The Beauty Of The Name
By Pastor AL Edmonds
Why does it seem that God chooses such common circumstances and places in which to manifest Himself? Why do you think He chose a manger rather than a palace for the site of the birth of the King of kings?
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to al/people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
What miracles were involved in the birth of Jesus? The miracle baby born in a humble stable behind the inn at Bethlehem was the eternal God revealing Himself in flesh. Although He is the only person ever to be born without an earthly father, the miracle
of His birth in a common stable reveals the
extent to which God will go to reach
“How did the decree of Caesar figure into Jesus” birth? Although Caesar was unaware
of the prophecy in Micah 5:2 that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, he was an instrument in God’s hand to bring this about Since Joseph and Mary lived in Nazareth of Galilee, they had to journey
southward to Bethlehem-Judah in order to comply with Caesar’s decree. Thus the Son
of David, God manifest in the flesh, was born in Bethlehem just as Micah had foretold.
Whose choice was it that Jesus was born in a manger, God’s or Joseph’s? Although Joseph was surely overwhelmed to see the multitudes clamoring in the streets of the city searching for a place to lodge and made the choice for the stable behind the inn, God had orchestrated the circumstances. God chose to manifest Himself in flesh among the common surroundings of a lowly stable. Why did God announce His incarnation to shepherds? At best, we could only offer conjecture or personal opinion. However, it is clear in Scripture that the shepherds were sensitive to God and responsive to His announcement of the glorious birth of the Christ. Perhaps they also were near to God’s heart because of His divine desire to lead common people as a shepherd leads and cares for sheep. As the light of Gods glory faded into the night, the shepherds made haste to see the thing that God had declared unto them. Hearing the voice of God caused them to believe the things that the angel of the Lord had told them.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone
away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
The shepherds then began to witness about their experience in the stable.
Entering into the stable, they beheld the glory of God in the infant Jesus and found all
things just as God had said. Having seen for themselves the thing the Lord had told them, they began to witness to their world that a
Savior had been born in Bethlehem Christ the Lord. Nothing adds impact to a testimony like a personal experience. Because the
7. shepherds had witnessed for themselves the things that the angel of the Lord proclaimed, their testimony was a powerful witness to what God had done. A person should never underestimate the power of a personal testimony. “The shepherds” faith produced wonder and awe in the hearts of those who heard.
The shepherds were bold and persuasive because of what they had seen and heard. All those who heard them were amazed and wondered greatly at their testimony. Mary the mother of Jesus pondered in her heart the things that the shepherds saw and heard.
“What happened upon the shepherds” joyous return to Bethlehem? Being full of faith and expectation of the things that must shortly transpire, they returned full of joy and thanksgiving. They glorified and praised the God of heaven who had been so gracious as to reveal Himself unto them.
Giving testimony and praise unto the Lord fills the heart of God’s witnesses with great joy. The thrill of bringing souls to God and seeing them transformed by the power of God’s Spirit never loses its excitement to a child of God. What rejoicing there should be among God’s people over one sinner who repents!
7! say unto you, that like wise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repented, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. THE INCARNATION OF GOD
1. Incarnation defined. Jesus Christ was more than just a man. Although Mary carried Him in her womb as a fleshly son of David, He was by incarnation the God of Abraham, Jehovah-Savior. He was the Word made flesh, the embodiment of all that is perfect, holy, and undefiled. “For in him dwelled all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). He is the supreme God (from the Greek word, theos), the very essence of God’s nature and being.
2. Jesus was God in flesh humanity and deity. Jesus came into the world in the flesh having taken on the nature of the seed of Abraham. (See Hebrews 2:16.) He did not come in the form of an angel or in the likeness of any other heavenly being, but He came in human form. The eternal God became flesh and dwelt among us.
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
I Timothy 3:16
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.
3. Jesus was born of a virgin. Although there remain many skeptics who doubt the authenticity of the virgin birth, anything short of miraculous would have voided the prophecy of Isaiah. Isaiah said, “The Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive” (Isaiah 7:14). The Hebrew word for sign in this passage is owth, which means, “an evidence, token, or miracle to confirm an oath.” If Mary had not been a virgin, no compelling sign or evidence would be present to confirm the validity of God’s Word. Therefore, God caused her to conceive by the Holy Ghost, an irrefutable sign of a divine miracle.
4. Jesus came to earth exactly as prophesied. The law and the prophets prophesied of His coming, and all of the provisions of the law pointed to the finished work of Christ upon the cross of Calvary. The law was given unto men that they might learn the righteousness of God, which is now made manifest through the blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus did not destroy the law, but He fulfilled it by becoming the supreme sacrifice for our sins. The Old Testament testified of Christ that He would bring salvation to the
44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
5. Jesus declared His incarnation. He came forth from God because the Spirit within Him was the Spirit of God. When He ascended into heaven, He left the world to go to the Father and sit upon the throne of God. When Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father, Jesus answered, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father who dwells in me, he doeth the works” (John 14:9-10).
8. Be forgiving. Again, this is not condoning the sin but restoring the sinner in love. We are human and we are going to hurt each other, even in the church. Through God and because we are His, we can forgive and function within the Body of Christ as we were intended to do.
9. Take your own spiritual growth seriously. One of the fruits of the Spirit is LOVE. We need to develop a loving relationship with our Lord because we cannot share what we do not have. Our relationship with God will allow us to see others through “His eyes”.
Be the church God wants you to be. Reach out in love, even when love is not deserved. That is MERCY. Jesus did that for each of us. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge someone’s pain or sorrow or, for that matter, their sin. There is just too much at stake to be hurtful, unloving, intolerant, or apathetic. We have to learn to be the church God wants us to be. Someone’s place in eternity depends upon it.
God is calling us back to authentic, simplistic, relational Christianity, starting with us personally, as we develop a closer relationship with Jesus. He has also called us to develop real relationship with fellow believers and with those who have not yet found faith in the Lord.
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6. Jesus was the visible image of the invisible God. The Son was in the beginning in the plan and mind of God. When we look into the eyes of Jesus the only begotten Son of God, we shall behold the eyes of the invisible God. Although Jesus was God’s Son concerning His humanity, in regard to His deity He is one in substance and power with the Father. Paul penned the words, “For in him dwelled all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9). The Godhead, or essence of the true God, dwells within Christ. Jesus is not in the Godhead, as one among various other gods or as one among three (the Trinity), but He is the mighty God and the everlasting Father. (See Isaiah 9:6; Revelation 1:8-1 1.) He, as God, has all power in heaven and in earth. (See Matthew 28:18.) There is no other God but Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
7. The Incarnation fulfilled prophecy. The Old Testament predicted the events that transpired in the life of Jesus Christ. From the beginning, it was prophesied that the devil (represented by the serpent) would bruise the heel of the Messiah; but in turn, the Messiah would bruise the head of the devil. Thus, Jesus death upon the cross-facilitated the ultimate defeat of Satan. (See Genesis 3:15; Galatians 4:4.) So precise were these prophecies that even the manner of His incarnation (His virgin birth, Isaiah 7:14) and the place of His birth (Bethlehem, Micah 5:2) was recorded hundreds of years before He was born
The birth of Jesus brought the great God of eternity into the world to experience both life and death to redeem mankind. God, who is infinite in power and glory and without limitation, entered into the world as a tiny, powerless infant to become the supreme sacrifice for our sins. God was present in the world both before and after the birth of Jesus as the Holy Spirit. He did not cease to be infinite and powerful when He became finite and powerless, but He entered into a new dimension to experience life in the person of Jesus Christ. Today, God continues to be the same mighty sovereign God that He has always been. He continues to empower His church the body of Christ to bring healing, deliverance, and salvation to all who will believe upon His name. Because Jesus lives within us, we are more than conquerors that we might do the works that He did and even greater. (See John 14:12.)
The early Church prayed in the name of Jesus, cast out devils in the name of Jesus, healed the sick in the name of Jesus, preached in the name of Jesus, work miracles in the name of Jesus, and turned the world upside down by the power of the name of Jesus. How could anyone look down upon or find any fault with such a wonderful name?
Acts 238 says, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Everyone in the New Testament Church that believed in the name of the LORD Jesus Christ were all baptized in that name. if the early Church could call on that name, be baptized in that name, and filled with the Holy Ghost in that name, be set free from sin in that name, and ride that name all the way into eternity, why don’t you do the same? Believe in the name of Jesus. Call on the name of Jesus. Be baptized in the name of Jesus, receive the Holy Ghost in the name of Jesus. Live your life sharing the name of Jesus. And I’ll meet you, at the feet of Jesus.
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