Here’s the latest sermon notes from today’s sermon. The recording will be along later this week; there are additional insights in the message, though I use notes as a framework. I’m preaching a series on Handel’s Messiah, a great classical work where the Bible is sung. Again, this is in the King James Version, the version in which it was written and sung. This message is on “The Prophecy of Christ’s Birth” — the 3rd scene in Handel’s “Messiah,” and the 3rd message of this series.
He Shall Be Called Wonderful! There was nothing about the coming Messiah that was NOT wonderful — that is, pele (6382), full of wonder, astonishing, something to marvel at, miraculous, a work of God unexplainable by any other force or power! And you will call Him Wonderful when you have come to know Him intimately!
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 Christ, this Savior, this Anointed One, this Son of the Father was a miracle from the moment of His conception
–It was the night that perfect love came down
–God entered His creation; His name was “With Us God”
–And He walked with us and died for us to restore us to His Father
–And He rose so we’d be able to have His eternal life in us, here and now!
–A virgin named Mary became pregnant not by a man but by the Holy Spirit
–Her child was the seed of the woman who would crush the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15)
–By the Holy Spirit she became pregnant . . . not a natural birth but a miraculous one
–We have a second birth that is miraculously accomplished by God
–We, too, are born of God when we receive Christ, becoming intimately associated with Him
–Those who have this second birth become part of the Family of Father,
Son and Spirit and are heaven-bound (John 3:5)
–We are born from above:
–Born of water (repentance)
–and the Holy Spirit (cleansing) (John 3:5)
–then “WITH Us God” is IN us, ruling and reigning (John 14:23)
–We are no longer citizens of this world but strangers and exiles here (Hebrews 11:13)
–Looking for a city with foundations whose architect and builder is God (Hebrews 11:10 seeking a country of our own, a heavenly country (Hebrews 11:14-16).
–Are you “from away” as we say in Maine? Mainers knew when someone was from another state. They didn’t speak or act the same as us. Does your life have “Emmanuel” written all over it?
There is more for you to hear — more about He who is called Wonderful is full of wonders, and fills us with wonder!
Isaiah 40:9 O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!
–GOOD TIDINGS, glad news to be announced to a world in need of a Savior! How beautiful are the feet!
–Lo! Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! See Him! Lo! Take heed!
–These were the strong and loud words of John the Baptist (John 1:29) as he saw Jesus approaching him at the Jordan River.
–He was not afraid of those who opposed the glad news!
–Opposed? He was telling those who thought they had God’s favor that a Messiah, God in the flesh, had come to save them from His wrath! They did not believe they were sinners.
–Opposed? His word, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand,” was not popular with those who wanted to be their OWN kings in their OWN kingdoms under their OWN rule. It is the same today.
–He was the Lamb, the One who would defeat death.
–For all who would believe in this Lamb, death would pass over them like the plague of the firstborn passed over those with lamb’s blood on their doorposts in Egypt, the night before freedom from slavery!
–John the Baptist spoke and multitudes repented so their hearts would be ready to receive the Lord.
–He is the Lamb, He is still saving by His blood, He is still taking away the sin nature, He is still the Good News for a world separated from God by sin.
–Lo! Have you heard the glad news?
–Have you intimately associated with this miraculous Jesus?
–Lo! Is His blood on the doorposts of your heart?
–Have you asked Him to take away your sin? Behold!! Behold Him!
–O seeker, behold Your God! He is here! O Christian, behold Your God! He will work wonders in you yet! Do not stop at salvation. There is more. He will make you a blessing to all the earth if you will obey His command to be filled with His Spirit.
Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
Isaiah 60:2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
–Arise (stand, rise up!) for whose light has come? THY light, the light is here for YOU!
–Yes, Israel had been oppressed and her Savior was coming. But this light was not
just for them . . .
–The glory of the Lord HAS RISEN, has dawned, has come forth, is shining
–Where? Upon the world? Upon THEE, you, upon me. Do you see it?
–He shed His light for all to see!
–Darkness (misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness) did cover the earth THEN and NOW; there is no place where it is not dark — the darkness is gross, like a heavy cloud
–But the Lord shall arise, He shall shoot forth beams, He shall be like the dawn, he shall shine, He is the Sun of Righteousness with healing in His wings (Malachi 4:2), He is the Light of the world (John 8:12)
–On all of the darkness? No, but upon thee — touching you, me, individuals with eyes to see and ears to hear the glad news!
–Many could not see the light He brought; they did not recognize Him
–Many ran from His light so their deeds would not be exposed.
–And His glory shall be seen upon THEE — upon you, upon me, even NOW they will take note that we have been with Jesus (Acts 4:13)
–And we. who with unveiled faces, all reflect the Lord’s glory . . . (2 Corinthians 3:8)
–Have you heard Him? Do you see Him?
–Have you arisen? Have you stood up? Do you shine with His light, reflecting His glory?
–Has His light touched you? Do people take note you’ve been with Jesus? (Acts 4:13)
Isaiah 9:1 Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.
–The dimness, the darkness (misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness) it is not for anguish like it was when God humbled Zebulun and Naphtali because they worshiped themselves and the things they made
–God treated her with contempt because of her idolatry
–She was carried off into exile and scattered throughout the known world
–Affliction; God afflicted me to bring e to Himself.
–Drug addiction, of which He delivered me. I never even said thank You. I ignored Him.
–Then MS overwhelmed me — a great darkness
–I looked up, the darkness left, the Light came! Is He afflicting you? It is only so you’ll come into His Light.
–Galilee of the nations, of the goyim, of the Gentiles, of the non-Jews, of those thought of as “dogs” because Zebulun and Naphtali were repopulated with those who did not know God and worshiped both God and false gods, after God’s people were sent into exile for their sin
–Nathanael said, Can anything good come out of there? (John 1:46)
Isaiah 9:6 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.
–Yes, Nathanael, Some One very good came out of there! The Messiah, Jesus Christ, whom he was about to meet, face-to-face!
–God in the flesh, come down to save us from God’s wrath, to bear it for us
on a cross of wood, He who made the hill on which it stood
–A child? A child will save us? That One born miraculously of a virgin?
–He is a Son, THE Son of God, the Word who was in the beginning and was with God and was God.
–The government shall be upon His shoulder? He will be a bridegroom. That’s what was said of the groom at a Jewish wedding.
–Who is His bride? The church that would be birthed when the Holy Spirit was poured out in a new way after He died, rose, ascended and was glorified 50 days after He was crucified
–But He would also be over all things, King of kings and Lord of lords!
–His name shall be called
–Wonderful, pele, a miracle, a marvelous thing, astonishing, full of wonders
–Counselor, one who plans, forms, advises (go to Isaiah 11:1-5)
–Mighty God, God in the flesh, powerful, a warrior, a champion, a chief, an excellent One
–Eternal Father, a forever Father, the Father of many children, who brings many sons to glory, who is not afraid to call us His children
–Prince of Peace, the chief, the captain, the commander, the governor of peace, shalom, completeness, soundness, welfare, well-being, health, prosperity.
SO . . . .
–Do you know Him intimately ?
–Have you received Him, becoming intimately associated with Him?
–Do you love Him as a bride loves her Bridegroom, constantly thinking about Him,
devoted to Him, and joined to Him in a holy unity?
–He is called Wonderful, full of wonders, miraculous, a marvelous thing, astonishing!
–Many have become church members, but do not know Him this way
–Many used to listen to His words, but they went back to the sin they loved more
–Many have run from His light for fear their evil deeds would be exposed
–There’s still time! Come into it! “Emmanuel” WILL be written all over your life! The With Us God will be IN you! You will become a reflector of His light to this very dark world!