Sermon Transcript: Creation to Cradle 12/20/2020 Jeff Schwarzentraub 49 min read - Lord Jesus, we just thank you. We thank you for your living and active Word. And Lord, we thank you that every time your Word is open, that you have a Word for us. And Lord, there's something that you do in our hearts when we're ready to receive from you. So Lord, we pray that you would anoint my lips and that you would use your Word, that will not return void like you promise, to change us and to transform us into the likeness of Jesus Christ. Lord, we gather here today because all of us desire to hear what you have to say, to believe your Word, to believe what you have to say about us, and by faith, to put into practice the things that you prompt us and you show us. And all God's people who are ready to hear His living and active Word right now, would you agree with me by very loudly saying, amen. - Amen. - Amen. Well, a few months ago, we started our Alpha and Omega series, the beginning of the end. And if you're joining us now, we've been through the first 11 chapters of Genesis, all the way down through Genesis 12:4, which is really where we wanted to go. In January, we're gonna be starting the book of Revelation, and we're gonna go through the entire book, line by line, word by word. And so, the Alpha and Omega series is this; it's the beginning and the end. It's how God established it from the beginning, it's how He's gonna be victorious at the end. What I'm attempting to do today is to culminate everything that we've been talking about, and take us from creation to the cradle. In other words, God established everything we're talking about and set foundations for us in what we're doing, for the purpose of giving us a better picture of who Jesus Christ incarnate is when we see Him in the New Testament. And to not spend the entire morning in Genesis, especially for those of you who have been here, we're gonna do a quick flyover of everything we've done. Now, I don't know about you, but when I was a student, in the classes that I attended and studied hard in, I didn't appreciate it when the teacher would take painstaking time where people would say, we've already been over that, we've already been over that, we've already been over that. So, we're gonna fly over it pretty quickly. If something triggers in you or you want more information, we got about 11 hours of teaching on this. So go online, watch all the messages, catch up. Personally for me, it's been one of my favorite series that I've ever done, because God has grown me so much through teaching it. And I'm looking forward to the book of Revelation. I think God is going to use that to grow our church in a special way. So, I look forward to having you do that. But I want to talk about, like, why would we study this and why take time out to understand how God established everything? And here's the answer. Because if you understand who God is at the beginning and what He's established, then you'll also understand who's in the manger, you'll understand who Mary's holding, you'll understand who's the one that came and died on the cross, you'll understand who's the one that rose from the dead, you'll understand who's the one who's coming back. And so, to do that today, I wanna start in the Book of Genesis. I wanna have you open up your Bible to Genesis 1:1. We're gonna take a quick fly over through Genesis, by way of background, just to lead us to where we're gonna go in the New Testament today; from creation to cradle. And as we do and as we get to the New Testament, we'll take a look at what the qualities of a disciple really look like. 'Cause the more we understand about who Jesus is, the more we can understand about the disciple that He wants us to be. So let's start in Genesis 1:1, with what I consider the most controversial passage of the entire Bible. Says this; "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." If you believe that, nothing else in the Bible is hard to believe. If you believe that nothing existed and God created it all out of nothing, that this God created the universe, the heavens, everything you see, everything you don't see, He created it all. And then He created earth as a special one of the planets to be inhabited by all humankind; the crown of His creation. If you believe that, there's nothing else in the Bible that will be hard for you to believe. Most people don't make it out of Genesis 1:1 without saying, "No, that's not how it happened." That's not how it happened. There's no way there was a God who created everything out of nothing, let alone on six literal days. Friends, God created everything out of nothing in six literal 24 hour days, 'cause that's what the Word of God teaches. Right? So at the end of our day, if we can believe chapter one and verse one, then everything else is not a problem. If He created all the heavens, and He created all the earth, He created the universe, can't we just let Him tell us how He did it?Is it okay for God to reveal that to us? Is it okay for Him to show us in the Word what He did? So He said that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And so we see that the earth was formless and void, and there was darkness over the surface of the deep and the Spirit of God was moving on the surface of the waters. What do you have here? We read with further revelation that you have the Trinity God here. In the beginning, God, Elohim, plural, the strong, powerful God, created the heavens and the earth. John 1:1; "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." Who else was there? Jesus, He's the one speaking. Who else was there? The Holy Spirit hovering over the waters. What do you have? Father, Son and Holy Spirit creating everything. And He's about ready to reveal how He did it. Here's what we also know, because God is the only eyewitness at creation, His testimony is the only one that counts, right? Charles Darwin wasn't there. You weren't there. Nobody else was there. Anytime you don't believe that God is the only one who created, and anytime you don't believe the way He said He did, it's because you'd rather believe man's ideas than what God has to say in His Word. It's as simple as that. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Now, how did He do it? He did it on six literal, 24 hour days. You say, "Pastor Jeff, how do you know that?" Well, it kind of says it right here. I mean, just take a look at verse five. Verse five. It says, "God called the light day and the darkness night. And there was evening and morning, one day." So, on the first day, God created the light. So, He spent time doing something during the day, then He says, just to make it clear, there was evening and there was morning. And if that's not enough, it was one day. Now, it's really interesting 'cause when we get to Genesis 5, we're gonna read into genealogy about how long people lived for hundreds of years. God knows the difference between the amount of years and days. He knows specific amounts of years. If God said it took 14.3 billion years to do this, He would have wrote it down in His Book. It's not very hard for Him. Okay? If I went on vacation and I told you, "On day one while we were down in Florida, we got up, had a leisurely morning, went to the beach, hung out at the beach all day, came home that night, ate dinner and watched a movie. And then there was evening and there was morning. That's what we did the first day. And on the second day, we got up and we rode our bikes and we went to a movie theater at lunchtime, which we never do. And then we spent the afternoon just kind of hanging out at our pool by her house. And then there was evening and there was morning, and it was a second day. Then we woke up the next morning, and the next morning we decided to go to Disney World. And we toured all around all day. We were exhausted. We ate, we played, we did stuff. We got home at like 8:00 at night. There was evening, there was morning. It was the third day." And I told you that for seven days, that's what we did. None of you would balk at that. None of you would say, I wonder if there was a really seven days or was it like 14.3 million years that he was gone? I don't know. How would I know that? The reason you balk at this is because of extra biblical information that somebody has told you that's just based on man's ideas, who wasn't there at the time of creation. - [Congregation] Amen. - If you believe the Word of God, then you will see in Genesis 1:5, 1:8, 1:13, 1:19, 1:23, and 1:31, you will see that God made it all. He did it in six literal days. And then on the seventh day, He rested. Not because He was tired, because He was modeling what He wanted us to do as His citizens. To make matters even stronger, in Genesis 20:11, we talked about that Moses, the same author inspired by the same Holy Spirit said, "For in six days God created the heavens and the earth, and He rested on the seventh." It was in context of the Sabbath day. The Jews had no problem understanding that the Sabbath day was from evening to morning, one day a week. It's not complicated. God's not trying to confuse us. Why is God saying this? Because He was trying to reveal to us; I am the strong, powerful God, and my introduction to you, and my introduction to what I've done is I am the only one that was there. And I love you enough to tell you how I did it. Isn't it awesome I did it only in six days? And everything you see or don't see, I created and did it in six days. And it wasn't very hard, it didn't take me a long time to do. And then I even rested on the seventh to show you I can do all things. That's the God of the Bible. That's how He introduces Himself. Many people don't believe that, many Christians don't believe that. Well, it could have been long ages. Not according to God's Word, if you believe His Word. You can't even get out of the first three verses, and then you say, "Well I don't believe that, but I'm in an errand test." No, you're not. You're somebody who doesn't believe the truth of God's Word. I believe the truth of God's Word. I'll stand on it, I'll stand for it, 'cause that's who God is. Now, as we get into Genesis later on day six, we saw how God's crown of His creation was not stars or sun or moon or trees or plants or animals. Who was the crown of God's creation? Humankind. He says that God created man in His own image. In the image of God, He created him; male and female, He created them. So what we see is God creates two genders. We see on day six, how God did it. God decided to form man. And here's how he did it: He just picked up some dust from the ground, some dirt and breathe life, and there was man. I mean, if you can't say, whoa! I mean, that's incredible. Not only did He create light, it's not like He created a robot, He created human beings in His image. That He wants to relate to. Over 30 times, we see the word Elohim in chapter one. And when we get to chapter two, what we see is the word Yahweh, that's translated Jehovah. It's the covenant keeping God that personally relates to His creation. And who does He personally relate to? To us. He loves us, why? Because we're image bearers of the King. We bear His image. Everywhere we go, that's where the glory of God is for those of us who know Him. And then we took a look at all sorts of different things. How the Lord God put man in a garden, to do what? Work. We talked about how noble work was; how God didn't create any of us to sit on our hands and watch TV. That we are called to work. And then God gave a command. And most of us think the command was, don't eat the tree. Here was God's command; you may eat from any tree in the garden, do whatever you want. Here's my command; enjoy the universe I created. Here's my command; just have fun, relate to me and go have a ball. One thing I'm gonna tell you, though, just don't eat off the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for the day you eat off of it, dying, you will die. That's it. One thing, that's it. And in that chapter also, not only do we see the glory of God, but we see something that's extremely controversial. God sees the world differently than we do and our culture does. So God makes it clear, not only in Genesis 1 that He created the male and female, but in Genesis 2, He does the same thing. He says, there's only two genders. That's why marriage in God's standard is this; a man and a woman together, with two becoming one till death do you part. That's God's definition of marriage, and there is no other. There is no other definition of marriage. Well, we're just kind of partners. No, you're sinners. You need to repent and trust God and do it His way. There's only two genders. If you were a female in utero, you're still female. If you're a male in utero, you're still male. And even if you try to change the outside, it doesn't change the inside as to who you are. That's what we talked about. You can go back and watch these messages. We spend a lot of time on this. And then we talked about how when God brought the woman to the man, they were joined together. And how the two become one flesh. And God no longer sees you as two individuals, but one. And that's the beauty of marriage. And in these first two chapters, we think, wow, what an incredible world! A perfect God that creates us in His image. He gives us dominion over the world, and then He tells us this, this is a command; be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. And why? Because we're the image bearers of God. And God wants His glory all around the world. So God wants the world to be filled with people; male and female that He created.I mean, God's plan is perfect. He's establishing it. I mean, you would think, what a great story, I can't wait to read on. Well, you will until you get to chapter three. And then what do we see? Not long after that, Satan disguised himself as a serpent, came to both Adam and Eve because it's in the plural. And he says, "You should not eat from any tree of the garden? Has God really said that?" He's saying to Adam and Eve, who are standing together, "Y'all can't eat from any tree?" I mean, he's twisting text 'cause he's wanting to get humankind to doubt God's Word. 'Cause when you doubt God's Word, you'll doubt His goodness. When you doubt His goodness, you'll doubt His justice that will actually act. And then you'll doubt His authority that it will actually do something. What's Satan's strategy? His strategy is to get humankind to doubt the goodness of God. God said it, but you don't really need to believe that. It's really interesting, if God said, "I created the world in six literal days and rested on the seventh," then why would a bunch of people say, "Well, I'm a pastor, I just don't believe that?" 'Cause Satan is in your ear. You're not getting it from the Word. Right? So what do we see? He promises Eve that it's good for food, even though she had all the food that she needed, so that it was delightful to the eyes even though all the other trees were delightful to the eyes too. She took some and ate it, gave it to her husband, Adam, who was right there with her. Like, don't hog it baby, give me some. Adam eats it. And because they're one, once Adam eats, the eyes of both of them are opened up and they're like, "Oh, not good!" Now they start doing what? They start hiding. They notice each other's differences. That's the first thing that they see. And so they dive into bushes and they cover themselves up with fig leaves so that they don't have to show each other their differences and they don't have to be vulnerable anymore. And they're gonna keep all that stuff on the inside. So God comes looking. And who does He come looking for? He comes looking for Adam. Why? 'Cause He gave Adam a direct command that he was supposed to tell Eve. And Adam didn't do a good job because he wasn't being a faithful follower of the Lord. It was the passivity of man, which was the first sin. For all sin entered the world through one man, Adam, according to Romans 5:12. And what did we talk about? That every problem we see in the world has a spiritual root. And every problem in the world that has a spiritual root is a problem because there's not enough spirit-filled men in the world standing up and taking care of the problem. That's what we talked about. Sorry man, it's on us. Right? And we still have that passivity in our hearts where we don't wanna stand up, and we don't wanna work, and we don't wanna seek Jesus, and we don't wanna do what's right, and we don't wanna leave. We just wanna sit back and let somebody else do it. And that's exactly what our first father, Adam, did. And we talked about the importance for men to stand up and be men of God; loving, honoring, caring men who choose the Lord and serve others. Then God brings curses. He said, "Because you've done this, ground's gonna be cursed. Adam, you're still gonna work, but it's gonna get really hard." Work's hard. Women, you're still gonna deliver, but it's gonna be hard to deliver babies now; gonna be work. But He doesn't curse male and female. Who does He curse? He curses the serpent and tells him that his offspring is always gonna have enmity between God's offspring. There's always gonna be friction, but one day the Messiah is gonna come and crush his head. There's a promise in Genesis 3:15, that the Messiah is coming. So even in those bad times, we see that. And then what do we see God do? Those fig leaves don't cover your sin. Did you know that? The way you hide doesn't cover your sin. The way you think nobody's gonna find out about that doesn't cover you. Only one thing covers your sin, and it's blood. So God makes skin out of the garments of an animal. An animal has to give it well life so that blood can be shed, because without the shedding of blood there's no forgiveness of sin. It's foreshadowing to what's gonna happen on the cross. I mean, we're only three chapters in, do you see all these foundational things that we've been talking about? And now we get to chapter four. If you get dysfunctional parents, guess what you get. You'll get a dysfunctional family; you just have kids. So we have Cain and Abel. And it was all about their worship. Abel brings God his best from his flock, because he wants God to know, everything I have is yours, I just wanna be generous to you because you're my God. What does Cain do? He brings some leftover fruit and veggies. It's kind of like, hey, going to worship, I will give you something. He doesn't bring a sacrifice to God. He doesn't bring God his best. He doesn't care about God. And when he understands that God's not pleased with him, God says, "Well, if you just did what's right, you'd be fine." But that didn't please him. So what did he do? He went and murdered his brother. Cain murdered Abel. And then God comes looking for Cain, like, what did you do? He's like, "What are you talking about? Am I my brother's keeper? I don't know where he's at." And God says, "Well, his blood is crying out from the grave. What did you do?" God says, "You're gonna be a wanderer now. Instead of Cain repenting, he said, "That's way too hard. You're being way too harsh with me." So God puts a mark on him by grace and lets him continue to live. And then we get into the genealogies. Now we see the line of Cain, and we see how seven generations after the line of Cain, you have a Lamech, who's twice as bad as Cain was. Who's bragging and he's like, "Hey, Cain killed his brother, but guess what? I killed a man just for striking me. I'm bad to the bone." Lamech took two wives, Cain only had one. I mean, we see this generation of curses, and we talked about what that looks like, but yet God is so gracious. So God gives Adam and Eve another sunset. And we took a look at the genealogy in chapter five of them. And we took a look at how God kept that line alive to get all the way to Noah, because God was gonna do something special in order to keep the human race going. And as we studied all the different dates, and we studied all the different ages, and we studied the fact that God knows the difference between a year and a day, here's the one things you see in the genealogy. After everything, it ends, it says this; and he died, and he died. And he died and he died. And Methuselah lived 969 years, and he died. In other words, God was making clear, when you eat up the fruit, dying, you will die. You may not die today, but you're gonna die. Guess what happens fast forward. Every single person on the planet is dying. There's a virus that kills 100% of the people, 100% of the time, and 100% of the people have it. It's called sin. I have it, you have it. You're gonna die. That's God's promise. That's what we see in the genealogical line. And yet, God through the line of Seth raises up Noah. So then we get into chapter six, and now we're looking at the whole world and it's completely evil and it's completely wicked. I mean, everybody in the whole world has their eyes set on doing only what's wrong, except for one man. God went looking for a man, and who did he find? He found Noah. He was a preacher of righteousness. God calls him to build an ark, 'cause He's gonna send a flood. And even though Noah has never seen rain, he builds the ark to God's specifications. God brings the animals to Noah that he's gonna have in the ark. They all get on the ark. And the day that they get on the ark, the floodwaters come and there's a global flood. Now God told Noah He was gonna wait 120 years before he did that. So Noah's building and preaching and living for God for 120 years. And guess how many people got on the ark. His wife, his three boys, and their three wives, and that's it. Nobody else is listening, yet Noah's been faithful. And in his faithfulness, he gets on the ark. And the day that he gets on, the rain start to pour, the earth opens up, floodwaters happen, the fossil record begins. Don't you believe in dinosaurs? Aren't you a Christian? Of course I do. I totally believe in dinosaurs. They were created on day six. That's why we have fossils that show dinosaurs because there was a global flood. Everything you see is a result of a global flood. God punished the world and God had great patients for 120 years. It shows with us today that God has great patience with us not wanting anyone to perish, but that all would come to know Him. But there's an end to God's patience. So, if you really know God. And we took a look at how Noah and his family were faithful. And so they get into the ark. And then we read about the flood in six, seven and eight. And in chapter eight, God says, "Okay, everything's now dead, every one is now dead, other than those who are living on the ark. I'm gonna recede the floodwaters." And He does all that. And when He does, Noah comes out, and what's the first thing he does? He worships. He gives praise. We talked about the importance of praising God. And then God blessed Noah. He said, "Be fruitful and multiply," just like he did back in Genesis 1. 'Cause God says, "My plans haven't changed, I still wanna see my name go around the world for my glory." We saw the establishment of government and capital punishment, that whoever sheds the blood of man, by man his blood should be shed. That God established that and said it was good. We took a look at what God did when He made covenant and a promise to the people. Hey, this was terrible, I know that. I poured out my judgment. Never again, will I destroy the entire world with a flood. Now there's been floods, but there's never been a global flood and they'll never be, because God gives a sign of His promise, the rainbow in the sky. And when God sees that and when you see that, it's a reminder that God will never ever destroy the world again in a global flood. And so we continue on. And as we continue on, we see Noah's family. They're not all that perfect. Noah ends up getting drunk. One of his sons starts making fun of him. I mean, and we're like, why would that be in the Bible? Because Noah's not the hero God is. And then we get to the descendants of Noah; Shem, Ham and Japheth. But these descendants, in chapter 10 we talked about how this wasn't a vertical genealogy, it was a horizontal one where God spread out and created all the nations. Now we have over 200 with 6,500 different languages. And God wanted to send them out over the whole world, but there was a problem because in Genesis 11, the reason that they didn't is because they wanted to hunker down. They wanted to worship who and what they wanted, when and how they wanted to do it. They wanted to build a tower for themselves and they wanted to build a great name for themselves. They wanted to live for themselves. So even for all of this, we have a whole generation of people that's saying, "Hey, I just wanna live." So God goes, God's like, okay, let's go take a look at this. And God was totally gracious. All He did was change their language. And by changing their language, all over the world, we went. Now we talked about 6,500 languages. How many races did we say there are? Really loud. How many races did we say there are? - [Congregation] One. - One. There's a human race. We talked about difference of skin color. We talked about how we get that through genetics and geography. We talked about social issues; how they're really not social issues, they're spiritual issues, and how we need to deal with them. We spend a whole day on that. Because there's one race, two genders, and many languages. And that's how God created it. And then we see the descendants of Shem, the Shemites or the Semites, and through the Noah's son, Shem, we see that Abraham is called out of a pagan land, from Ur of the Chaldeans, with a wife that's barren, who is unable to have children. And God makes a covenant promise to them in Genesis 12. "Hey, leave your family, leave what you know, go to the land that I'll show you, and I'll make your name great, I'll let all the nations of the earth be blessed through you." And not knowing where he was going, Abraham left and did what God said; called the Abrahamic covenant. Through his line, we get down to the Lord, Jesus Christ. And this is Genesis, this is foundational, this is important. So what you see in your Old Testament, when you walk through the entire Old Testament, you'll see God's continued faithful promises through the mosaic covenant and the giving of the law, telling them, if you obey me, good, things will happen, if you're disobedient, bad things will happen. You see the Davidic covenant in 2 Samuel 7 where God says, "Through David, I will put one on a throne that will be on his throne forever." We see the new covenant in Jeremiah 31, where we see that one day there's gonna be an opportunity for us to be indwelled by God, so that we can know all of His laws and all His rules, because He's with us. And then we see the whole Old Testament unfold, and we see the nation of Israel grow. And they're close to God and they're doing what God wants. And then they decide to be disobedient, then God has to punish them. And then they repent. And then they start doing what God wants. And then they're disobedient, and then they have to get punished. They kind of like me and you. And yet God keeps the line of Israel all the way to the New Testament. So, 2000 years from Adam to Abraham, 2000 years from Abraham to Jesus Christ, 400 years of silence before we get the gospel Matthew, and then Matthew opens. And I'd like you to turn to Matthew 1 'cause this is where we're gonna spend some time today. And in Matthew 1, guess how the New Testament begins? What does it begin with? A genealogy! Can you believe that? Most of us as Christians start in the New Testament and we start with Matthew 1 and we skip the genealogy 'cause we're like, "What is that for?" Because you go to BRAVE, you know what that's for. I'm not gonna read all these because of time today. You can, it's a fascinating study. I actually taught on this in 2013. But notice what the first line of Matthew's gospel says, "The record of the genealogy of Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham." What are we gonna read about? We are gonna read about how all of the Old Testament genealogies fit perfectly into the person of Jesus Christ. That if you were a Jew living in the first century, you could trace it all the way back to your father, Abraham, and you could see that it came through David, and you could say it came all the way down to Jesus. And the one that you see in Jesus is the one that proceeded Abraham, who before he was, Jesus would say, I am. He's the God of all gods. The one we're gonna read about is the one that said, "Let there be light." The one we're gonna read about is the one that sent down fire on Mount Carmel. The one we're gonna read about is the one that flooded the whole world in a global flood. The one in the manger is the one that we read about in Genesis 1:1. When Jesus said, "I am He," when Jesus said, "I'm God," He was going back to Genesis 1:1 saying, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." What was He saying? I've always existed, there's never been a time I wasn't. And the first revelation to me was creating everything, including you. That's who we're reading about in a manger. It's a fascinating study because we don't read in this genealogy, and he died and he died and he died and he died. What we were reading this gene genealogy here was, Abraham was the father of, and this person was the father of the father of the father of the father of the father of, 39 different times, until you get down to Matthew 1:16, and then it says this; "Jacob was the father of Joseph." It does not say Joseph was the father of Jesus. It says, "Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who was called the Messiah." Now, why does it go to great links to tell us that Joseph wasn't Jesus' father? Because he wasn't. Because Jesus' father is in heaven. He didn't have a father. We see five different women listed in this genealogy. We see Tamar and Rahab who were both prostitutes. Rahab was also a Gentile as well as Ruth. And then we read about David's affair with Bathsheba. I mean, you see broken people. When you read about the men, you're gonna read about broken people. And you might think, "Why would God choose them?" 'Cause He didn't have anybody else to choose from that wasn't broken. I mean, this whole messianic line is broken sinners who God sent His seed through to His Son.But we're gonna read that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. So as we get to the New Testament, understand that everything that you've read in Genesis is foundational.And today, quickly, I wanna go through what the birth of Christ teaches us we must do as disciples of Jesus Christ, and talk about four qualities of Jesus. 'Cause we've seen the genealogical line. He came through Abraham, He had to; the Abrahamic covenant. He came through David, He had to, the Davidic covenant. We could go through all of this, it's so fascinating. But I wanna read Matthew 1:18-24, and pull out four qualities of being a disciple. Listen to this. "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: When His mother, Mary, had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph, her husband, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream saying, 'Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son and you should call his name Jesus for he will save His people from their sins.' Now all of this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet. Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and she'll bear a Son and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which translated means, God with us. And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son. And he called His name Jesus." Four qualities that we see as a disciple. We've gone from creation to cradle. We've gone from Genesis to the Messiah. Now check this out. If you're really gonna be a disciple of Jesus Christ and wanna know how to grow, here's what you need to know; that the birth of Jesus Christ teaches us that we must believe in God's supernatural power. The birth of Christ teaches us that we must believe in God's supernatural power. Notice this. Now the birth of Jesus was as follows: When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. Have you ever thought about that for a second? If I didn't believe God's Word, I would read that and say, "No way." There's no way. How can you believe that? Mary's pregnant but there was no man contributing. I don't believe that, do you believe that? The only way I can believe that is 'cause I believe Genesis 1:1; in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. If I believe that the God who created everything out of nothing, decided to become incarnate flesh by being conceived by the Holy Spirit in Mary's womb, how hard is that for Him? It's not a big deal. If I can't believe that He did that in the past, then how can I believe in the future? See, Christianity is God creating everything out of nothing. Worldly view, nothing bumped into nothing and created everything. You tell me, which takes more faith? I mean, when I read my Bible and read that Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit, I have to believe in God's supernatural power in order to believe that. 'Cause that didn't happen on her own, it didn't happen 'cause she was a young girl wishing she had a kid someday, and all of a sudden she's like, "Oh my gosh, this is so awesome." No, she was conceived by the Holy Spirit. She had to believe in God's supernatural power. We have to believe in God's supernatural power to believe the Word. How can you believe in a virgin birth? How can you believe in Jesus' miracles? How can you believe that he rose from the dead? How can you believe in healings? I remember when I was a year pastor, I was at a kind of a healing conference night and my pastor said, "Hey, Jeff, just go pray for these peoples' healings." And maybe some of you would feel that way now. I know I felt that way then, like, I wanna pray for their healing, but how do I pray for their healing? 'Cause what if I pray for their healing and it doesn't work? What if my prayers fail? And I don't know if I have like the right touch. And then, do you push somebody when you pray for them? Like, what do you do? I don't know. Do I apologize? Do I tell God He needs to heal them, or do I kind of ask God if it's your will? Like, I don't know. Do you know why I didn't know? 'Cause I thought it was about my prayer that was gonna heal them, rather than the supernatural power of God. Once you get over that and realize, well, I can't heal you, but I can call on one who could, I can call on one who can, and then let's ask Him to do it. And if He does it, let's give Him all the glory. And if He doesn't, He has a reason why He's not doing it now. So let's put it on Him. Then I just started praying healing for everybody, 'cause it's not my prayer that heal somebody, it's not your prayer that heals somebody, it's only the supernatural power of God that heal somebody. Like, is it hard for me to believe that Jonah was swallowed by a fish and stayed in his belly for three days? Heck no. God created the marine life on day five. He controls them all. He can have one swim over and eat him. Not a big deal for my faith. Can I believe Daniel was in a lion's den and that God kept the mouth of all the lions shut? Not hard for me. Lions were created on day six. God can do whatever He wants, He controls all the animal. I mean, this is not hard for me to believe because I believe that the Word of God is true, and I believe in the supernatural power of God. When I read about Jesus Christ rising from the dead, how does that happen? Because He's God, I have no problem believing that. If Jesus walks on water, is that hard for me to believe? No, He created that water out of nothing. So if he wants to come and take a walk on it, what big deal is that? He's God, He can do whatever He wants. And that's what we read about all throughout the Bible. Even when it comes to Mary and she's asking, how am I gonna have a child? I've never even been with the man. In Luke 1:37 it says, "For nothing will be impossible with God." Nothing is impossible with God. In Jeremiah 32:27, God says this, "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too difficult for me?" The answer is no. When Jesus goes to Lazarus's grave, and his sisters are there complaining that He should have been there earlier. Like, Jesus said, "I'm the resurrection and the life." If you believe in me, even though you die, you will live. Do you believe that? I mean, do you believe it? He's saying, do you believe in the supernatural power of God? Do you believe that you'll be resurrected someday? Do you believe I have the power to say, Lazarus come forth, and your brother's gonna come out of the grave? Do you believe it? And most of us say, "Well, yeah, I read it in my Bible." Do you believe it in your life? Do you believe in the supernatural power of God in your life? And what do you believe in God for? Right, that becomes the question. It's kind of like the man we talked about at first Tuesday that had a son, that was really ill and kept throwing himself into the fire and throwing himself down because he was possessed by a demon. And he brought the boy to Jesus's disciples, and they couldn't do anything. So he comes to Jesus and he says, "If you can do anything, would you?" And Jesus is like, if I can? Like, what do you mean if I can? All things possible for him who believes. And then the man says one of the most profound things that any of us could say; "Lord, I believe, help my unbelief." I believe you can, but I'm having a hard time 'cause I've never seen that before. Right? We need to believe in the supernatural power of God because everything God does is supernatural. If you're saved, it's supernatural. You didn't save yourself. Well, yeah, but somebody came and shared the gospel with me. Well, why? 'Cause God saved them. I mean, you didn't save yourself. God did all the work. God threw out the net. God gave you the faith to believe. God brought you to Himself. It was all His grace. It had nothing to do with you. It was a gift of God. So you can't boast. So you don't have a problem believing in the supernatural power of God, that He could take you, a sinner that was destined for hell for all eternity, redeem you by his grace, places Holy Spirit in you, sanctify you, and one day glorify you for all eternity. And you say, "I can believe that." But you can't believe that God can heal somebody? God can rescue you from hell, but God can't provide for you this Christmas? Can you believe supernatural power of God? Why? Because everything that God does is supernatural. If you're listening to preaching, it's not the quality of the preacher, it's the supernatural Word of God that does the work. - [Congregate] That's right. - It's always what God does. It's not what we do. You don't grow in Christ because, well, I'm gonna work at it, I'm gonna work at it, I'm gonna work at it. God may prompt you to do some things, but if you've been transformed from here to here, guess who did it all? It's the Lord, Jesus Christ. Everything in the Christian life, supernatural. We try to box it in and administrate it, it's all about God. It's all about what He wants to do. Believe in God's supernatural power. If you really wanna be a disciple of God and grow, one of the qualities you need to have is belief in the supernatural. God can do it, I believe that. I may not even have seen it and I believe God can do that. Secondly, is this. If you're gonna have a second quality of being a discipled, the birth of Jesus Christ teaches us we must rely on special revelation to act in wisdom. Rely on special revelation. Now there's general revelation in the world. There's the sun, the moon, the stars. The heavens declare the glory of God. There's the mountains. There's going on vacation and being in front of the ocean and seeing how vast it is. There's all sorts of ways that whether you're a Christian or not, you can look and say, "Oh, this world's incredible. Look at all the stars at night." I mean, all that. Then there's special revelation. A special revelation is what God gives us through His Word where we know that it's God who told us. Now think about if you're Joseph for a minute. The way betrothed worked in the first century is that your parents would work out your engagement process and say, "Hey, we want you to marry, we're gonna work out the financial arrangements," and now you're engaged. Once you were betrothed or engaged, you were engaged for at least about a year, maybe longer. And during that time, it was as good as married, even though you hadn't come together as husband and wife yet. But it counts as being married. That's where Mary and Joseph are. So picture your betrothal period, young men. You're getting ready to get married, you're getting ready to go to the alter, the invitations have been sent. And guess what happens? Your fiance tells you, "Hey, I'm pregnant. But don't worry, God did it." Man, how are you gonna respond? I mean, if I'm Joseph, I'm first responding in hurt, then you're lying to me and telling me that God did it. You won't even fess up and tell me the truth. And now I understand Old Testament law from Deuteronomy 22; if I'm complicit with you, and they think that I'm the one that got you pregnant, we're both gonna be stoned. I'm outta here. I'm done with you. Like, I can't believe you did this to me. That would be my thought. But notice what happens. And Joseph, her husband, being a righteous man; that doesn't mean he wasn't a sinner, he was a righteous man. By the way, those of you that come from Roman Catholic background, Mary was a righteous woman, but she was a sinner. The one that came out of her womb needed to save her too. She was not sinless any more than anybody else. The only sinless one that's ever lived is the Lord Jesus Christ because He was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Had he not been conceived by the Holy Spirit, Jesus would have had sin. Genesis 3 taught us that. That's why He had to be conceived by the Holy Spirit. That's why He couldn't have an earthly father. 'Cause if He had an earthly father and wouldn't have been conceived by the Holy Spirit, then whatever's coming out of Mary's womb is a sinner. And if that one's a sinner, that one can't save. Jesus came out, was always sinless, came out of her womb sinless, lives sinless, died sinless, had all the wrath of God put on Him because of our sin, rose sinless, coming back sinless 'cause He's the perfect one of God. Amen? - [Congregation] Hallelujah. - But this is what we learned in Genesis. So what do you have here? You have Joseph who's being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. So he's saying, "I don't want you to get stoned, I don't wanna get stolen, let's get you out of Nazareth." But when he'd considered this, he got some special revelation. 'Cause behold, check out what happened. An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." I mean, if I'm Joseph, about the only way I'm gonna stay in that relationship is if something like that happens. If I have a dream and I know it's the angel of Lord saying, "Hey, your fiance's telling you the truth. The Holy Spirit put the baby there. He's actually gonna be the Messiah, the promised one." And notice how He's referred to. David wasn't Joseph's earthly father, but he was called Joseph son of David. In other words, remember, you're in the line of genealogical line of David, you match up everything I needed, that's why Mary's pregnant. You're gonna be His earthly dad but you're not gonna be His biological dad. And you're a righteous man and I picked you just for this cause, so take Mary to be your wife. Now that's what I would need. I would need some special revelation.Now, a lot of you would say, when you're in trouble and you're dealing with things of how are we gonna do this and how are we going to do that? And there there's no way, this is the way I would do it. Because things happen in life where we think we know what God wants. That's why we always have to go back and read God's Word. The Word of God has special revelation. The Word of God tells us how He responds. The Word of God is what we need. 'Cause some of you would say, "Well, if when I was in trouble, an angel of the Lord came and talked to me, I promise you, I'll do it every single time." No, you wouldn't. I mean, you have God's Word that tells you exactly what to do and you don't do that every single time. So we just think we would do what God wanted us to do every single time. That's why it's important for us as Christians to always go back to special revelation. Because God may call you to do something that goes against the grain of every single person that you even know. But God says, this is what I've called you to do. So it begs this question; what part of God's word are you trusting right now? Like what part of God's special revelation has He shown you or are you leaning into, or you do need Him to show you? Let me give you an example. Last week I asked you as a congregation to pray for me. I knew you would. I asked you to pray for me because as a leader, this has been a difficult season here in December of 2020. It's been a difficult season all year. Because no matter what decision gets made, people make thoughts of, well, you're only making that because you have this political persuasion, or you think this about the virus, and pastor, you're not a doctor and you don't know anything, and all this kind of stuff. And there's no way you can please everybody. Did you know that? I'll save you a lot of pain if you can learn that. There's just no way. And so, I've been worn out this year talking to attorneys and listening to pastors and reading God's Word and trying to figure out, like, what are we gonna do, and God, how do we keep the church open? God gave me some special revelation this week. You wanna hear about it? - [Congregation] Yeah. - Okay, I thought you did. So, last week I taught a little bit about the Great Commission; how God wants us to take salvation over all the world. And Matthew 28:19, it says this; "Therefore go into all the world and make disciples of," what? "All nations." So, God's command to us as disciples of Him is to go into all the world and make disciples. Well, how do you make a disciple? That means you better read the whole book of Matthew for which Jesus is coming out of and saying what's going on. And how did you just make disciples? Well, we read it in the New Testament. There's 57 one and others. Discipleship is relationship. You can't make disciples apart from relationships. You can't make disciples through Zoom calls. You can't make disciples online. You can only make disciples in relationship. That's why even in the book of Hebrews it says, "Continue to meet together, and all the more as you see the day approaching." So what's Jesus saying? The closer you get to the end, the more you better meet, the more you better be in relationship, the more you better be able to do the one and others. That's what He's called. That's a command, that's not a suggestion. Number two, He says this; baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. So what's the second command? Baptize all the people that are getting saved. Right? January 3rd, we are open for baptisms. Amen? There's actually a QR code. If you're hearing service, on the back of your chair, you can click that and say, I got saved this year, I wanna get baptized. This time, January 3rd, we'll baptize you. If you've never been to a BRAVE baptism service, they're some of our best; testimonies and what God's done, and it's awesome. And I already know some of the stories. So, you wanna be here on January 3rd. And then He says this; "Go into all the world, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit," and then what? "And teaching them to obey all that I've commanded you." So what's that? He's teaching. What's the command? Feed my sheep, don't stop teaching, don't stop teaching, don't stop teaching. So three things God wants us to do is meet together in relationships, baptize those who are being saved, and continue to teach the Word of God. Okay? And then what's His promise. I'll be with you always to the very end of the age. I'll go with you. If you do what I command, I go with you. You say, "Well, where do you get that authority? 'Cause haven't you read Romans 13? And what about the government this and what about this politician that?" It's exhausting to try to read everybody's opinion, just so you know. So I love that Matthew 28:18 tells me my authority. Before Jesus said, do any of that, here's what He said; "All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Therefore, go do these things." So, here's where I stand. Jesus is telling me as your pastor, I will continue to teach, I will continue to meet with you, and we'll continue to baptize, and we will not close our doors for any reason come hell or high water. Because that's what we're called to do. Now, listen to me, some of our best most faithful saints at BRAVE Church by wisdom, and it's good wisdom, because of age or health compromise or because the Lord has shown them somebody else in their family, have chosen to worship at home. Some people have told me, "Hey, you should just make everybody do X, Y, and Z because it's just the weaker brother, and can't you stand up for them?" I wanna tell you something. Some of our people worshiping online, some of our people worshiping at home, some of our people who are not in our services are some of our most faithful givers, some of our greatest servants, and some of the most awesome people, and we cannot wait to have you back worshiping with us when the Lord releases you to do that. Because here's what's important. Amen? Can we give God praise for that? Because one of the things I don't have a privilege to do as a pastor is because I love each and every one of you, and everybody thinks differently. I mean, I have people that go to our church that are so off the pole on this way, and so off the pole on this way that we probably couldn't have a conversation. I wanna say this. Every single one of you that's written me an email or has talked to me in person, you've been nothing but gracious to me, and I love you a lot. Even those that we disagree on some things, we love you, right? But here's what I'm not doing. I'm not making statistics. I'm not standing up here and saying, COVID-19, if you catch it, you have a 99.6% chance of surviving. You know I'm not gonna say that? Because of my wife was in the 4%, I don't care about your stupid statistic. And there have been people that I know personally that have gotten COVID, no symptoms. I'll give you an example. One of my best friends got COVID recently, was in the hospital on an intubator, ventilator, for six days, not knowing what was gonna happen. God, by His miraculous grace has pulled him out. He's doing better. I've been at the hospital the last two days. I believe by faith, he's gonna heal up. He hasn't been here since March, right? His mom got it. She hasn't been here since March. She's 90. She was in the hospital three days with no symptoms and complainant, and how come I can't go home? Right? Here's the deal. I'm not here making a political statement. However you choose to respond to the information that you've been given, that's your Christian liberty. I will honor that. It's what you're called to do. I'm telling you what I'm called to do as your pastor, and that's to love each and every one of you. Even if you think differently, I'm called to love you and honor you and shepherd you and teach you and continue to disciple you and baptize those of you who come to know Christ. And that's what we're gonna do. Because all authority is Jesus. - [Congregation] Amen. - It's not the government. - [Congregation] Amen. - There are certain things we'll listen to. But when the government says, you can't meet, Jesus says, we can. When the government says, you can't love one another, Jesus says, you can. When the government says, you can't baptize, Jesus says, you can. When the government says, you can't teach, Jesus says, you can. So I'm not making a stand, I'm not pushing back, I'm just saying, this is who I am, this is what I must do, this is what we will do. Do you understand? Friends, that's called special revelation. That's not God speaking to me with an angel, that's God just revealing in His Word what He's called us to do. Now, I'm gonna tell you this; different pastors may feel differently. And I have a lot of friends that are pastors that are handling things differently. I love them. We're not called to be like everybody else. We're called to be obedient to how God wants us to be. So when you take a political issue and you start pushing it on people and say, well, you must. No, this is how the Lord's spoken to me. This is how the Lord's spoken to us. This is what we're gonna do. You choose to do different, we love you. That's the Word of God. So Joseph gets the Word of God and says, "Hey, take Mary, you have special wisdom now." It's really cool 'cause again, just like most verse, the wife does all the work. I mean, God says, "Hey, take Mary to be your wife. I'll give you one responsibility, you're gonna name your Son. But just so you don't screw it up, His name is gonna be Jesus." "Because He's gonna save people from their sins. So, good job Joseph." But one of the qualities to be discipled too is not just believing in the supernatural power or the specific revelation of God, but it's also to understand God's fidelity and fulfillment to His Word. Notice what God says in verse 22 and 23. "Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet." That's the Prophet Isaiah. This is Isaiah 7. "Behold the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which translated means God with us." So, what's the story about? The story about is everything that God says in His Word is going to happen. Everything God says is going to come true. That's why in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says in Matthew 5:17, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law of the prophets. I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the law until all is accomplished." It means the Word is not going anywhere. Isaiah 40:8 says, "The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the Word of our Lord stands forever." The end of John 10:35 says, "The Scripture cannot be broken." Mathew 24:35 says, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my Words will never pass away." Why is that so important? Because you need to understand that Jesus Christ is the living embodiment of the Word, and that His incarnation is what reveals what we've been reading about. God not only gave us written Scripture. God gave us His own Son so that we would see what the written Scripture was. That's why Jesus had a hard time with the religious leaders who just studied the Scriptures but didn't believe in Him. He says, "You diligently study the Scriptures," in John 5, "You diligently study the Scriptures because you believe that in them, you have eternal life. Yet, these are the very Scriptures that testify about me yet you refuse to come to me to have life. I'm the embodiment and fulfillment of all the Scriptures." And if you study all the Old Testament prophecies that were to be fulfilled in Christ, they were fulfilled in Christ. If you study all the Old Testament and New Testament prophecies for what's gonna happen, in the end you'll see, by faith, that every time one of them will happen just the way that God said that they're going to happen. Why? 'Cause we can trust His Word. God is always faithful to His Word. God will always fulfill His Word. It gives me great confidence when I preach, because if I felt and I don't feel, if I felt like every week I had to come up with clever stories and cool catchy things, or dress a certain way so people would be talking about my clothes, or get a different style haircut, right? Come on, hair club for men and you know little dyed blonde things on the end. I mean, if I had to do all that to get you to listen to me, it would be frustrating 'cause every week I got to come up with something creative. Here's the beauty of God's Word. I know if I just preach His Word, God will do what He wants to do in your life, and it will never return void. Just to give you an example. I was meeting with this guy the other day in the hospital. And when I was meeting with him in the hospital, he's been coming to our church for about 10 years. And he told me, he's like, "Hey, Pastor Jeff, I remember like week five when we were there. You ask everybody to raise their hand. And when you did, that's when I gave my life to Christ." And I'm like, "We've been friends for 10 years and you're just telling me today, coming off a ventilator, that you came to Christ at BRAVE Church?" Like, what's your problem, man. I mean, I wanted to hear that. But what I was hearing is God's doing way more work than what we'll ever see. His Word is always working more than we'll ever see. And why doesn't God reveal certain things to us? Because He wants to get all the glory, right? We never know. But as Christians, if you're gonna grow in your discipleship with Christ, understand God's fidelity and fulfillment of His Word, that when you take this book and say, "I don't understand it but this is what I wanna understand, and this is how I wanna live, and I'm gonna put myself under its authority even though this is uncomfortable," God will do a work in and through you that He could only accomplish in and through you. And then understand this final point; as disciples of Christ, the birth of Christ teaches us that we must be faithful to follow His Word. 'Cause up until now, it's like, okay, I agree, that's pretty cool. I mean, look at this Word, it's awesome, and angel speaking and Joseph and Mary and the incarnation of Christ who's perfect and all this. But look at Joseph. He was faithful to follow God's Word. 'Cause it could say, and Joseph awoke from the dream, was scared to death, talked to three of his friends at Buffalo Wild Wings. And like, dude, I think that's crazy. And he said, I do too. And Joseph left Nazareth and went to a far, far away land. He was never heard of again. Right? But what happens? Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord, notice us, commanded him, and took Mary as his wife. And verse 25 is there just to highlight again that Jesus was sinless. But kept her a Virgin until she gave birth to a Son and he called his name, Jesus. We know that Mary had at least six other kids, if you read through the gospel. She didn't just have Jesus. Jesus had brothers and sisters. No doubt about it. But Joseph and Mary did not come together until after Jesus was born. Right? 'Cause He's the sinless Christ. But notice this. Look what Joseph did. He took Mary to be his wife. Now just think about this for a second. Was his life easier or harder before he listened to the angel? I mean, I think it'd be easier. Man, 'cause imagine just the conversations you're gonna to have. Dad, you don't understand, it wasn't me, it was God. I should still marry her, I didn't do this to her. Talking to all your friends. Yeah, it wasn't me, it was God. Who's gonna believe that? If my friends told me that, I wouldn't believe them. I mean, he's gonna have to share a testimony of something supernatural God's done by believing in special revelation that nobody else is gonna understand. Right? He's gonna end up losing family, losing friends, losing his community because no one supports him. That's why in Luke 2 when they traveled for the census from Nazareth to Bethlehem, and there's "no room in the inn" and we make it this big kids production. Why is there no room in the in? And here's the question? Why are they looking to stay in an inn when all their relatives are in town registering for the census, and the number one virtue of the first century is hospitality; so welcoming your family and being all together is awesome, how come they're at an inn? 'Cause nobody in their family wants to be around them. Because they're claiming that God put a baby in Mary's tummy and it had nothing to do with their son. They're shutting them. That's what's going on. It's hard to follow God's call. When you follow God's call, it doesn't mean your family is gonna rejoice and follow you. When you follow God's call, it doesn't mean your friends are gonna rejoice and follow you. When you follow God's call, it doesn't mean that the community that you've been a part of is gonna rejoice and follow you. It may get hard, but that's why God created the church, so that when you came to the church there a group of people that are following God. So when Joseph would have to say at the church, I just don't understand, I'm doing what God wants. And everybody was kinda forsaken me. And we as a church said, "We'll never leave you or forsake you brother. We believe what God's done. And you're faithful and you're a righteous man. And we stand with you during this hard time." That's what the church is for. Because following God is always harder than not following God ultimately. Right? And here's what we need to understand. Joseph heard the voice of the Lord and did it. Sometimes we wanna hear God speak and we wanna hear God speak. And then there's one of those days where we're reading through our Bibles and all of a sudden, guess what we hear. That prompt us with something. And we think, no, I'm not doing that. That's for somebody else. So I'll just keep reading and I wanna get my Bible reading done for today. Right? Following God involved stopping and pausing and listening and responding by following Him and following His Word, and by being faithful. And isn't this what Jesus did? Didn't He always follow His Father? Wasn't He always faithful to the Word? Didn't He seek his dad for special revelation, perhaps in the Garden of Gethsemane? I need to know exactly you're saying right now, I need to know what you want me to do. Didn't He spend time on a mountain praying for all of His disciples; which ones were gonna be apostles? Didn't he spend time praying before He walked on the water to see what his dad had? Didn't He spend his whole life seeking special revelation from His dad? Didn't He believe in His own supernatural power? Don't we see that displayed everywhere. Why? Because Jesus Christ is the incarnation of God. Jesus Christ is God's one and only. There's no other faith in the world where God has come to man. Confucius wasn't God that came to man. Allah has never been a God that's come to man. Muhammad's never been a God that's come to man. I mean, there's no other story in the Bible. And that's why you can reject all of them and say, Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him. That's why you can say He died according to the Scriptures and He was buried and He was raised according to the Scriptures. That's why you can say Jesus Christ is the one and only way of salvation. That's why to believe in Jesus, you can be a son or a daughter of God, and to reject Him, you're gonna go to hell. Because he's the only God. He's the one who created it all. He's the one who established it all. He's the one who became incarnate. He identified Himself as the one mediator between God and man, the man, Jesus Christ. If He ever seize being the perfect God, His death on the cross means nothing. If He ever seize to being human, it means that you have no relationship to God. He's the perfect God-man. He came as the God-man, He fulfilled the law as the God-man, He died as the God-man, He was buried as the God-man, He rose as the God-man, He ascended as the God-man. And as you'll learn in January as we started unpacking it, He's coming back as the God-man. Amen? - [Congregation] Amen. - It's good stuff. But here's what God wants you to know. God wants you to respond to Him by grace. God wants you to respond to Him by faith. Just to know facts about God is not enough. It's just not enough. God wants you to respond to the revelation and the specific and special revelation of His Son being the God of all gods, the King of all kings, and the Lord of all lords. When was the time in your life that you repented of your sin and trusted Jesus. See, in this Christmas season, that's what God's calling all of us to do. He's letting you know, He's not asking you to get religious, He's not asking you to join our church, He's not asking you to try to act a different than what you've acted, He's just saying, "Hey, give me your entire life. Give me your heart." So I'm just gonna ask you to bow your heads and close your eyes. I want you to think about this Jesus Christ that came for you. Lord Jesus, we give you all the praise and all the glory and all the honor for who you are. And if you're here today or you're watching online and you've never responded to the gospel, here's how you can pray. Jesus, I know you're God. And I know I'm a sinner. But Lord, my desire is to turn from my sin and to give you my sin and to come into a relationship with you. Come into my life, Lord Jesus and save me, indwell me, and put me on a new path for your great name. And Lord, for those of us who know you, who have done this, Lord, This Christmas season, especially let us be reminded of your goodness to us. That who indwells us is the King of kings. That who indwells us is the Lord of lords. And there is no other. And we give you all the praise, we give you all the glory, we give you all the honor, because you and you alone are the only one who deserves it. And it's in Jesus name we pray. Amen.