Kittredge Community Bible Church
10 AM - December 26
  • Isaiah 9:2
  • Go Tell it on the Mountain
  • O Little Town of Bethlehem
  • Doxology
  • Psalm 33
      • John 1:14CSB

      • Matthew 1:23CSB

  • Rejoice, the Lord Is King!
  • Numbers 6:24-26
  • Christmas Sermon (2021) - Matthew 1:18-23 - God in the Flesh
    In “A Charlie Brown Christmas” Charlie Brown is searching for the true meaning of Christmas but becomes depressed with all the commercialism. Even Snoopy enters a decorating contest to win a cash prize.
    In an attempt to cheer Charlie Brown up and bring us true meaning, Linus quotes from Luke 2:8-14 and reads about the shepherds, the angels and the baby Jesus wrapped tightly in cloth and lying in a manger. Then, at the very end of the film Linus turns to Charlie Brown and says, “That’s what Christmas is all about.”
    It’s a great holiday special and I love watching it especially for the Bible reading at the end, but for Christians it’s still an incomplete picture.
    Christmas is about the shepherds, the angels, and the baby Jesus and peace on earth, but it’s also about the celebration of the incarnation. What is the incarnation? It’s the Christian doctrine that the eternal son of God became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14).
    John 1:14 (CSB)
    The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
    The late theologian R.C. Sproul once said, “What we celebrate at Christmas is not so much the birth of a baby, as important as that is, but what’s so significant about the birth of that particular baby is that in this birth we have the incarnation of God Himself.”
    Maybe you don’t care about any of that but I hope to change your mind because without the incarnation our hope is incomplete and unbiblical and ultimately a false hope.
    The baby in the manger is sweet and adorable but it’s the incarnation that leads to the solution of man’s biggest problem—sin. Without the incarnation Jesus wouldn’t have died on the cross and we’d still be without a Savior. Peace on earth would never come.
    So Christmas, for Christians, should be all about the incarnation. We should be celebrating that God has come in the flesh—that God became a man and physically dwelt among us in order to offer himself up as a sacrifice for sin on our behalf.
    Unfortunately, many deny this meaning of Christmas, or at least downplay it but if he didn’t then we have no hope at all and our faith is no more real than belief in elves and flying reindeer.
    So who does our text say Jesus is?
    And I just want to reemphasize that we may have a personal faith—we may have beliefs that we’ve come to believe over the years but if the beliefs we hold aren’t based solidly on scripture then you just have a made-up faith based upon your own personal opinion.
    So let’s go the real authority. What does scripture say?
    Matthew 1:23 CSB
    See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel, which is translated “God is with us.”
    We notice first of all, that Jesus is “God with us”, but this means more than God just being among us. This doesn’t mean that God hung out with men for a while. It means he actually became one of us.
    See, Mary, a human being was physically pregnant by the Holy Spirit. She carried inside of her for 9 months a human baby.
    So from the time of conception the baby Jesus was fully human. He became flesh and blood just like we are not so he could be a spectator but so he could fully experience what it’s like to be human.
    In order to do so, Jesus gave up his royal home, his throne, and lived among those who hate him.
    He gave up everything, but he didn’t give up his divinity. Although he became a man, at no point did he ever cease being God. He took on the attributes of mankind but didn’t give up his attributes as God. He suppressed some of them—he didn’t use them—but he still had them.
    When Jesus became a man it was a miracle of addition, not subtraction. He didn’t become less he become more.
    This is what we call the doctrine of the incarnation: the Son of God became flesh and blood just like we are. Jesus 100% God became 100% man. This is the full meaning of Emmanuel, God with us.
    Now, this isn’t an easy concept to grasp. In fact, it’s impossible for us to fully grasp. But that’s OK because when all is said and done the reason to know about the incarnation isn’t to fill us up with knowledge so we can impress our neighbors but to bring us to Christ on our knees in worship.
    The shepherds didn’t worship Jesus because he was such a cute little child, they worshiped him because he was God in the flesh. They didn’t fully understand it but trembled at the truth and they believed it!
    A Few More Reasons to Believe
    Now, I want you to believe it too so let me mention a few more passages that reinforce the doctrine that Jesus is fully God but at the same fully man.
    For example, we know in Matthew 2:2 the wise men came to worship him as God. But we also read in John 17 that Jesus prayed to and worshiped the Father.
    Also, in John 20:28 Thomas called Jesus “My Lord and my God!” But in John 19:5 Jesus was called a man by Pilate because that’s what he was.
    John says in John 21:17 that Jesus knows all things. But Mark says Jesus doesn’t even know the time of the end (Mark 13:32).
    Paul in Colossians 2:9 tells us that all the fullness of deity dwells in Jesus. But Luke in Luke 24:39 tells us that Jesus’ body is made of flesh and bones.
    John in John 10:28 tells us that Jesus has and is able to give eternal life. But Paul tells us in Romans 5:8 that Jesus died.
    Are all of these descriptions contradictions? No! They are examples of the doctrine of the Incarnation—Jesus is God in the flesh.
    As the early church fathers said, he is “of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his humanity.”
    In other words, Jesus Christ is one person, who is both fully divine and fully human.
    Why does the incarnation matter?
    It matters because as a man Jesus is able to understand our difficulties and temptations. Since he’s also been tempted he knows what it’s like when we are tempted, too. So, he can sympathize with us.
    In addition, if he wasn’t fully man then his temptation wouldn’t count for much and his ability not to sin wouldn’t be all that remarkable. But since he is fully human and was fully tempted just as we are, we marvel at his sinlessness.
    Jesus’ full humanity also matters because as a man he was able to completely pay for our sins. See, if he was only God then he couldn’t have really died or really suffered and we would still have to pay for our own sins.
    But, in Jesus we have the solution to our sin problem. In Jesus we have the answer to our wicked hearts that take to themselves the glory that only belongs to God.
    Emmanuel, God with us, is the answer to the world’s greatest problem and to our own.
    JI Packer says, “The more you think about it the more staggering it gets. Nothing is so fantastic as the truth of the incarnation.”
    So, let’s celebrate the incarnation—God has come in the flesh!

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