Advent

December 15, 2017 at 9:01 am | Posted in Incarnation, Luke | 6 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

December is a great time for Christian parents to talk with our children about some of the great theological concepts associated with Christ’s:
1. Incarnation
2. Advent

As we get older, it seems like December 25 comes faster and faster each year. The agony and expectancy of having to wait for the opening of presents and the sharing of goodies makes the period between Thanksgiving and “the big day” seem like an eternity to little kids. For us adults, who have full schedules and obligations, it seems like Christmas comes the day after Labor Day!

“Advent” means the arrival of something important, and it has taken on the connotation of waiting for something with the sort of longing that makes it seem like a long time in coming. In Christian theology, though, it has a specific reference to the appearance of Jesus Christ at his birth in Bethlehem (His first Advent) and His imminent return, for which we are still waiting (His second Advent). Christmas is a good time to explain to kids that faithful Old Testament believers knew what it feels like to wait with great anticipation for Christmas morning. The prophecies that a Messiah would come to save them from the punishment for their sins and to set them free to enjoy the favor and goodness of God began way back in Genesis 3:15 and continued for centuries and centuries. Kids who are antsy about the arrival of Christmas are the perfect candidates to hear about the stories of Simeon and Anna.

And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

Luke 2:25-38.

See also:

And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:13-14

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.

Isaiah 9:6

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Micah 5:2

Next time we will take a look at the Condescension.

High and Mighty

January 31, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Posted in Bible Studies, Isaiah | 13 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Isaiah 9:6, emphasis added

Here are three points to consider as we rejoice that this Child Who was born and this Son Who was given shall be called the Mighty God:

1. The proclamation of His might

2. The promise of His might

3. The preeminence of His might

His name shall be called The mighty God. Isaiah 9:6 is not saying that one day Jesus will be The mighty God. He has always been The mighty God. Jesus was not a created being. He and the Father and the Holy Ghost have always been one God in three Persons. No one can fully explain this, but it is true. Isaiah 9:6 is saying that He will be called The mighty God.

1. The proclamation of Jesus as The mighty God.

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Titus 2:13

The King James Version is about the only version that has it right: “The mighty God.” At His glorious appearing, His people will see the fulfillment of their Savior Jesus Christ – and THE great God – that they are One.

2. The promise of His might

For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

Romans 14:11-12

This Child, this Son of the Most High, is The mighty God. His might reaches over everything in this world and beyond. He places His hand on a table of stone and no man can pry it up. He raises His arm – in judgment or in love – and no man can pull it down. He rules and reigns in Heaven and in Earth and in hell. He will do with you as He pleases and one day You will stand before Him in judgment or to give an account. He is, He always has been, He always will be, and HE SHALL BE CALLED: The mighty God.

3. The preeminence of His might

This word “might” in the Hebrew is gibbowr. It has a connotation of reckless bravery – like a hunter or a soldier or a hero who runs into a dangerous situation with no thought for his own safety because he is invincible. It is used in the Bible of a few men, but not in the same way it is used by God to describe His own might.

Alexander the Great is one illustration. Daniel 11:3 describes him as a mighty king, but Jeremiah 9:23 says that the worldly wise should not glory in their wisdom; the worldly rich should not glory in their riches; and the worldly mighty should not glory in their might. Alexander was 33, a young man, when reportedly he wept because he had no worlds left to conquer. Then a tiny virus entered his body – and he died of a fever. The “mightiest” man of all time turned out to be nothing more than animated dust compared to the One who is truly The mighty God.

Do you hold some human being in high regard? Are you trusting your own “might?” Your health, your wealth, your wisdom? Or is your trust in the The mighty God?

He shall be called wonderful – but He shall be called wonderful by the power of His might. He shall be called Counsellor – with a capital C – because His might is such that He needed to take counsel of no man. He shall be called The everlasting Father – because His might will never diminish or be overcome. This is a great comfort to His children and a great dread to His enemies – because there is no changing of the guard. We can depend on His promises. He is mighty enough to carry them out and enforce them. Revelation Chapters 12 and 19 state that He will rule the nations with a rod of iron.

The mighty God is mighty to rule – and mighty to save. If He is your Savior you should find comfort and motivation to serve Him.

When God Condones Violence

May 18, 2009 at 9:52 am | Posted in Biblical Violence, Matthew | 13 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Bible scholars believe that John the Baptist first appeared on the scene approximately two years before Jesus made this exceptional statement about his ministry:

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

Matthew 11:12

The word “suffereth” in this verse does not mean that the Kingdom of Heaven “suffers” in the sense of having pain or damage inflicted on it. Rather, “suffer” in the Bible means “to let” or “to allow” (Matthew 19:14). Christ is saying that the Kingdom of Heaven, although it is ruled over by the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), does make allowances for certain types of violence.

Chiefly, this is the violence of those who suddenly recognize their lost condition, and see their urgent need for a Savior. Under conviction of God’s Holy Spirit, these lost souls may be excused for having an unruly and even desperate desire to get to Jesus – He being the only Way (John 14:6) to get to the Father, and to escape the merited punishment for our sins.

Those who trusted Christ years ago certainly find a peace and a comfort in resting on the promises of God’s Word, and knowing their eternal inheritance is secure. However, it pays to remember the Kingdom of Heaven still suffers violence, and that there are times when we should desire the abiding presence of God on our lives so desperately that we become intensely serious about seeking His will and the filling of His Spirit.


Entries and comments feeds.