi wise men? They searched for the Messiah and they turned to God’s word to make that search successful. They turned to God's word for the answers only God could give them.

They came seeking Jesus but they could not find him from the star alone.

They had to turn to the OT Prophecies of the birth of the Messiah.

Micah 5:2  foretells his birthplace.
The OT was filled with prophecies that foretold the birth, life and death of the Messiah.  Signs that God had given to point the way to the Savior.
His coming at a set time.  Ge 49:10 Da 9:24,25
His resurrection.  Ps 16:10 Isa 26:19
His being forsaken by God Ps 22:1
His being mocked  Ps 22:7,8
His hands and feet being nailed to the cross Ps 22:16
The intensity of his sufferings Ps 22:14,15
His garments being parted, and lots cast for his vesture  Ps 22:18
His being betrayed by a friend Ps 41:9 55:12-14
Gall and vinegar being given him to drink  Ps 69:21
His being born a virgin, His being called Immanuel.  Isa 7:14
His being preceded by John the Baptist.  Isa 40:3 Mal 3:1
His being numbered with the transgressors, intercession for His murderers, Death  Isa 53:12
His being buried with the rich.  Isa 53:9
His entering publicly into Jerusalem. Zec 9:9
His being sold for thirty pieces silver  Zec 11:12
His price being given for the potter's field  Zec 11:13
Over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament were fulfilled in the lifetime of Jesus. When you break it down 25% of the Bible is actually prophecy. It is sure proof of God saying, “Look here and see my Son, See the Savior, See the Messiah.

God is still leading us to Jesus through the Word.

All we have to do is look and listen as His word shows us Jesus this time not coming into the world but into our hears and lives.

Read Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. Read the opening chapters of Romans. In these passages and so many others we see and hear the invitation of Jesus to “Come unto me, all ye that are weak and heavy laden.”

Yet, there will be so many who try to say, "God why didn't you show me? God, will remind them, You had my word, you had my church, you had my pastor, you had my people. Why didn't you listen, why didn't you seek, why didn't you look up and see the signs I had provided? Why did you not follow the trail I left for you to find salvation in my son Jesus.

Titanic ignores warnings.

When the unsinkable Titanic sank, warning after warning had been sent to tell them they were speeding into an ice-field. But the messages were ignored. In fact, when a nearby ship sent an urgent warning, the Titanic was talking to Cape Race about the time chauffeurs were to meet arriving passengers at the dock, and what menus were to be ready.

Preoccupied with trivia, with the mundane, the Titanic radio operator responded to the warning: "Shut up. I am talking to Cape Race. You are jamming my signals."

What are the lost going to tell God on that day they stand before Him? “Shut up, you were jamming my signals!”

The final thing and most important thing the marks these men as wise was that they went…

Seeking the Savior  - Matthew 2:7-12

Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.  And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

Wise men because they found the Saviour

They traveled to the Savior, leaving Jerusalem they went to Bethlehem where Micah’s prophecy said, the Messiah would be born.

As they traveled the star that signaled his birth reappeared. I personally think, this was God’s direct intervention. He hung a star over the place where Jesus was. The Bible says, “When they saw the star they rejoiced greatly!” They knew this was not just a movement of the planets, it was a miracle of the King of Heaven showing them the way.

Matthew 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
Now I hate to mess up your family heritage nativity scenes, but …. Are you ready for this?... The magi and the shepherds weren’t there at the same time. Nope, sorry. The scripture says they were in a house now, not a stable, and it was a young child they saw, no longer an infant. In fact, it may have been up to two years since they first star appeared, and Jesus was born because that phrase “young child” means a toddler.

Bit. none of that really matters, though. You know what matters? They searched, they found and they worshiped Jesus, the King.

And notice the way they worshiped. The word, worship, means to bow down and I’m sure they did that. He was the King and they bowed before Him. But they also presented the young king with gifts.

Three Gifts, prophetic and symbolic. We don’t know how many magi there were, we do know they gave 3 gifts, and these gifts were symbolic and prophetic.

They presented Him with gold, a proper gift for a king. They gave frankincense, which is an incense used in the Temple by the High Priest. And then they gave him myrrh, a perfume that was used in preparing the body for death.
In these three gifts they show us Jesus, our King, our High Priest and our Savior who would die for us.

This Christmas Season, Do you know where I want to be?

Sure, I want to be with family, they are one of the greatest blessing in life. And believe it our not I want to be with my church.  Now don’t be surprised. I love being with God’s people in general and really love being with my church family in particular.

And one other place I want to be this Christmas, and it’s the most precious. I want to be where Jesus is. Just like the wise men I rejoice when I come into His house. I want to worship Jesus as my King. I want to pray to him as my great High Priest and I want to thank Him for dying for me, taking my sin upon Himself, on the cross and then defeating sin and becoming my Savior.


And also like the wise men, who bowed before the King, I want to worship Jesus in the gifts I bring. I don’t have gold, frankincense or myrrh to lay before him, but I can give the gifts that are worthy of the one born a King, my life, my heart and my soul.

My life given in serving him now on this earth. My heart given to love him forever.  My soul given for salvation for all eternity.  Three gifts, the only ones I can offer, the only ones befitting  King Jesus.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Jesus Lord Of All #6: Lord of Prophecy Isaiah 9v6


Jesus Lord Of All #6: Lord of Prophecy Isaiah 9v6

Well, the Christmas season is upon us aka the cold, flu and Covid season. Isn’t it the most wonderful time of the year? I’ve had my second bout if illness this winter with something. I don’t even care what it was. I didn’t take a test. I didn’t get a shot and according to Leviticus it wasn’t leprosy so I’m moving forward.

It’s a little like one of those "walked into a bar" jokes. So in this joke the flu, a cold and Covid all walk into a bar. The bartender sees them enter and says, “Wait, is this some kind of sick joke?”

Lets forget about the flu and colds for a moment and concentrate on the season of Christmas itself. We approach this time of the year with anticipation, excitement and hopefully joy. As a child it is the biggest holiday of the year, you look forward to presents, as an adult the presents are still nice but it really family and friends that make you joyful. If you can capture those emotions and multiply them by a million, you have a small understanding of how much the Jewish people anticipated, were excited and looked forward with joy to the coming of the Messiah, the Anointed Champion of Jehovah.

Long before the first Christmas, long before even the nation of Israel, before Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, God was already making promises and prophecies about the coming Messiah. With each prophecies the excitement of the people of God was whetted and they more keenly looked for their King of Kings.

Our series has been in Colossians, Jesus Lord of All and I’m going to shoe horn this one in that series as Jesus Lord of All: Lord of Prophecy. I haven’t systematically examined all the prophecies of the Old Testament (I’ve been way to sick for that) but I believe that the majority of prophecies in the Old Testament are about the Messiah, either directly or indirectly.

In fact the very first prophecy in the Bible is about Jesus. Way back in Genesis right after the sinful couple were cursed and driven from the Garden, in the midst of suffering the consequences of their sin, God gives a promise of hope.

I.    Prophecies of the Coming Savior

The First Prophecy of the Savior Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

From this prophecy forward through time and history God’s promises get more specific as to who will be the “seed of women.”

When Jacob blessed his sons, part of his blessing was a prophecy about the lineage of Judah. Genesis 49:8–10 Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh (Messiah) come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. 

This prophecy told us that the Messiah, the one who would rule with the sceptre would come from the tribe of Judah.

During the rule of David the King, there is a great reveal, to use a modern terminology, as to who that this coming one would be of the lineage and house of David. He would be the seed of woman and he would be a King of David’s bloodline.

2 Samuel 7:11-13 And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house.  And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.

But it is Isaiah who God used to fully show us this extraordinary, amazing, incredible King of Israel’s future. First in Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. What an incredible revelation, The messiah would be born of a virgin and be named, “Emmanuel” God with us.

Of course we could go to Isaiah 53 which detail so much of how the Messiah would die, but I want to concentrate on his birth for the next two Sundays. There are over 300 messianic prophecies in the old Testament and most of them were fulfilled in Jesus’ birth, life and death. That is a supernatural confirmation of the authenticity, the veracity, the validity of the Word of God. No other writing has such proof of power.

The passage I want to deal with today is Isaiah 9:6. Among the scribes and scholars of Jesus’ day it was one of the most well know passages in the sacred writings of the coming Messiah.

It is especially in this passage that you hear the promise of God for a coming Messiah, a savior, a King. A promise of One who would come into this world, into the nation of Israel and into the lives of those who believe and trust Him. It describes not just his coming but also his character, his compassion. And in that description it speaks to us today. So let’s look at Isaiah 9:6 and the promise and the person that Israel looked for.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called wonderful Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.


The book of Isaiah was of course written by Isaiah the Prophet, who served God as a prophet to the southern kingdom for over 40 years. Isaiah seems to have belonged to a family of rank or nobility. Tradition says he was the cousin of King Uzziah. He was married and had two sons: Shear-jashub, his name signifying “a remnant shall return” (7:3), and Maher-shalal-hash-baz, “hasting to the spoil, hurrying to the prey,” symbolic of Assyria’s mad lust of conquest. - George L. Robinson, The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, 1915, 1–5, 1495.

Isaiah’s name means “salvation of Jehovah,” That is very appropriate because salvation and deliverance are the themes of the book he wrote. The book consists of several sermons detailing those acts of deliverance that God would do for His nation Israel.

Setting the Stage

Now in Isaiah’s time of moral, spiritual and political sin, Isaiah wrote the passage we are studying today. Isaiah 8:21-22 sets the stage showing the darkness of sin and then Isaiah 9 shows us the light of hope.

Isaiah 8:21-22 And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead (greatly distressed) and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward. And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness.  

Then in Chapter 9, God speaking through Isaiah gives His people hope in the midst of the darkness.

Isaiah 9:2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

In verse 6 Isaiah gives us the reason for this hope of the light that has shined in the midst of their darkness.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called wonderful Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah is telling the people of Galilee, the land of Zebulun and Naphtali, who were being invaded by the Assyrian army at this time, that one day out of the very land that is now so dark in despair, would come the promised child of light. About 750 years before Jesus was born, Isaiah in God’s power told us that the Messiah would be a Galilean.

I have a translation of the Bible written with emphasis on the Hebrew and especially the names of the Old Testament, in the Jerusalem Publication Society Translation this verse reads like this, Isaiah 9:6 JPS - “For a child is born unto us, a son is given unto us; and the government is upon his shoulder; and his name is called Pele-joez-el-gibbor-Abi-ad-sar-shalom; {That is, Wonderful in counsel is God the Mighty, the everlasting Father, the Ruler of peace.} It is actually just one title.

Now that is a very important name and title so let’s take the titles of Jesus the Messiah, given in this powerful verse of hope and really think about them and what them meant then and what they mean today.

Wonderful Counselor - Isaiah 9:6

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor.

Jesus The Wonderful Counselor

There is a minor debate about whether or not this first name of Jesus the Christ is one title, his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor or if it is two, his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor. The ancient languages did not use commas and there is nothing in the word itself that definitely tells us that wonderful is an adjective that is describing counselor, but if your read the other titles, mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace then Wonderful Counselor would seem to fit the pattern. It doesn’t change the meaning of the message of hope that Isaiah was giving which ever way you read it. The coming Messiah would be a wonder of a Counselor. A supernatural, miraculous counselor to His People.

Isaiah was describing the Messiah who would be to the people, a counselor like no other, a miraculous counselor, who would be able to understand them no other could.

In the New Testament, we can see why this was true, because Jesus would come into this world and take on human flesh and become man. He could understand us, he could comfort, console and counsel us because He was now both creator and creature. He not only knew us from above but become one of us here below. He was born of the virgin Mary, as Isaiah 7:14 had prophesied, the first promised seed of woman as Genesis 3 had foretold and He grew, lived, suffered, even died as a man.

Galatians 4:4-5  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Hebrews 4:15-16 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

This is the miracle, the wonder of their Messiah as their counselor.

Jesus, My Wonderful Counselor

What is so amazing about this first title is that Jesus my wonderful counselor personally. The only one who can or ever will ever completely understood you and I is Jesus. Jesus understands me as no other person possibly can.  He knows me as my Creator but also as the creature that I am. He sees me in my fear and doubts, he sees me in my sin and shame, He sees not only what I am but also what I can be in Him. 

Jesus gave one universal invitation, in Matthew 11:28-30 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” 

That is the invitation of a wonder of a counselor, someone who truly knows what I am struggling with, how dark my world may be and how much I need someone to bear the burdens I can’t carry. Jesus is that someone, my wonderful counselor.  

Writing of the Song, - No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus.

1.    Charles Weigel was an itinerant evangelist, drumming up meetings, preaching one week at this church and another week at a church a hundred or a thousand miles away. He often traveled by himself, leaving his wife and son at home.  One day after finishing a gospel crusade, he came back home to find it dark and empty, there was a note from his wife that said she was taking their son and leaving him, being a lonely evangelists wife was not the life she wanted. 

The next few years were a time of terrible despair and sorrow for Weigel. He questioned his calling; he questioned the purpose of his life and wondered there was any who cared what he was going through. After a time, his faith was again restored, and he wrote a song about how Jesus had always been with him. He wrote the words and the tune for the hymn that he is famous for, "No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus."

I would love to tell you what I think of Jesus
Since I found in Him a friend so strong and true;
I would tell you how He changed my life completely -
He did something that no other friend could do.

No one ever cared for me like Jesus;
There's no other friend so kind as He;
No one else could take the sin and darkness from me -
O how much He cared for me!

Brother Weigel understood that truly Jesus was a wonderful Counselor and yet He is more. He is also one who will not just listen and care but will act on our behalf. Isaiah says He is, “The Mighty God.”

Mighty God – Isaiah 9:6

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God,

Jesus Is The Mighty God

Next Isaiah says that the Messiah would be called, “The Mighty God.” There have always been some, in Jesus’ time and especially in our day, who try and deny the godhood, the deity of Jesus Christ. The Jewish leaders during his first advent accused him of blasphemy when he flatly said, “I and my father are one.” And yet that truth was written, over 750 years before the Messiah would come, Isaiah plainly says that the Messiah would be called “The Mighty God.” 

There is no doubt as to what the prophet is saying in Deuteronomy 10:17, Moses called God mighty, because He would fight for His people. For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:

The Messiah in His rightful title as the Mighty God would lead Israel to victory in battle over her enemies. Indeed, this picture of the great champion, was the Messiah expected by the Jewish Pharisees and scribes, but they wanted Him to fight against Rome and the heathen nations and so they missed their true mighty God. Missed Him because before He could win the battle against the oppressing nations, he had to win the battle against their possessing sin. They wanted Him to defeat the invading enemy but not the interior enemy. 

Only Jesus, as the Mighty God, only Jesus as both God of this world and Champion in every battle, could be the Messiah Israel needed and only Jesus as Mighty God and victor over sin can be the Savior we needed.

Jesus, My Mighty God and Champion

As we face the darkness and difficulties of our present days. These days, weeks months and even now years of uncertainty, struggle, sickness and political turmoil, you know what we need? We need a Mighty God. Just like Israel, we need Jesus to be our champion. And if we trust and believe then He will be our Mighty God. This is what scripture promises us over and over again. 

In John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Or in John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. (Claiming the personal name of God as it was given to Moses at the burning bush)

 In John 10:30 I and my Father are one.

In Titus 2:13 Paul tells his son in the faith that we are, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

In 1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

He is God but if I am to know him in my life as mighty, as champion in the battles I face then I must not make mistake the Jewish leaders made when Jesus first came. Jesus fights for me when I am following Him and serving in His cause. Jesus is not my servant, He is not in my army, but I am his servant, his soldier and I fight in His cause. I will win victory in my struggles and find hope in my darkness if I have my eyes on the Captain of the Lord’s host and I march to battle behind Him.  

Too many times I feel defeated because am looking for Jesus to fight my own personal, petty battles, instead of understanding I am to fight in the battles where He leads. Jesus looks for soldiers in the battle for the souls of men, but some look for Jesus to put dollars in bank accounts. Jesus looks for warriors to carry the Gospel as a banner into the battlefields where sin is powerful, but I think He should fight for me to have a better job, a nicer car, or a bigger house. Too many so called Christians today aren’t looking to Jesus as the mighty God, they are look to Jesus as the Genie with three wishes to grant. Its no wonder we are losing the battles of our life. 

If you need to see Jesus as Mighty God, then join Him on the battlefronts He has called us to as the Church of God and then you will see a true champion.

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty god and then Isaiah under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit says, He is the Everlasting Father.

Everlasting Father - Isaiah 9:6

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father,

Jesus, The Everlasting Father

The Messiah is titled as the everlasting Father. In Hebrew this title is literally, the Father of Eternity. In the Jewish language the term the “father of” means the creator of or the possessor of. Isaiah was saying that eternity belongs to the Messiah. 

In Isaiah 57:15 the prophet said it like this, “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

To Isaiah, the Messiah made his home in eternity. It is where He lives,  because he is the cause of eternity. He is the sustainer of eternity and for those who believe and trust Him, He is the also the giver of eternity.

Jesus, My Eternity

Certainly, Jesus in the role and title of Everlasting Father is seen as equal with God the Father, given the same honor and the same title, only a blatant fool would deny the deity of Jesus. 

But let’s go a little deeper and think about this title in its sense of the One who owns eternity and is the cause of eternity. Eternity, the Bible tells us, is where the father and the son dwell, it is Their home and as Their home then those who answer His call and accept His invitation can come and dwell with them in eternity.

John 3:14-17 Jesus, the everlasting Father, the cause and sustainer of eternity tells Nicodemus the seeker, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Paul says in Ephesians 2:4-7 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

"Sitting together in heavenly places in Christ for the ages to come.” That is what knowing Jesus as the Everlasting Father means to us personally. It is eternal life, for only the One whose home is eternity, can open the gates of heaven and let me come into His home and live with Him forever.

Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and then Isaiah gives us the final description, the final title, He is the Prince of Peace.

The Prince of Peace -  Isaiah 9:6

6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Jesus, Prince of Peace

Isaiah tells the Jewish people that their coming Messiah would be The Prince of Peace.  He is promised here as though He had already come, because God’s promise was eternal and the hope that the promise gave was actually and truly theirs, right now if they would believe in Him and take their eyes off the  surrounding darkness.

Their Messiah would be the ruler who was peaceful, but He would also be the ruler who would bring peace. To the Jews of Isaiah time it was the assurance that their enemies would not overwhelm them, but it superseded just the promise of a short term peace for them as a nation. Just as the Messiah was mighty God and everlasting Father this peace meant much more than relief from the threat of an invading army.

3.    The nation of Israel that had been taken from the slavery of Egypt, at this present time, was in so many ways at war with their God. They still worshipped idols, they had wicked kings, they allayed themselves with idolatrous, pagan nations, but when Messiah would come both the external wars and their internal war with God would cease. They would have an eternal lasting peace with the One who had called them and blessed them and would lead them as a nation.

4.    In Jeremiah 31:31-34, the Lord speaking through his prophet promised a new covenant, a covenant of peace. 31  Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32  Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 33  But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34  And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
5.    Jesus, the Messiah, the Prince of Peace would rule the nations and rule the hearts of mankind in peace.

B.    Jesus, My Prince of Peace

1.    That new covenant promised in the book of Jeremiah was established not between Israel and God but between God the Father and God the Son. Israel would enter into the blessings but its keeping was not up to them. As New Testament, New Covenant believers, we also enter into that covenant, in the same way by trusting in the one who is the Prince of Peace.

Hebrews 7:22  … Jesus made a surety of a better testament (covenant).
Hebrews 8:6 …he (Jesus) is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
Hebrews 13:20  Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

Jesus is the Prince of Peace because He shed his blood to pay the price of peace, to cover our sin and to reconcile us with God. Israel could not do it, no matter how many laws they were given or how many they made up themselves. Nor can we do it, we can’t find peace in ourselves, in our families, in our nation or in this world unless it comes through Jesus the Prince of Peace. It is not in us, it is in Him. It is impossible to us, but it is promised through Him.

United Nations Peace

1.    At the United Nations in New York City you will find an impressive statue with this scripture from Isaiah 2:4 and Mica 4:3. Isa 2:4  … they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

2.    That is a great verse and it give hope and yet we don’t have world peace. Do you know what is missing from the scripture in New York? The first part of the verse. They leave out, “An He shall judge the nations and rebuke many people.” The United Nations, like all the nations that meet there, have left out God, they leave out the Messiah and therefore they also leave out peace, because without Jesus as Lord and Ruler, without the true Prince of Peace, there can be no peace. No peace between nations is possible until the Messiah comes to rule and reign,  but also no peace in my life and no peace with God until He rules and reigns in me.

D.    Conclusion

The Promise of Isaiah 9:6 began to be fulfilled when Jesus was born in Bethlehem. He was that great light seen by those who walked in darkness, but the full promise won’t be completely fulfilled until Jesus comes back leading that host of heaven, returning through the heavens and ruling and reigning for a thousand years as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And though it is still future, Isaiah 9:6 is spoken in the present tense. It is not unto us a child will be given, but unto us a child is given. Do you see why? The reason the language was in the present was because the promise could begin in the heart of anyone who would believe. If the Jewish people heard Isaiah’s message and believed in the Word of God that came from him, then the Messiah in the moment would come, into their heart and be their wonderful counselor, their mighty God, their everlasting Father and their prince of Peace.

The people of Jerusalem needed that promise and hope of Isaiah 9:6. And we need that some promise and hope today. Listen and hear the words of Isaiah as true and meaningful to us as it was to them, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.”

This is the promise of God’s gift, the promise of the Messiah, the promise of eternal life and the promise of Peace. Are you listening this morning? Believe the promise and you will find the Messiah coming into your heart today.

Monday, December 5, 2022

Jesus Lord of All #5: Lord of My Life - Colossians 2:16 -3:11


Jesus Lord of All #5: Lord of My Life - Colossians 2:16 -3:11

Paul has told the Colossians and us what we have in our Lord. We lack nothing and we need nothing.

The subject of that hymn was also the subject of Paul’s letter to the church at Colosse, Christ is All in All, He is preeminent. 

Paul’s Prayer for the Believers In Christ

 Colossians 1:9-13 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

He prayers for these 5 characteristics of a Christian, a life lived in the power, influence and dedicated to honoring and obeying Jesus.  

Be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.

Walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him

Be strengthened with all power, from the supply of God’s glorious might.

That in that strength you would find endurance and patience with joy.

Live in thankfulness to the Father, who has made us worthy to share in the inheritance of the saints, has delivered us from the kingdom of darkness and transported us to the kingdom of Jesus, His Son.

Paul’s Picture of the Preeminence of Christ

Colossians 1:15-20 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

Christ Is

The exact image of the invisible God

The firstborn of every creator because… 

He is the creator

He is before all things and by Him all things are held together

He is the head, the leader, the founder, the sustainer of the church

He is all these things and in all these things He is preeminent.

Paul’s Preaching, Christ Is All

 We are complete in Him - Colossians 2:9-10 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

We are alive in Him Colossians 2:12-13 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

We are Free In Him, Our sins are canceled in Him Colossians 2:13-14 having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

We are victorious in Him Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Paul’s Purpose In Pointing To Christ As Lord of All

Because Jesus is lord and because we need no one nor anything else, Paul then comes to this vss. 16-20 the concluding statement for chapter 2. This was the reason that Epaphras the pastor of the church had come seeking the great apostles help.

Someone or some group was teaching that Jesus was good. Sure He was okay. Nothing wrong with Jesus, but there was something better. The church just needed to add something or change something or elevate something else and they would find even greater power and truths than good ol’ Jesus. But Paul points to Jesus and proclaims Christ is All and in Him is all we need therefore, don’t let anyone deceive you.

 Lord Over Legalism – Colossians 2:16-23

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

Christ Must Rule My Life

If Jesus is Lord of All and Lord of my life, then He should rule in my life and we should not be ruled by rules and regulations. Paul points out that if the Colossian are not mindful of the place of Christ in their life and as their life, then they may be ruled not by His love or guidance but by the legalism of men. A legalism will then rob them of their best relationship with Jesus.

Legalism Robs Me Twice he says, “Let no man.” Let no man judge you in vs 16 and Let no many beguile you, defraud or trick you. In the first case they were making themselves subject to a men instead of to the Lord and in the second they were being tricked into thinking they were serving the Lord when in truth you have been robbed of your reward. These were spiritual confidence men, Satan’s salesmen, godless grifters. And they did not stop after the 1st century.

Paul spoke of this to the Galatians in one of the first epistle he wrote.

Galatians 4:9-11 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

To Timothy he wrote in warning to stand against teachers of these things

1 Timothy 4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

Legalism, Alive and Well

We could go into each specific instance that Paul mentions, meat, drink, holydays, new moons, sabbath day or the worship of angels or any other belief, or more importantly practice, that would supplant the proper place of the Lord, but it really doesn’t matter what the particular brand of legalism is. There will always be legalists, con men and women, telling us that we should do this or not do this in order to have more of Christ or be more of a Christian.

There is a fine line between serving and loving the Lord in the things I do and serving  and loving the things instead of the Lord. Taken to its extreme legalism is works for salvation, but to a believer legalism is losing sight of Jesus because we have stopped looking to Him and instead look to the things about Him. Instead loving and living in the Lord, I begin to love and live in rules and regulations that I think make me a better believer but instead that cause me to keep my eyes on a checklist of do's and don’ts rather than on the Lord.

I love being an independent Baptist. I love the heritage, I love the hymns, I love the simple directness of just doing what the Bible says I’m supposed to do. But being an independent Baptist is only good as far as it brings me to more clearly see and love my Lord. When I begin to define the quality of my relationship with Jesus by what I do then I diminish that relationship.

Legalism not only robs me, but

Legalism Dethrones Jesus as Lord of My Life. As Paul said in Colossians 2:19 When this happens then I am, “not holding (fast to) the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.” I am not honoring the Lord and the head of the church or the Lord of my life.

Legalism Resurrects Sin In My Life -  

 If I am saved then I am dead with Christ, a spiritual death that includes dying to the regulations of this world.  Colossians 2:20-22 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

These things are not eternal, they will pass like all commandments and teaching of men.

Legalism is a show, a pretense and nothing else. Colossians 2:23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

So how does legalism work? How does it creep into our lives and dethrone the Lord of All? Let me give you a…

Funny Example: A man has moved to a new town and was looking for a church to join. He went to the Episcopal church and said he was interested in joining. The vicar there told him that would be fine but first he had to answer a question to make sure he was worthy of the Episcopal church. The man said okay and the vicar asked him. “Where was Jesus born?” The man thought for a moment and then said, “Was it Tyler?” The vicar looked at him strangely and then said, “No, it wasn’t Tyler!” The man left. The same test was given in every church the man visited.

At the Methodist church, they asked him the same question, Where was Jesus born. He said, Jacksonville. They told him to come back later. At the Presbyterian church, the lady preacher asked and he guessed, “Longview.” She turned her back and walked away. Finally, he wandered into the Baptist church and asked about joining

The Pastor said they would be glad if he joined them as long as he was saved and scripturally baptized. The man said to I have to answer a question about Bible geometry or history? No, the preacher said, but if you have any question I can help you with just let me know. The man said, “Well yeah, Can you please just tell me where Jesus was born?” The pastor said, sure he was born in Palestine. The man slapped his head and said, “Oh, man I knew is was somewhere in East Texas!”

We can smile at that king of legalism, but in the church real legalism isn’t funny, its dangerous in its constrictions and consequences.

I once heard a man preach that if you don’t go soul winning every Thursday and Saturday then you probably weren’t even saved. That’s legalism.

I have heard people say things like no child of God would come to church dressed like that or if you really loved the Lord, you’d cut your hair and shave your beard. That’s legalism.

Or maybe just things like you can’t get saved unless you heard the Gospel out of the King James Version of the Bible. Or unless you speak in tongues or get baptized or keep the 10 commandments. Those are very much legalism. They set the parameters of the Lord loving you through rules, through legalism.

When that happens, you have been robbed and have been beguiled as Paul is warning the Colossians about here. Legalism has become your lord and the love of Jesus, the Lordship of Christ, is lost in the fog of regulation, rules and tradition.

Legalism is Not Personal Convictions I’m not talking about standards or personal convictions and there is a difference between these and legalism.

Romans 14:17-18 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.

In the things that are not clearly set out in scripture as right and wrong, sin against God or obedience to God, and you are trying to honor God in your dress, your food, your grooming then you have the Bible’s blessing. Now I happen to know that my convictions in these areas are better than your convictions if they disagree with mine, but I’m not going to say that, except in the pulpit as a joke.

You feel only dresses should be worn by women, that’s your conviction. Then do that as a way of showing your love of the Lord. You feel men shouldn’t wear beards, then don’t grow a beard if you are doing it to please the Lord and not to appease the peer pressure of certain religious group. Cover your head, don’t cover your head, eat pork, don’t eat pork, wear a suit and tie to church, wear Wranglers to church. Just make sure you wear something and it is enough for modesty and do it in your heart to please the Lord, not show off your fancy clothes or your humility then you are not just okay, but you are a-okay.

It all comes back to what Paul has been saying throughout this letter. Our life must be all about Christ, or we diminish the Lord in our life. Look at chapter 3:1-4 which acts as a conclusion to the doctrinal part of Paul’s letter and a bridge to the practical that we will continue later.

Conclusion: Lord Of My Life – Colossians 3:1-4

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Christ Is My Life

The old man, we once were, is gone and now Christ is our life. (In the Greek there is no italicized words in vs. 4. It simply says, “Christ our life!”)  Now because we are no longer who we once were, now because our life is hid with Christ, now because Christ is our life, let us live life, not under the bondage of rule and regulation but in the power of glory of Jesus, Lord of Lord, in the sure knowledge of Christ, our All in All, in the unfailing hope of Jesus, King of Kings, in the glory of Jesus, Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.

What a pale life to live by man-made rules when I should be ruled by Christ alone.

Keith Getty and Stuart Townsend wrote a song that in many ways began a return back to classic hymn writing in church music. Instead of just praising or worshipping the Lord in song, it presents theological truth and the Gospel. That song was “In Christ Alone.” That song could have been inspired by the truths of Colossian.

In Christ alone my hope is found.
He is my light, my strength, my song.
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love. What depths of peace,
When fears are stilled when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand!

This is where we all must take our stand in Christ Alone.