Summary: A Wednesday night topical message from this past Christmas season.
Intro: Not that I think that there is something wrong with the name of our church, after all…it doesn’t get much better than First Baptist Church, right?
In fact, when I told people I was going to be the pastor at First Baptist Church I did have a few people say “Oooh…First Baptist, huh?”
But if I were to start a church from the ground up and had to choose a name I think the name I would choose is Emmanuel.
As you see in our verse tonight it is translated as “God with us.”
And is that not the essence of the church, the Body of Christ, that God is with us?
Just a little technical background on this word “Emmanuel” to show you how it is one of those words that has stood the test of time.
This word in Greek is: Ἐμμανουήλ
And comes from the Hebrew: עמּנוּאל
Which is taken from the Hebrew words for God, אל
And “with us” עם, ‛im as found in Isaiah 8:10
BTW…Isaiah comes from the same Hebrew word for “Salvation” which is the same Hebrew root for Jesus.
And we are told that Jesus would be called Emmanuel.
Even that phrase “He shall be called” takes significance here.
AT Robertson in his Word Pictures commentary points out about the Greek word “Kalesousin” is “He shall be called” and he says: “But surely the Language of Isaiah has had marvellous illustration in the Incarnation of Christ. This is Matthew’s explanation of the meaning of Immanuel, a descriptive appellation of Jesus Christ and more than a mere motto designation.”
The root used “kaleo” means to call but can also related to a surname…a family designation.
So this child which will be called Emmanuel is not just of God, but is of the family of God…of the same essence and DNA makeup if you will, of God.
100% man because He is born of a virgin woman, but 100% God because He was conceived by the Holy Spirit of God.
Emmanuel…God with us.
This evening I want us to take a look at what it means for us to have Jesus come into our world as “God with us”, Emmanuel.
First of all…
1. God with us in the flesh
Read 1 Tim. 3:16, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”
In Christ the impossible takes place…the union of two natures which are polar opposites: the human and the divine.
It is a mystery that is revealed in Christ, God with us.
I love how the KJV starts this verse: And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness
Paul was in essence saying, “Yeah, some might have issues with this…but there is none here, I know in whom I have seen and I know in whom I have believed in for my salvation”.
It is God manifested in the flesh…to God essentially considered, or Deity in the abstract, but personally.
The verb Paul uses there “manifested” is “ephanerōthē ”, and was also used by Paul in speaking of the incarnation of Christ in Romans 16:26 and Col. 1:26 (in reference to the Gnostic teaching against the incarnation).
Paul also uses this same verb in Col. 3:4 (When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall you also appear with him in glory.) in reference to the 2nd coming.
The point is, Jesus was not just a man, not just a teacher, not just a prophet...He was and is Emmanuel.
Paul isn’t the only one to point this out about Jesus, the Apostle John did in John 1:14.
Jesus is the pre-existent Logos…God’s eternal Word and the 2nd party of the Triune God who was present at creation; and now we see Him in the flesh.
So, Emmanuel, “God with us” means that we have God in the flesh; but it also means that we have…
2. God with us as a Redeemer
Read Acts 20:28, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost has made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He has purchased with his own blood.”
That last phrase…purchased in His own blood has the Greek verb “peripoieomai” which means to acquire or purchase.
The original meaning is, “to make (ποιέω) to remain over and above (περί): hence to keep or save for one’s self; to compass or acquire.”
Which means that we are indebted servants to Christ the redeemer, the one who paid the price for us by His own blood.