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December 21, 2020 1:00 am
At Christmas we celebrate much more than gifts and good cheer. Believers in Jesus know He came into a world of woe. Born in a humble stable, this baby grew up to be the Savior of the world.Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
Lawrence Jesus on Christmas we celebrate much more gifts and good cheer believers in Jesus. No became a world of will.
Born in a humble stable this baby grew up to be the Savior of the world from the Moody Church in Chicago. This is running to win with Dr. Sir where teaching sauce make brass finish insert today's messages he was not of this world what you mean by this. What you know Dave, we can understand this in two different senses on the one hand, he came from heaven, so he was not in this world, but the other way that we can understand it is even though he was in the world. He was, not of the world. If we define the world as sinful. That's what the Bible says should be true of us as well in the world but not of the world that our Savior is even different. He came from heaven.
Now before we go to the pulpit of Moody church and talk about Jesus, I want to ask you a very strange question that you probably did not expect on running to win. Have you ever heard the bombardier beetle is so pastoralists are why do you raise that? Well, at the end of this broadcast will tell you why, but for now let's concentrate on the word of God and our understanding of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And aren't you glad he came about a year ago a clergyman was asked on national television what the meaning of Christmas was and he said Christmas is about a baby. He said just baby baby that is touched the lives of so many people babies are loved by everyone and they touch the world and he never got any deeper than that. That was about it. What Christmas is about a baby but what a baby. What a baby today were going to look at the incarnation, the coming of Jesus Christ from heaven. He is the baby who changed the world and he is the baby who came from heaven to earth, went back to heaven and is coming again. What a baby. What were going to learn in the process is first of all a lesson in humility and that I think is going to touch us very deeply, but also a lesson of great hope because we live in a time when there seems to be a real scarcity of hope scarcity internationally nationally personally the world is broken and what we need is hope and today, that baby shall give us that hope the passage of Scripture. I want you to turn to is the second chapter the book of Philippians Philippians chapter 2 and if you happen to have forgotten your Bible today by some interesting quirk of forgetfulness. It's probably found there on about page 857 no actually I have my Bible in Luke chapter 2 where I was reading. And so what I need to do is to find it in the book of Philippians which I can do. I think it is.
Page 981, 981 in the Bible that is in the seat in front of you an awesome passage and today what were going to do is were going to jump into the deep end of the swimming pool we are going to wade in some deep waters.
We won't understand that all possibly. But in the end were going to end up worshiping praising and thanking God for Jesus thanking God for that baby now would like to do is to give you a brief outline of the career of Jesus here in the next few moments. All wrapped up in these verses, and that the apostle Paul says in Philippians chapter 2 verse three do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only on his own interests, but also in the interest of others, have this mind in yourselves which was in Christ Jesus.
That's the way in which he sets this up. So what I'd like to do is to begin today, reminding us of where Jesus began. Where was he before he arrived on earth in Bethlehem. Notice your text is open. It says, Jesus Christ, who, though he was in the form of God did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant and being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross just that far for the moment.
Where did Jesus begin the apostle Paul says, who, being in the form of God, not we use the word form differently today. The Greek word is more Faye and it really means. The essence of the actual reality of being God.
Jesus has always been God from all of eternity.
He and the father share completely in all the attributes of deity is equal to the father in every respect.
He is God.
Remember Jesus Christ actually is God.
He's not just applying for the job and if you asked the question what was it like for Jesus before he arrived on earth.
We have a good picture of that in Isaiah chapter 6 that you remember where the prophet Isaiah was looking and he says in the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, and his robe filled the temple. And then he goes on to say that the seraphim were surrounding him and singing, holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, the whole earth is filled with his own. You say that was Yahweh that was Jehovah that was on the throne, yes, but you know that the New Testament in the 12th chapter of the book of John. John is writing about Jesus and the experience that Isaiah had and said that Isaiah rose have his glory, the glory of Jesus Christ. So can you even imagine where Jesus came from the King of glory, honor, given worship King of Kings and Lord of lords.
That's where he began, but let's look now at where Jesus Christ came and in order for us to understand this. You'll notice that the apostle Paul says he did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped the idea there is that equality was not something that he hung on to in this sense that he did not insist on his prerogatives of deity. He said, in effect, I'm not going to insist on my rights. I have a right to heaven. I have a right to stay here, but I'm not going to grasp that as if I cannot let go not have the attributes of God that would be impossible for Jesus to do but what Jesus did was he surrendered himself to the will of the father to do the work of the father so that you and I would be redeemed.
What is it that Jesus Christ is referring to. He's saying I'm not going insist on my rights, I am willing to come down to earth. Now what the apostle Paul does is he gives us four steps in the ladder of dissent that Jesus took from heaven to earth.
Let's look at them. They are all here in the text.
First of all, it says here in verse seven he made himself nothing. The Greek text actually says that he emptied himself, he emptied himself come lately of what did he emptied himself the divine attributes. As I mentioned, that would be impossible because God cannot possibly somehow empty himself of this attribute, but when Jesus emptied himself was his divine glory that he had with the father. In fact, in the 17th chapter of John before he ascends into heaven. He says these words glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory that I had with me before the world was now his glory was veiled when he was here on earth. Sometimes that glory broke out is on the Mount of Transfiguration, but he says in effect, I'm willing to be cursed. I'm willing to be spat upon. I am not going to insist on my rights as deity and so he gave up his glory.
He also gave up his independent use of his attributes. You know I give this illustration often because it's the best one I have. Let us suppose that you are a millionaire for some of you for all of us for most of us that's a supposition for a few of you, it might actually apply but let us suppose that we had $1 million and we were millionaires and and yet we decided to keep the money in the bank and we would live as the poorest people in Chicago and we go to work with them and we ride the L with them and we would simply be with them. Now consider that at any time.
We could still write a check and we could use our money, but we choose not to be led aside in the very same way Jesus had all the attributes of deity, but he referred to them not for the most part, living completely and totally as a man. I mean, here he is, he has the attributes. For example, of omnipresence and the attribute of omnipotence. He can do whatever he likes and yet see him there, seated on the well Jacob's well and the Bible says Jesus being wearied with his journey, sat on the well, the son of God wearied with his journey. Jesus knew all things in terms of his attributes of omniscience. And yet at the same time, there were times when he limited what he knew what he said was I'm going to live as a man in dependence upon the father in dependence, not independent but rather in total dependence of the father and I'm going to live like a man so Jesus here.
The Bible says, he emptied himself, and he gave up his right. That and the prerogatives of deity and not only that now the second step down is he took the form of a servant. Now notice this carefully. He had the form of God, he was in the form of God, but now he's in the form of a servant, and that means that the actual essence of God, yes, but also the actual essence of a servant. He was both. He was the God man.
And when Jesus partook of humanity there in Bethlehem when he was conceived in the womb of Mary Jesus Christ as soon humanity and the Bible says this man continues for ever. And he has an unchangeable priesthood and someday you and I will actually see his physical form that looks like a human being a glorified human being to be sure, but there will be Jesus, and will be reminded of the incarnation, look at this.
He took upon himself the form of a servant can I remind you that he didn't have to do this. It wasn't because there was a restructuring in heaven. It wasn't because Jesus was squeezed out of a job. It wasn't because this is the very best opportunity. He had and he had to take whatever he got know he was God and he voluntarily laid aside all things so that he could be a servant in the Bible says that Jesus Christ came not to be served but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many. Jesus became a servant. How countercultural is that you and I want to hang onto our positions until our knuckles turn white. If you ever asked someone to to reduce their position or to take a lesser role you try that sometime and see what happened. See what happens. It is so contrary to who we are as individuals.
What we continue on and there's 1/3 wrong and that is he's the Bible says in the likeness of men. In fact, some translations would say in the likeness of sinful man.
Not in the form of sinful man to be sure, but the likeness of sinful man, Jesus Christ came now and he's going to endure everything that you and I have had to were talking about thirst and hunger, and rejection and anger directed toward him and false accusations, even to the point of death, as we shall see in a moment, so Jesus Christ comes in the likeness of man and he was actually a man 100% of man he was a man completely, but he wasn't just a man.
He was the God man. He was in some alien from outer space that happened to come into the world. He was actually God of very God and man of very man. The councils of the Christian church proved as they were wrestling through the text of Scripture that Jesus had to be completely both God and man. And then you have the final rung here it says even to the point of death, being cunning, obedient, verse eight, even to the point of death. Death on the cross. Notice it doesn't say Jesus became obedient until it became really difficult.
It doesn't say that Jesus became obedient until Gethsemane and then as he became identified with sin. He decided to back away.
It doesn't say that Jesus Christ became obedient until he was asked to carry his cross. Or he became obedient until the disciples forsook him and fled and he simply could not stand the loneliness. That's not what the text says he became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross and you know that the Jews when they executed somebody it was by stoning. It was the Romans who crucified and here Jesus Christ is crucified, and what does the Old Testament say the apostle Paul in the book of Galatians clarifies that he says Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law, for it is written curse. It is anyone who hangs on a tree.
Jesus endured our curse so that we could experience his blessing and there is Jesus obedient to the father.
I have a distinct feeling in my heart that I've not painted the picture of his dissent well enough and really it Be painted well enough so let's just think about it.
What were talking about is the dissent from heaven to earth from master to servant from glory to shame from life to death.
Jesus came that far, no man has ever stoop that low. No one is able to understand the depths to which he came, considering the glorious, from which he began.
That's the story of Jesus and the story of his remarkable obedience to do the will of God.
So now you have Jesus dying on the cross and now I pick it up in verse nine, the apostle Paul's says therefore God has highly exalted him, and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of the glory of God the father.
Notice God has highly exalted him, just spend a moment imagining what it was like for Jesus Christ to ascend into heaven, from the Mount of olives and we can imagine the welcome he received. I mean, in heaven, everybody knows who he is obviously on earth he had to show his ID on earth.
He had to be pushed around shop then yelled at and here he is King of Kings and perhaps we get a glimpse of this in one of the Psalms where it says lift up your heads oh gates and be lifted up, oh ancient doors and the King of glory so that he may come in who is the King of glory the Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle, lift up your heads oh gates. You can imagine the welcome that Jesus received having please the father having done the father's will when he ascended into heaven, will my friend, this is Pastor Luther and I hope that you picked up on the excitement in my voice as I talk about Jesus Christ and his sovereignty and his ascension into heaven, and of course during this Christmas season. We emphasize his birth, but let's remember.
He is also the creator is the creator of heaven and earth at the beginning of this broadcast. I brought up the subject of the bombardier beetle. Years ago I studied this beetle because it is an interesting insect.
It has two different compartments with different chemicals when those chemicals come together, they explode through a tube at 212°F. Boiling.
How do these chemicals live together in this little beetle while they not only have separate compartments but also you must understand that there is an inhibitor that keeps them from exploding at the wrong time. Now if you were reading the book which we are offering and this is one of the last times were going to have the privilege to offer it. It's a book entitled a closer look at the evidence, it has a reading for every single day of the year and on November 5, you would have a one page summary of the bombardier beetle and you have a colored picture that just gives you an example of this exciting book for gift of any amount. It can be yours. Here is what you do go to RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 time now for another chance for you to ask Pastor Luther a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Many believers are like those in Ephesus. Those Jesus said, have lost their first love, Joyce and Westminster, Maryland listens to us on one place.com.
Here is her story. I work in an office full of people who profess they know Christ as Savior.
They've been Christians far longer than I have, which is many years. However, when I try to discuss the joy of the rapture or the amazing fact that Christians immediately go to be with the Lord it death. I get very negative responses they say well I want to stay here and keep living a while longer, at least through the weekend is a start and on and on it goes. One thing they said that makes me question if these people are true Christians. Is this well. The older I get, now 60, the less I want to go out of this world. And out of this life. Dr. lutes, or is it possible or perhaps your opinion that none of these professing believers I work with are truly saved by grace. I ask because their abrupt responses about the rapture cause me to feel sad for them and to question their salvation. Am I just being overly critical. Ultimately you have to answer that question for yourself as to whether or not you are being overly critical, but from what you've written. I would say that these are not believers. I can't imagine a believer who isn't willing to discuss the return of Jesus and to look forward to that return. The apostle Paul says that there is the crown of righteousness that is given to me and not to me only, but unto all those also who love his appearing.
Now, having said that, there is a difference of opinion as to when the rapture occurs whether it occurs before the tribulation or after the tribulation, but the fact is looking forward to the return of Jesus is really proof of salvation. Peter I think says in chapter 1 of first Peter the Bible says that even though we have not seen him. We love him that occurs nowhere else.
You never really love someone whom you haven't seen or you haven't met in the case of Jesus that we haven't seen him. We have met him, and God births within our heart, a love for him. So if you come across someone who says that I'm a Christian and then they are indifferent to Jesus. I doubt whether or not they are truly born again so I think your responsibility is to live the Christian life as God gives you opportunity individually one-on-one. Don't do it publicly because it will turn people off one on one share what Jesus Christ has done in your life with these people take them out for lunch. Have them over and help them to understand the true Christians love Jesus and look forward to his return. Some wise counsel for Joyce from Dr. Erwin lutes or thank you Dr. lutes are if you'd like to hear your question answered. Go to our firstname.lastname@example.org and click on ask Pastor Luther or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 so why do believers celebrate Christmas. It's because Jesus renounced the glories of heaven to fulfill the father's will. He became a man and died for his sinful human race.
Next time more on a man who was not this world for Dr. Erwin loser this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the teacher