Summary: We will appreciate the birth of Christ to an even greater degree when we understand the implications of the Incarnation.
Sermons for Christmas CCCH 12-21-97
A. One of 1995’s biggest singles was Joan Osborne’s “One of Us.” The song earned 7 Grammy Award nominations, and made a virtually unknown singer an overnight sensation. It’s a song of spiritual questioning and about conceiving of God in a modern age.
These are some of the words of that song:
“If God had a name, what would it be,
and would you call it to his face,
if you were faced with him
in all His Glory,
what would you ask if You had just one question…
Chorus: What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us?
Just a stranger on a bus, trying to make his way home.
Those lyrics concerned some conservative Christians groups because of their irreverent tone, and because the song’s popularity among young people seemed to imply a complete absence of faith in the God of the Bible. Now I’m not claiming that this song has any of the right answers,
But that question, “What if God was one us?” could very well be the most important question ever asked this side of heaven. The central question in all of history. The answer to that question, if it were known, would do no less than change every conceivable aspect of life for people on planet earth.
Most people today aren’t asking about the existence of God. For most that’s a 60’s or 70’s question. Today it’s rather passe. Recent Gallup poles say that 96-98% of us in America believe that God exists. The question is can God relate to me?
“What if – What if God was one of us?” It’s a question that a lot of people would like answered. That question could very well be what most of us want answered too.
B. Our focus today is the Incarnation; that is, the act of God becoming flesh.
THESIS: We will appreciate the birth of Christ to an even greater degree when we understand the implications of the Incarnation.
READ SCRIPTURE: JOHN 1:1 – 14
TRANSITION: One of the ways that we come to appreciate Christmas through an understanding of the Incarnation is that:
I. WE WILL BELIEVE THAT JESUS IS GOD
The baby born in Bethlehem to Joseph and Mary was without a doubt God – here on earth.
A. There are many Scriptures in the Bible that clearly show us that Jesus is Divine.
1. We find this in prophecies about Jesus:
Isaiah 7:14 – “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (which means God with us.)
Isaiah 9:6 – “And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
2. John 1:1 says, “The Word was God.”
It may seem unusual that John calls the Son of God, “The Word.”
“Word” was an important concept to the Greeks and to their great thinkers. Their word for it was logos, and men like Heraclitus was the logos as the “common universal law” – that which was “the truth.”
In the OT, we can read of the Word of God – such as “the word of God came to the prophet…”
We know that by his divine word God spoke the creation into existence.
In the NT, the word of God is never mentioned as coming to Jesus himself. It doesn’t have to – because he IS the word of God.
And his words have force, not just because they are God’s word, but because he is the Word. John calls Jesus the Word to show that Jesus was existent from the very beginning. Before creation. He is without end, and He is all that God is – His very word. He is God.
3. Jesus proves this with things he said about himself:
John 8:58: “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I am!” (referring to where God told Moses to say “I am” sent you.)
John 10:30: “I and the Father are one.”
John 14:7: READ
Other NT writers show this:
Paul writes in Colossians 1:15: “He is the image of the invisible God.”
v. 19: “God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him.”
Philippians 2:6 speaks of Jesus as “being in very nature God.”
Hebrews 1:3: “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being.”
The Bible clearly shows that Jesus is God.
B. The resurrection of Jesus also shows us this.
Many of the very first Christians had been devout Jews. Jews who were monotheists – that is they very, very strictly believed in ONE God and one God alone. One of the primary statements in the Scriptures that they clung to was Deuteronomy 6:4: