• The Encourager

God’s Perfect Plan for Our Salvation - December Edition

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet saying, 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. (Matthew 1:21-23)

As we approach this Christmas season, let us not forget the real reason for the season. Keep this in mind; it’s pretty bad to celebrate someone’s birthday and realize the guest of honor is not present. Yes, Christmas is a wonderful time for families to get together and share wonderful meals and exchange gifts. I hope we all have the opportunity to do that because I really look forward to my family being with me, but the celebration is really about the Savior of the world.

Matthew paints a very beautiful picture about the birth of Jesus. He starts off by saying… “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” (Matt: 1:18) Matthew is letting his readers know that the child was conceived supernaturally in Mary’s womb by the Holy Ghost. Jesus, the divine Son, was sent into the world from heaven by the Father. Therefore, Jesus Christ has two natures supernaturally united in Him: the earthly human nature and the eternal divine nature.

The name “Jesus” like the name “Joshua” means “the Lord saves,” or shortened means “he saves.” This is why the significance of the name Jesus is further explained, “For he shall save his people from their sins.”

This latter clarification was necessary because in the Old Testament the verb “to save” was most often used for physical deliverance--saved from enemies, disease, oppression, and death. However, “to save” is also used in the sense of salvation from sin. The Word from God makes it very clear - the salvation Jesus will bring will be a salvation from sin.

Emmanuel means God with us. What a consolation to know whatever betides us, the good or the bad, we are never alone. God is always there, through the thick and the thin. I remember when I was going through a very devastating time in my life, the Holy Spirit spoke these words to me, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” I’ve faced a lot of difficult things since then, but the Lord was always with me and sustained me in those difficult times.

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, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6). “Messiah becoming Man” - In this Scripture we have one of the most beautifully poetic promises of the Messiah’s coming reign. We recite this verse yearly as well as listen to it sung as we celebrate Christmas. Yet this verse also contains a reference to one of the great, incomprehensible truths in the Bible: the Incarnation— “a child is born, a son is given.”

God would become a man. A new born baby would be called “The mighty God” and “The everlasting Father.” We can accept that truth by faith, but we cannot fully grasp what it meant for the Second Person of the Godhead to shed His eternal state and put on flesh. But Paul tells us in Philippians 2:7-9 “But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name.”

All qualities of biblical manhood come full circle in the life of our Lord, Jesus Christ. The sum total of true biblical manhood rests in submission, an act of obedience to the will of God. Our Lord demonstrated this by His complete submission to the will of His Father in thought and deed. Man’s search for himself culminates in submission to his Creator. If he rejects this submission, he is separated from God and no longer experience the communication with Him that he was meant to have. A man finds his manhood not in self-sufficiency, but in total acceptance of self-insufficiency

in order that he may become more sufficient in God. Only in this way can the image and likeness of God be seen in man. The word “man” applies to “woman” as well.

Luke 2:11-14–For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

I know of no better way to end this message than with PRAISE (glorify, magnify, extol, making glorious by bestowing honor, praise and admiration). Psalm 150:1-6–Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with flute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals;

praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

This Christmas morning let us begin our day with a praise. When we begin to praise and worship God with a sincere heart, wonderful things will begin to happen. Just like the multitude of the heavenly host were with the angel, they will join in with us saying…Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. This peace can only be found in Jesus Christ! Merry Christmas to each of you! God Bless You and may Heaven smile upon you!

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