By Jimmy Tuten
1. In the early ’60s Prime Minister Harold McMillan of England said: “The winds of change are blowing across the face of the earth.” How right he was!
a. It is staggering to pause and contemplate the changes that have taken place in our generation. All the changes in generations past fade into insignificance when compared to those that have taken place in this ,century in which we live.
b. Everything about us changes; only change itself is unchanging. Truly “the changelessness of change” is ever before us.
2. There are some things that never change: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yea and forever” (Heb. 13:8). Our Lord never changes! Yet, in this rapid-moving world, faith in God, faith in his Son Jesus Christ, and faith in the inspiration of the Bible and loyalty to the church of our Lord are no longer points of permanence in the minds of modern man.
a. How refreshing, how like a drink of cool water in the heat of the day are these words, “Jesus Christ, the same.”
b. The kingdoms of this world have come and gone, but Jesus is the same. From eternities of old he has gazed in eternal majesty upon the efforts of men to lift themselves up, only to mark their fall by his eternal wisdom.
c. Tons of earthly surface through the ages have been washed from the hills to fill the valleys. Rock have been eaten away by the elements of nature, but our Lord changes not.
3. “Jesus is the same yesterday. ” How far back does that take us?
a. Back before the seas or mountains, before the first sunrise, or the first bird raised its voice in melodious harmony, Jesus was there.
b. He stands in the midst of eternity and grasps the past and the future to weld them together into an everlasting span. He precedes history, for he is eternal (Jn. 5:58).
4. Yet, the historical Christ is the greatest fact of all time. The Christ of yesterday is our Lord and Savior today.
a. But before he could meet our problems, direct our lives and plead our case with Jehovah, he was “born after the flesh” (Gal. 4:4,23-24).
b. Hence our subject: “Mary’s Child, God’s Son” (Lk. 1:31; Jn. 1:1).
5. How natural it is to love a baby. But the baby Jesus is the only one ever loved more than any other, even our own.
I. Less we in thoughtlessness lose sight of the significance of Christ’s birth, we need to consider the words of the prophet Isaiah (Isa. 9:6-7).
A. “A child is born. ” But, more than this: a son is given (Jn. 3:16).
1. Earthly sons are not given, they are conceived. Hence our text foreshadowed the mystery of the incarnation.
2. This prophecy was given many times before: in Eden (Gen. 3:15), a virgin conceiving (Isa. 7:14), etc.
B. The Old Testament promise is often noted in the New Testament.
1. Hebrews 2:14 – “Partakers” (sharers) in flesh and blood (Gr. koinoneo, have in common). Jesus “took part” (Gr. metecho, became a partner with) in the same (Phil. 2:5-8).
2. Galatians 4:4 – “Made of a woman.” This is the only time that such a reference is made: he was not conceived, but made.
C. Genesis 3:15. This cannot be relegated to myth, allegory or poem. Yet, some in the church agree witiv. such statements as: “The Biblical myths that ChriKtians deal with are familiar: the ‘paradise story, Adam and Eve, the Fall, the Flood, the Tow~i of Babel, the miracles, the resurrection, and ascension. These are myths to be solved for a myth is a combination of symbols pointing to an ultimate concern” (The United Church Herald, Mar. 9, 1961, p. 15). Brethren Dr. Neal Buffaloe, John Clayton, etc. are examples of those who treat the book of Genesis as containing things that “never were.”
1. Is the book of Genesis literal and historical, or mythological and allegorical? If we are unwilling to accept Genesis 1-11I as historical then we would have to reject:
a. Any biblical concept of the origin of man.
b. The unity and harmony of the Old and New Testaments.
c. God’s personal design of the plan of salvation.
d. The sonship of Jesus.
e. The truthfulness of the writers of the Bible.
f. The overall authority of the Word of God.
2. “One who doubts the Genesis account will not be the same man he once was, for his attitude toward Holy Scripture has been eroded by false teaching. Genesis is repeatedly referred to in the New Testament, and it cannot be separated from the total Christian message” (Richard Culp, Remember Thy Creator, pp. 160-161).
D. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever!
II. The Holy Angel’s Explanation to Mary (Lk. 1:30-35).
A. Mary’s child was God’s Son, with whom she went down to the gates of death and came up bearing in her arms -Immanuel!
B. Several thousand years of prophecy were fulfilled in that hour.
C. Deity entered human history and the hearts of mankind through the gateway of a virgin’s womb. What a birthday that was and yet, nowhere are we ever instructed to observe it (i.e., in Scripture). It is the death of our Lord in the Lord’s Day communion that we are commanded to keep.
D. Those who saw him saw God. Those who today know him know God!
1. His birth promised creation’s rebirth.
2. His death promised its redemption.
3. His resurrection promised its glory.
4. His ascension guarantees its eternity.
5. His return will complete it.
E. Therefore, wise men came to worship him and wise men still do.
III. His Birth Changed the Calendar. Why?
A. God promised him.
B. Angels announced him.
C. Faith expected him (Anna and Simeon).
D. Sin needed him.
1. Jesus touches the human heart in his cradle. His very name was a sign (Lk. 1:30-33, “Jesus,” i.e., Jehovah is salvation).
2. Jesus touches the sinner only through the cross (1 Cor. 15:1-6).
3. God’s greatest gift was not his Son in the manger, but his Son on the cross!
4. Gal. 2:20; Rom. 6:1-6, this initial forgiveness of sin is a part of a more complete process known as conversion, or the new birth:
a. Jn. 3:3-6, “born of the water and the Spirit” – enter the kingdom.
b. Matt. 18:3, “converted . . . as a little child” – enter the kingdom.
c. Matt. 7:21, “doeth the will of my Father” – enter the kingdom.
5. “By grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8).
“Tho’ a thousand times in Bethlehem, Jesus born should be, the love of God can ne’er be felt, Till Christ be born in thee! “
6. Ye must be born again (Jn. 3).
(Credit is due to Sermon Outlines by Harry Rimmer.)
Guardian of Truth XXXIII: 11, pp. 330-331
June 1, 1989