"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)


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  • « God's Foreknowledge and Election | Main | Thanks for Praying... »

    "Immanuel, Our God is with Us- -and For Us!"

    ESV Isaiah 9:6-7: 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 Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 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.

    Jesus is our Immanuel, very God of very God, "with us"! (Matt. 1:18-23).

    Jesus is Immanuel, "God with us" and "God for us" and "God in us" and "God born of a woman for us" and "God born under Law for us" and "God born to die for us" and "God born to live for us in our nature" and "God dead and raised to resurrected Glory for us" and 'GOD IN HEAVEN FOR US"!

    What greater hope could we have??!!

    The hope of every believer is that Jesus was born for us, lived for us, died for us, and was exalted for us into the Highest Heaven (Read on...CRB)

    The promise of the Prophet Isaiah was that God would provide a child to be born and a son to be given (Isa. 9:6-7). What would eventually be the great salvation-hope of Israel and all who believe?

    The God-Man, Jesus Christ, our Immanuel which means "God with us"! Isaiah under the inspiration of God's Spirit particularly says "a child will be born" indicating that this Great Savior and hope of believing mankind would be human.

    Isaiah also particularly says "a son will be given" indicating that this Great Savior would also be the very Son of God. In this prophecy, we see the seeds of what would be more fully revealed and developed, the very inspired idea of the God-Man, God and man in One Person, the man Jesus Christ. As the Apostle Paul said:

    ESV 1 Timothy 3:16 Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He [God] was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.

    Jesus Christ would be "God with us" born of a woman, born under Law, to redeem under Law (Gal. 4:4-7). Why? So that all who believe could have the adoption as sons; Jesus was born so that we might be God's children. He was born so that we might be heirs of all the goodness of God in Him!

    Jesus Christ would be "God with us" to be born of a woman to live perfectly in our place; Christ Jesus considered His own people so significant that he veiled his own glory and put aside his own rights as Divine Son, so that we might have eternal life and live in communion and union with God again (Phil. 2:6-11).

    Jesus Christ would be "God with us" to be obedient unto death, even death upon a cross. Jesus would die under God's curse for all of his people's sinful rebellion and transgressions against God. For all of our disordered and misplaced loves; for all of our idolatry, and loving something or someone more than we love God and His Christ!

    Jesus Christ would die under the curse, to redeem those under the curse, satisfying the full wrath of God, and removing our transgressions before God as a substitutionary Sin-Offering in our place! Jesus Christ was "God with us" as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world!

    Jesus Christ is also our exalted Lord in heaven.

    Jesus Christ has been vindicated before God's justice. Jesus Christ although sentenced and put to death by sinful men on a heinous cross fit only for the worst crimes and criminals imaginable, and for those who had no rights in the Roman Empire (because of God's plan, see Acts 2:22-36), God has highly exalted Him to heaven itself (Phil. 2:8-11).

    Death could not hold Jesus, it had no "rights" over him! Why? Because although Jesus died as a ransom and substitute in the place of sinners "becoming sin for us" (2 Cor. 5:21), he himself was perfect and righteous, without sin (Heb. 4:14-16). Once His mission was completed in Jesus' perfect life and death for sinners, God exalted Him to the highest place in heaven!

    Now a man sits in heaven; now a man rules and reigns in heaven "for us"! What joy! Consider this, ponder this; worship the King of kings and Lord of lords!!

    As John Owen wrote magnificently:

    “Heaven itself was not what it is, before the entrance of Christ into the true sanctuary to accomplish the administration of His office as Mediator.”

    As Christians we often ponder Jesus' incarnation and resurrection (as we should!), but we must never forget Jesus' ascension to God's right hand to take the eternal Throne of David his father (see Psalm 89:18ff; 2 Samuel 7; Acts 2:22ff).

    Jesus had to fulfill all righteousness by being born as a true man of David's descent, and as heir of David's throne so that God's covenant promises would be fulfilled in Him.

    Jesus Christ is "God with us" in heaven.

    Rejoice in this!

    When man went to the moon, communications were sent back to tell all the world that the deepest hopes of mankind had been fulfilled! Television broadcasts, word of mouth, and newspapers proclaimed the great news that man's greatest hope had been fulfilled.

    We marvel that man has stepped on the moon, how much more should we marvel that a man, Jesus Christ, presently not only steps in heaven, but rules and reigns there to serve as Faithful Mediator on behalf of all who believe!

    As one man stepped on the moon as representative of the hope fulfilled of all mankind, so one man, Jesus Christ, has stepped into heaven itself to appear before God, as the representative of all those through hope believe the promises of God! Praise God!

    Jesus is our Great High Priest, who represents all who come to him by faith; so let us hold fast our confession and be faithful as God's people!

    ESV Hebrews 4:14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

    What hope should we ponder in our "Immanuel" today?

    Look at these attributes of our Heavenly Savior revealed in Isaiah 9:6. Behold, our Savior's lovely and beautiful and glorious character revealed here!

    Jesus, our "Immanuel" is described as "Wonderful Counselor" and "Mighty God" and "Everlasting Father" and "Prince of Peace".

    "Wonderful Counselor" teaches us that Jesus is one who understands the will of God as Divine Christ, and reveals God's will to us through His Word and by His Spirit. Jesus is "Wonderful Counselor" as an Advocate before the Father to represent us, and to forgive us, pleading the very faithfulness and justice of God on our behalf when we confess our sins (1 John 1:8-2:2).

    "Mighty God" teaches us that Jesus has the power to do above and beyond all that we ask or imagine. He can not only hear our prayers, but ANSWER THEM AS WELL! Although He is great and infinite, he dwells in God's presence united to our finite nature and can sympathize with us in our weakness. Although he is high and lifted up, he knows intimately how to dwell with the humble, especially in their times of need.

    "Everlasting Father" teaches us that Jesus tenderly cares for us and provides for us like a loving Father. This designation of his character is not to confuse Jesus with the Father, as the Second Person of the Trinity. It is to bring comfort to God's people that Jesus cares, and is like a good earthly father, but far greater because He possesses Eternity ("Eternal Father") and like a father, he leads, guides, disciplines for our good, and loves us.

    "Prince of Peace" teaches us that Jesus brings first reconciliation with God and believing man. Jesus brings together sinful men and women who were opposed to God, and who were the very enemies of God in their unbelief (see Romans 5:6-11). While we were enemies, God brought peace to all who believe through Jesus (see the message of the angels in Luke 2:11-14). Jesus also brings peace between races, and in families, and in relationships of all kinds, and men in Jesus learn to forgive, and love one another!

    We read in Isaiah's prophecy that the "...Government should be upon His shoulder...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. "

    Jesus Christ, the God-Man rules and reigns over heaven and earth for all who believe. We have a man who has not only stepped into heaven, but lives to pray for us, to be our Advocate-Counselor before the Father, ever pleading His own precious blood so that His people would be forgiven.

    Our nature has been sanctified in Jesus the God-Man, Immanuel, "God with us" so that we who believe can become like him. He became like us (except for sin), so that we could be like him.

    Jesus Christ forgives those who look to him by faith; he represents them as the Second Adam, as the very Head of a New Creation, and He is committed to making us think, act and look like him.

    And that we will live with him for all eternity.

    Death for the believer now is merely an entrance into life itself; life as it should be defined: Life in communion and union with the Triune God!

    Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Divine Trinity, took permanently and eternally to Himself our nature as one man, fulfilling the office of the one Mediator, one Christ, for us.

    He now lives and reigns at God's right hand and this is where the hope of every believer is found: At God's right hand!

    At this time of year (whether you celebrate the Christmas season, or Advent), at any time of year, let us remember the God-Man, Immanuel, "God with us" and seek Him as our only hope of heaven, and the very fulfillment of life itself. As 16th century Puritan Richard Sibbes wrote:

    “[Jesus Christ, the God-Man] is not only God with us in our nature, but He is God for us in heaven at all times, and He is God in us by His Spirit.” – Richard Sibbes

    Jesus Christ rules and reigns on David's throne at God's right hand. He extends peace to all who believe. But be warned and soberly repent immediately if you in any way oppose God and His Anointed One, the Christ (see Psalm 2).

    He came the first time as a meek and lowly Lamb of God; this great and exalted King of kings and Lord of lords will return as the very Lion of Judah!

    For those who love Him and long for His appearing, He will take them to the blissful presence of God Himself for all eternity; for those who do not love him, and therefore oppose and hate his rule and reign, they will wish that they had never been born when they will have to bear up under the wrath of the Lamb of God Almighty (see Revelation 19).

    Let us repent and believe, and let us with great thankfulness, worship and serve the Living God, the Maker of Heaven and Earth, the One who has saved us and redeemed us by His blood, and taken our very nature into heaven to appear before God on our behalf!

    Let us rejoice that we will be like him and see Him in all His glory as HE IS NOW!

    “Of what advantage to us is Christ’s ascension into heaven? Answer: First, that he is our advocate in the presence of the father in heaven; secondly, that we have our flesh in heaven as a sure pledge, that he, as the head, will also take up to himself, us, his members; thirdly, that he sends his Spirit as an earnest, by whose power we seek the things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God, and not things on earth.” –Heidelberg Catechism, Eighteenth Sabbath

    Love in Christ,

    Pastor Biggs

    Posted by Charles Biggs on December 10, 2010 08:03 AM

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