Radio Broadcast Wednesday 11/11/2020

Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Jesus Christ P18 (11-11-20)

Synopsis

The coming of Jesus Christ into human history on our behalf was not an event that suddenly burst upon an unsuspecting world. It was a culmination of a long line of prophetic statements, starting with the voice of God predicting his coming at the beginning of human history, that we read in Genesis 3. His arrival in human form was an event planned before the creation of the world. We read that in 1 Peter 1:20, and the mission for which he came, as discussed in 2 Corinthians 5:81-21.

A brief summary of the purpose and plan for Jesus coming to this earth can be found in this little booklet, Be Born Free, sharing from the scriptures, the truth of what God had said through Jesus Christ and what Jesus death, burial and resurrection accomplished for you and me.

So let us look at some prophetic events recorded in the scriptures from the prophet Micah and the prophet Isaiah, written over 700 years before the events occurred. These things were written so that we may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the anointed one, the promised Messiah, Immanuel, God with us, so that by believing we might have life in His name.

Micah prophesied, as we read in Micah 5:2, where the promised Messiah was to be born, in Bethlehem in Judea, and that was fulfilled as we read the writings of Matthew in Matthew 2:1-6. Isaiah prophesied that Jesus the Messiah would be born of a virgin, and that was fulfilled in Matthew 1:18-25.

How many times did you and I hear that song sung at Christmas time, “They shall call His name Immanuel, God with us”. Do you even think to inquire of what that means? Do you understand the ramifications of a virgin birth? Why such an unusual birth? Only in modern day techniques of artificial semination would we see something as possible. But that did not happen that way. What was prophesied does not seem possible! That just does not happen in the natural world we live in. But you must realize that Jesus is God and He is the one created all we see, visible and invisible, by His spoken word.

But as you understand the fallen condition of man, that he is born in a state of sin and death, with a spirit alive to this world but dead to God, due to the fall of Adam in the garden of Eden, then you begin to understand the reason for the virgin birth. And when you realize that your condition is death, that sin is what caused your death, then you have a worse problem than sin. You are dead, and a dead man needs life. We never had spiritual life when we were born. Adam and Eve were created with the Spirit of God, but we were born without the Spirit of God since the Spirit of God left Adam due to sin.

God, in His foreknowledge, had a plan in mind to redeem mankind in the event of the eventual fall, because man, being created with free will, the likelihood of that happening is very possible. God did not make us as robots, so there was a gamble. And in that gamble, there was going to be a fall, and Adam fell in the garden of Eden. So God sent His Son, Jesus, to redeem a lost world unto Himself.

Jesus is the only person born alive, the firstborn with the Spirit of God in Him, because he was born of a virgin and not the natural way through Adam. Being God in the flesh, He is the only one who had a life, eternal life, to lay down and the only one who had no sin so he could be raised to new life for you and me. With sin out of the way, being forgiven from the eyes of God, once and for all by the shed blood of Jesus on a cross, the same life that raised Jesus from the dead can now be offered to all mankind as a gift to be received by faith. That is the message of good news to mankind. That is the purpose of why Jesus was sent, as God in the flesh, to do something for mankind that man could not do for himself.

Transcript

Now, the function, therefore, of the Son was to restore man to true humanity. There was only one way that man was ever going to be restored to the intelligent purpose for which he was created. If man was created for the purpose of being, in walking in dependency upon his Creator, and man was created to be alive in all aspects, bodily, soulishly and spiritually and yet a man had died. Then the solution is how does a dead man ever come back to life? Is there anything in and of itself, a corpse in and of itself, to create life? The answer to that is of course nothing. Is there anything in the nature of total darkness to create light? The answer to that is of course not. So there was nothing in and of ourselves, as a dead man spiritually, to create life. So, if life was going to be restored to a fallen humanity, who is dead spiritually, then life is going to come from the outside by someone who had life and that is why Jesus Christ announced himself as the way, the truth and the life. He announced himself as the one with eternal life, and he is the resurrection and the life.

John 14:6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 11:25-26
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

So the whole issue of salvation is an issue of life to the dead. So God, knowing that man, on the day he ate thereof was surely going to die. He did not die physically that day, or soulishly, but he died spiritually. Death being the absence of life, life departing from man, leaving his spirit not dead to the world, otherwise he would be an animal, but dead to what he is dead to, and that is the life of God. He is not dead to the life of man or dead to the life of the world, but dead to the life of God. Why? God departed from him, leaving him dead to what departed, God.

Man in that condition was in need of being restored, therefore, to the condition he was in when he was first dead, and that is a living being, body, soul and spirit. That is why, folks, you must be born again. That is what it means to be born again. You were born once of water, that is a physical birth. When you are born physically, you are born 2/3 whole. In order to be born again, you have to be born of the Spirit. You have already been born physically. If you were not born physically, you could not be born of the Spirit.

John 3:6-7
6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’

Now that you are a physical being, 2/3 whole, the completed action needs to take place. That is being born of the Spirit, being born once physically and being born again spiritually. When you are born again spiritually, then you have been restored to the intelligent purpose for which God created man to begin with, God back to man, restoring life to the man, and therefore, creating the man.

2 Corinthians 5:17
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

You were born. You are not created from your mom and dad. You are born. But when you are born again, you have been created. And creation has to come from the hands of the Creator. I was born of mom and dad but I was created anew by God. My mom and dad were not creators. They just had babies. God recreated you and me through spiritual birth. So, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. That means that God has now recreated you into a brand new being.

You were once a caterpillar, crawling on the ground, ground bound. God comes and weaves a cocoon around that, and suddenly through the process of metamorphosis you become a new creation. You are no longer a worm. You are a butterfly. How did you get to be a butterfly? You were an old worm and you were converted. You had been recreated. The worm was born, hatched, but the butterfly is recreated. The worm had nothing to do with that. Worms did not get together and have butterflies. Worms have worms. Butterflies have to be created. When you and I came to Christ, you and I have been recreated into a brand new creation. All of that had to come from God.

2 Corinthians 5:18
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:

How did He go about this recreation? First of all, we had to be reconciled to God through Christ. Reconciliation was dealing with the thing that killed man to begin with, sin.

Romans 6:23
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

If the wages of sin is death, then sin that caused our death had to be dealt with. The cause of death has to be dealt with and the event of death has to be dealt with. Christ came to do both of those things, through his death, burial and resurrection.

We are talking about reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:19
19 God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s sins against them.

Now, if God was reconciling the world unto Himself in Christ, not counting sins against them. Why did He need to do that? That took care of the sins issue. Sins had to be forgiven. If the wages of sin is death, then death has to be corrected. As we said before, the cross took care of sins, plural, because sins, plural had to be forgiven, taken away. That is what Christ did at the cross.

John 1:29
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

But sin, which is singular, is the sin of unbelief. That is what Jesus told his disciples. That is the sin?

John 16:9 (TLB)
9 The world’s sin is unbelief in me;

The sin of unbelief did not need forgiven. In other words, otherwise you would be an unforgiven unbeliever. But your sin, as a result of being an unbeliever, was all taken away at the cross. But the sin of unbelief is still left to be corrected. That is what repentance is. It is not repenting of your sins, because in essence, if you think repentance is just repenting of your sins, then I would ask how many of you still worry after 20 or 30 years? I would say you have not done much repenting. Repentance then is changing my mind in regard to my own self sufficiency, changing my mind in regard to salvation could come through works, changing my mind that, as a Jew, my righteousness came from what I was doing rather than a righteousness from God.

Romans 9:30-32
30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.

We change our mind about those things. We change our mind that you do not become a Christian by becoming a Catholic, or a Baptist or a Presbyterian or a Methodist. You become a Christian by receiving, coming to believe in Christ. He did not come to identify Himself with manmade organizations. He said, “I am God” and that ought to be good enough. Christ came to this earth to die for sins, plural, and then to provide the only solution to the wages of sin, unbelief, which is death. The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life. That is what salvation is. Life.

Romans 5:10
10 For if, while we were God’s enemies [lost], we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

What are we saved from? Wages of sin, death. What had to take place before I could receive life, that was eternal life? Sins that caused my death had to be dealt with once and for all, not over and over again. Once and for all. Otherwise Christ would come and give you life and the next time you sinned you would die. So He would come and give you life again. Then the next time you sinned, you would die. Some people live like that, like a dracula. Some people’s theology is that.

Folks, that is the very opposite of what scripture says. When you come to Christ for life, that is eternal life, and He promises that no one will ever snatch you out of His hands, with the promise of Christ Himself. Never will I leave you or forsake you. If we cannot believe that, who are we going to believe when He says He already forgave all your sins? How can I believe anything else He said? If I believe God is a liar at one point, how can I believe anything else He says.

People say, “What if you leave Him?” Well, He will just follow you. If you are truly born again, truly spiritually regenerated, how presumptuous would it be to think you would want to leave Him. Leave religion? Yes. Leave people? Yes. Leave Christ? Absolutely not.

2 Corinthians 5:19-21
And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

In other words, Christ reconciled you unto Himself while we were yet enemies, lost. We were reconciled through the death of His Son. That death provided that reconciliation. Reconciliation means I took your sins off my accounts receivable. What He is asking you to do is, for goodness sakes, is to take it off your accounts payable. Be reconciled to God. Realize that Christ Jesus went to a cross, He paid a price, a debt He did not owe for you and me that owed a debt we could not pay.

2 Corinthians 5:21
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

In other words, Jesus took our place. He exchanged his life for us. He became sin for us. He took the sins of the world upon Himself and in exchange gave us His righteousness. He did this, so that in Him, his resurrected life, we might become the righteousness of God.

That is what the exchanged life is about. I give up all my unrighteousness in order to receive all of His righteousness. I turn over to Him all of my sins. God does not want what is in my hands. He wants what is in my hand. He wants you. You come to Him for what He alone can give, His life. It is not a life that can be given to you by mom and dad, made out of human passion and plan, but a life that can only be given from above. That is what it means to be born again, to be born from above by God, which makes you, not a birth person, but a spiritual new creation. Born, yes, but life from without.

The coming of Jesus Christ into human history on our behalf was not an event that suddenly burst upon an unsuspecting world. It was a culmination of a long line of prophetic statements, starting with the voice of God predicting his coming at the beginning of human history, that we read in Genesis 3. His arrival in human form was an event planned before the creation of the world. We read that in 1 Peter 1:20, and the mission upon which he was sent we just discussed in 2 Corinthians 5:81-21.

So ever since man fell from that dependent relationship to God, he has needed a relationship that is based upon mercy and grace. So God arranged the affairs of men to prepare for the coming of the Messiah, His anointed one, who would redeem man from their sins, and as it is talked about, Christ is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament term Messiah. So it is the anointed one, Messiah, who is not only going to redeem man from their sins but to provide life from the dead, enabling man to be translated from darkness into the light, translated from the kingdom of Satan over into the kingdom of His Son, whom He loves, in whom we have redemption and the forgiveness of sins.

Let us look at some of the fulfilled prophecies concerning this coming of the Messiah, the Christ, First of all, his place of birth. It is interesting that the skeptics, who come along and say who can believe all this fulfilled prophecy stuff. They would say, “It sounds like a fulfilled prophecy but I believe Jesus, who was obviously a student of scripture, and knew all the Messianic prophecies, so he just set out and kind of fulfilled them in his life.” I think somebody could do that, but it seems to me it would be hard to do that with your birth. Inasmuch as we can alleviate that line of argument as it relates to your birth, so we will see a prophecy that was written some 700 years before the birth of Christ by the prophet Micah.

Micah 5:2 (NASB)
2 “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will come forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His times of coming forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.”

So the prophecy was that out of this little town, Bethlehem, just a little suburb close to Jerusalem, a little tiny place, you blink, and you are through it, out of this town, the Messiah would be born. What was the fulfilment of that?

Matthew 2:6 (NASB)
6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah;
For from you will come forth a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”

He was not even taking the chance in the prophecy of saying there was another place called Bethlehem. No, he said “Bethlehem in Judea”.

Matthew 2:1-6 (NASB)
<sup<1< sup=””> Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2 “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” 3 ‘When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the [From Greek Christos, which means Messiah (Hebrew for Anointed One)] Messiah was to be born. 5 They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by [Micah] the prophet:</sup<1<>

6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah;
For from you will come forth a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”

So, you see a prophecy written some 700 years before the event by the prophet Micah, totally fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ as he was born in a manger, in a little cave, in the little town of Bethlehem. You would think the Messiah was coming, God with us, that he would at least have been born in Jerusalem center, if not in a palace. No, there was no room in the inn.

It shows us once again, the heart of God. Love, folks, must be demonstrated. God’s love and His character had to be demonstrated. I believe it was demonstrated from day one, born in a manger, born in a stable, of God’s attitude. Remember where it says, “Think not more highly than you ought.”

Romans 12:3 (NASB)
3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.

Philippians 2:5-8 (NASB)
5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, as He already existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself by taking the form of a bond-servant and being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death: death on a cross.

So we see in God, this unbelievable heart of mercy and of humility. I am glad we have got a God like that. Not only prophetically were we told the place of the promised Messiah’s birth, of the birth of Jesus, but in prophecy we are also told about His miraculous birth, which is that of being born of a virgin. Once again, the prophet Isaiah prophesied about that around 700 B.C.

Isaiah 7:14
14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the [young unmarried woman] virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and she will name Him [I.e., God is with us] Immanuel.

In other words, this is going to be a sign from the Lord Himself in regard to His Messiah, this one that was planned before the foundation of the earth. This one who was chosen before the creation of the world, to be the one who would come to die for the forgiveness of our sins, to reconcile us to Himself, not counting our sins against us, the provision of salvation. This one is going to be born from a virgin. So the Lord Himself will give you a sign, a virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and she will name Him Immanuel, meaning “God is with us”.

Now that is a thought. I am quite sure that when the prophet Isaiah would have written something like that, can you imagine writing something like that and showing it to your friends or some of your doctor friends? Would someone say, “this guy is out of his mind. Let us find a prophet we can stone.” The fact of it is, that was revealed by God that the Messiah had to be born of a virgin.

People say that is a theological issue, but again, I do not even call that a theological issue. When you stop to think about it for a moment. If Jesus had not been born of a virgin, he would have been born in Adam.

Romans 5:12
12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all mankind, because all sinned

1 Corinthians 15:22
22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

Our ancestry all goes back to Adam. I have a nose because Adam had a nose. I have got two ears because Adam had two ears. We were all born from Adam. We were all born as he became.

Genesis 5:3
3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth.

Though Adam and Eve were created, not born, in the image of God, when Adam and Eve had Seth, Seth was born in the image of Adam. So Adam and Eve were the only ones ever created in the image of God. They were a creation. When you and I are born again, as I spoke earlier, we are recreated spiritually in the image of God. But no man is born into this world through natural birth in the image of God. We are born by natural birth in the image of our forefather, Adam, dead spiritually.

1 Corinthians 15:45
45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”[Genesis 2:7]; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.

So, the virgin birth is not up for grabs. Jesus is called the last Adam, the only man ever born alive spiritually. Adam, the first man created alive spiritually. Jesus, the last Adam, the only an ever born alive spiritually. Fols, again that is why the virgin birth is not up for grabs. If Jesus had not been born of a virgin then he would have been born of natural means, as in Adam, dead just like all of us.

So the only one who could ever lay His life down for you and me is the one who has a life to lay down for you and me. The only one who ever had a life to lay down for you and me was Jesus Christ, the one who ever had one of those. So we can see that it is not being dogmatic, when Jesus said this.

John 14:6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

That is not being dogmatic. That is being truthful and realistic, just like 2 + 2 = 4. You can sit there and say that is dogmatic. It may be dogmatic, but it is also true.

1 John 5:12
12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

So if Jesus is the life and you have the Son, you have the life. There is only one reason. He is the only one who had a life to give to you and me. The virgin birth is not up for grabs.

Isaiah 7:14
14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the [young unmarried woman] virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and she will name Him [I.e., God is with us] Immanuel.

That was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, 700 years before Christ. That was fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ as recorded in Matthew 1:18-25.

Matthew 1:18-25
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah [Jesus Christ. Messiah (Hebrew) and Christ (Greek) both mean Anointed One] came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[Jesus is the Greek form of Joshua, which means the Lord saves.] because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[Isaiah 7:14] (which means “God with us”).

How many times did you and I hear that song sung at Christmas time, “They shall call His name Immanuel, God with us”. It never hit my head. It never registered in my mind that meant that God was with us. I always knew that Jesus was the Son of God. I have been told that. I never examined it. I never explored it. It never hit my heart but it certainly hit my head. With all my head, I believed it but I never had a clue as to what that meant. If someone asked, “Who is Jesus?”, I would say, “He is the Son of God”. “What does that mean?” I would say, “I do not know. I do not have a clue.” But to think he is the Son of God taking upon Himself our humanity, I never had a clue of that being true.

Of course, after coming to Christ as my Lord and Savior, I got into the book, and the first book I read was the gospel of John. When reading that gospel, reading those verses.

John 1:1
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.

So in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God. What did the Word do?

John 1:14
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us as the only begotten Son, of the Father, full of grace and truth. All of a sudden it clicked. The Word was God and the Lord God became flesh and dwelt among us as Jesus Christ, God with us, Immanuel.

Matthew 1:24-25
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Again, a prophecy fulfilled. Not only was the prophecy fulfilled as to His place of birth, being that of Bethlehem, but that He was going to be born of a virgin.

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