JESUS CHRIST IS OUR MIGHTY GOD
A SERMON DELIVERED AT
THE FEDERATED CHURCH OF ATHENS
7 DECEMBER 1997
The mystery and the simplicity of the Trinity is rolled up in Isaiah's description of our Messiah, Jesus Christ (9:6-7)
6. For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
7. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.
The Power of our Mighty God, the Lord of hosts has accomplished this.
By the Holy Spirit, Mary conceived (Luke 1:35).
And this Child was born to us, this Son was given to us, that He might rule over us forever and ever.
Now, He always is Mighty God, and His kingship is forever, but His rule over us, is only if we allow it, and submit to His authority.
In this is the mystery, and the simplicity, all rolled into one.
Can you imagine holding our Mighty God in our own arms?
But we all know what it's like to hold a baby in our arms.
It's only in Jesus Christ that we have both the dependency of a baby, and the all encompassing power of our Mighty God.
For our part, we need to hold the Lord in our arms, close to our heart; in fact, so closely that we become as one.
And as we do this the fullness of our Mighty God comes upon us.
When someone brings a little baby into church, a lot of us make a fuss over him or her, don't we?
This is the way we should be with the Lord, too.
And this may be one the reason that God decided to have His Son born unto us, rather than just having Him come to us as an adult.
He wanted us to make a fuss over Him, too, and to love Him, and to hold Him close to us, and to care about Him, just as we should do for our own children.
We all too often think of our Lord only as an unapproachable Mighty God, with the power to squash us if He doesn't like what we do.
And because of this, we pretend He doesn't exist, or that He doesn't see or hear what we do or say.
So what do we do?
We substitute the free love gift of God's Son, in whom is eternal life (John 3:16), with a make-believe gift giving Santa, whose chain of retail stores takes our money.
This isn't the way to be a Christian.
This isn't the way to celebrate Jesus Christ's birthday.
We need to go back to the basics.
In the simple wisdom that allows us to know that a little baby depends upon us to do his or her will, so the Lord depends upon us to do His will, and His mighty works here upon the earth.
This is the type of gift giving we should be doing.
Just as our Mighty God came to us a baby, so we are to see ourselves in the dual roll of loving parent and a dependent child.
We need to hold the Lord in our arms just as much as we need to have Him hold us in His arms.
And we can do both at the same time.
But, for the most part, people just don't do this.
They go off in every direction but to our Mighty God, and as a result they get themselves in a lot of trouble.
That's what happened to Israel, but this problem is still occurring today.
Note what Isaiah says in 10 :20-23 .
20. Now it will come about in that day that the remnant of Israel, and those of the house of Jacob who have escaped, will never again rely on the one who struck them, but will truly rely on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.
Israel was not listening to the Lord.
She was seeking her advice from other sources, just as people do today when they follow their horoscopes, or any other foolish thing.
And what the Lord is saying through Isaiah is that they will fall, not by the hand of the Lord, but from the ungodly sources that they are following.
And from that experience, which destroyed almost all of Israel, only a remnant returned to follow the Lord with a pure heart.
But this need not have happened, if they followed the Lord in the first place.
21. A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God.
22. For though your people, O Israel, may be like the sand of the sea,Only a remnant within them will return; A destruction is determined, overflowing with righteousness.
God is righteous, and evil cannot exist in His presence; thus, the evil and those who abide in it are destroyed by God's righteousness .
23 . For a complete destruction, one that is decreed, the Lord God of hosts will execute in the midst of the whole land.
But as I said, it need not have happened.
And we are heading in the same direction, today.
I see it, just as Isaiah saw it in his day, and I feel powerless to do anything about it, just as I imagine Isaiah felt.
But we have a Mighty God who can protect us from all this, if we're willing to let Him do so.
We need to seek Him while things are still relatively good, as they are today, that there is still time to make a difference.
Jesus came the first time as an infant, that we might more easily relate to the Lord our God.
When He comes again, His righteousness will once again destroy the unbelievers, just as a piece of paper cannot exist in the midst of a fire.
But if we have picked up the Babe, and held Him close to our heart and soul, and have made Him Lord of our life, we have also become fireproof, so to speak.
Let's look at this another way.
Our God is so mighty, so holy, and so righteous, that if anyone with a sinful nature approaches Him, that person dies.
It's not God who reaches out and kills, but it's the evil approaching the righteousness that kills the evil, just as darkness is destroyed when it enters the realm of light.
It's quite well understood that darkness is the absence of light. Where there is no light, there is darkness.
And we can easily understand that where there is light, darkness cannot exist.
Than why is it, that so many people find it so hard to understand that this same kind of relationship exists between our Mighty God's righteousness, and the evil of this world.
Why are so many people running after the evil ways of the world, instead of the righteous ways of God?
To me, this is even less understandable, when we consider that our Mighty God gave us a way of approaching Him, even a way of touching Him, through His Son, Jesus Christ.
And what kind of a Son?
A Son who came to us as a baby, a baby that everyone should want to touch and hold in their arms, and cuddle.
This is the Son of Righteousness, who takes away our sins, that no one should fear except those who are unwilling to repent of their sins.
Listen to what we are told in Romans 3:21-26.
21. But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,
22. even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;
23. for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24. being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
25. whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;
26. for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
This is our personal Christmas gift.
Just think about it!
God, all mighty, and all righteous, humbled Himself in the form of man, even as a baby, that through our faith in Him, we have our sins taken away.
And He is coming again.
But we won't be accepted by Him the second time, if we haven't accepted Him at His first coming.
It time for all of us to stop playing the Christmas game, and begin accepting the Christ of Christmas.
It's time we fully accept God's love for us.
What love our mighty and righteous God has for us, by giving us His Son!
What Child is this?
Your Comments are welcome
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