Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Wonder Of Christmas

Temple Baptist Church - 12-23-2015
Luke 2:1-20

Introduction:  We have once again come to this special time of the year.  There is much confusion and concern about the history and time of Christmas, but it is a time that we too chose to celebrate His birth.  The time is definitely in the wrong season.  Our Lord was evidently born around the time that the world celebrates Halloween.  This can be easily proven from Scripture.  I was asked about this the other night so I want to give a brief explanation.
A.  In Luke 1:5, we find that Zacharias was of the course of Abia.  The Old Testament word was Abijah which is found in 1 Chronicles 24:10.  The Priestly office was divided into 24 courses:  one course for the first 15 days of the month and the second course for the last 15 days. 
B.  The Jewish year began in Nissan, or our April; therefore, Abijah was the eighth course according to 1 Chronicles 24:10.  Therefore, Zacharias course served the last 15 days of our month of July.  He knew his wife after finishing his course which was the 1st of August in our time.  John the Baptist was conceived.  John was therefore born nine months later in the last of Nissan or our April. 
C.  John was six months older than our Lord according to Luke 1:36 which placed our Lord Jesus Christ’s birth around the last of October. 
D.  The first mention of “wonder” in one form or the other is found in the Seedbed of the Bible, Genesis.  Genesis 24:21  And the man wondering at her held his peace, to wit whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous or not.  (Stunned, astonished, or amazed)
1.  I stand amazed in the presence of the Lord tonight. 
2.  Amazed at who and what He is.
3.  Amazed at just how much He loves mankind.
4.  Amazed that God sent His only begotten Son to die for sinners.
5.  Tonight, I stand amazed, as always, when I read the story of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.  A story that never gets old.
E.  Several things stick out in our verses for tonight.
1.  The Plan Of His Birth – “born”
a.  His birth was miraculous – virgin born - 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.
b.  His birth was marvelous – God became man - 1 Timothy 3:16  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
2.  The Period Of His Birth – “this day”
a.  The prophecy – Daniel 9:24-25  Seventy weeks 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: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
b.  The performance - Galatians 4:4  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
3.  The Place Of His Birth – “city of David”
a.  The right tribe – Genesis 49:9-10  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 come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
Psalms 78:67-68  Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim:  But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved.
Micah 5:2  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.
b.  The right throne - Luke 1:32  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
4.  The Person Of His Birth – “Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
a.  Jehovah God of the Old Testament - 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, The Prince of Peace.
John 1:1, 14  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
b.  Jesus God of the New Testament - Matthew 1:23  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
5.  The Purpose Of His Birth – “Christ the Lord”
a.  He came to sacrifice – Isaiah 50:6-7  I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.  For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.
Romans 14:9  For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
1 John 4:10  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
b.  He came to save - 1 Timothy 1:15  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
1 John 4:14  And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
6.  The Poverty Of His Birth – “swaddling clothes, lying in a manger”
a.  He was poor in His birth – Luke 2:22-24  And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;  (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)  And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
b.  He was poor in His life - Luke 9:58  And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.   
7.  The Praise Of His Birth – vs. 13, 20 – “praising God…Praising God”
a.  Adored in heaven - Revelation 5:14  And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.
b.  Adored in earth - Luke 24:50-53  And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.  And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.  And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:  And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.
Conclusion:  this year at Christmas, let us give the our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ the praise and worship that due Him.

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