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Faithlife

Matt 1_23 Immanuel Christmas Sermon

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Secular:

  •  Immanuel – God with us
  • We were created by a God of relationship… for relationship
  • To take care of one another
  • To touch… to love…
  • For conversation… support, encouragement….
  • Babies in the Hospital experiment
  • Test the effect of human contact
  • Had to stop on ethical grounds
  •  The effect was too harmful
    • Death
    • Sickness
    • Lethargy
  • We have been created for relationship… not distant or through glass…. True intimate relationship… with each other…
  • And especially with God

 

Biblical:

The Birth of Jesus Christ

Mt 1:18 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. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 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. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23   “ Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

    and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

Personal:

  •  We were created by a God of relationship… for relationship
  • Genesis 3 after the 1st man and woman had been created… even as they have just sinned…. There is an intimate sense to the presence of God in the garden… “walking in the cool of the day”.
  • Causal presence…
  • Remember the very God who created us in his image is in himself a perfect relationship….
  • The trinity is perfect relationship….
  • Father… Son… Spirit in a perfect intimate relationship for all eternity…
  • Because we are created in his image we share a desire for relationship.
  • Relationship is what we were created for…
  • Divorce, Death, Separation, empty nest syndrome…. All hurt because of the relationship dynamic
  •  We have been created by the God of perfect relationship to be in relationship….
  • And we have been specifically created to be in relationship with Him!
  • That’s what I am created for…. To Glorify Him and enjoy Him forever!

Bridge:

  • Sometimes we miss the intimacy of the tile Immanuel!
  • God’s promise is from the foundation of history!
  • He has never wanted us to be apart from him… NEVER!
  • From History… through the Promsie… to Now…. And for forever….
  • God intends to be Immanuel….
  • We were created by a God of relationship… for relationship
  • That’s what I am created for…. To Glorify Him and enjoy Him forever!

Body:

“God with us”- in History

  • It is his idea!
  • In creation… he created us in his image to be in relationship to him…
  • With Abraham God confirms this desire…
  • Gen 17:8 And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”
  • “Their God” not a distant deity or a piece of wood…
  • But the God who walked in the garden in the cool of the day!
  • And when He raised up Moses to lead them out of captivity….
  • He provided for them… preserved them…
  • Ex 13:21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. 22 The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.
  • He went with them….
  • He dealt in their temple…
  • He championed them in their battles…
  • Cared for his people…
  • Over and over and over again….
  • So many times his prophets cried out… come back…
  • It was not God who abandoned his people… it was his people who walked away from Him…
  • We were created by a God of relationship… for relationship
  • That’s what I am created for…. To Glorify Him and enjoy Him forever!

 “God with us” the promise…

  • God’s desire for intimate relationship with the pinnacle of his creation… humankind…. His image bearers
  • Given a choice to follow God…. Even to demand his own sign of God Ahaz choose instead to pursue a relationship with a foreign power.
  • Foreign power, Assyria, versus the personal Creator God, Yahweh, would had been with his children at every step!
  • God said despite the fact you choose to walk away! I will provide a sign…. And this sign will not only be for you but for the House of David…
  • Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
  • Despite the fact Ahaz’s choice and the sin of Israel and Judah would bring great pain to the land… God would not walk away from his promise to be God with us!
  • Despite the ravages of war and the subsequent exile…
  • God does not fail in relationship! People do!
  •  God promise through Isaiah resurfaces in 9:6
  • Isaiah 9:6  For to us a child is born,   to us a son is given;  and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and of peace  there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it  with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
  •  God’s promise is a Messiah… and intimate messenger of God… A dynamic…
  • You know the line “He just doesn’t want to work on our relationship”
  • No one could ever accuse God…
  • Repeatedly through History he shows he is intimately invested…. forever
  • We continued to walk away…
  • God was not satisfied to see us go! (This is an interesting response to the world’s where is God)
  • It brings glory to God to love the unlovable, redeem the unredeemable, to welcome home the wayward
  •  Isaiah goes on with the promise in Isaiah 11… speaking to the Branch of Jesse… again the promised Messiah of God.
  • The promise takes a form that really shows God’s heart to be in relationship with his children!
  •  Jeremiah 31:33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  
  • God is committed! God continues to “work” on the relationship… (greatest frustration in counselling… when one partner isn’t working and they wonder why it fails…. It is a lack of investment).
  •  We were created by a God of relationship… for relationship
  • That’s what I am created for…. To Glorify Him and enjoy Him forever!

God with us… Now

  •  Both Mary and Joseph belonged to the house of David.
  • The Old Testament prophecies indicated that the Messiah would be born of a woman (Gen. 3:15), of the seed of Abraham (Gen. 22:18), through the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10), and of the family of David (2 Sam. 7:12–13).
  • Matthew’s genealogy traced the line through Solomon
  • Luke’s traced it through Nathan, another one of David’s sons.
  • It is worth noting that Jesus Christ is the only Jew alive who can actually prove His claims to the throne of David! All of the other records were destroyed when the Romans took Jerusalem in a.d. 70.
  •  Jesus is the promise of relationship fulfilled and personified!
  • Jesus is the Messiah… Immanuel!
  • In a very intentional way God again shows his intimate presence to redeem his children…. To be in relationship to bring glory to his name!
  • Mt 1:18 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. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 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. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23   “ Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

    and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

  • Jesus came to fulfill God’s promise of Immanuel….
  • Fulfilling the promise of Jer 31:33 through the cross and promised Holy Spirit of God.
  • Immanuel was present in manger… Immanuel was present in the temple at twelve… Immanuel preached all around the Sea of Galilee, Immanuel broke bread with his disciples… Innamuel faced Pilate… Immanuel was beaten and crucified…. Immanuel died…. Immanuel was buried… God with us rose from the dead…. God with us has “put my law within us, and He has written it on our hearts. And He will be their God, and we shall be his people.”
  •   We were created by a God of relationship… for relationship
  • That’s what I am created for…. To Glorify Him and enjoy Him forever!
  •  It just isn’t for a moment but for life….

God with us For life…

  • Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
  •  God doesn’t bring us into relationship…. Through us on the hook that hold a catch of fish and drop us alongside he boat!
  • This si an intimate on going… Spirit-empowered…. God-glorifying relationship!!
  • We were created by a God of relationship… for relationship
  • That’s what I am created for…. To Glorify Him and enjoy Him forever!

God with us forever

  • This doesn’t end!
  •  Psalm 23:6  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me  all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Immanuel for eternity!
  • John 14:1  “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. – Immanuel in Eternity
  • We were created by a God of relationship… for relationship
  • That’s what I am created for…. To Glorify Him and enjoy Him forever!

Conclusion:

  • Immanuel –
    • In how we were created…
      • God of relationship
    • The very promise  of God
      • An steadfast word!
    • A very present promise!
      • An intimate promise for now!
    • A promise for life
      • Not distant intimate
    • A promise forever
    • To glorify and reveal in Christ forever!
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