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Summary: When we picture Christ, we always picture him as the Son of God who started working AFTER he was born on Christmas. But according to the Bible, Jesus was working long BEFORE he was born on Christmas.

March 28, 2006

"THE CRAFTSMAN AT GOD’S SIDE"

Proverbs 8:22-8:31

22 “The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old.

23 I have been established from everlasting, From the beginning, before there was ever an earth.

24 When there were no depths I was brought forth, When there were no fountains abounding with water.

25 Before the mountains were settled, Before the hills, I was brought forth;

26 While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, Or the primal dust of the world.

27 When He prepared the heavens, I was there, When He drew a circle on the face of the deep,

28 When He established the clouds above, When He strengthened the fountains of the deep,

29 When He assigned to the sea its limit, So that the waters would not transgress His command, When He marked out the foundations of the earth,

30 Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him,

31 Rejoicing in His inhabited world, And my delight was with the sons of men.

Have you ever watched a craftsman working hard at his craft. Maybe you’ve watched a construction crew build a house. Many years ago my house underwent changes to convert a garage into a family room and a basement into an apartment for my mother, so I watched all kinds of craftsman - a carpenter, a plumber, an electrician – each one worked hard and they were good at their craft. I think it’s interesting watching people put things together. You can learn a lot about people by watching them do their job. For instance, are they smart? Are they hardworking?

In the book of Proverbs, Jesus describes himself as a craftsman. It’s true, at one time in His life, he was a carpenter. But in these verses, we see him in more advanced crafts. Today, we’re going to look at two very important things that Jesus crafted – the world, and our salvation. Our goal today is to just sit and watch Jesus, the craftsman, and as we do, we’re going to learn a few things about Him. We’re going to grow in our relationship with Him. As the Holy Spirit works on you, you will be growing in your faith today.

You wouldn’t expect to find Jesus in the book of Proverbs. Most of the time, he’s in the Gospel of Matthew or the Gospel of Mark. But here He is, in Proverbs chapter 8. The chapter begins by talking about wisdom. Wisdom is personified, that is, it is spoken of as if it was a person. For example, in verse 12, Wisdom says, “I am wisdom, and I am smart. I also have knowledge and good sense.” But then, in verse 22, as wisdom talks, it starts to sound like Jesus. And by the time the chapter is over, you know for sure that this IS Jesus that’s talking. And that’s not just a coincidence. The Bible tells us that wisdom isn’t just a concept – it’s a person – Christ is wisdom, and wisdom is Christ.

When we picture Christ, we always picture him as the Son of God who started working AFTER he was born on Christmas. But according to the Bible, Jesus was working long BEFORE he was born on Christmas.

Listen to what verse 22 says, “The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old.” Christ existed before the world began.

Verses 23 says, “I have been established from everlasting, From the beginning, before there was ever an earth.” We confess that truth when we say that we believe in Jesus Christ, who was “the only begotten Son of God.” God the Father and God the Son existed together before the world came into existence. They were two separate persons, but one God, closely united together, before the world was made.

Let me ask you this morning: can you fully understand that? That God the Son was begotten by God the Father before the creation of the world – is that something that you can fully understand? Our small human minds have a difficult time understanding things like that. What if I were to tell you that next week, at my church, for our children’s Sunday School, we are going to have a rocket scientist come in, and that rocket scientist is going to explain to our Sunday School children the complexities of the space shuttle program. He’s going to fill the wall with mathematical equations. He’s going to draw diagrams of engine parts. He’s going to explain how rocket fuel works. He’s also going to explain how all these things are funded, by our government.

Do you think our Sunday School class will understand that rocket scientist? No – those things would be beyond their understanding, and probably our understanding too. Completely understanding Christ is even more complex. How do you explain that close bond, that unity, between God the Father and God the Son?

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