1 Corinthians 1:23-27 (NIV)
“23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”
Sharing A Must Read-Quote As Intro “One Of Us”
Review: Removing Christ from Christmas is an Insult on God’s Power & Wisdom
• The Sign—Virgin Birth (Is. 7:14; Mt. 1:23; LK. 1:31)
*Christmas is not about the mythical or magical, but it’s about the miraculous and God revealing to us the Mystery of how He would dwell with mankind through Christ.
(Insulting Christ is an insult to God’s Miracle Working Power)
• The Son—Two Names
A.) (E) Immanuel- The God With Us (Is. 7:14; Mt. 1:23; Lk.1:31)
B.) Jesus- The Savior (JESUS) (Mt. 1:21, 25)
*This Virgin’s womb brought forth God with us in the flesh, who came to save us, and abide forever with and in us. This Powerful, Prophetic, Fulfillment of His Promise is an intimate fulfillment. Emmanuel (God with Us) and Jesus Messiah (came to save us from our sins), and to make us eternal sons through His Spirit indwelling inside of our hearts (literally).
*To Reject God’s Son is to Insult The Power of The Holy Spirit, His Prophetic Knowledge, Precise Promises, and His Preeminence In Christ (Col. 1:12-19).
“12 giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” ~Col. 1:12-19
“8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.” ~ Gal. 3:8• The Gift of the Son is “Eternal Life”• The Glory of the Gift “is Christ in US”
“26 even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28 whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 29 whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.” ~Col. 1:26-27
The Gracious Gift of Sin Bearing/Gift of Newness (Mt. 1:21-24; Luke 1:77)
Advent Chapters: Matthew 1; Luke 1
“20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 25 and knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.”
An angel promises the birth of John to Zacharias
“5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 7 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.
8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, 9 according to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.
11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. 14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. 15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.
19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. 20 And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.
Luke’s Account: An angel promises the birth of Jesus to Mary
“26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
Mary visits Elisabeth
39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; 40 and entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. 41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:42 and she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47 and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. 48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. 49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. 50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. 51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. 53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. 54 He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; 55 as he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.
John the Baptist is born
57 Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. 58 And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.
59 And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. 60 And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John.
61 And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. 62 And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. 63 And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all. 64 And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.
65 And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea. 66 And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.
67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, 68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, 69 and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; 70 as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 71 that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72 to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 73 the oath which he sware to our father Abraham, 74 that he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, 75 in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; 77 to give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, 78 through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, 79 to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
80 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.”
John- Yahweh is Gracious/ Grace or Mercy of the Lord (Preparing the Way for The Master of Grace)
John’s Purpose, Message, and Life of Glorifying God (John)
“6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.” ~John 1:6
“23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias ~ John 1:23”.
Life of Glorification
“27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. 28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. 29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.” ~John 3:27-30
This is exactly what John’s life consisted of as he pointed people to the Lamb of God (John 1:29, 36). He would let it be known that something new was happening. These babies represented something new that was coming according to God’s Will. They weren’t going to stay babes. John would be the last prophet before Christ, declaring that the New Covenant Testator has come to give New Life to them that would believe. Between glory and glory i.e. the glorious announcement of the New Born King and His return to the Right Hand of the Father was a life to be live out here on earth doing the WILL of the Father. His life, which would consist of displaying God’s love and being led by the Holy Spirit, in power and through suffering; would be a life of ministry, mission, and miracles; all confirming the message of the Almighty God. Jesus’s (Savior/Deliver)
Life between Glory & Glory
Jesus is Highly exalted by His Father (Phil. 1:1-11). His Glory Is Eternal, but He would humble Himself in time according to the WILL of the Father on our behalf, living out a pleasing life on earth that would soon be glorified again with the Glory of the Father when His work was finished (John 7:39; John 17:1-5). Eventually this new born King had to begin to grow, live, and caryy out His purpose here (Isaiah 53:2; Luke 2:41-42).
“1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2 as thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. 3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. 4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. 5 And now, OFather, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. ~John 17:1-5
His Mission-Purpose would be to do the Father’s Will.
“1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. 5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 6 in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. 7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.” ~Hebrews 10:1-7
“34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” ~John 4:34
“37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” ~John 6:37-38
His Ministry-Purpose would be to seek and rescue the Lost
“10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” ~Luke 19:10
“45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many”. ~Mark 10:45
“18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” ~Luke 4:18
His Message-Purpose would consist of expressing the Living Word of God and giving life to the spiritually dead.
“63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” ~John 6:63
“1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; 4 being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? 6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.” (Hebrews 1)
“14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” ~John 1:14
“8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” ~Luke 2:8-14
The Babe that was miraculously conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary as a sign that God would be with us is worthy to be worshipped by even mighty angels. He is the glorious glory of God. However; this Son born of her womb, would come forth for the purpose of sin-bearing. He was born a King, but the major mission was to conquer sin on our behalf. That’s why God prepared Him a body.
A) This baby’s birth would signify something new and glorious coming.
B) This was the very body that God would honor, and consider reasoning with us concerning sins. C) This is the Body why God would receive us as His own. D) This was the Body that would be rejected on our behalf.
This Birth would be the beginning of how God would reason with us concerning our sins
“18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” ~Isaiah 1:18
The Birth would be the beginning of how God would give power for many to Receive Him and become His children.
“10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” ~John 1:12
This birth would also allow Him to be Rejected of men, so that we would not be rejected by God.
“1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” ~Isaiah 53:1-3
“1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
God’s overflowing kindness
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” ~Ephesians 1:1-7
Our Life From Glory to Glory
Jesus Unwrapped—-“Something New is Here” –“There is nothing like the glory that God is unwrapping and revealing in us through Christ” This is what living out the Will of God in Christ does.
“12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: 13 and not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: 14 but their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ. 15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart.
16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. 17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” ~2 Cor. 3:18
“18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” ~Romans 8:18-21
The Most Special baby and Son ever born, from the virgin’s womb would soon become the Sin-Bearing Lamb of God who would live and die for sinful men, women, boys and girls. He demonstrated God’s Love through His Life in time, between His glory of eternity for, the Will of God.
“17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” ~ 2 Cor. 5:17-21
We now have available to us a relationship of Love with God, we now have this responsibility and honor of bringing glory to God with the sharing the message, the mission, & this inherited ministry of reconciliation. God wants to make all things new. Like John, we must decrease. Like John, we must go announce this message in the wilderness like —-“Behold the Lamb of God, He can take away all our sins”. He is the Sin Bearing Gift of God!!!
BE a Minister of Reconciliation
1 Corinthians 15:57-58 (TPT)~
“57 But we thank God for giving us the victory as conquerors through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One. 58 So now, beloved ones, stand firm, stable, and enduring. Live your lives with an unshakable confidence. We know that we prosper and excel in every season by serving the Lord, because we are assured that our union with the Lord makes our labor productive with fruit that endures.“
Timothy S. Lewis