God Promises And Provides Hope

Grace For The Journey

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18DecSunday, I preached from from Isaiah 9:6-7 in correlation with our choir’s musical entitled, “Wonderful (Most Awesome) Counselor.  As we listened to the powerful message through song and sermon, we were reminded why we celebrate Christmas – it is all about the Good News incarnation of Jesus Christ and the hope we have in the gospel.  In Isaiah chapter 6 through 9 we see massive statements about Jesus Christ that provide reasons to rejoice and be glad in our God!

The prophet Isaiah was writing to Israel regarding the Assyrian conflict.  Assyria had overtaken the northern Kingdom and what Isaiah promised them was victory.

How?

Through a military conquest?

Through a powerful dictator?

No!

Through the birth of a baby.

It was a shocking statement in his day, but even more so when it actually came to pass hundreds of years later. Jesus was born of a virgin and the child given was the Savior of the world.

In Isaiah 9:7, Isaiah tells of the child who is the Son of God, the One who will rule the nations, the One who is the wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.

The resume of this promised child is beyond comprehension,

But not one of these descriptions transcends

Higher than the claim of deity.

This is the heart of the gospel and

The true reason for joy at Christmas.

In Isaiah 6, the prophet was encouraging his people in a time when the king had died. The people were scrambling around and looking for leadership when the throne was empty.

It was then that God provided the vision

Of the enthroned King of kings

Who was worshiped by angels.

Positioned high and

Lifted up on a sovereign throne.

Just one chapter later after reading of that majestic scene we hear the promise of a virgin conception and the announcement that the child’s name would  be called “Immanuel.”   When the prophet is led to pens the words in Isaiah 9:6, and claims that this child will be almighty God – there is no doubt that this is a reference to the deity of the Messiah – Christ the Lord. The child promised is none other than the Lord of hosts of Isaiah 6.

God with His people is the message of joy and the hope of the gospel!

When the Jehovah’s Witnesses try to suggest that Jesus is Michael the Archangel – it becomes clear that they are attacking the heart of the gospel.  Not only does Hebrews 1:6-14 quote Psalm 102:25-27 which reveals the truth that Jesus is Jehovah – but all through the Bible we see references to the deity of Jesus such as:

  • Isaiah 9:6 – “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
  • John 1:1 – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
  • John 8:58-59 “Jesus said to them, ‘Verily, verily, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.’  So they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.”
  • John 18:6 – “When Jesus said to them, ‘I am He,’ they drew back and fell to the ground.”
  • John 20:28 – “Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’”
  • Romans 9:5 – “To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.”
  • Philippians 2:5-6 – Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped.”
  • Colossians 1:16 – For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through Him and for Him.”
  • 2 Peter 1:1 – “Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
  • Titus 2:13 – “Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

This is why the Nicene Creed uses the language of “Very God of Very God” and it’s why the hymn penned by Charles Wesley en titled, “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing!” declares:

Hail, th’ incarnate Deity:
Pleased, as man, with men to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel!

Without a sovereign Savior – Christmas has no real reason to celebrate or to have hope.  Remember as you celebrate this Christmas – Jesus is God … Christ is all about Him!

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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