A CHRISTMAS/NEW YEARS MESSAGE
He Is Given, But Is He Received?
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given.”
This verse has a double meaning for us today. It says first a child is born, but it also says that a Son is given! We must understand first that Jesus is:
1. A child in His human nature.
2. He was born, begotten or given by God the Father, through the God the Holy Spirit, but He was born nevertheless through the Virgin Mary. In this way He is truly as human as you or I, born as a child just as any other man that ever walked the face of this earth.
But…. As Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah, God’s Son, He was not born or created or made. He has always been of one substance with the Father. Not born, but given; begotten of the Father. From before all things, He was, always has been and always shall be. He and the Father have always been ONE! This is what is known as the “Doctrine of Eternal Affiliation or Unity” and we must accept it as a mysterious fact if we are to make any sense of this text. A mystery to be sure, but it must be received as an undoubted truth of our religion.
Perhaps your minds like mine, sometimes whisper for an explanation? If this is so, you must be advised not to allow this whisper to grow into a demand. You see God offers no explanation for this mystery, and we are not to go any further there, because it is intended to remain among the deepest things of God, which even the angels do not even dare to look upon. And if the angels do not need an answer to this riddle, we should be happy to leave it alone as well. Leave just as it is then, a mystery totally beyond our ability to understand. HE WAS NOT BORN IN THIS WORLD AS GOD’S SON, BUT HE WAS SENT OR GIVEN AS A SON.
Now you see, a child was born, but a Son was also given.
I propose to present to you this afternoon three questions, and they are:
I. Is It True?
II. If It Is True, What Then?
III. If It Isn’t True To Me, What Then?
I. Is It So? Is it true that unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given?
A. Is this child born to us?
1. Do we have a personal interest in Him?
2. Do we know that He is our Savior?
3. Does He belong to us?
4. Do we belong to Him?
B. Perhaps we need a little help in understanding these questions before we can answer.
1. If this little child in a manger, wrapped in “swaddling clothes” before your eyes of faith is born to you personally, then you are “BORN AGAIN.”
2. This child can not be born to you unless you are first born to Him. In order for this to happen, you must be:
· Interested in this mystery
· See a need for His work in your life
· Trust that in God’s time and grace you will be changed into a renewed child of God
3. If anyone here says to me, that Christ is his savior, even though he has never experience the “Re-birth,” then I must tell you that you are talking about something you really know nothing about. But…
4. If you ask “How am I to know if I am born again or not?” Answer this:
· Has there been a change inside of your heart and mind by God’s grace? What I mean is have your desires and wants changed?
· Are your loves different? Are they the opposite of what they were before?
· Do you hate the things you use to look forward to?
· Do you seek after the precious things of God, that before you had not time to waste on?
· Can you say truly that your heart has changed?
5. Let me put it another way; has there been a change in your exterior? Do others look at you and say, this person in not what he use to be? Do your friends notice a change?
· There must be a change outside if you have been changed on the inside.
· The proof of a Christian life is in the Christian living.
· To others, it does not matter what you feel, but what you do!
6. Another question:
· If you have been “born again,” if you are a new tree that will bare good fruit, has there been a change in your root?
· Are you living for God or for yourself?
GRACE CHANGES THE WHOLE MAN, NOT JUST THE INSIDE AND NOT JUST THE OUTSIDE!
7. But you may ask: “Why must I be born again?”
· Flesh cannot inherit the Spirit.
· Only a new spirit can have the “Holy Spirit”
· Man, by nature, can only look down and see the things of this world. But you know in your heart that there is more than your self. We all know!
· We must look up and ask to be allowed to see the things above us, then through the Spirit you will see, because you will be a new spirit also!
C. Now let’s take the second part of the sentence and put some questions to it:
1. Is this Son given to us?
· We must all ask this important question. Is He given to me?
2. If this Son is given to you, then you are a son or daughter, yourself.
· “For unto as many as received Him to them he gave the power to become son’s of God.”
· “Christ became a Son that in all things He might be made like unto His brethren.”
3. We cannot enjoy God’s love unless:
· We are sons and daughters though “The Son.”
4. Do you have a “child like” love for God? Do you trust Him like a child as a:
D. Let’s look at it from another angel. If unto us a Son is given, then we are also given to the Son.
1. Are you given to the Son? Have you given Him your whole self, your time, talent and treasures?
2. Do you feel that you have nothing on earth to live for but Him?
1. If unto me a child is born, then I am born again.
2. And, I am now living that new birth as a child of God.
3. If a Son has been given to me then I am a son.
4. And, I am given to the Son as He is given to me.
II. If This Is True, What Now?
A. If it is true, why you may ask are you doubtful today? Why do you question? Why can’t you live with what you believe?
1. If the Son is given to you, as I have proven, why are you even wondering if you are His or not?
2. Are you working For Him to make your calling clear to yourself and others?
· Get up O sleeper, climb the mountain of God with joy and a song in your heart. The climbing may be hard at times, and you may stumble and fall, but God has already guaranteed you will make it to the top. So climb on and enjoy the view!
B. Never rest until you can sing without fear, “I know that my redeemer lives!”
· He can keep those who have committed themselves to Him!
III. If It Isn’t True To Me, What Then?
A. Do not rest until you know that Christ is yours and that you are His. Let this question haunt you and hound you until you can’t stand it any longer. Then throw yourself at His feet and surrender your struggle to Him!
Suppose you read tomorrows News Paper and you discover that a rich man had died and he left all that he owned to you. The paper listed your name and your description and asked that anyone having information concerning you report it to a lawyer who was handling the estate. If you had that phone number of the lawyer, and you felt that it must be you that everyone was looking for, wouldn’t you call the number, even if you had some doubts or fears? Of course you would!
God is that rich man. His riches were given to Jesus Christ, who has died for you and arranged it so that you could inherit the very riches of Heaven! All you have to do is call the Master in prayer, and it is all yours.
B. You have choices available to you, but so does God. He has chosen to give you the riches of His kingdom. So the question I pose to you is really two parts:
1. Will you accept His gift of riches and wealth and allow it to transfer to you? Or..
2. Will you reject His gift of blessings along with the joy of transformation and continue to live a life of worry, anxiety and fear?
C. Are you happy with your life? Are you happy with the continual question “Does God love me? Is God angry with me?” Can you really ever find peace as long as these questions remain unanswered? Are you condemned in your sin or justified by grace through faith in the Son?
I would imagine most everyone in this building today has been addressed by our text. I would also imagine that everyone here has also considered the close of another year in just one more day. This is the last Sunday of 2001. Yes friends, the hours of this year are quickly running out. Those of us who have reached or passed middle life will look back on life and maybe say with the Psalmist, “It went by, and lo, it was gone; I looked for it but its place was nowhere to be found.” It seems like only yesterday when we said good-bye to 2000, yet since then how much has taken place!
Certainly we have seen a year of anxieties, worry and fear! Can any of us forget 911, September 11th ? Do you think that at the end of 2000, those poor souls could have imagined what would be their future? Do you think that on September 11th those poor souls in the Twin Towers, The Pentagon, or the three planes were prepared for their death? Do you think that possibly when they discovered their death was certain, they may have had regrets?
It is also certain that many who we called friends or family last year at this time are also not here with us this year. They have since gone into the presence of the Eternal Judge. And it is also certain that those alive today will not be alive tomorrow, and some of us who pray and worship here today may not be present at the close of 2002. which one of us will it be? We can not know, but we all must eventually face this question:
What is my actual relationship to Him, who for the love of me was conceived of the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, and for me He suffered under Pontius Pilot, was crucified, died and was resurrected for my sins that I may rise and live with and for Him.
I pray that you would find the answer to this question now, before it is to late to receive the Son given in love to you! May God grant this to be so through Christ Jesus…AMEN!