The Glory Has Departed


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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Midweek Advent Service, December 10, 2014.
The Incarnation


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson


Bethany Lutheran Worship, 7 PM Central Standard

The Hymn # 552                 Abide with Me            2:11
The Order of Vespers                                             p. 41
The Psalmody                   Psalm 92                    p. 143
The Lection                          

The Sermon Hymn #645            Behold a Branch            2:2

The Sermon – The Incarnation - God in Man

The Prayers
The Lord’s Prayer
The Collect for Grace                                            p. 45
 The Hymn # 558     All Praise to Thee               2.9

Isaiah 7:10 Moreover the Lord spake again unto Ahaz, saying,
11 Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.
12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord.
13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?
14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 9:2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.
For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.
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, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lordof hosts will perform this.


The Incarnation - God in Man

The Christian Faith has many unique characteristics. For instance, no other religion teaches salvation by grace instead of works. It is the only religion where God gives to man - rather than man giving to God. Those who hear the Gospel and believe in Christ receive forgiveness through faith, the Gospel and faith given in grace and received in thanksgiving.

But there is another unique characteristic that has been under attack for the last 200 years. The effort was limited and isolated at first, but it has grown so much that man Christian congregations imitate it to be cool. They portray Jesus as simply a man. They show Him as "Buddy Jesus" with His thumbs up and mock Him in various ways. One LCMS pastor played the role of Jesus in the Lord's Supper and appeared to be drunk or stoned. I linked the video at that time.

The Christian Faith teaches Jesus as both God and man, which we call the Incarnation because God took on flesh when Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit by the Virgin Mary. The Son of God existed in eternity but He assumed human form, neither giving up His divinity nor mixing His humanity with His divinity. He is completely human and completely divine, His divine nature never limited by His human nature.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

This is a double message of the Incarnation. The Virgin Birth is unique and clearly taught, with many supporting passages. The Virgin Birth reveals how Jesus could be both God and man. In His human nature He could be tempted, but because of His divine nature, He did not sin. 

It is a double message because of His Name - Immanuel. The Hebrew word means God with us. None of the world religions are historical - they do not care about the facts of history. They have dozens or millions of deities, but there is no other religion that reveals a man in history being God Incarnate. 

True Judaism is really the first stage or foundation of Christianity, so the historical nature of the Old Testament established all the Promises of the coming Messiah. 

Notice that Isaiah 7:14 was never attacked until recently (1950s), when the National Council (of Left-Wing) Churches translated the RSV and removed the Virgin Birth. Why so bold? They knew that attacking the central doctrine of Christ would serve their political interests well. The assault has continued ever since, and they have opened many different places to attack, but they all go back to God in man made manifest.

There is always someone who will say, Isaiah did not really mean that. Therefore, God has given us many supporting passages, especially Isaiah 9

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, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lordof hosts will perform this.
Many parts of this description, this revelation, are revelations of the Incarnation. As you know, the teachings of Christianity are mysteries revealed by the Holy Spirit. God patiently teaches us through the inerrant Word.
This is the Gospel Promise of a Son. He is a little baby being born, but the entire government will be upon Him. This is not the government of the tiny nation of Israel, but the entire world. Israel ceased to exist for the longest time - it did not grow constantly and persistently, without bounds. The Christian Faith did.
No government is endless, but Christianity has no end. "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My Word will not pass away."
This Kingdom will have judgment (Law) and justice (justification by faith, Gospel) as established by Christ.
Moreover, this Son is called Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. This can only be Jesus, as the little children say about Isaiah 53, the key Gospel passage of the entire Old Testament (also revised out of existence by the Left).
So we can see these two passage alone establish the divinity of the Messiah, which was so strange to Jewish people. So also was the atonement in Isaiah 53, equally alien.
And we can see God's wisdom in introducing these powerful Promises about the Son in various parts and various ways so we can appreciate them.