Sunnyside Church of the Nazarene
Sunday, December 22
- Angels We Have Heard On High (Gloria)
- Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee (Ode To Joy)
- O Holy Night
- O Come All Ye Faithful
- Advent - to come to or arrive. This fourth week of Advent we celebrate the Incarnation of the Lord Christ Jesus. The Incarnation is the mysterious truth that Yahweh (God’s Divine name) at just the right time in all history - past, present, future - sent His Son into our world to save the world. The Incarnation is the mysterious truth that this Son of God, whom we know as Jesus (in Hebrew Yehosua means God is salvation) stepped out of His heavenly realm, entered our earthly realm and became the Son of Man and is also called Immanuel (God with us). So, this Jesus, is the God who is with us is also the God who saves us.In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.We know that God has other sons - bēn hǎʾělō·hîm in Hebrew - sons of God. Also known as the Divine Council. No need for alarm, for there is only one unique son that is unlike all the others. Only one Son who was with God and is God. This is why it says there is no other name. This is why it says The Word is the only Son from the Father. God sent no one else to save humanity.So,The Incarnation is the mysterious truth that Jesus, the Son of God, came into the world, not to condemn the world, but to save the world He created because He loves us.Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.The Incarnation is the mysterious truth that Jesus, the Son of God, came into the world, not to condemn the world, but to save the world He created because He loves us.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, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.The Incarnation is the mysterious truth that Jesus, the Son of God, came into the world, not to condemn the world, but to save the world He created because He loves us.I like what one pastor said -“Many men would become gods. But only one God would become a man.”But, why? Why the Incarnation? Why would God need to become a man to save humanity?To understand humanity’s need for salvation, we must understand humanity’s condition apart from God. The moment a person breaks God’s law or steps outside the “boundary line,” the condition of the soul becomes sinful and dead. Sin, in essence is an evil force or nature, if you will that desires the absolute destruction of all that God says is good. Sin desires our rebellion against God, it desires our rejection of Him and divorce from God - and that warrants our physical and eternal death.Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—And what happens when we sin? We die spiritually - disconnected from a loving and saving relationship with God. And if we die physically without reconciliation and forgiveness, we face eternal death in a place called hell.But there is more to the Incarnation than just sin and death. Starting in Genesis 3, we see one of the bēn hǎʾělō·hîm, a member of God’s divine council deceiving Adam and Eve. In Genesis 6 we see the bēn hǎʾělō·hîm crossing into our world and having relations with women. We’re also told that they provided humanity with forbidden knowledge - knowledge that humanity was never meant to know - knowledge that corrupts, that is evil and destructive. Humanity welcomed this. Of course, we see a spiritual enemy throughout all Scripture - an enemy that is bent on our destruction.You put all that together, and you have the human condition: In short -There is an enemy to conquer, sin to forgive and death to overcome.But who is capable of doing such a task? Only a fool would believe we humans can accomplish this apart for God. We are not divine. How can we mere mortals defeat a divine or spiritual enemy! We are guilty of sin. How can we then make ourselves not guilty! We are not infinite. How can we conquer death!So what is the cure to our condition? What is the cure for evil? The cure for death? The cure for sin? If the cure cannot come from us, then from where does our salvation come from? There is only one savior sent from the Father.And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”The name of Jesus the Christ. But why Jesus? Why salvation in Him?Follow me on this. God is spirit, divine, supernatural. Only God can conquer a spiritual or supernatural enemy. God is infinite, eternal, without beginning or end. He alone is the Author of life. Only God can overcome death. God is Sovereign, Creator, the King, the Judge. Only God can forgive sin.But we have a problem. To overcome death someone must die, come back to life and never die again. But God can’t die. To forgive sin, Scripture is clear that only sinless blood can cleanse sin (Hebrews 9:22). Thus the blood cannot be human; it needs to be holy. But God does not bleed.God can’t die and God can’t bleed - the two most critical requirements for our salvation. So what do we do? God becomes man.But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.God had to become a man so He could bleed and pay for and forgive our sin. Scripture tells us that our punishment was laid upon Him. God had to become a man so He could die, come back to life forevermore to overcome death so we too can live forever. And in so doing, God conquer the enemy.So what do we do with this?Receiving Christ, putting one’s trust and faith in Him is not a suggestion. Nor is Christ merely one option of many. Receiving Christ is the only means of salvation from our condition. Receiving Christ is the only means of securing our eternal destiny - to live forever. You and I need Jesus the Christ, the Savior, the only Son sent from God the Father.Have you received Him? Have you confessed that He is Lord? If not, you can, you should.because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”If you need to do that today …
- So Will I (100 Billion X)
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