THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 5-25-08
LESSON TITLE: "THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST: THE BIRTH OF CHRIST"
Good morning! Thank you for joining us today for God's Living Word. I hope everyone had a great week, and I hope your weekend was a profitable one also.
Here we are on another glorious Lord's Day morning. What a wonderful opportunity we have again today to join together in the worship of our Redeemer. I hope you are ready to begin this new week with a day of service and offering to your God.
As always, it is our commitment through this program to proclaim the simple truth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - which is confirmed for us in the Bible. I hope you all have your Bible's handy and I hope you are ready to worship God together as we sing praises to His name and study from His wondrous word. Now let's begin by talking to our Father in prayer!
At this time, we want to sing our first song of the morning. Won't you all join in with the congregation at this time as we praise God together with the hymn, "Higher Ground."
(SONG # 1)
As followers of God, whether we accept our duty or not, I think we all realize the obligation we have to preach the Gospel of Christ to this lost and dying world. We accomplish this in many different ways, but mainly we prove our obedience through the things that we do and say. As long as we are proclaiming His will to others, we are pleasing in His sight.
However, I think we also fail to realize the great responsibility that comes with carrying out this command of our Lord. Not only are we to proclaim the message, but we must further realize that it must be according to His Will, and not our own. The point is, it does make a difference what we do and what we say. It does make a difference how we say it and how we present
ourselves. Why? Because God said He has but one Gospel for us to make know to this world. Paul said, "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed," Galatians 1:6-8.
Even Jesus as He came to this earth proclaimed that He did not come to accomplish His own Will. Rather, Christ always gave the credit, honor, and glory to His Father for all that He did and said. He stated over and over in the gospel accounts that the origin of every word He said came directly from the Father in Heaven. What a wonderful example this is to us today.
Finally, notice what James said in chapter 3, and verse 1 of his book. "My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment." Why does it matter what we teach and how we teach it, because we will be judged according to the job we do.
You see, there is more to this work that is before us than just getting out and doing something. We must make sure the things we do and say are according to God, so that they properly instruct and edify the hearers. Let's all do our part in studying God's Word, so that we may know what we are to teach in order that we will be found faithful in His sight.
In our study of the morning, we will be continuing our discussion on, "The Gospel of Christ." Our specific topic of the day will deal with, "The Birth Of Christ." So please continue with us this morning and after our next song together I will return with this lesson from God's Word. It's now time to join in our second hymn of the morning, the name of the song, "Does Jesus Care."
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
Thank you for continuing with us as we now once again look to the gospel of Christ and try to build on those things that we have considered thus far.
So far, we have looked at the idea that Christ is pre-existent. In other words, He was in the beginning and He was before the beginning for He is God and He is eternal. And so therefore, we have learned a lot about Jesus Christ and who He is and why He is so worthy of our honor, of glory and to be worshipped.
We also find here as we looked into the scriptures and as we studied last week the great importance of prophecy for certainly the Bible is full and rich of prophecy and those prophecies that are given there of old are also found clearly fulfilled in the New Testament.
With that in mind, we also continue today to look at a prophecy concerning the birth of Christ. How could He have lived without being born and still have been so important to the plan that God had set out that He would become a man, that is Jesus, leaving His throne in heaven and leaving His deity to be a simple man as His creation to suffer as man suffers and to live and to endure and to see what life was all about.
If you'll look there in the book of Isaiah and chapter 9, it speaks there of the child that will be born. "For unto us a child is born and unto us a Son is given, to the government will be upon His shoulders, and His name shall be called 'Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace.' Of the increase of His government and peace there is no end and upon the throne of David and over His kingdom to order it and establish it with judgment and justice. From that time forward even forever the zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this." Do you see the prophecy there about the child that would be born? Do you see the prophecy about a Son of God that would be given? Do you see the concept of the fulfillment of what would come, the seed of woman and the seed of God, the Holy Spirit? In the fact that now, we in understanding who Christ was, that He would come as God, as now the King, the Prince, establish a kingdom and as we read here, "sit on the very throne of David." As we know from Adam all the way up to David and then all the way up to Jesus, the seed and the bloodline continues that Christ would be born from the same bloodline as promised long back to Adam and then also even Abraham through the great promise given there, that through his seed all nations of the earth would be blessed. And so we see that Christ is born. We see the fulfillment of this prophecy.
Beginning over in the gospel accounts, for example in the book of Matthew and chapter 1, we find here Christ being born. But look there in verse 1 with me as the Bible says, "The book of the genealogies of Jesus Christ (notice) the son of David, the son of Abraham." Well we know that literally from a physical standpoint, Joseph was considered His father. Well here according to prophecy and things we have just read actually, He also was the seed of who? David and even Abraham. Look at verse 16. "And Jacob begot Joseph, the husband of Mary of whom was born Jesus who is called the Christ." And so here we have the generations of who? Verse 17, "Abraham to David and David all the way to Jesus." So we know that Jesus was the fulfillment of these prophecies. And so it was Mary chosen, a young woman never having been married, never having known a man, who would be the mother of Jesus on the earth. Yet again, confirming the fact Jesus being the seed of woman. Verse 18 continues in Matthew 1, "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as followed after his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph. Before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit." God had planted the seed in her. She had not known a man. Therefore, although she came from woman as the seed of woman, not the seed of man but the seed of woman, she was also the seed of God, the Son of God. How? The Holy Spirit placed in her womb the child who was then the earthly Father. Joseph in verse 19 is introduced to us and we'll look more at Joseph in just a moment, but we want to again re-emphasize the fact of Mary being a woman who here had not known a man, a virgin, who bears a child.
If you'll notice down in verse 23 of Matthew 1, it says, "Behold a virgin shall be with child and bear a son and they shall call His name Emmanuel which is translated 'God with us.'" Do you know where that is found? In Isaiah chapter 7 and verse 14. Yet another part of the same concept and prophecy of the birth of Christ that a virgin who had not known a man would be with a child from God and would bear the child, Jesus, the Christ, Emmanuel, God with us. John chapter 1 and verse 14, "The Word that became flesh and dwelt among men." That's the Jesus that we're speaking about. That's the Christ. That's the man who came to this earth to prepare and live and establish the gospel, the gospel of Christ that we might do what? Find salvation through the knowledge and obedience of those things that He has delivered to us as His obedient children.
We also see that Elizabeth, the cousin of Mary, has a child, John. We often refer to him as John the Baptizer as he as well as Jesus in their ministries baptized many disciples. John though in the womb of Elizabeth when she was with Mary was one that as the Bible says, "leaped" in Luke chapter 1. It leaped because it now knew by God that this was the Christ. And what was the work of John there in the book of Luke? Well if we look in verses 13-17, "John was sent to prepare the way for the Messiah, the Christ, for the One coming who was greater than he and that he was not worthy to even wear His shoes or tie His shoes or loose His sandal straps." Do you see there the idea that is given to us is that this Christ that was coming was not an ordinary man for He was of God and from God? He was of woman and through woman brought to this world for He was from heaven and therefore as God and the Son of God, He was that gift to us, the Christ child.
We also learn that Jesus had an earthly father, a devout man, a man there in verse 19 of Matthew 1 who is said to have been "one who was just" and did not even want to make an example of Mary. When he found her pregnant, what would have been his reaction? What's happened here? I am betrothed to this woman and she is engaged to me and yet she is with child? You see a just man, being a just man, he did not want to make a spectacle or embarrass her. But what did he do? He wanted to put her away privately. But then God came to him in verse 20 by an angel and told him "not to worry for the one within him was the Son of God from God, was the Son of David and that she would conceive a child in verse 20 of the Holy Ghost or Spirit Himself."
Now doesn't that tell us a lot about Jesus? Doesn't that tell us a lot about His deity? Doesn't that tell us a lot about a man who would be His earthly father and the woman who was now His earthly mother? Why was it all done? Verse 22 tells us so clearly that the prophecy might be fulfilled, the prophecy that we've mentioned in Isaiah 7, the prophecy that we've read in Isaiah chapter 9 that Jesus would come and be born of a virgin, that He would become a king and set up a kingdom and that he would be the one who was a child born in Jerusalem as God had planned even before the very creation of the world. And so in verse 25 of Matthew chapter 1 we find that Jesus is born. He comes forth and He then is delivered there in the city of David, the city of Bethlehem which also as we certainly would find is a suburb of Jerusalem.
Now as we have considered then the Christ child coming and how that He fulfilled prophecy and certainly then fulfills the great opportunity that is about to happen in our further lessons of His life and then His death, burial and resurrection. Then certainly we also need to understand the reaction of the world in His day. Some were elated, excited. Some rejoiced and were worshipping God and thanking God for the great blessing that had come their way in Jesus Christ.
Let's look at a few of these examples at this time and understand that Jesus again, the fulfillment of prophecy, also to these people was exactly the answer that they wanted to the prophecies that they themselves had been so aware of over the years. If you'll notice with me there in several passages. We find first of all in Luke chapter 2 and verse 8 the story of the shepherds who were tending their flocks and keeping watch over their flocks, as the verse says, by night and yet again what happens? God comes to them. God speaks to them by an angel and tells them of what has happened in the city of David in Jerusalem in Bethlehem and how that in the manger that Jesus has been born. Well why were they even there? Well we know if we study the history a little bit that they had come there for a census that had been called by the government. They were there to be counted for this was their hometown, the town of Joseph. So when they returned here every place was full because everybody had returned to be counted. So they end up in not an inn or a hotel as we might call it, but even in the stables or where horses or animals were kept. And so Jesus was born there and laid in a manger and after being born these shepherds were told and they came and they saw Him and they worshipped Him and they thanked God that prophecy had been fulfilled, that the Messiah had been born, God With Us.
The wise men are also mentioned in Matthew chapter 2 verses 1-12. The wise men are actually those who really give heads up to Herod that we'll speak about in just a moment who tries to kill Christ. But the wise men here of these prophecies that are fulfilled now according to the law of Moses, and so therefore they come to see the child, to bring gifts and to worship Him and they do. And Herod hears about this King of the Jews and is upset, and so he has the opposite reaction. He tells them, "I want to worship the child. You tell me where He is," and so he was expecting them to come back, but they did not for God warned them of his desires. But then when Herod had been deceived by them, He caused every child in the country to be killed. Why? Everyone under two that the Christ child might also be taken out because He was being called a King and Herod was not going to allow any other to be the King of that region. So therefore the Holy Spirit once again warned Joseph and Joseph takes his family where? To Egypt. The Christ child and Mary. Later returning to this area, being warned of the Holy Spirit again and finally ending up in his hometown again of Nazareth. As prophecy tells us that the Christ child, that Emmanuel would come from the town of Nazareth. And certainly how could a good thing come from Nazareth in the Northern area of Israel?
Well certainly as we consider all of these things, we learn that Jesus was born. Prophecy fulfills it. The Bible confirms it. The historical events surrounding it and the evidences of those who were there in that day confirm it. Historians of the day and histories of the day outside scriptures confirm the fact that Jesus was born and lived. All of these things help us to see the beginning, the conception of the gospel for Christ had to come to the earth in order that He might live and show us the life that we must follow. He also had to come to this earth that He might do what? That He might die, be buried and be resurrected that we might be saved. All of these things again, intricate parts, important parts of the gospel of Christ, understanding that Jesus Christ as a child that came as God had planned was not only a child from God, but of God and God Himself. And so no wonder as we discuss next week, we'll see just what an impressive child He was and just what a glorious man He became. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the seed of woman, the seed of God was born in the city of David specifically the suburb of Bethlehem exactly as God had planned that all things might be fulfilled as God had planned. Two, the man Joseph and the mother, Mary, that again all of us might know Him and follow Him and be obedient unto salvation that we might have eternal life through and to the end.
(SONG # 3 - "The Great Physician")
What a wondrous time we have had together in participating in the things of God. I hope we all have been encouraged through our time spent together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God.
Now let me ask if you have any questions or comments about today's lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or a free cassette tape of this program? Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or free Bible correspondence courses? No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:
The Living Word
2540 N. Kansas Expressway
Springfield, Mo. 65803
Many of these materials are also available on our website:
That address is: www.thelivingwordprogram.com
Or if you prefer, you may call us at:
Isn't it wonderful to know that Jesus was born and that He came to this world to give us hope and promise. Thus, leaving us an example to follow in His footsteps. What a loving God we serve!