Grace Baptist Church

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Jesus Is God With Us

Jesus Is God With Us

Dec 25, 2016

Passage: Matthew 1:23

Preacher: Tom Ascol

Series: Advent

Category: Sunday Morning

Keywords: christmas, immanuel, incarnation, virgin birth


Pastor Tom Ascol’s Christmas message, entitled “Jesus Is God with Us,” centers around the virgin birth of Jesus Christ taught in Matthew 1:23. Matthew had lived and worked with Jesus for three years as an apostle. He knew Jesus. He was familiar with Jewish prophecy. Therefore, it should be no surprise that at least two dozen times Matthew identifies Old Testament prophecies with some aspect of the life and ministry of Jesus. The virgin birth is one such prophecy.

Isaiah’s prophecy of a virgin bearing a child was originally meant as a sign to an ancient Israelite king. The miraculous conception and birth of Jesus, explained by Matthew as a greater fulfillment of the prophecy, is but one indication that the baby was no ordinary baby. Angels told both Mary and Joseph the baby had been conceived by the Holy Spirit and by faith they believed. Similarly, we believe, not because of any scientific evidence, but because God has revealed this truth to us in His Word. While the virgin birth is one truth in our passage, another truth tells us Jesus was Immanuel, God with us.

The phrase, “The baby shall be called ‘God with us,’” clearly teaches Jesus’ deity. Returning to Isaiah, he noted in another prophecy (Isaiah 9:6) that the coming child would be “Mighty God.” The Apostle John also taught “the word was God . . . . And the Word became flesh” (John 1:1, 14). Paul too, in 1 Timothy 3:16, wrote “He [God] was manifested in the flesh.” The conviction that Jesus Christ was God in flesh, that the Incarnation was actually God becoming man, was and is a non-negotiable tenant of biblical Christianity. The belief separates true Christianity from more than one cult.

There is more to “God with us” than God merely being present with His people. That had always been the case whether with Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, or any other of His people. God is, after all, omnipresent. But now Jesus is with us in an unprecedented way. God has come in a most unusual manner and entered into the human experience. Though God is omniscient, knowing everything, He, in Jesus, experienced humanity from newborn to adult. His experiences mirrored human experience, hurt, joy, betrayal, love, for examples. Thus “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Being human he experienced human activities.

How should humanity respond? Matthew wrote “He will save His people from their sin” (1:21). Humanity, then, should respond by coming to Him in repentance and faith. Only by acknowledging and seeking to turn from our sin and by trusting Jesus in faith for our salvation can we enjoy the real benefits of “God with us.”